Saturday, February 21, 2009

Bobby Jindal and Tommy Carcetti

Ryan Powers has an item on Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal's refusal of federal aid for expanded unemployment benefits (part of Obama's stimulus plan). Other Republican governors, like Mark Sanford of South Carolina, have been making similar noises initially, but for the most part I believe they all soon bowed to political necessity and stopped pretending that they were going to try to turn away much-needed federal dollars for their state. But unlike Mark Sanford, Bobby Jindal might be the Republican presidential candidate in 2012.

In the final season of The Wire, the mayor of Baltimore finds himself in dire need of state assistance to help pay for schools and police. He is ultimately unwilling, however, to "go begging" to the governor in Annapolis. Why turn down free money? Because the mayor is planning to run for governor himself in the next election, and he doesn't want to give his would-be opponent a huge gift by appearing to be dependent on or subservient to him.

Being human, Mayor Carcetti feels badly about his cynical short-changing of the citizens of Baltimore, whom he was elected to represent, but he justifies it by telling himself that, after he does what is politically necessary and thereby becomes governor, he'll be able to help them more than he ever could as mayor.

... or Jindal's opposition could be totally principled, of course.

h/t Yglesias

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