Trailing political candidates always poke at frontrunners, but watching Gov. Bobby Jindal's recent attempts to take on GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump was like watching a toddler desperately tugging on his father's pants leg, trying to get some attention — any attention. Jindal clearly has gotten no traction with his policy pronouncements, so now he's thumping Trump, hoping the mogul will take the bait and begin a publicity-rich feud. Like other aspects of Jindal's delusional presidential campaign, this move flopped.
First Jindal called a press conference to denounce Trump as a narcissist, an egomaniac and a reality-TV star akin to a Kardashian. He compared Trump unfavorably to Don Rickles yet did a fair impression of an insult comic himself. "There's a reason we know he hasn't read the Bible — he's not in the Bible," Jindal said. "Just because people like watching Kim Kardashian, we wouldn't put her in the White House," he added — a rich line coming from someone who practically Superglued himself to the Robertson family, stars of the Louisiana-set faux-reality show Duck Dynasty. In April, Jindal even joked about making the show's Willie Robertson his running mate.
In one web video, Jindal compared Trump to volatile TV star Charlie Sheen, and in another to the vacuous characters in Anchorman. A third video on Trump's foreign policy had a crude animation of Trump watching M*A*S*H and other war comedies, while portraits of Bill and Hillary Clinton and Kanye West looked on. Jindal then penned an op-ed for CNN in which he speculated that actor Gary Busey would be in Trump's Cabinet and that Trump's wife Melania would use the White House to launch a line of celebrity perfume at Macy's.
The piece de resistance was Jindal's juvenile quip that the real estate baron looked like he had "a squirrel sitting on his head." This is the candidate who in 2012 chided Republicans to "stop being the stupid party"?
In his defense, Jindal had to do something to distinguish himself in a race that so far has looked more like a bad reality show than a national policy debate. In a nationwide CNN/New York Times poll of Republican primary voters conducted Sept. 9-13, Trump led a field of 17 competitors at 27 percent (up 3 percent from the month before). Jindal had fallen during that month from 2 percent to an asterisk (denoting less than 0.5 percent support). That's even lower than former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who dropped out of the race after the poll was taken.
Undeterred, Jindal slogs on. In the Sept. 16 CNN debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, he was the only candidate who used his introductory remarks to slam Trump. That prompted a moderator to remind him of Ronald Reagan's famous "11th Commandment" — "Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican." Jindal answered that Trump is no Republican, prompting another low-polling candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, to grouse, "Personal attacks just please one person — Hillary Clinton."
Jindal initially complained that Trump is "full of bluster but has no substance." The same could be said of Jindal. Unlike Trump, though, he has nothing to show for his false bravado.