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Round One of Barack vs. Bobby went to the president.
Now, due to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and Obama's lackluster response -- which has irritated and even enraged some members of the president's own party -- Bobby has Barack on the ropes and he is coming across as more passionate and more presidential.
Jindal is demanding more involvement, more cooperation and more urgency from the federal government. Specifically, he wants Obama to use the power of his office to cut some of the bureaucratic red tape that seems to trying up Louisiana's request for permission to build sand barriers that might stop the flow of oil onto shore. It's a simple request, and failing to honor it makes the White House look as if it is insensitive, incompetent or petty...
But for now, Round Two goes to Bobby.
I'm not the only one keeping score. It's significant that Obama's performance in the Gulf has been so bad that he earned criticism from a pair of staunch Democratic allies -- James Carville, a Louisiana native who has a stake in this crisis since he recently moved his family from Washington to New Orleans, and Paul Begala, who is from neighboring Texas. Both of these political pros have been critical of Obama's hands-off approach.
Yet they've had mostly nice things to say about Jindal. Last week, during appearances on various CNN shows, Carville praised the governor, insisting that he had the right idea as to how to protect the shoreline and suggesting that Obama should follow his lead. And Tuesday, when Jindal went after the federal government and again pleaded for them to lead, follow or get out of the way, Begala used an appearance on "The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer" to label Jindal's speech "a terrific performance ... because he's conveying urgency." And, Begala said, that's what people want to see right now.