May 23, 2008
Figuring out Bobby Jindal

Like Ezra, I'm curious about the governor to the east, Bobby Jindal. Republicans have been excited about him and he's allegedly on McCain's short list for VP. But I can't really figure out why, besides being young and ethnic, he's different than any other run-of-the-mill Republican. The demographics are there, but that's about where any Obama comparison might end. In terms of speaking skills, charisma, etc. he doesn't do much for me. I wonder if Republicans think demographics are enough to go up against Obama? Especially with a guy who should be sounding off the "inexperienced" alarm, which might explain why it's hard for those of us outside Louisiana (and maybe Louisianans too) to figure him out.

The best thing about a McCain/Jindal ticket is that it could highlight the post-hurricane problems that Louisiana is still dealing with. Ezra posted an interview with Gov. Jindal on Jay Leno that did a little bit to tell his story but not that much to talk about his politics. This video of Jindal on Chris Matthews last year addresses some of those problems that might be brought up during the general election if Jindal is the VP nominee.

Posted by Alexandria Ragsdale on May 23, 2008 to Election 2008

FWIW, a good friend of mine lives 50/50 in LA/Houston. What I would call a "values" oriented Democrat. Conservative but not a Republican in today's mold.

Anyway, he really likes Jindal. To hear him tell it, a lot of people who didn't vote for Jindal now are true belivers and will vote for him next time around. Apparently, he's the first governor LA has had in quite a while who is actully governing.

Posted by: Charles M on May 23, 2008 8:48 PM

I genuinely don't understand wht there is not to like abt Jindal other than if someone is a Democrat simply looking for someone not to like.

That is like someone here in Texas choosing not to like black Supreme Court Justice Dale Wainwright only because he is Republican.

or someone else only because they may be a Democrat.

My father was the medical dir of health and hospitals' MHMR when Jindal was Sec of Health and has told me for a dozen years how brilliant he is and how outstanding he is as a leader.

His story of adopting his name Boddy as a boy is truly a wonderfully American story.

Being born six months after his parents immigrated here and being educated first at public Baton Rouge schools and earning full scholarship to earn education at ivey league and graduate degrees at oxford schools, running as a genius reformer the state university and then health care in his 20s, his election to Congress by 34 and executive post as gov of a southern state by 36 with skin all can see darker than Barack Obama is inspiring!

Those inspired by Obama but not inspired by Jindal are disingenuous.

Posted by: Burt Levine on May 24, 2008 3:09 PM

If you can get beyond the identity politics and falling in love with whoever can best read from the teleprompter ( the only requirements for a Democratic nominee) you might see that Jindal brings the possibility of competence. It would be nice to let him serve out a term or two to see if he can pull off restructuring of the disaster that the Democrats made of state government in Louisiana (and isn't just a flash in the pan, think California) and tactically I don't think that McCain needs a VP this young when he's going to be hammering the inexperience issu

Posted by: Keith Fletcher on May 26, 2008 6:36 AM

But I can't really figure out why, besides being young and ethnic, he's different than any other run-of-the-mill Republican.

Not meaning to be catty, but you could strike through Republican and replace it with Democrat and have a fairly accurate statement about Obama.

Let's go further. Both Jindal and Obama were born to at least one parent studying in the US from a foreign country. Both have childhood religous backgrounds in non-Christian faiths but now are members of Christian congregations. Both have undergraduate degrees from Ivy League schools. Both have at least one degree in political science. Both were elected to their first Federal legistlative posts in 2004.

While they differ on matters of policy there is a great deal of commonality in their background.

With several releatives in Louisiana I can tell you that they are all torn about the possibility of having Jindal tapped as a VP. They really like what he's doing in Louisiana and want him to stick around for a while but also realize the opportunities that come with being a VP candidate.

Posted by: Patrick on May 27, 2008 8:39 AM

I doubt that Jindal will be on the ticket, but I expect he will have a plum speaking opportunity at the Republican convention.

Posted by: Jeg on May 28, 2008 10:39 AM