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I wrote this in June '08 but many didn't see this as likely back then, and of course Obama hadn't wrapped up the general election though I was certain he would.  I wanted to raise this specter again.  Any thoughts now that it appears to be closer to feasible?

I believe Governor Jindal's making a fuss about taking stimulus money is a precursor to testing the presidential waters.


My mind is already wandering ahead to the next big presidential election in 2012.  And I predict that the GOP's darling and rising star, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, will emerge as the challenger.

This will be an unfathomably interesting moment in U.S. presidential politics: two brown guys running against each other for the White House.  Full disclosure: I am an Indian-American, but proud to say that I would not support Jindal simply because he is one too.

There is a reason why Republicans drool over the prospect of this young 36-year old child of immigrants being McCain's running mate in this cycle.  It's hard to say if that will happen, but he's considered among the three or four finalists.  Jindal is a red-blooded Southern Republican; he is a cheerleader of the Iraq invasion and occupation, and extremely conservative on social issues.  He is against stem cell research, against abortion, favors the teaching of intelligent design in school, and voted for the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.  He voted to restrict  funding for the U.N., and wants to enact the flawed Patriot Act indefinitely.  The biggest question in my mind is weather Jindal believes all of this, or if he is the good soldier who toes the G.O.P. line to advance himself.

But the package is sugar-coated to be palatable enough for most Americans.  He is unquestionably brilliant,a political force far more accomplished than Obama was at 36 years of age, a Rhodes Scholar who ran Louisiana's Health Department at the tender age of 24, became only the third Indian-American member of Congress in 2002 arriving from the racist swamps, and a reformer who is seen by many objective observers as the person competently cleaning up the mess of Katrina and Louisiana's historical corruption.  

To boot, he has a deliciously bizarre side to him.  For example, he renamed himself as a child from the Indian name Piyush to Bobby based on the Brady Bunch character. He also truly believes that he has witnessed a demon possess his friend, as he wrote about in "Beating a Demon: Physical Dimensions of Spiritual Warfare" published in the New Oxford Review. Perhaps he can use those methods to exorcise Louisiana of all its ills?

Jindal is capable of posing Obama a challenge, but of course much will depend on how Obama's first four years in Washington go.  A couple of accomplishments will be game-changers that will make it difficult to unseat an incumbent Obama.  One is if he successfully catches Osama Bin Laden, which will violently uproot the Republican's stakes to the national security claims for an entire generation.  A second would be a bona fide effort to provide health care for all, or at least nearly all Americans.  

As far as predictions go, I think this is a good one, and I haven't seen it anywhere else in print yet.  You saw it here first.

Originally posted to Mojo79 on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 02:48 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Unlikely in my view (2+ / 0-)

    Jindal has injured his brand. I am thinking Newt Gingrich may be the guy.

    Ambition is when you follow your dreams. Insanity is when they follow you.

    by Batfish on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 02:50:50 PM PST

    •  not jindal, not gingrich (0+ / 0-)

      but the most popular Republican in the country.  


    •  He has no base (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      His political base is small. He is practically a noob. In high stake race game on media, he'll be lost. (yes, we are a racist society still)

      On top of that his resume is pretty thin.

      •  His base is the formerly demon-possessed. (0+ / 0-)

        Would that Dems were as willing to discard logic and reason as Repubs. Kucinich could mobilize the alien abductees and give us unparalleled election entertainment.

        (much love to Dennis, I couldn't resist the snark)

        We deconsolidate media ownership, or our democracy is dead. (cotterperson)

        by ZAP210 on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 03:50:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Gingrich, (0+ / 0-)

      as much as it turns my stomach to say this, is far too much of an actual intellectual (Air Force One pissypants fit notwithstanding) to appeal to the base of the party...

      No politician ever lost an election by underestimating the intelligence of the American public. PT Barnum, paraphrased...

      by jarhead5536 on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 03:31:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Jindall will not run in 2012 (5+ / 0-)

    The guy's 36 why would he run against an incumbent in 2012? It makes no sense. He may be in the VP slot, which would be smart. If the economy isn't in a growth phase by 2012 it will be Romney.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 02:54:07 PM PST

  •  Far too generous (5+ / 0-)

    Jindal is a moron, and he hasn't done shit for Katrina victims.    

