A Washington Post article marks somewhat of an unofficial launch to the Jindal buzz, although we’ve been talking about this since May on Donklephant.
In any event…the following sounds very familiar…
Jindal insists he is ignoring all the speculation. In Cedar Rapids, at a breakfast event devoted to addressing this beleaguered city’s efforts to rebound from its disastrous flood last summer, he avoided any reference to 2012, staying focused on explaining Louisiana’s methods for coping with hurricane floods in emergencies on his watch.
Meanwhile, others around the country were talking him up. No less an aspiring kingmaker than Steve Schmidt, the chief strategist of McCain’s failed presidential bid, sees Jindal as the Republican Party’s destiny. “The question is not whether he’ll be president, but when he’ll be president, because he will be elected someday.” The anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist believes, too, that Jindal is a certainty to occupy the White House, and conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh has described him as “the next Ronald Reagan.”
Jindal is, above all else, a political meteor, sharing Obama’s precocious skills for reaching the firmament in a hurry. It was just four years ago, after losing a gubernatorial election, that he won election to Congress, and only this year that he became Louisiana’s governor, the first nonwhite to hold the office since Reconstruction. And now, 10 months into his first term, the talk of a presidential bid is getting louder among his boosters.
Still, I have my doubts that he’ll actually be running in 2012. Now, anything can happen in the next 3 years before candidates start running for real, but with the economy starting to hit bottom (hopefully) it seems like Obama will benefit from lowered expectations. That doesn’t mean he can’t make any gains, but if he manages to make sure things don’t get a lot worse it’ll probably be seen as a win for him.
So Jindal would do well to think about waiting another 4 years, especially since he’s so young. Because he’ll barely be 40 when he would actually start running, and I can’t imagine the Republican base abandoning their values that propelled McCain into the nomination.
We shall see…