[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/01/art.jindal.jpg caption="Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal"]
David M. Reisner
AC360° Digital Producer
As Hurricane Gustav pounds Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal has stood strong, holding press conferences every day since the threat increased in the warm Gulf waters.
He is stationed at the command center in Louisiana’s capitol, Baton Rouge.
Up until a few days ago he was on the short list for a potential promotion to the nation’s capitol as Sen. McCain’s “second in command.”
Widely considered a rising star in his party, speculation on Jindal as McCain’s V.P. choice increased this summer when he was one of a handful of politicians McCain invited to his home in Arizona.
The nation’s youngest governor is a staunch social conservative who could have possibly offset any reservations Republicans had about McCain’s conservative credentials.
Jindal will spend this week protecting his citizens, and the nation will become more familiar with the face behind a name.
Although Jindal is in the hot seat, he is also in the spotlight; it’s a spotlight that was supposed to be focused on another young Republican governor.
We all now know that Alaska’s Sarah Palin was McCain’s surprise pick as a running mate. This was the week where she was to introduce herself to the nation on the convention floor in St. Paul, as the young Washington outsider ready to take on the nation's tough challenges.
But first we're seeing the governor of Louisiana lead his state through the challenge posed by Gustav.
So far we’ve seen Gov. Jindal address the nation more than the Republican presidential candidate; we have already seen him briefing President Bush, working closely with FEMA, and planning a strategy with Department of Homeland Security’s Michael Chertoff.
If Jindal succeeds it will show the nation that a Republican governor with little experience in Washington can help manage a disaster, and rally a nation.
...just the thing McCain was looking for.
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