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Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, sometimes mentioned as a candidate for vice president, didn’t exactly wow the 700 or so gathered for the annual New York Republican dinner at the midtown Sheraton.
His keynote speech started out well enough, many Republicans said, but droned on far too long. He told a stale joke (My father walked to school. Uphill. Both ways.) then went deep into the weeds of the Bayou State’s financials -- focusing at one point on “UAL” debt.
He received mild, occasional applause but, all the time, the volume of conversation at the 100 or so tables rose noticeably as attention waned.
And, after a dinner break and Jindal’s departure, the next two speakers made pointed references. “I’m going to speak a little shorter than the prior speaker,” Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) said -- generating applause.
“My father gave me some great advice, too,” Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R-Canandaigua), said referring to a part of Jindal’s speech. “Be brief and be gone.”
Jindal’s team placed copies of his book, “Leadership and Crisis,” on the chairs throughout the Sheraton ballroom. Afterward, some New York Republicans joked about trying to give their copy away.