The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious potential choices to be selected as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate on the Republican presidential ticket. Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one the many Republicans which we believe will be at least considered for for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.
In addition to a biographical information and a brief assessment of each potential nominee and their chances of being selected by Mitt Romney, White House 2012′s coverage also includes each potential nominee’s voting records, as well as a listing of their public statements and links to their web sites.
Today White House 2012 takes a look at Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal
Born: June 10, 1971 (1971-06-10) Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Spouse(s): Supriya Jindal
Children :Selia Elizabeth , Shaan Robert, Slade Ryan
Residence :Louisiana’s Governor’s Mansion, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Alma mater:Brown University, University of Oxford
Profession:Former President of the University of Louisiana, Business Consultant
Religion: Roman Catholic
Political Career :
- In 1996 at the age of 25, Jindal became the state’s youngest Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals after being appointed to the position by then Governor Mike Foster. The agency represented about 40% of the state budget and employed over 12,000 people. During his tenure, Louisiana’s Medicaid program went from bankruptcy with a $400 million deficit into three years of surpluses totaling $220 million.
- In 1999, at the request of the Louisiana Governor’s Office and the Louisiana State Legislature, Jindal volunteered his time to study how Louisiana might use its $4.4 billion share of a tobacco settlement. Also in 1999, at only 28 years of age, Jindal was appointed to become the youngest-ever president of the University of Louisiana System, the nation’s 16th largest system of higher education with over 80,000 students per year.
- In March 2001 he was nominated by President George W. Bush to be Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Planning and Evaluation.He was later unanimously confirmed by a vote of the United States Senate and began serving on July 9, 2001. In that position, he served as the principal policy advisor to the Secretary of Health and Human Services.He resigned from that post on February 21, 2003, to return to Louisiana and run for governor.
- 2003. Jindal ran for Governor.In its open Primary, he finished first with 33% of the vote. He went on to run in the gubernatorial runoff against the second place winner of the open primary, Democrat Kathleen Blanco. Blanco won the election with 52% of the vote and despite losing her home district to Jindal.
- A few weeks after the 2003 gubernatorial runoff, Jindal decided to run for Louisiana’s 1st congressional district. The incumbent, David Vitter, was running for the Senate seat being vacated by John Breaux. He won the 2004 Election for that seat with 78 percent of the vote.
- 2006, Jindal secured reelection to Congress with an overwhelming 88 percent of the vote.
- 2007, Jindal announced his candidacy for governor. In what was a crowded field in the open primary process of Louisiana, Jindal defeated eleven opponents and received 699,672 votes or 54 % of the vote.Having exceeded the 50% mark it was the first time that a non-incumbent candidate for governor was elected without a runoff under the Louisiana election system.
- In 2011, Jindal won a remarkable election to a second consecutive term, In Louisiana Candidates of any and all parties are listed on one ballot in what is called a jungle primary. Unless one candidate takes more than 50% of the vote in the first round, the general election in November is a run-off election that is held between the top two vote getters in the primary, In the October 2011 gubernatorial primary, Jindal received 65.80 of the vote against nine other opponents.
Bobby Jindal is considered one of the most energetic, effective, successful, popular, and conservative Governors in America. He has led Louisiana through natural and manmade disasters, balanced budgets, cut taxes, reduced spending, improved education, and developed and applied innovative new solutions to old problems. In Congress he established himself as an earnest and knowledgable legislator and successfully shepherded through Congress a number of critical pieces of legislation and played an instrumental role in Louisiana’s recovery from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Other such accomplishments included the passage of legislation to bring significant offshore energy revenues to Louisiana for the first time and legislation that till this day, keeps the Federal Emergency Management Agency from taxing certain recovery grants as income.
In 2007 the people of Louisiana found him so superior to other leaders, that when it came time to nominate their two candidates for Governor in their unique runoff election system, they gave Jindal such a wide margin of victory that it became unnecessary to hold a general election. In other words, Louisiana voters did not doubt for one moment that they wanted Bobby Jindal to continue on as their Governor. In the October 2011 primary for Governor, Jindal again won by a margin so wide that there was no need for a general election. In 2007 he won 60 of the state’s 64 Parishes and and 53.91% of the vote against 1o opponents. In the 2011 primary he won all 64 Parishes and 65.80% of the vote against 9 other opponents.
