March 28, 2008


McCain's Surprise: Could GOP's Bayou Gov. Get Veepstakes Slot?: Diversity, Conservative Cred May Earn Louisiana Governor Place on Republican Ticket (NITYA VENKATARAMAN, March 28, 2008, ABC News)

Being called the next Ronald Reagan and the future of the Republican Party complete with murmurs of placement on G.O.P.'s vice presidential short list isn't bad conservative buzz to have if you're first-term Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

For Jindal, gubernatorial assension into the national spotlight came in October following a 53 percent victory in the Louisiana governor's race making the 36-year-old former two-term congressman the nation's first Indian-American governor.

Jindal has marked his first months in office fighting corruption and pushing ethics reform in his home state. Combined with his youth, diversity and conservative cred, ABC News consultant Matthew Dowd, said Jindal would bring a certain je ne sais quoi to the presidential bid of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. [...]

The son of Indian immigrants, some believe Jindal, born and raised in Louisiana, gives face to a modern America. Named "Piyush" by Hindu parents, Jindal started going by "Bobby" at a young age and converted to Catholicism in his late teens. Educated at Brown and Oxford, Jindal, a Rhodes Scholar, chose a career in public service that has been marked by both state and federal government appointments.

Donna Brazile, a Democratic Party strategist whose career started in Louisiana politics, said, "Jindal on the ticket would provide McCain with inspiration, innovation and a touch of jazz. It's like seasoning in a Creole gumbo that blends the old and the new … nicely seasoned but not stale." take the first good governor they've ever had.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 28, 2008 10:40 AM

Given McCain's age and concerns that a veep might have to step in at some point, I don't know that he can pick a 36-year-old as his veep.

Posted by: Kevin Whited at March 28, 2008 1:48 PM

Jindal is too valuable to the GOP as Louisiana's governor. Two terms of executive experience, combined with his previous experiences will make a shoo-in for the GOP ticket in 2016.

McCain could randomly pick a name out of the phone book for the VP slot and still beat Obama like a rented mule come November.

Posted by: mike m at March 28, 2008 2:08 PM

Pulling Jindal out of Louisiana would be a travesty, for all the reasons you say. Louisiana needs him too badly.

Plus, Barack Obama himself is a great example of a talented politician who rose too far, too fast. Arguably, had Obama been forced out of the race a month ago, gone back to the Senate as a prominent Democrat, made a good account of himself, all the while gradually working through such issues as Wright, etc., he may then have been extemely well placed for the future.

But now he is in so deep, that he must triumph or flame out, with little middle ground, and the former will be difficult. And if he does win, he may very well not be ready.

Let's not do the same thing to one of the most valuable nuggets of seed corn we have. Jindal is exactly where he needs to be, and where Louisiana and America need him to be.

Posted by: Andrew X at March 28, 2008 2:33 PM

If Jindal were picked, he would become the center of the spot light. That would save both Hillary and Obama from further scrutiny. That is what the Dems want before their Convention. That is how Donna Brazile attempt to rescue her patron. I don't think McCain and the Reps are dumb enough to fall for that. Jindal can do it in 2012 after a few years killing the politcal monsters in LA.

Posted by: ic at March 28, 2008 2:58 PM

A few years ago I would have predicted Condi, then for a while it looked like Lindsey Graham was going for the slot, but since this election is so obviously going to be a rout, it's tough to say what the unpredictable old figher pilot's going to do. I would think that Michael Steele must be one of the top candidates...

Posted by: b at March 28, 2008 3:08 PM

Dan Quayle is tanned, rested and ready.

Posted by: Bob Hawkins at March 28, 2008 3:37 PM

Good, he's a better focus.

Posted by: oj at March 28, 2008 4:28 PM

Jindal's the most experienced of the four.

Posted by: oj at March 28, 2008 4:29 PM

Another reason this shouldn't be Jindal's year is that he's too young and looks even younger and standing next to McCain would make him look even more like the tired grumpy old man he is.

Posted by: erp at March 28, 2008 4:32 PM

What does "most experienced" have to do with being vice president?

Posted by: b at March 28, 2008 4:57 PM

People used the "most presidential" line to justify Lloyd Bensten. He lasted, what, a year as Clinton's Sec. of Treasury?

If Jindal can can actually take on and clean up in Lousiiana, he'll be in a position to win by running against 4 years of Dem incompetence and corruption and scandal, all of which are all but guaranteed if either St. Hillary! or the Obamahdii wins.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at March 28, 2008 6:15 PM

A lot when the prez is a senior. Remember Reagan flirted with Ford before taking Bush.

Posted by: oj at March 28, 2008 6:23 PM

The reason Reagan flirted with Ford wasn't because he was old. It was because he bought into the then conventional wisdom that it is possible to run too far to the right to be elected president.

Posted by: b at March 28, 2008 6:29 PM

That's ahistorical. The CW was that Reagan just wasn't up to the job, and a former president was seen as alleviating that concern. Because that was the focus the Ford people tried grabbing power in the prospective presidency and Reagan, watching the Convention, realized it made him look weak.

Posted by: oj at March 28, 2008 10:29 PM