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ANCHORAGE (CAP) - Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who raised eyebrows when he criticized funding for "volcano monitoring" while delivering the rebuttal to President Barack Obama's address to the nation last month, was incinerated by lava this morning while touring the area surrounding Alaska's Mount Redoubt with Gov. Sarah Palin.
"It's hard not to appreciate the irony," admitted Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele.
Jindal had apparently spent the morning watching Palin shoot wolves from a National Guard helicopter before he requested she take him on a tour around Redoubt, which had experienced several small eruptions this week.
"Yah, if I had to do it again I don't think I woulda taken him down there, uh-uh," said Palin. "For one thing I ruined my shoes, and I don't think the RNC is gonna be buying me any more of those, that's for sure."
Witnesses say the lava was moving slowly down the mountain, giving Palin and her entourage - husband Todd, children Bristol, Willow, Piper and Trigg and grandson Tripp - ample time to scurry out of the way, with 7-year-old Piper carrying Trigg and Tripp, one under each arm.
But Jindal was apparently delayed when he stopped to tell a meandering story about a sheriff he had met during Hurricane Katrina. "He kept moving his hands back and forth and droning on and on like Mr. Rogers," said Todd Palin. "I was like, dude, there's freakin' lava coming."
Even after the lava overtook him, Jindal kept talking, said witnesses.
"He kept sayin', ya know, It comes down to a fundamental disagreement between me and this lava," explained Gov. Palin. "Before he finally went up in flames, though, he did say that he could see where they were coming from on all that volcano monitoring, you betcha."
Asked if she saw any irony in the method of Jindal's demise, Gov. Palin responded that she didn't notice any at the time, but that the lava might have been steaming up her glasses.
In Washington, President Obama expressed regret at Jindal's untimely end. "Bobby Jindal was, you know, a dedicated public ... uhh," said Obama. Then it appeared that his teleprompter stopped working and he scurried abruptly from the room, as chief of staff Rahm Emanuel swore at reporters, apparently to distract them.
Meanwhile, a makeshift memorial for Jindal sprung up at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, only to be hastily removed when the mourners realized that Jindal was not the guy who played "Kenneth" on 30 Rock.
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