According to Politico, despite statements to the contrary, there are indications that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is still considering a run at the Presidency.
If Obama is as formidable then as he appears now, it’s unlikely that Jindal, who would be only 41, would risk an uphill race against the incumbent.
“Tell me where Obama is sitting at the end of 2010,” responded a senior adviser to Jindal when asked about a possible run. “Timing is everything.”
John Maginnis, a longtime watcher of Louisiana politics and publisher of the LaPolitics Weekly newsletter, put it more bluntly.
“He doesn’t want to run against Obama unless Obama is an unmitigated disaster,” observed Maginnis. “In 2016, it will be an open seat with no vice president running.”
Essentially, Jindal’s folks are saying that he’d probably take a stab at it, provided the Obama Presidency turns out to be a failure– or, at least a failure as far as social conservatives are concerned, right?
“He’s the No. 1 evangelist for Louisiana’s turnaround, said an adviser. “He’ll look for big stages to do that.”
And he’ll still do national media interviews, but his advisers stress that he’s turning down more than he’s accepting.
Now, as the state prepares to grapple with the prospect of making unpopular cuts in health care and education, Jindal’s national profile has begun to offer fodder to the political set in Baton Rouge.
One recent cartoon in the capital’s newspaper, the Advocate, portrayed Jindal as saying he’d travel all over the country to convince people that he’s not running for president.
“We’re hoping he’ll stay here more and work on [the challenges facing the state],” said Chris Whittington, chairman of the Louisiana Democratic Party, who predicted Jindal’s popularity would dissipate when he has to make difficult decisions about how to close the budget gap. “We have huge problems on the horizon.”
It may also help to, you know, have an actual record of accomplishments, instead of simply a resume of appointments, media appearances, and constant campaigning for other Republicans in other states.
At least one Jindal adviser acknowledges that much:
“The best thing you can do to leave the door open for national office is do well in job you’re in,” said an adviser.