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May 23rd, 2008
05:00 PM ET

Here's McCain's best choice for VP

Louisana Governor Bobby Jindal.

Louisana Governor Bobby Jindal.

Tara Wall
Fmr. Republican National Committee Sr. Advisor
Washington Times Columnist

Other than the obvious ability to lead should the president become unable, there are three things John McCain needs in a VP. Conservative. Youthful. Diverse. There is one name among those McCain is interviewing this weekend that fits the bill: Bobby Jindal.

The newly elected Louisiana governor is an exciting breath of fresh air to the sometimes stodgy ranks of the Republican Party. At age 36, Jindal is the nation's youngest governor and the first person of color to serve as Louisiana governor since Reconstruction.

A first-generation American (his parents are Indian immigrants), Jindal successfully won over Louisiana on a platform of change and ethics reform in the midst of Louisiana's notorious reputation of corruption.

There are many reasons that make this young conservative an attractive (and necessary) addition to the McCain ticket.

A staunchly pro-life Roman Catholic, Jindal has the voting record to match his socially and fiscally conservative rhetoric.

Jindal has been an outspoken advocate for more recovery and rebuilding funding for the Gulf Coast region after Hurricane Katrina. He has voted to restrict independent PACs, require lobbyist disclosures of bundled donations and to protect whistle blowers. His goals to in reign in government spending mimic those of McCain's and are in contrast to the senator's vote to make the 2004 tax cuts permanent. Jindal also favors tough immigration reform – having voted to build a fence along the Mexican border – which also helps to solidify McCain's apparent flip-flop on the issue.

Critics suggest Bobby Jindal is too young. Too young for what? Gov. Jindal meets the minimum Constitutional age requirement in addition to boasting an impressive, experienced and accomplished record as a public servant at the state and federal levels (since 1995.) The question is whether he has the ability to step in as commander-in-chief at a moment's notice. Youth does not equate inability – I have no doubt that he would.

Jindal's take on the VP consideration? He told Jay Leno:
"It's flattering, but I like the job I've got now ... [I]'ve got the job I want."

Maybe so, but Sen. McCain should ask, Gov. Jindal should accept, and the great people of Louisiana will understand.


Filed under: John McCain • Raw Politics
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Tammy, Oregon

    Who? and the what? fix New Orleans first! Another Republican clown.

    May 25, 2008 at 10:59 pm |
  2. Kahlene Wootan

    I will be very surprised is MCCain chooses Jindal as a Vice Presidential Candidate. McCain's main theme since the campaign began has been experience over change. McCain is also Pro Life and Jindal is Pro Choice. A more likely ticket would be Romney or Christ.

    May 25, 2008 at 5:36 pm |
  3. Jim Shamanski Florida

    One more thing (Brian from California), if Barack Obama's name was Barry O'Reilly, and he was two shades lighter...he would have wrapped up this campaign about a month ago. I don't necessarily think there was this blacks = Hillary love affair either, i think Bill Clinton was where the love affair existed and probably still exists... Sen. Obama has just revealed himself to be a better candidate.

    May 25, 2008 at 12:22 am |
  4. Jim Shamanski Florida

    in response to Brian from California- It is not racist for 92% of black people to vote for Obama. They are not voting for Hillary because she is white, they are supporting Obama because he is a strong bi-racial candidate (remember he is half white/ half black). Check the exit polls, many of Obama supporters would still support Hillary if she was the nominee. However, white supporters of Hillary would not support Barack, and many said they would rather support McCain than Obama, now if that's not racist, what is? BTW, blacks only make up 12% of the US population, so they aren't the only ones voting for Sen. Obama.

    May 25, 2008 at 12:14 am |
  5. JC

    No chance; McCain needs the middle, independents and Reagan Democrats; he should reach out to Lieberman; although now an Independent, he's really a Democrat that should deliver some of Hillary's supporters; if McCain grabs him, he'll isolate Obama on the far left; Obama needs the middle and should make an overture to Lieberman as well; since neither candidate is a born leader or visionary, I fully expect horrible decisions concerning their running mates; something akin to Edwards who couldn't even deliver North Carolina last election; hilarious.

    May 24, 2008 at 11:48 pm |
  6. bernice

    I don't think so.

    May 24, 2008 at 11:26 pm |
  7. lu/NY

    dont think it will ever happen

    May 24, 2008 at 8:59 pm |
  8. Lilibeth

    I think he's a good choice for McCain too.

