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Jindal The Therapist

Jindal had a few funny lines, but he too often sounded like a guy trying to calm down an aggravated parrot: sing-songy, every sentence soothingly the same, the delivery totally unmatched to the content. And the mantra "Americans can do anything," repeated at least five times, reminded me of nothing so much as a cassette tape given to me by a child therapist I (briefly) visited when I was eight. It was called the "Affirmation Tape," and it repeated banal self-esteem or joy-of-life boosters like "You can do it!" and "You love eating meatballs!" over and over. Jindal had Ronald Reagan's empty optimism, but with a treacly, post-'90s, Eat Pray Love twist. "Don't let anyone tell you that we cannot recover," he urged the camera soulfully, like a guest on Oprah comforting women mournful over their puffy ankles. As for the content, well, does anybody believe the biggest problems the country faces right now are earmarks and high taxes?

--Eve Fairbanks