  •  The 2012 election will be referendum on Obama (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, Lava20, iBlue, Ilikepie

    ... no matter who the challenger is.

    But frankly, I don't see Jindal drawing that honor based on his fizzle last week. Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman seems like the one to watch or some other governor who actually demonstrates some concern for the well-being of the citizens of hir state.

  •  Hasn't injured the brand..but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I don't see it as likely based on approval ratings.  If Obama's approval ratings remain in the 50s-60s, Jindal will wait until 2016.  However, were Jindal to compete in 2012, I don't think he'd make it out of the primary.  I think Huntsman might be the best choice to make it out.  Remember, lots of dems/independents are not voting in a primary in 2012.  They're ripe for the picking, and Huntsman might appeal to those people to put him on top, although, the republicans might come out in force, which would put Palin/Romney on top, neither of which leads a place for Jindal.

  •  Unlikely, Jindal's early successes have more to.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    duckhunter, Lava20

    do with the complete and utter lack of competent conservatives who met the "loyalty test" during the Bush years.

    Remember Obama in 2000 could not get TICKETS to the DNC much less get an appointment during the Clinton years.

    As a result, Obama actually gained a useful AND loyal political network in Chicago.

    I don't think Jindal has that network, and really will ever get a chance to build a similar network of tested intellectual and opperational strengh.

    --- Like Sarah Palin, he's kind of in the water thrashing -- and thus had an awful speech last tuesday.

  •  Jindal will wait till 2016 or 2020 nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    •  If he waits that long he'll be toast...nt. (0+ / 0-)
      •  Huh? The guy is only 37. I'd think he'd wait it (0+ / 0-)

        out just to rehabilitate himself after his speech last week.

        Grandma used to call me "That One" but she had twenty-something grand-kids and Alzheimers. Now, that "That one" is President!

        by duckhunter on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 03:02:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  He's got to try to make himself viable... (0+ / 0-)

          right nationally right now.

          People -- even "wunderkinds" don't always get a good run at the presidency...

          Al Gore
          Joe Biden
          Jerry Brown
          Eliot Spitzer
          Rudy Guliani
          John Rowland

          1.) He's very socially conservative...
          So-con support trends toward evangelicals since Bush I

          I don't think that will change by 2016.

          2.) Realistically, ethnicity / religion are still issues (Romney has the same problems within the R party)

          3.) If Obama is vunerable in 2012...
          Romney is behind the scenes getting institutional R support. And Romney will put in 60-70 Million and raise more easily.

          Palin and Huckabee seem to be the only candidates with grass roots support right now, and they will be around in 2016 presumably.

          --------If Palin is not on the ticket, in 2016 she's even more viable a candidate.

          In 2016, Jindal is no longer a "wunderkind." He's just a politician.

          •  huh - no good runs? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Gore had 3 pretty solid shots at the Presidency - 88 (solid chance in "Southern Primary") 92 (made VP) and 00 (won!).

            Biden ran at least twice, in 88 and 08 . . . in '88, after Hart's star fell, Biden was looking real good, at least for a political moment of two, before the Kinnock/plagiarizing thing bit him.  And things worked out for him ok in '08.

            Jerry Brown ran, what, at least 2 times, had a plausible (if gimmicky-feeling) outsider's shot in 92.

            maybe I'm missing the point of the reference.

  •  it's going to be creepy (0+ / 0-)

    Watching a half African and a full Indian try to outChrisitan each other. I love Jesus more! But I love the folks more! I want to kill the terrorists so much I doubled our forces in Afghanistan! Well, I hate the terrorists so much I want to double our forces in Pakistan! What a strange place. At least they'll have genuine fiscal differences to talk about. Although I can't stand hearing Jindal talk, so that might not be good either.

    Law is a light which in different countries attracts to it different species of blind insects. Nietzsche

    by Marcion on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 03:00:00 PM PST

  •  2012: Americans choose "BO" over "BJ" (5+ / 0-)

    Possibly the first time anyone has deliberately made that choice, but... bank on it.  ;)

  •  Palin-Jindal 2012: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    reef the dog, Lava20

    They'll take care of those witches and demons for ya, also.

