May 5, 2008


McCain-Jindal? (WILLIAM KRISTOL, 5/05/08, NY Times)

Another McCain staffer called my attention to this finding in the latest Fox News poll: McCain led Obama in the straight match-up, 46 to 43. Voters were then asked to choose between two tickets, McCain-Romney vs. Obama-Clinton. Obama-Clinton won 47 to 41.

That reversal of a three-point McCain lead to a six-point deficit for the McCain ticket suggests what might happen (a) when the Democrats unite, and (b) if McCain were to choose a conventional running mate, who, as it were, reinforced the Republican brand for the ticket. As the McCain aide put it, this is what will happen if we run a traditional campaign; our numbers will gradually regress toward the (losing) generic Republican number.

Maybe that’s why, in separate conversations last week, no fewer than four McCain staffers and advisers mentioned as a possible vice-presidential pick the 36-year-old Louisiana governor, Bobby Jindal. They’re tempted by the idea of picking someone so young, with real accomplishments and a strong reformist streak.

It might also be a way to confront the issue of McCain’s age (71), which private polls and focus groups suggest could be a real problem. A Jindal pick would implicitly acknowledge the questions and raise the ante. The message would be: “You want generational change? You can get it with McCain-Jindal — without risking a liberal and inexperienced Obama as commander in chief.” I would add that it was after McCain spent considerable time with Jindal in New Orleans recently, and reportedly found him, as he has before, personally engaging and intellectually impressive, that the campaign’s informal name-dropping of Jindal began.

It seems unfair to LA to rob it of the first good governor in its history so soon. He'd be an ideal running mate for Jeb in 2012 though.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 5, 2008 12:40 PM

Ditto, OJ. LA needs a governor to save it from the next Katrina, and show the people how to live in a non-third-world world.

Posted by: ic at May 5, 2008 1:58 PM

I don't know about this - there are dems who don't want anything to do w/Barry whatsoever cos they're getting a clue........

How would Evita make the ticket OK?

Posted by: Sandy P at May 5, 2008 3:02 PM

Amen, Orrin. It's hard to understand why anyone outside of Utah is still trying to foist that dog of a candidate on an American public that has already passed its verdict.

Posted by: Jorge Curioso at May 5, 2008 5:01 PM

Wonder what the numbers would be on a McCain-Huckabee ticket? I'm no Huckabee fan per se, but seems he would bring Evangelicals strongly into the camp (Romney, uh, not so much). If a McCain-Huckabee ticket outpolls a McCain-Romney ticket by more than the margin of error, will the entire National Review staff's heads explode?

Posted by: AC at May 5, 2008 5:45 PM

The problem is McCain doesn't need Huck for any states, though he may need him for the volunteers.

Posted by: oj at May 5, 2008 7:18 PM

Jindal will be a great Presidential candidate in 2016 if he doesn't do like Obama: run too early. Obama would have been a much more formidable candidate as a second-term Senator (or as Illinois governor after 2010). Jindal needs to stay home and build some cred the next few years.

Posted by: Steve White at May 5, 2008 8:25 PM

Someone wrote a piece in my local paper about two months ago suggesting J.C. Watts. Not a bad idea: He seems like a great guy, was an accomplished Congressman, and has some energy to balance McCain's age in the considerations of voters. I'll even give him a pass on being an OU Sooner.

His speech at the GOP convention in 1996 was the greatest oration I've ever heard at a political convention. At the speech's conclusion, the audience roared after Watts described his great good fortune in being born an American, as he choked on his emotion.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at May 5, 2008 9:00 PM