So not only is Jindal admired and trusted, he is a solid vote getter. But not all of America is like Louisiana, so how would Jindal do outside of the South?
The answer is probably very well.
His message of fiscal conservatism and well grounded view of how to solve our nation’s problems are often well received, which is why in the 2010 midterm elections, Bobby Jindal was in great demand in states holding their own elections for governor, such as Wisconsin, Ohio, and Iowa. He was also a popular campaigner for many winning U.S. Senate candidates throughout the nation.
For all these reasons, Governor Jindal, like Marco Rubio, is a surefire name for any Republican presidential candidate’s vice presidential shortlist. But also like Marco Rubio, Jindal is not likely to want to accept a vice presidential nomination.
As is the case with Nikki Haley, Jindal’s Indian-American background has a unique appeal to the minority Indian-American community in the United States but while that community has numbers large enough to be of influence in states like New York and New Jersey, it is still not as large a minority community as the Hispanic voting bloc that can influence the results in many other states and which can be tapped in to with the likes of Rubio, Susana Martinez, Brian Sandoval, or Luis Fortuno. However; based purely on talent, ability, and competence, Jindal is unmatched and therefore can not be left off of any legitimate list of very possible candidates for Vice President.
Still though, Jindal’s superiority as a leader is undeniable and that coupled with several other factors make him a very likely choice for Mitt Romney.
When it comes to the more shallow aspects of politics, Jindal’s Indian-American background adds a certain degree of spice to an already bland Romney ticket. The diversity that Jindal’s presence on the ticket would bring can go much further than the vanilla flavoring that a waspy Tim Palwenty, or John Thune deliver. So the benefit of diversity is there.
Other very beneficial electoral benefits of a Jindal vice presidential nomination include his strong Southern support. Southerners trust Jindal, and while Republicans are not likely to lose the South anytime soon, if Mitt Romney is going to win in November, he will need to bring out the Republican base in record numbers. That means he needs to get Southerners who do not quite trust him yet, a reason to trust him. Jindal might be just the reason.
A tertiary benefit to Jindal’s joining Romney on the ticket, is the Gulf oil spill, or as we as all remember it to more accurately be…… the non-stop Obama Gulf oil gusher.
While the Obama Administration does not want us to remember that Summer in 2009 that was suppose to be the “Summer of Recovery” but wasn’t, as Governor of Louisiana Jindal’s presence on the ticket will act as a convenient way to exploit that debacle and use it against the President. The Gulf oil disaster was the epitome of government inefficiency and as Governor of the coastal state affected by that disaster most, Jindal is the best person to explain why. He will be able to explain that instead of being a help, the federal government was a hinderance that prevented him and the people of Louisiana from doing what they could to protect their shores and defend their livelihoods. And the whole incident exemplifies the corporate cronyism of the Obama Administration which gave BP, the operators and owners of the rig that exploded, a safety award shortly after they donated a million dollars to the Obama campaign and not long before the rig that received that award, exploded.
- Jindal can help firm up Romney’s standing in the South where Romney is viewed is quite skeptically
- Jindal will excite the conservative base that is unenthusiastic about Romeny and which Romney needs to turn out in record numbers if he wants to win
- Jindal has great command of the issues
- Is experienced in several area of importance in the 2011, including health and healthcare
- Has no excessive baggage or skeletons in his closet
- Is well received by Independents
- Adds a degree of history and diversity to the ticket
- Jindal does lack foreign affairs credentials. But Romney doesn’t.
- Jindal is not viewed as an exceptional speaker and his lackluster performance in the Republican response to President Obama’s 2009 State of the Union address will initially hound him
- Jindal does not bring to the ticket the electoral college of any of the key battleground states that could make the difference between winning and losing the White House in 2012
All things considered, Bobby Jindal is one of the most likely and logical choices for Mitt Romney to nominate for Vice President. Jindal is inoffensive to most people on either the left or right, is well received by the all important Independent voters, has never been a political lighting rod and is probably one of the safest choices he could make and safe is something that Romney really likes.
Recent Key Votes
Legislation (Veto)July 12, 2011
Bobby Jindal on the Issues
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