If I were a futures broker, I’d wager that first-term Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has a great future in the GOP as a future presidential candidate. He’s young, he’s quite conservative, and he’s well-liked. And as the son of India immigrants, he possesses minority appeal.
Of course, that’s why Bobby Jindal is one of the top three VP targets GOP presidential nominee John McCain is hosting in Arizona over the next few weeks. Although he has little in the way of experience or a fund-raising track record, and does no hail from a state that is a large electoral jackpot, Jindal’s biggest assets are that he would mollify GOP conservatives not enchanted by the liberal McCain, and that he is a bit of an Obama-solution, offering voters another non-white candidate with relative youth and charisma.
However, there are dangers in the Jindal strategy, and they are all at the cost of Jindal, not McCain. First and foremost, as a less-experienced politician, Jindal is untested on the national stage. While that works for Barack Obama, who has the liberal media on his side, that works less well with conservatives like Jindal, who the media would be out to embarrass, leveraging his youth and inexperience to make him look doltish.
If I were Jindal’s advisor, I’d console him to take a pass on running with McCain and concentrate on performing well as Louisiana governor and winning at least one re-election to that seat before moving on. Remember, Bush the Elder once selected a young, promising, very conservative senator as his running mate, and Dan Quayle as never lived it down. I’d hate to see that same vilefying happen to Jindal, whose chances will be much better four, eight or even 12 years down the road.
Finally, we come to my least-favorite name among the first three McCain is considering: Florida governor Charlie Crist.