A Most Likely Vice Presidential Nominee: White House 2012 Looks at Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

Bookmark and Share   The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious potential choices to be selected as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate on the Republican presidential ticket.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one the many Republicans which we believe will be at least considered for for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

In addition to a biographical information and a brief assessment of each potential nominee and their chances of being selected by Mitt Romney, White House 2012′s coverage also includes each potential nominee’s voting records, as well as a listing of their public statements and links to their web sites.

Today White House 2012 takes a look at Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

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Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

Born: June 10, 1971 (1971-06-10) Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Spouse(s): Supriya Jindal

Children :Selia Elizabeth , Shaan Robert, Slade Ryan

Residence :Louisiana’s Governor’s Mansion, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Alma mater:Brown University, University of Oxford

Profession:Former President of the University of Louisiana, Business Consultant

Religion: Roman Catholic

Political Career :

  • In 1996 at the age of 25, Jindal became the state’s youngest Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals after being appointed to the position by then Governor Mike Foster. The agency represented about 40% of the state budget and employed over 12,000 people. During his tenure, Louisiana’s Medicaid program went from bankruptcy with a $400 million deficit into three years of surpluses totaling $220 million.
  • In 1999, at the request of the Louisiana Governor’s Office and the Louisiana State Legislature, Jindal volunteered his time to study how Louisiana might use its $4.4 billion share of a tobacco settlement. Also in 1999, at only 28 years of age, Jindal was appointed to become the youngest-ever president of the University of Louisiana System, the nation’s 16th largest system of higher education with over 80,000 students per year.
  • In March 2001 he was nominated by President George W. Bush to be Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Planning and Evaluation.He was later unanimously confirmed by a vote of the United States Senate and began serving on July 9, 2001. In that position, he served as the principal policy advisor to the Secretary of Health and Human Services.He resigned from that post on February 21, 2003, to return to Louisiana and run for governor.
  • 2003. Jindal ran for Governor.In its open Primary, he finished first with 33% of the vote. He went on to run in the gubernatorial runoff against the second place winner of the open primary, Democrat Kathleen Blanco. Blanco won the election with 52% of the vote and despite losing her home district to Jindal.
  • A few weeks after the 2003 gubernatorial runoff, Jindal decided to run for Louisiana’s 1st congressional district. The incumbent, David Vitter, was running for the Senate seat being vacated by John Breaux. He won the 2004 Election for that seat with 78 percent of the vote.
  • 2006, Jindal secured reelection to Congress with an overwhelming 88 percent of the vote.
  • 2007, Jindal announced his candidacy for governor. In what was a crowded field in the open primary process of Louisiana, Jindal defeated eleven opponents and received 699,672 votes or 54 % of the vote.Having exceeded the 50% mark it was the first time that a non-incumbent candidate for governor was elected without a runoff under the Louisiana election system.
  • In 2011, Jindal won a remarkable election to a second consecutive term, In Louisiana Candidates of any and all parties are listed on one ballot in what is called a jungle primary. Unless one candidate takes more than 50% of the vote in the first round, the general election in  November is a run-off election that is held between the top two vote getters in the primary, In the October 2011 gubernatorial primary,  Jindal received 65.80 of the vote against nine other opponents.

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Bobby Jindal is considered one of the most energetic, effective, successful, popular, and conservative Governors in America.  He has led Louisiana through natural and manmade disasters, balanced budgets, cut taxes, reduced spending, improved education, and developed and applied innovative new solutions to old problems.  In Congress he established himself as an earnest and knowledgable legislator  and successfully shepherded through Congress a number of critical  pieces of legislation and played an instrumental role in Louisiana’s recovery from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  Other such accomplishments included the passage of legislation to bring significant offshore energy revenues to Louisiana for the first time and legislation that till this day, keeps the Federal Emergency Management Agency from taxing certain recovery grants as income.