    I wanna quote another British poet.

    by Lazar on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 03:06:13 PM PST

    •  OH (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      love, LOVE, LOVE THAT!!!


      Palin-Jindal 2012:
      They'll take care of those witches and demons for ya, also.

      There are four boxes to use in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, ammo. Use in that order. Ed Howdershelt

      by Lava20 on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 03:11:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Jindal is toast - after (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Errol, Shahryar, Lava20

    his pathetic performance. For being a Rhodes Scholar, I'm not impressed with his grasp of the issues, nor his intellectual independence.

    "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." - JFK

    by moose67 on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 03:07:02 PM PST

  •  If Jindal is the GOP's best hope (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I know I can sleep peacefully.

  •  SO many things can (and likely WILL) change ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    2012 is a political lifetime away.

    Some GOP governor you've never heard of could come in and make things happen.  I'd hazard a guess that very few Americans could name the Governor of Arkansas back in 1989.  Could you?

    Let's worry about '10.  Better yet, let's focus on the things we can do to help the president succeed right now.

    I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper. - President Barack Obama

    by ThirstyGator on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 03:08:04 PM PST

  •  You're half right... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, ramsfan that Barack Obama and Bobby Jindal will both be on the ticket in 2012.

    Barack will be at the top of his ticket.

    Bobby Jindal, however, will be the VP nominee for the Republicans, as long as the Pres nominee isn't Huckabee or Palin.  When Mitt Romney loses, it'll be Jindal at the top of the ticket in '16.

    Join the Matthew 25 Network and help Democrats win the next generation of evangelicals.

    by mistersite on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 03:08:45 PM PST

  •  It will be Palin or maaaaybe Romney. No doubt. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Jindal has literally ZERO chance after he threw the Republican Party under the bus a few weeks ago.

    In fact with the recent performance of both Steele and Jindal, and considering the mindset of the GOP, I would say with 99% certainty it WILL be a white person.

  •  Comments (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Well, he's young, so there's nothing to lose in going for it this time around. I think depending on how it goes down that it would only help him in 2016 if he lost.

    As for

    The biggest question in my mind is weather Jindal believes all of this, or if he is the good soldier who toes the G.O.P. line to advance himself.

    It doesn't matter, really. Do you think Rush Limbaugh actually believes ANYTHING he says (other than regarding how public policies affect his personal taxes)? No. Is he still harmful as hell? Yeah, you betcha.

    Oddly, I don't think the biggest personal impediment to his chances are his Indian-ness, it's his Barney Fifeness.

    Every good Christian should line up and kick Jerry Falwell's ass. - Barry Goldwater, 1981

    by Doug in SF on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 03:11:29 PM PST

  •  agree his response to SOTU was testing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the waters - and evidently he was advised by Rove beforehand. turn liability into a strength (Katrina). yeh that really worked. somehow I don't think reminding everyone that we watched our fellow citizens die before our eyes while Bush and McCain ate birthday cake together has any upside.

  •  Here's my take: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shahryar, Kev, Ilikepie, sphinxmoth

    I am all for taking Bobby Jindal seriously and going after him like he's the second coming of Ronald Reagan.


    Where, oh, where is this juggernaut I keep having hyped to me by the media and the far Right? He's supposed to be the second coming of Ronald Reagan, meets JFK, Clinton, and Barack Obama... but all I see is a completely awkward and affable nerd who couldn't compete with Obama rhetorically if Obama was forced, by rule, to fill his mouth with peanut butter before the debate and every five minutes until it was over.

    Sure, he could be the GOP nominee in 2012.

    But that has far more to do with the GOP having a bad farm system for national office than Jindal being the second coming of the supply side messiah.

    That response he gave Obama was not an anomaly or an outlier that belies a guy who can out-talk Bill Clinton when he's got his game on, it was Jindal. 100% live and in person. And it was stunningly unimpressive.

    If the GOP choses to run him, fine.

    Then the GOP will have its Creationist Supply-Side Mike Dukakis.

    I have been following Jindal for months waiting for this monster of the political midway to show up.

