Look Out, Donald! Here Comes Bobby!

I mentioned this briefly at Day’s End yesterday, but this could make my whole week: Bobby Jindal, whose presidential campaign has not exactly lit up the boards, will go after Donald Trump today in a National Press Club speech. Here’s what we know of Jindal’s plans, per the Washington Examiner‘s David Drucker:

Bobby Jindal is coming after Donald Trump.

In a Thursday speech that was previewed by his advisors, the Louisiana governor will begin a concerted campaign to discredit the New York businessman/entertainer who sits atop nearly every poll in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Jindal began the effort on Wednesday, releasing a campaign web video that compared Trump to Charlie Sheen during an infamous interview the actor gave in the aftermath of a drug overdose.

I don’t find the video all that effective, but then you couldn’t fill a thimble with the amount of attention I’ve given to the life and works of Charlie Sheen, so maybe I’m atypical. In any event, that’s just the appetizer:

Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, Jindal will take a different route than other GOP presidential contenders who have tried — and so far failed — to damage Trump, his advisors said during a conference call. Where others have focused on Trump’s ideological inconsistency and liberal positions on key issues, Jindal will call him a clown who is unfit to serve as president at such a pivotal moment in the nation’s history.

“He’s not going to pull any punches,” Jindal campaign chief strategist Curt Anderson told reporters.

This whole scene reminds me of one of those yapping chihuahuas who thinks he’s a terror challenging a pit bull from the safe confines of the other side of a fence. Byron York (also of the Examiner) wonders what he’s thinking:

One reasonable question to ask about Jindal’s plan is: Why? If other candidates have suffered in the polls as a result of tangling with Trump, why does Jindal think it would work out any better for him?….

Jindal’s advisers attribute his strategy to the urgency of the moment. The country is at a pivotal point, Jindal believes, and there may never be another chance to get it back on track. To entrust that chance to Trump would be a disaster. “America is slipping away from us, and Trump is not bringing solutions,” said Teepell. “This is a golden opportunity for conservatives.” And not one, Jindal will argue, to be wasted on Donald Trump.

Yeah, yeah, blah blah blah, spin spin. I’m sure Bobby’s going after Trump as an act of self-sacrificing patriotism. The irony is that Jindal’s whole political career represents an effort to become Donald Trump through ever-more-embarassing acts of demagoguery, like the high school nerd who dresses up in leather and commits petty acts of vandalism to look cool. The whole look-at-me calculated nature of Bobby’s assault on The Donald exposes a candidate as cynical as Trump himself. Maybe this gambit will hurt both of them.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.