When I first caught the buzz about Bobby Jindal, I thought it was nothing more than a pipe dream. “Who is this guy anyway?” I wondered. “And who is he to really compete with the likes of Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee for the #2 spot?” I was reading the India Times and thought it just sounded like more of the same “Wouldn’t it be COOL if we had a black president or a woman president?” chatter.
However, after closer inspection, there are a few qualifications that’d make him the right McCain VEEP at the right time…
- He was appointed secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) in 1996, where he turned the $400 million DHH defecit into a $220 surplus. This shows that he knows the ins and out of the health care system, which the American public so desperately wants reformed. This also shows that he’s a conservative spender and knows how to balance a budget.
- In 1998, he was appointed executive director of the National Bipartisan Commission where he investigated the Future of Medicare (another area we’d want the next administration to fix).
- In 2001, he worked as the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- In 2005, he spent a term in the House of Representatives. There he worked on several worthwhile committees: Homeland Security, Resources and Education & the Workforce. (Since McCain is “tough on terror,” the Department of Homeland Security credentials complement the ticket nicely.)
- As governor of Louisiana, Jindal ran on a platform of “ethics reform” (which is very much akin to what McCain is running on now with his “straight-talkin, pork-cutting” agenda). Jindal passed his reform measures regarding transparent financial disclosures, eliminated lobbyist-funded meals/sporting event tickets for public officials and earned Louisians a 99/100 score from the Center for Public Integrity.
As far as policy goes, he sees eye to eye with McCain on a number of issues. He’s Hindu by birth but a Roman-Catholic convert with staunchly conservative pro-life views and could help draw undecided Evangelical voters. Imagine — Rush Limbaugh called Jindal “the next Ronald Reagan!” (Squeezing a compliment out of that guy is like getting the Democrats and Republicans to actually agree upon and pass a law.)
Some people say that Jindal’s been busy with the McCain camp and cite his absence from the governorship as evidence that he’s campaigning for VP. Ruminations intensified when John McCain took a trip down to Louisiana on April 24th and spoke alongside Jindal. If you feel one’s Internet presence is indicative of their ambitions, just take a gander at Jindal’s website and how surprisingly in-depth and professional it is. (Adding a “Jindal for VP” customization would be a quick and easy edit.)
Although, only one year into his first term as governor, it seems that Jindal would be making a hasty exit from his responsibilities when Louisiana needs him most. Some speculate that running for the #2 position could destroy his chances for a future presidential run too. Jindal has already lost a bid for governor (2003) and if a McCain-Jindal ticket were to bomb, he’d probably have to kiss his political future goodbye.
For VEEP updates and profiles, be sure to check out VicePresidents.com!