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Plenty of reasons why Jindal wouldn't take VP nod

Enough already with the “Jindal for Vice President” talk. Political liberals and unthinking desperate conservatives may wish it to happen, but Lousiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is too smart and too caught up in his present job to make it a reality this election cycle.

Jindal’s 36 and been governor for a little more than two months. While he’s gotten a lot out of two special sessions, and there are risks in not striking while the iron is hot, he must know his upside his far higher to be wasted on a quest which politically will bring him little.

Some conservatives stump for him on a ticket with waiting GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain because he is an archetypical and young conservative contrasted with McCain’s moderate sympathies and McCain would be the oldest ever inaugurated to a first term as president. It also might counterbalance with a member on the Republican slate of an ethnic minority group (even as Jindal himself never advertises that fact) a Democratic ticket that could have such a person, or a female, or both on it.

But taking a vice presidential nomination not only has no upside now for Jindal, it damages his long-term political potential. If the GOP wins, Jindal is relegated to at least four years of nothing. He’ll have little opportunity to display governing skills while other conservative politicians will rack up these credentials. If the GOP loses, he will be criticized for being too ambitious and not enough of a “savior” for the party, and immediately make him a target of others who share future national ambitions – even if he outshines McCain during the campaign.

Additionally, Jindal running now would be like uprooting a productive plant before it reaches maturity. With at least four years as governor, Jindal has ample opportunity to demonstrate governing skill and the superiority of conservative ideology through the actions he takes if he implements a conservative agenda. This is why liberals already are working overtime with unconvincing arguments to discredit him precisely because he can effectively demonstrate the bankruptcy of their ideas.

Add to this that Jindal seems passionately involved in turning around Louisiana – which promises a massive amount of political capital if he has some measurable success – that will be a longer-term project in any event, and there’s just no way Jindal is going to assent to such a placement. Finally, the few individuals who used successfully the vice presidency to get to the White House were themselves distinguished politicians of extended service, so if Jindal has higher ambitions he knows that spot now really does him no political good.

It would be flattering, and Jindal’s governorship could go sour which could mean he’d never get such a chance again, but Jindal won’t go for this plan. So people are just wasting their breath bringing it up.


Anonymous said...

Isn't it good to keep his name floating though so he gets national name recognition?


Anonymous said...


At long last, we seem to have a definitive answer to this troubling possibility.

I pleaded with the Governor a few weeks ago to end the speculation with countless blogs speculating on Govenor Jindal becoming McCain's running mate.

With Rush Limbaugh and fanning the fire, the speculation only got worse. Then when the American Spectator issued their endorsement, it was looking pretty inevitable (to me). I began trying to see the other side of the coin and with McCain's age, Gov. Jindal could become POTUS very quickly. I honestly (and selfishly) want Gov. Jindal to stay right where he is, but with all the national attention, it seemed quite logical that McCain had to be paying attention and seeing the potential benefit. The American Spectator pushed me over the edge and I relinguished. Perhaps my latest article contributed to your dismay.

I was speaking with Ben Domenech of last night and he gave me a headsup on the news that broke this morning.

Ben happened to be in the room when the reporter asked the Governor the question. Ben knew I was very concerned over this and was planning to ask the Governor tonight at our "bloggers meeting".

You are spot on in your observations, Professor, and now we are both relieved.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't the national attention also give Jindal more clout?


Anonymous said...

Since Jindal is 100% against abortion, won't that kill any shot he has at national office?

Anonymous said...

Jindal has not said "No" to the question on if he would accept the nomination.

Until he does, regardless of why people might feel otherwise, there is absolutely no way for us to know the answer.

And the fact that he won't just give is a straight "no" answer seems to tell me that he may very well say yes if asked. (He may not get asked)