Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who has emerged as one of the hottest names in national Republican circles since John McCain's defeat last week, was never vetted as a vice presidential pick, according to sources close to the Pelican State chief executive.
Jindal was approached by McCain forces to gauge his interest in the vice presidency and told them he was not interested in being vetted due to his desire to continue on with his current job, to which he was elected just one year ago.
While the official reason that Jindal took his name out of contention was his lack of a desire to leave the Louisiana governorship, there was also real trepidation within his political inner circle that Jindal might wind up as the pick — McCain was attracted to his comprehensive health-care knowledge — and be caught up in what they believed to be a less-than-stellar campaign that could pin a loss on Jindal without much ability to change or control the direction of the contest.
The end result — intentional or not — is that Jindal, should he run in 2012, will be free of any taint of President George W. Bush or McCain.
Jindal And McCain
Given that Jindal is actually governing like he campaigned — a true conservative — I wonder how much of his decision was also based on the fact that McCain was not a true conservative, and that McCain has a tendency to compromise on key issues. That indication of the 'less-than-stellar campaign' is a big warning flag that he saw fundamental problems with McCain's race, and I suspect this could be it, at least in part. I recall an incident a few months ago when Jindal was squarely faced with a decision of pushing through one of his legislative priorities at the expense of compromising on a campaign pledge. He initially went forward with that compromise, but then stepped back and corrected himself. While McCain talks a good conservative game and sometimes walks the talk, Jindal has already proven to be consistent and solid. It's wise to keep himself at arm's length from people who could tarnish his unblemished record.
Jindal is certainly making great waves in Louisiana, and energizes the conservative base of the Republican party, so he is definitely someone to watch out for in the near future. Just a quick reminder: my conservative dream team is Palin-Jindal (Jindal-Palin would be perfectly fine, too!). Let's hope we see this in 2012.
There's my two cents.
Posted in General Politics