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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JUL 25 Elliott Stonecipher writes about his specialty in this post on Forward Now: numbers. He's running down Louisiana's poverty numbers, and they aren't good. There has been progress, he says, but can we build on it? And is poverty in Louisiana inevitable?
JUL 25 Jim Brown is blogging about the death penalty this week. In particular, he's discussing a really, really good reason to stop using it: too many people who aren't guilty are being convicted and sentenced to death.
JUL 25 Blogger Tom Aswell has crafted a fascinating analysis in this post. He's discussing Bobby Jindal and his cross-country, pre-presidential pandering, but he weaves in a historical perspective by reviewing FDR's New Deal and Huey Long's resistance to it - which also was because Huey planned to run for President.
JUL 25 Education Superintendent John White probably shouldn't sign a long lease on anything in Louisiana, Blogger Lamar Parmentel writes, because our reformer in chief is now in a situation "from which no amount of his own bs jargon or political hatchet work can extricate him." Lamar thinks that White is going to have to quit, and probably sooner rather than later.
JUL 25 Blogger Ian McGibboney gives his take on that study that found the happiest cities are right here in Louisiana, including Lafayette, Baton Rouge and Shreveport. (Really. I know, right?) As he says, it is all about perspective: One can be happy in a toxic dump and miserable at Disney World.
JUL 25 Blogger Rod Dreher writes about Christianity in this post, examining the concept of traditional or orthodox as it relates to his religion. Since Dreher is a conservative, orthodox Christian, it's not an objective discussion, but it's certainly an interesting read, if for no other reason than to seek understanding.
JUL 25 If you're not aware, there's a conflict among pro-choicers and pro-lifers going down in New Orleans. Anti-abortionists are protesting in the city this week, but those who support access to abortion have also been active in the city as a result. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow takes a look at what's going on in this clip, posted on Gambit.
JUL 25 This post on the Wall Street Journal examines the case of a Metairie physician who is making millions by filing whistle-blower lawsuits. His suits accuse corporations of defrauding federal agencies like Medicare, and when he wins he gets whistle-blower rewards - in the tens of millions of dollars. (You can view the story using your Facebook account, but if you don't want to do that, here's an abbreviated version in the Advocate.)
JUL 24 The Lens is hosting a panel discussion on the cost of coastal restoration, and who should pay for it, next month in NOLA. It is planned to be a discussion of the realities of the coastal restoration master plan and its current funding, as well as what the future holds.
JUL 24 This post on the Red Stick Blog reveals nine facts about Mike the Tiger, the LSU mascot who turns nine this week. That's interesting and all, but the best part of the post is the video of Mike playing around with a visitor, just like any other kitty. A massive, deadly, 400-pound, roaring kitty.
JUL 24 The recent articles about a study that found America's happiest cities are here in Louisiana have produced some raised eyebrows among those who have actually been to Shreveport and Baton Rouge. But the Today show did some research, and produced this article which talks about stuff that doesn't really represent those two cities. Are we still going with the drunk, fat and stupid brand?
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