Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback delivers his State of the State speech to an annual joint session of the House and Senate at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan., Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014.
Photo by Orlin Wagner/AP

When Jindal and Brownback agree, be forewarned

As things stand, there are 31 Republican governors currently in office. One of them, Ohio’s John Kasich, is running for president. Another, Alabama’s Robert Bentley, has endorsed Kasich.
Other than these two, before this week, the remaining 29 GOP governors were officially neutral – some backed presidential candidates who are no longer in the race, some have remained on the sidelines*.That changed this week, however, when Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) got off the fence and threw his support to Marco Rubio.
The senator welcomed the support, but maybe he shouldn’t have. By most fair measures, Brownback is one of the nation’s least successful governors: his radical economic experiment has failed miserably, and recent polling found Brownback less popular than President Obama in of the nation’s most ruby-red states.
Perhaps the only thing scarier than a national candidate supported by Brownback would be a national candidate backed by former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R). Oh wait.
It’s been almost a week since Marco Rubio called Bobby Jindal “one of the best governors in America,” so you should have stopped laughing by now.
Rubio could not possibly have been serious, could he? If a potential leader of the Western world thinks the Jindal administration provided an example worth emulating, then we had better stock up with survival rations and hole up in the wilds.
In the wake of Jindal’s epic, cringe-worthy failures in Louisiana, the state is struggling through fiscal and budget crises that appear almost beyond repair.
Maybe Rubio was just trying to be polite when he described Jindal, without a hint of irony, as “one of the best governors in America.” But if the praise was sincere, this, coupled with Rubio’s new alliance with Kansas’ Brownback, may tell us something important.
Indeed, part of the point of a presidential campaign is to get a sense of how candidates would govern if given the opportunity. If Rubio, with no previous executive experience, sees failed governors as success stories, it’s not unreasonable to fear that he’d follow a governing model that obviously doesn’t work.
Or put another way, if Bobby Jindal and Sam Brownback agree on something, be forewarned.

* edited for clarity