Speaking on NPR over the weekend, Republican strategist Mark McKinnon, who advised both George W. Bush and John McCain, calls Gov. Bobby Jindal an “outside pick” for VP who's worth keeping an eye on:
The guy, I think, is kind of an outsider that people should keep an eye is Bobby Jindal from Louisiana, ‘cause he’s - he’d be sort of an outside pick, a bit of a long shot that would excite people because, you know, he’s of Indian descent. Conservatives love him. But he also has an amazing track record on health care issues. I mean he worked in HHS earlier on in his career, so you’d be an interesting pick and what I think would excite people and be a little bit different.
McKinnon was commenting to NPR’s Rachel Martin about possible strategies Mitt Romney, who is likely to secure the Republican nomination, might use in choosing his running mate. Read a transcript of the exchange here.
The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson, however, had a different take on the Jindal for VP speculation this morning:
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal: Plausible .?.?. but why?
Romney has survived the primary campaign by declaring himself to be an ideologically pure conservative, but nothing in his history suggests this is actually the case. He’s a dedicated believer in the free market, without question. Beyond that, however, he’s basically a technocrat who lets data, not ideology, lead him to solutions — as with the health-insurance mandate he instituted in Massachusetts.
So why would he choose another data-driven technocrat as his running mate? Jindal would bring neither charisma nor the electoral votes of a swing state to the ticket.
Read Robinson’s handicapping of potential running mates here.
Riding high on the success of his sweeping education reform legislation, Jindal is now turning his attention to reforming the state’s retirement system.
Shreveport demographer Elliott Stonecipher, a frequent critic of the governor, minced no words about Jindal’s motives in his eblast this morning:
Those of us keeping up with what happens behind the political curtain have a bad feeling of deja vu on that score. I’ve written about it enough, and won’t belabor it, but the fact is Governor Jindal strong-arms these “reforms” through a pre-leased legislature each time he’s hoping to be the vice presidential candidate on his party’s ticket. Ramping up to the 2008 presidential election it was “ethics reform,” and four years later as we gird for the 2012 campaign it’s “education reform.” The problem is, “ethics reform” was no such thing. It was, rather, a huge political show for a national audience which, back here on the farm, put governors and legislators in charge of ethics enforcement. That is never a good thing anywhere, but maybe especially not in Louisiana. For those who keep up, we know our governmental ethics regime was not reformed, it was hammered into submission by those who are, or figure they might be on any given day, unethical.
Why do this in 23 days? What was the rush if it isn’t to get Jindal back to the top of that veep list just about the time Mitt Romney is wrapping up the Republican nomination? Coincidence, especially since precisely the same timing applied to the 2008/ethics reform blueprint? Apparently not since prominent Republican George Will just said so on national television. (I respect George Will, especially for his knowledge of baseball, but I’d be stunned if he has spent 15 seconds finding out what anyone in Louisiana thinks about how our governor “reforms” things.)
One way or the other, Gov. Jindal isn’t likely to be living in Louisiana when we struggle with our newfound, quasi-public school system. That’s never a good thing. It’s the opposite of skin in the game. It’s more like drastic change on the ground and changer-in-chief in the wind.
Truth be known, former teacher that I am, I cannot in good conscience claim that the outlines of the governor’s plans don’t make sense ... they do. I can, though, say this very clearly: when a governor or mayor or any other governmental executive is about to change the legal basics of the employment status of tens-of-thousands workers, he or she must, as a good and decent human being, find more than 23 days to do it ... many, many more than 23.
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SEP 20 Jim Brown is blogging about ISIS and the Middle East in this week's post. Mostly, he's posing questions about our involvement there, now and over the past 10 years. Should we be there? Why are we considering involvement now? All good questions - and most without easy answers.
SEP 20 Louisiana is once again winning a race nobody is running, by topping the nation in the gap between what women and men are paid for the same work, WWL reports here. Women here are paid about two-thirds of what men are paid, the story reports. Great.
SEP 20 This isn't the first story, and it won't be the last, written about the apparent conflict between Bobby Jindal's biology degree from Brown and the far right evangelicals who (he perceives) hold the key to his burning, blinding desire to be President. But this one's on ThinkProgress.org, a left-leaning blog, and gives an interesting view of how his dilemma might be attacked in a campaign.
SEP 20 The Lens updates us on the continuing saga of the levee board that dared to challenge Big Oil. The terms of two members of the board have expired, and the committee recommending replacements voted Thursday. The vote, which was narrow, would preserve the suit's majority on the board, Bob Marshall writes.
SEP 20 This post on the Dads Gone Wild blog is an ode to the education bloggers who have been akin to voices crying in the wilderness on the subject of "reform." He compares his experience, listening to the "reformers" and wondering why anybody gave them any weight, with loving punk rock in the 1970s. It's an interesting read.
SEP 19 Here's an interesting post from the Advocate's Mark Ballard about some of the maneuvering that preceded a court ruling this week on the so-called Edmonson Amendment. It seems that some weirdness did occur on the eve of the hearing, and when this was written, Ballard wasn't even sure the ruling would occur.
SEP 20 Jeremy Alford examines the Family Forum's influence on the Legislature in this post. The ultra conservative lobby's annual "report card" keeps up with how well our elected officials are following its dictates, he reports, but also shows us how conservative our Legislature has become.
SEP 20 This post on NOLA Defender details the current discussion in New Orleans about accommodating bicycles in the CBD. Unfortunately, the catalyst was the terrible death of a bike rider, the post reports. Adding space for bikes sounds good - but it means the loss of travel lanes and parking spaces already at a premium in the city, the debate goes.
SEP 18 Here's a story in the New York Times about a New Iberia man who is trying to save his own little corner of Louisiana. A lot of people spend their spare time clearing their land, but Matt Conn works to restore the natural state of his property. It's a fascinating story.
SEP 18 This post on Howard Fineman's Political Read blog takes a look at the fine line that Bobby Jindal will have to walk if he wants to be the guy who can unite the creationists who don't believe in evolution with the Christians and others who do. On paper, Jindal could be the guy to do it, Fineman says, but politically, he'll have to start with the far right if he wants to get anywhere in the GOP.
SEP 18 Sure, Louisiana Congressional candidate Lenar Whitney made the first page of Politifact's "Pants on Fire" statements section, and of course that's always entertaining. But really you need to go check out the Pulitzer Prize winning fact-checking website, which is run by former Lafayette journalist Angie Drobnic Holan, because it has a great new design.
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