    May 24, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  9. Mike in NYC

    Elaine Frizell, Vancouver, BC wrote:

    "I think McCain just needs an African-American to run with him. That way he’ll grab ALL the votes."

    Tokenism. A winning political strategy. What does that say about the political maturity of the American public? Or the Canadian public, considering where this suggestion comes from?

    "We have a majority east-indian population and very few first generation whites living in BC."

    How do the first generation whites left in BC feel about that? I mean, really feel about that?

    "You’ll never be a multi-cultural society because you all are too far apart."

    And it's different in Canada?

    May 24, 2008 at 1:00 pm |
  10. brian

    You people are so dumm . white people don't want a black man as president but its going to happen. That why you guys saying white people want vote for him. How many black people voted for HILLIARY

    May 24, 2008 at 12:08 pm |
  11. Gary Chandler in Canada

    In a study of world democracies, in terms of government by the people, the selection of the American VP is a very antithetical process. Even high schools, as well social clubs, run a VP candidate on the slate for due election by the populace.

    May 24, 2008 at 11:46 am |
  12. Gary Chandler in Canada

    Have any VP's on a losing ticket, ever gone on to win the Presidency?
    How does American politics work in terms of association? I am wondering if those with aspirations in 2012, like Romney and Huckabee, would avoid a VP slot, if they perceive a low chance for the GOP ticket in 2008?
    I mean, let"s say, for demonstration, that McCain loses a landslide. Would that 'sully' his running mate; or would be a fresh page in 2012?

    May 24, 2008 at 11:12 am |
  13. Ted

    Here's an important piece of advice: If it looks like it's going to be McCain/Palin anyway (and that should be a "no brainer" for Team McCain), McCain should announce NOW or VERY SOON, rather than later towards the convention. There's currently a growing chorus for Obama/Hillary (as VP) ticket (in fact the Dems are likely aware of the Palin phenomenon). If the GOP waits while movement for Hillary as VP grows - even worse until after it is solidified that Hillary will/could be VP pick - selecting Palin will be portrayed by Dems/liberal media more as a reaction by GOP selecting its own female (overshawdoing Palin's own remarkable assets), rather than McCain taking the lead on this. Selecting Palin now or early (contrary to the punditocracy) will mean McCain will be seen as driving the course of this campaign overwhelmingly, and the DEMS will be seen as merely reacting. And, there's absoultely no down-side to this because even if Hillary is a no-go as VP for Obama, the GOP gains by acting early. McCain the maverick. Palin the maverick. Do it now!

    There's no reason, and actually substantial negative, in McCain waiting to see what the Dems do first insofar as his picking Palin as VP, because, no matter who Obama picks, Palin is by far (and I mean far) the best pick for McCain and the GOP, especially in this time of GOP woes. The GOP can be seen as the party of real 'change' (albeit I hate that mantra, change, change, bla bla), while not really having to change from GOP core conservative values, which Palin more than represents.

    In light of the current oil/energy situation, as well as the disaffected female Hillary voters situation, and growing focus on McCain's age and health, Palin is more than perfect - now.

    (Perhaps Team McCain is already on to this.)

    May 24, 2008 at 6:11 am |
  14. Allana

    I think it would be a bad choice on McCain's end to choose a VP so much younger than himself, it only highlights how McCain, if elected, would be the oldest first term president in history. I don't feel the "race card" should even be considered when choosing a running mate, there are far more important aspects that come first.

    May 24, 2008 at 1:28 am |
  15. Larry

    @Laura Marie

    Read my post. The term I used was/ is indian-american; I NEVER said american indian ( i would have used the term native american, as does Obama).

    I forgive you.

    May 23, 2008 at 11:33 pm |
  16. Jaye

    I'd love to see how the people in West Virginia & Kentucky will view this.

    May 23, 2008 at 11:05 pm |
  17. Jaye

    I'd love to see how the people in WV and KY will take to Jindal. Perhaps they'll think, once again, that the white man's job is being outsourced overseas.

    May 23, 2008 at 11:03 pm |
  18. Marcia

    Realistically, he's too young, and too unknown. Looks like Charlie Crist of Florida would be a good choice. He's seen as a good guy and seems to have presidential qualifications. Although he has that stunning white hair, he doesn't look elderly. McCain has to be careful that his running mate doesn't have too much of a "young" contrast.