In 2007 the people of Louisiana found him so superior to other leaders, that when it came time to nominate their two candidates for Governor in their unique runoff election system, they gave Jindal such a wide margin of victory that it became unnecessary to hold a general election.  In other words, Louisiana voters did not doubt for one moment that they wanted Bobby Jindal to continue on as their Governor.  In the October 2011 primary for Governor, Jindal again won by a margin so wide that there was no need for a general election.  In 2007 he won 60 of the state’s 64 Parishes and and 53.91% of the vote against 1o opponents.  In the 2011 primary he won all 64 Parishes and 65.80% of the vote against 9 other opponents.

So not only is Jindal admired and trusted, he is a solid vote getter.  But not all of America is like Louisiana, so how would Jindal do outside of the South?

The answer is probably very well.

His message of fiscal conservatism and well grounded view of how to solve our nation’s problems are often well received, which is why in the 2010 midterm elections, Bobby Jindal was in great demand in states holding their own elections for governor, such as Wisconsin, Ohio, and Iowa.  He was also a popular campaigner for many winning U.S. Senate candidates throughout the nation.

For all these reasons, Governor Jindal, like Marco Rubio, is a surefire name for any Republican presidential candidate’s vice presidential shortlist.  But also like Marco Rubio, Jindal is not likely to want to accept a vice presidential nomination.

As is the case with Nikki Haley, Jindal’s Indian-American background has a unique appeal to the minority Indian-American community in the United States but while that community has numbers large enough to be of influence in states like New York and New Jersey, it is still not as large a minority community as the Hispanic voting bloc that can influence the results in many other states and which can be tapped in to with the likes of Rubio, Susana Martinez, Brian Sandoval, or Luis Fortuno.  However; based purely on talent, ability, and competence, Jindal is unmatched and therefore can not be left off of any legitimate list of very possible candidates for Vice President.

Still though, Jindal’s superiority as a leader is undeniable and that coupled with several other factors make him a very likely choice for Mitt Romney.

When it comes to the more shallow aspects of politics, Jindal’s Indian-American background adds a certain degree of spice to an already bland Romney ticket.  The diversity that Jindal’s presence on the ticket would bring can go much further than the vanilla flavoring that a waspy Tim Palwenty, or John Thune deliver.  So the benefit of diversity is there.

Other very beneficial electoral benefits of a Jindal vice presidential nomination include his strong Southern support.  Southerners trust Jindal, and while Republicans are not likely to lose the South anytime soon, if Mitt Romney is going to win in  November, he will need to bring out the Republican base in record numbers.  That means he needs to get Southerners who do not quite trust him yet, a reason to trust him.  Jindal might be just the reason.

A tertiary benefit to Jindal’s joining Romney on the ticket, is the Gulf oil spill, or as we as all remember it to more accurately be…… the non-stop Obama Gulf oil gusher.

While the Obama Administration does not want us to remember that Summer in 2009 that was suppose to be the “Summer of Recovery” but wasn’t, as Governor of Louisiana Jindal’s presence on the ticket will act as a convenient way to exploit that debacle and use it against the President.  The Gulf oil disaster was the epitome of government inefficiency and as Governor of the coastal state affected by that disaster most, Jindal is the best person to explain why.  He will be able to explain that instead of being a help, the federal government was a hinderance that prevented him and the people of Louisiana from doing what they could to protect their shores and defend their livelihoods.  And the whole incident exemplifies the corporate cronyism of the Obama Administration which gave BP, the operators and owners of the rig that exploded, a safety award shortly after they donated a million dollars to the Obama campaign and not long before the rig that received that award, exploded.

