Monday, May 05, 2008

Kristol Touts Jindal as McCain's Veep [UPDATED]

Columnist Bill Kristol, writing in The New York Times, suggests Louisiana's newly elected Governor, Bobby Jindal (a Catholic), as McCain's running mate:
... Maybe that’s why, in separate conversations last week, no fewer than four McCain staffers and advisers mentioned as a possible vice-presidential pick the 36-year-old Louisiana governor, Bobby Jindal. They’re tempted by the idea of picking someone so young, with real accomplishments and a strong reformist streak.

It might also be a way to confront the issue of McCain’s age (71), which private polls and focus groups suggest could be a real problem. A Jindal pick would implicitly acknowledge the questions and raise the ante. The message would be: “You want generational change? You can get it with McCain-Jindal — without risking a liberal and inexperienced Obama as commander in chief.” I would add that it was after McCain spent considerable time with Jindal in New Orleans recently, and reportedly found him, as he has before, personally engaging and intellectually impressive, that the campaign’s informal name-dropping of Jindal began...

Ed Morrisey responds: "Let him clean up Louisiana first".

The Opinionated Catholic shot down the Jindal VP angle several days ago: "More Silly Bobby Jindal as Vice President Talk".

My Comments:
I must admit that I like the idea. McCain does need to do something unconventional, and Jindal as his running mate would definitely break the mold.

I think such a pick by McCain is unlikely, but it is definitely intriguing.

Both Kathryn Jean Lopez and Ramesh Ponnuru think McCain-Jindal is a bad idea.

Yuval Levin disagrees with his NRO colleagues:
Kathryn, Ramesh, and Ross Douthat are all cold to the notion of McCain putting Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal on the ticket. I think I disagree.

Why are they opposed really? Ramesh says Jindal isn’t experienced enough. It’s true, he’s been governor for only a very short time; and even true that he only served two terms in Congress. Prior to that, he was Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Bush Administration, and before that the state Secretary of Health in Louisiana, and president of the University of Louisiana system. I suppose that’s less experience than some vice presidential candidates, but it’s more than others have had, and it’s more management and executive experience than Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, or John McCain can point to. The Democrats could hardly accuse him of a thin resume if they’re running Obama.

He’s a very able, moderately experienced, thoroughly conservative Republican governor with some charisma. Hardly a list of attributes to dismiss out of hand, I would say.

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Is Michael Steele on McCain's "Short List" for VP?

Bobby Jindal's National Prospects

Louisiana, The Media, and the Katrina Blame Game

Bobby Jindal - Catholic Convert and Son of Indian Immigrants - Wins Louisiana Governor's Race

Michael Denton's First Newspaper Column

A Strange Way to Woo Religious Voters

Louisiana Democrat "Know-Nothings" Attack Jindal

Dems Go After Jindal's Catholicism & Ethnicity

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At 5/05/2008 10:05 AM, Blogger Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

McCain could do worse. And he probably will. But I would like to see Jindal spend a term in his current office before moving onto the national stage.

At 5/05/2008 12:54 PM, Blogger James H said...

I just have a hard time thinking this is serious. He has been Governor for just a couple of months.

Jindal would be great on the stump but it must be remebered that 4 years ago Jindal's age issue was at play when he got beat for Governor by Blanco.

I just think what we are hearing is stuff trying to get McCain into the news cycle

I just think Jindal's experience in political life, which can be summed up by a Louisiana Cabinet position and two terms in the House, would become a huge issue. IF he had got elected 4 years ago perhaps. However I got to think the McCain people that there are negatives here.

At 5/05/2008 1:14 PM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

I think the ONLY reason Jindal's age and experience would be an issue is that it would take away one of McCain's best weapons against Obama - his inexperience.

But if you were to put Jindal's and Obama's resumes side-by-side for a comparison, Jindal's experience and list of actual accomplishments blows Obama's away, even though Jindal is 12 years younger.


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