    May 23, 2008 at 10:52 pm |
  19. Laura Marie

    Larry, you don't sound exactly "educated"? He is Indian , not American Indian. What a racist, ridiculous thing to say..

    May 23, 2008 at 9:46 pm |
  20. Annie Kate

    As much change as the state of Louisiana needs perhaps its newly elected governor should stay there and clean that state's government up. The great people of Louisiana deserve a better state and local government.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    May 23, 2008 at 9:26 pm |
  21. costello

    The GOP will be seen as trying to save face on the race scale and I think America will not be on board just because he picked a indian

    May 23, 2008 at 8:58 pm |
  22. Costello, ATL, GA

    Good point, if they pick Jindal which is fine, its just something they will use as a later argument...which america, I think will see right it for what it is. Jindal will be the weakest V.P. under McCain he would be considered a poster boy.

    May 23, 2008 at 8:54 pm |
  23. Ricky Williams

    The Republican shouldnt just pick some one of a ethnic group to contend with the Obama or Cliton train, being 1st female or Black president. I think the republics are in trouble and I think they see that the face of America needs to be someone of a differnt nationality to show the world that America is changeing but with McCain as the front runner...the GOP knows thats not what the "PLANET" wants to see and i think picking some like that would be to save face.

    May 23, 2008 at 8:50 pm |
  24. Tracey - Boston

    I'm a democrat but it would be interesting to see the outcome

    May 23, 2008 at 8:27 pm |
  25. Dave

    Seriously? Republicans and I mean the ones out on the street that vote bash Obama for having a Muslim sounding name and are worried about muslim ties. Yet the best the repubs can do for a V.P. is this guy. Just hand the election to Obama right now.

    May 23, 2008 at 8:24 pm |
  26. Tee

    I must be honest, I didn't even know La had a new governor.

    May 23, 2008 at 8:07 pm |
  27. Y

    No matter who McCain chooses as VP, he will still lose. If he picks 36-year-old Governor Bobby Jindal, they wont be able to criticize Obama about being young and inexperienced. If he picks Governor Charlie Crist it will be a lot of white hair in the White House. If he picks Romney or Huckabee, case closed. Its a good year for the Dems.

    May 23, 2008 at 8:05 pm |
  28. Alex Varga

    Jindal is way too new at this and has no experience at all in Washington politics. In my opinion, he's be a terrible choice soley because of his inexperience. Remember folks, if McCain is elected and is unable to complete his term in office, the VP becomes the Prez. Jindal needs more time. He's greener than Obama who also lacks experience, not to mention he's about as liberal as one could get.

    May 23, 2008 at 8:00 pm |
  29. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    I've always been a fan of Gov. Jindal, I've always supported him, and I think he would be one of the best things to happen to this nation if McCain puts him on the ticket and they are elected. Not only does Governor Jindal talk the talk of change. He walks the walk of change as well. What a contrast from Senator Obama's promises versus a lackluster job in IL.

    May 23, 2008 at 7:52 pm |
  30. Elaine Frizell, Vancouver, BC

    I think McCain just needs an African-American to run with him. That way he'll grab ALL the votes. It's pretty pathetic to see the obvious racism in your country. We have a majority east-indian population and very few first generation whites living in BC. We don't advertise voting based on color. I think that history should be left as a lesson learned and the whining and justification for reverse racism needs to stop. You'll never be a multi-cultural society because you all are too far apart.

    May 23, 2008 at 7:51 pm |
  31. Mary

    Gov. Jindal has done very little to bring back his state from the Katrina. I question his ability on domestic issues. Just because he is young does not mean a darn thing. The slot should be filled by a wise stateman with experience.

    May 23, 2008 at 7:13 pm |
  32. Mike in NYC

    "I have no doubt."

    How hopeful, kind of like "Yes We Can."

    What an amateurish opinion piece. It reads like it was penned by a
    high schooler.

    Um, how long has he been governor? Four months?

    "Conservative. Youthful. Diverse."

    Seems that Repubs, like Democrats, see tokenism as part of a successful political strategy.

    Cindy wrote:

    "And it would take the racism thing off of the table..."

    That "racism thing" ain't going nowhere. It's here to stay. Get ready for a rough ride, all you sheltered ones.