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Pros:

  • Jindal can help firm up Romney’s standing in the South where Romney is viewed is quite skeptically
  • Jindal will excite the conservative base that is unenthusiastic about Romeny and which Romney needs to turn out in record numbers if he wants to win
  • Jindal has great command of the issues
  • Is experienced in several area of importance in the 2011, including health and healthcare
  • Has no excessive baggage or skeletons in his closet
  • Is well received by Independents
  • Adds a degree of history and diversity to the ticket

Cons:

  • Jindal does lack foreign affairs credentials.  But Romney doesn’t.
  • Jindal is not viewed as an exceptional speaker and his lackluster performance in the Republican response to President Obama’s 2009 State of the Union address will initially hound him
  • Jindal does not bring to the ticket the electoral college of any of the key battleground states that could make the difference between winning and losing the White House in 2012

General Assessment:

All things considered,  Bobby Jindal is one of the most likely and logical choices for Mitt Romney to nominate for Vice President.  Jindal is inoffensive to most people on either the left or right, is well received by the all important Independent voters, has never been a political lighting rod and is probably one of the safest choices he could make and safe is something that Romney really likes.

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Recent Key Votes

HB 537 – Postsecondary Education

Legislation  (Veto)July 12, 2011

Legislation  (Veto) July 5, 2011
HB 614 – Inventory Tax Credit

Legislation  (Veto) July 1, 2011

More Key Votes

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Bobby Jindal on the Issues

International Issues Domestic Issues Economic Issues Social Issues
Foreign Policy Gun Control Budget & Economy Education
Homeland Security Crime Government Reform  Civil Rights
War & Peace Drugs Tax Reform Abortion
Free Trade Health Care Social Security Families & Children
Immigration Technology Corporations Welfare & Poverty
Energy & Oil Environment Jobs Principles & Values
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Perry Picks Up Endorsement of a Second Governor in Two Days

Bookmark and Share  In what can only be considered an upset for Mitt Romney Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval has endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry for President.

Sandoval’s endorsement comes a day after Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal also endorsed Rick Perry for President.

In announcing his support in a statement issued on Tuesday.Governor Sandoval cited Perry’s “strong record on jobs” and stated that Perry “will get America working again”.

Back in March, Sandoval praised Romney as one of several candidates who could make a “great” president. But today he made it clear that in his opinion, Rick Perry is the best one.

Nevada has been a state that Romney has focused on. He won its caucus back in 2008 and has been largely expected to win it this time around. Part of the reason for that is the larger than average percentage of Mormons in Nevada. As a Mormon himself, this is a natural constituency for Romney. But the endorsement of the Nevada’s Governor will make winning Nevada a real battle for Romney. With the power and influence of Governor Sandoval behind Perry much of the Republican apparatus will provide Perry with much needed volunteers and organizational support.

Like Jindal who endorsed Perry the day before, regardless of who the Republican presidential turns out to be, Sandoval must be viewed as a potential vice presidential candidate. The support of Jindal and Sandoval makes it an even more likely possibility if Perry is that nominee.

These two endorsements would seem to signal the end of a trend that kept many people sitting on their hands until a perceived “better” candidate entered the race. While candidates like Romney, Gingrich, Cain, Santorum and others have been running for months now, endorsements for them have been far and few between and most of those endorsements did not come from any figures who are s influential as incumbent Governors.  This string of high profile endorsements is perhaps a sign that Perry is in fact the candidate that many were waiting for.

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Rule Out a Presidential Run for Bobby Jindal in 2012

In This Photo: Bobby JindalBookmark and ShareOn Wednesday, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal found himself having to defend his travel schedule in the face of speculation that he has eyes on the state’s U.S. Senate seat or the even the presidency.

As for his travels, the Governor stated that 90% of his scheduled time during his first three years in office was spent in Louisiana where he visited every parish in the state on a regular basis.

Jindal assured voters that there is no shadow of any doubt regarding his intention to focus on reelection in the fall and seeing a second term in office through fully. “I lost the first time I tried to get it. People suggested I should run for the Senate. … I don’t want to be a senator. I want to be governor.” Said Jindal before adding “I have the job I want.

Jindal has done remarkably well for the state of Louisiana and since his first years in office as Governor, many people have spoken highly of his political future. In 2008 the McCain campaign vetted Jindal for the position of Vice President but Jindal claims to have to turned down the opportunity.

For his part Jindal told reporters that they will not find him in Iowa and that his future will consist of completing eight years in office as Governor and accomplishing many of the goals he has planned for the state. After that he plans on returning to the private sector to, as he put it, pay some bills.

