Patented Pundit Scorecard™ No. 1: Looking back at my Rick Perry and Bobby Jindal pontification

November 18, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
Nov. 18, 2015

I’m feeling pretty good about a recent announcement that jibes with something I wrote in December 2013. So in what will likely be a futile attempt to forestall some smugness on my part, I’m going to open this post with a reminder that another assessment that I made two years ago didn’t pan out so well.

In September 2013, I wrote the following about then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry:

I enjoy having fun at Perry’s expense as much as the next person. But anyone who dismisses Perry out of hand is potentially making a big mistake.

Well, that didn’t quite turn out the way I expected. In mid-September of this year, Perry became the first Republican to bow out of the race to secure the party’s nomination for president of the United States.

“Fundraising was a challenge, and he failed to gain traction in the polls despite spending significant time in the early states, especially Iowa, and despite the assistance of a well-funded super PAC,” Katie Glueck reported for Politico. She added that in the days before Perry ended his campaign,

[H]e was down to one paid staffer in Iowa, one in South Carolina and none in New Hampshire. He was foundering in the polls after failing to qualify for the main stage debate in the first GOP primary contest and his weak polling support had once again relegated him to the second-tier debate next week.

Two months after I outlined the reasons why Perry might be a formidable candidate, I wrote an essay about how policies — as opposed to politics — had influenced recent Republican presidential nominating contests. The hook of the article was a scathing Times-Picayune column asserting that, as the headline put it, “Jindal’s meager record at home won’t get him to the White House.”

The author of that column was referring to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. At the end of my pontification, I made this prediction:

I wouldn’t bet on Jindal getting the GOP nod [in 2016]. But I think he’s still a viable candidate, regardless of his policy chops or lack thereof.

Well, at least the first of those sentences was correct. Jindal dropped out of the race yesterday, as Alex Isenstadt reported for Politico:

Jindal had struggled to gain traction as he centered his campaign on Iowa, a state with a large pool of evangelical voters, to whom the governor aggressively sought to appeal. He often failed to poll at even 1 percent in some surveys and underwhelmed in the money race — he had less than $300,000 in the bank heading into October. His low standing in polls meant that he failed to qualify for any of the prime-time Republican debates and was forced to participate in the less-watched undercard debates.

I’m going to call that a win. On the Patented Pundit Scorecard™ — PPS™ for short — yours truly is now at 50 percent with one correct prediction and one incorrect prediction.

Thank you, and may God bless America.

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