    May 23, 2008 at 6:40 pm |
  33. Sharon from Indy

    Bobby Jinal as a VP Republican candidate may be putting the cart before the horse. In other words, has he proven his ability to lead as the governor of Louisiana?

    With one of the worst educational systems in the US, government corruption at its highest since Katrina and environmental violations surrounding the oil industry in Louisiana, Jinal's plate is full.

    Let's see how as a governor he is able to manage the daily struggles of his own state before he is considered a leader for the United States.

    May 23, 2008 at 6:35 pm |
  34. jean scarbo.pride louisiana

    YES THE GREAT PEOPLE OF LOUISIANA WOULD BE PROUD IF OUR GOV .BOBBY JINDAL WERE ASK TO RUN FOR VP.WE WOULD HATE TO LOSE HIM BUT HE IS A VERY SMART MAN . I AM A INDENTPENDENT. I VOTE FOR THE PERSON NOT THE PARTY.I BELIVE HE COULD AND WOULD BE READY FOR ANY THING

    May 23, 2008 at 6:27 pm |
  35. Jo Ann

    Although I may not agree with Governor Jindal’s pro-life stance, I believe that he would be a good choice for McCain’s VP. Jindal would bring a youthful look and a sense of diversity to the ticket, but most of all he would bring experience and tenacity as well. Having said that, I do not believe that youth has anything to do with experience. Governor Jindal’s experience and impressive accomplishments are in complete contrast to Obama’s lack of experience and less than meaningful accomplishments, which are unacceptable in both a presidential and vice-presidential candidate.

    Jo Ann
    North Royalton, Ohio

    May 23, 2008 at 6:26 pm |
  36. Dominic Haberman Hattiesburg, MS

    The state of Louisiana needs Governor Jindal much more than McCain does. He is too much of an unknown in many parts of the country to give a boost to this election. I would love for him to build his career and reputation in Louisiana and maybe consider his own run for the white house in 8-12 years. Turning around the corruption of Louisiana politics combined with the economic challenges of rebuilding from the aftermath of Katrina will give him one hell of a resume when his time comes. Leaving now would make it seem like he has his personal interests over his state's at a time when his star is just beginning to shine.

    May 23, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  37. Ruby Coria, LA., CA.

    Hi Tara, I don't know anything about this guy, but the times that I've heard him speak..humm his right on. I'm a demo but I would vote for Bobby.?

    May 23, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  38. Burt

    Newly elected, no real track record, no one outside of Louisiana knows anything about him... I'm not seeing the value in that choice.

    May 23, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  39. dan bradshaw

    Well let me stay in because Anything can happen??? Clinton has gone all the way into desperation mode.
    How dare she resurrect the painful memories of the RFK assassination in the 68 election race? That is something that should stay in the recesses of memory and not brought up in a last ditch efort to stay in this race because 'anything can happen' Is this something she's wishing for or somrthing she's planning for?

    May 23, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  40. rick redd

    Will the meeting of the Rules Committee of the Democratic Party be a public meeting? Will CNN broadcast this important news story if it is public? If it is not public, why not, and where do Senators Clinton and Obama stand on the issue of whether the meeting is public or private?

    May 23, 2008 at 6:02 pm |
  41. Brian from Los Angeles, California

    I wonder if the East Indian voters are as racist as the American black voters. Hillary was one of the greatest fighters for the causes of blacks in America. Despite her work and loyalty to them, there true colors have shown loud and clear in the primaries of the Democratic party. Why don't people talk about the racism of the American Black vote against Hillary. You can not convince me that 92% of black ethnicity have decided to vote for Obama for anything other than primarily the color of his skin. If he was white all the votes would have gone to Hillary based on her long loyal commitment to the plight of blacks in America.

    May 23, 2008 at 6:00 pm |
  42. Debbie, Denham Springs, LA

    I agree with you on one thing: the people of Louisiana are very great indeed.

    May 23, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  43. Cindy

    Hey good choice! No one says anything about Obama's age so why should they with Jindal!? And it would take the racism thing off of the table because Jindal is Indian so both parties would have mixed racial tickets. Then maybe we could get back to the real issues at hand instead of the petty junk being thrown around now.

    May 23, 2008 at 5:30 pm |
  44. Larry

    I do hope that Gov. Jindal does receive strong consideration from Sen. McCain.

    May 23, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  45. Larry

    Does this mean that Obama needs to go and court the indian-american vote?

    May 23, 2008 at 5:04 pm |