Jindal Should Skip Speech to Save Career | NBC New York

Jindal Should Skip Speech to Save Career

State of the Union response looks like a good gig, but leads inevitably to doom

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Savvy politicians know to run screaming from the "honor" of delivering the State of the Union response, which history shows us is actually a curse.

    Why are his fellow Republicans trying to ruin Bobby Jindal's blossoming political career?

    Just 37 years old, Jindal was recently elected the governor of Louisiana. Last spring, people started talking about how this personable youngster might make a great running mate for John McCain. After all, John McCain was old and white and could never be bothered to pretend to care that much about religion, whereas Jindal was neither old nor white, and he's a devout Catholic.

    Jindal is also apparently pretty bright, because he managed to maneuver out of the VP selection process by giving some halfhearted, "Uh, I'm washing my hair on election night" kind of excuse. In so doing, he avoided acquiring the stench of loserdom that clings to Sarah Palin like day-old trout.

    So it's a little surprising that Republicans asked Jindal to assume the terrible burden of responding to the president's State of the Union address on their behalf, and even more surprising that he agreed to do it. History shows that whomever delivers the opposition party's response will, within a matter of years, fade into abject political obscurity. Observe:

    • 1994 -- Bob Dole: Lost '96 presidential bid, had to hawk erection meds to make ends meet.
    • 1995 -- Christine Todd Whitman: Appointed EPA administrator by Bush in 2001, driven out of office for being too honest. Shunned to this day.
    • 2000 -- Bill Frist: Looked like he'd run for president until the Terry Schiavo debacle in 2005. Just some loser in Tennessee now.
    • 2004 -- Tom Daschle: He lost his re-election bid nine and a half months after he and Nancy Pelosi gave the State of the Union response. After that, he was forced to enter a life of shame and debasement as a multimillionaire fake lobbyist.

    More recent State of the Union responders haven't failed horribly at anything yet, but give them time. They'll come around!

    As for Bobby Jindal, he should really think hard about whether he wants to suffer under the terrible State of the Union curse. He's got his whole life and a glorious career ahead of him. Why sacrifice all of that for 10 minutes of yapping after Obama's speech?

    Life coach and public speaking expert Sara K. Smith writes for NBC and Wonkette.