Jindal is in fact most likely off the presidential radar in 2012 but don’t for one minute believe that a future run after 2012,in either of the two slots on the ticket, is out of the question.

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Jindal’s November Book Release Is Timed Just Right

Governor Bobby Jindal and local officials flyover

Governor Jindal Addresses BP Oil Disaster Before the Press

Bookmark and Share    It has become tradition that before you run for President of the United States, you must write a book.  The book usually plots the path that America should take for brighter and more prosperous according to its author, the future presidential candidate. Along the way, the book also often makes biographical references to the life of the future candidate and some of the events that shaped their thinking.

This has essentially become a part of the process, a sort of prerequisite that gets a perspective candidate for a presidential nomination same name ID and a basis of understanding for readers to get know all about the man or woman who will be seeking their vote.

Well it would seem that Louisiana’s first term Governor is following in this tradition.

Originally slated to come out in July, Governor Jindal’s book is now coming out in November. He and the co-author of his collection of concepts, policies, beliefs and biographical history were thrown a bit off schedule due to the Gulf Oil spoil calamity that took place earlier this year..

The timing though couldn’t be better. Soon after November’s midterm elections, once the makeup of the political landscape for the next two years is established, the presidential shuffle will begin. Republicans will begin to maneuver their way through the issues and Party leadership and start to position themselves for a run for the GOP presidential nomination. What better way to have your known thrown into the mix than have your book hit the shelves just at the moment that the discussion about the 2012 presidential election takes place.

Jindal’s presidential fortunes are not exactly as great as others are yet but he does a substantial platform from which an aggressive campaign could allow him to be quite viable in the Republican primaries. In 2008, he was ranked one of the nation’s most popular governors with an approval rating of 77%. Since then, although he took a hit from what was widely characterized as a poor national response President Obama’s 2009 State of the Union Address, Jindal has lost some of his glow, but not much. It is quite hard to maintain a 77% approval rating, a number that is normally reserved for wartime President’s. But Jindal has remained popular and his name has been out there more than most governors.

His handling of wicked hurricanes in the wake of the utterly disgraceful of Katrina by the previous Democrat Administration of Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco, has helped to show Jindal to be a true leader and confident organizer and steward in times of crisis. This impression was only solidified by his handling of the BP oil gusher that produced the greatest manmade ecological disaster in U.S. history. Jindal’s stand against the Obama Administration’s slow reaction and lack of sufficient action in the wake of the rig explosion, helped to contrast Jindal’s own quick reactions and successful efforts to prevent the oil from polluting his Louisiana shores.

But in addition to proving his competence and leadership during times of crisis, Jindal has also demonstrated a steady hand of management and leadership in other areas such as the economy. As a strong fiscal conservative, Jindal has whipped Louisiana’a budget and fiscal condition into far better shape than any of his recent predecessors. Something which has not been an easy fete for a state whose largest city and greatest tourist attraction, New Orleans, is still recovering from the devastation of Katrina while also having to deal with an Obama led moratorium on offshore oil drilling that is killing jobs and the oil spill which devastated the Louisiana fishing and shrimping industries as well as coastal tourism.

In the midst of all this, is the novelty of Jindal’s personal story. He is currently the youngest Governor in America and the first ands only Indian-American Governor in the United States.

All of this can certainly make for a compelling book but is certainly an interesting story, one that can capture the hearts and imaginations of the American electorate, if told right.

After all not all stories get told properly.   After Nancy Pelosi rose to the position of Speaker of the House and became the most powerful and highest elected woman official in U.S. history, when her story was translated into a book, despite all the hype, it was an embarrassing flop that cost more to produce and promote than were made through its sales.

Whether Jindal’s book goes over big or not, there is no denying that he is making sure that all windows of opportunity remain open to him. The November release of his book is just one indication of that but his record and personal story are the real sellers when it comes to 2012 and if the sales pitch isn’t for President, can you say “Vice President Jinda?”. Northern nominees like Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Sarah Palin sure can.

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