    I feel like I'm being given a political Brian Bosworth, a college linebacker in the 1980's who was hyped as everything from the second coming of Dick Butkus to a white Lawrence Taylor, and he was a joke when he actually hit the field.

    I just don't see any evidence that Barack Obama isn't going to be Bo Jackson, the man who crushed the myth of Brian Bosworth by running him over like a speed bump on national tv, in this equasion.

    "I didn't vote for it, but I support it." -Heath Shuler on the stimulus bill

    by LeftHandedMan on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 03:16:24 PM PST

  •  I dont see how he runs for re-election as (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Michael James, Ilikepie

    governor in 2011, and then runs for president in 2012. Practically, I think that's one reason he doesnt run for president in 2012.

  •  The Brady Bunch? (0+ / 0-)

    You say he picked the name Bobby because of the Brady Bunch?  That explains his delivery as he was speaking to general America... and

    by chloris creator on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 03:23:23 PM PST

  •  Jindal is only slightly more ready (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for prime time than Caribou Barbie was.  I pray on my knees every night that he gets the nomination...

    No politician ever lost an election by underestimating the intelligence of the American public. PT Barnum, paraphrased...

    by jarhead5536 on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 03:28:49 PM PST

  •  this is will be great, (0+ / 0-)

    as Obama could possibly make inroads in the South Appalachia, because southern white conservatives will stay home before voting Bobby Jindal, and blacks will come out again, this an Obama landslide. Whenever the GOP fights fire with fire, they always do worse. Michael Steele, Ken Blackwell, Alan Keyes, Sarah Palin, etc. Don't they get it: TOKENISM DOESN'T WORK.

  •  It will be Romney or Palin (0+ / 0-)

    The establishment conservatives want Romney, the grassroots want Palin (some want Huckabee, which could complicate things).  It will be an ugly bloody fight that could go to the convention.

    The Rethug Party are anti-American traitors. The Congressional Rethugs form a fifth column intent on destruction of America.

    by IhateBush on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 03:47:03 PM PST

  •  Not comfortable in his skin ... (0+ / 0-)

    President Obama seems so comfortable in his Black American ethinicity even though his mother was caucasian.

    Jindal seems to be uncomfortable in his being ethnicity - Asian Indian.  He seems to reject everything about his parents and everything about being an Indian American.  Shows low self-esteem to not be comfortable in his skin.

  •  jindal is not grown up (0+ / 0-)

    he has not done anything for louisiana, he has the highest dropout rate, unemployment,and the folks are illiterate and as far as katrina goes we all know that story is not true. he's not ready for primetime. i think newt is going to run against obama in 2012 he's dusting off his old play book & plans from the 90's  

  •  Despite all the hoopla (0+ / 0-)

    about Jindal's complete fail in his recent speech, I don't think that hurts him long term, although it certainly does drastically reduce the media cheerleading buzz for him for the time being, which is a very good thing.

    I also don't think he will emerge as the Republican nominee in 2012.  I expect Palin and Huckabee to split the theocons, allowing Romney to emerge since he was a good soldier this last time and next time is his "turn."

    The dynamic in 2012 could well be similar to what happened this time, with a multitude of wingnutty candidates who stay in for long enough to split the far right vote and allowing whoever is slightly more moderate to win.  Huckabee, Jindal and Palin are certainly all wingnutty and if at least two of them run, it should help Romney.  Jindal, however, may not run since he will have to run for re-election, then try to take on an incumbent President without any serious foreign policy credentials.  Personally, I think he will not run in 2012 unless he gets drafted or the field is virtually clear due to Palin getting jail time or something like that.  If Jindal does run, it should suck the air out of the Huckabee campaign pretty fast since the whole Southern thing is already covered and Rush likes Jindal more.

    I think Romney's trouble will be if Meg Whitman throws her hat in the ring.  She's got the same CEO/business cred that Romney does among the GOP crowd and it wouldn't be a stretch for them to try the PUMA strategy again, this time with a female at the top of the ticket.  I could see a Whitman/Jindal ticket happening as long as Meg is willing to go all wingnutty to appease the base.

    I know this is sig-line is too short, but I just wanted to get it out there

    by Michael James on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 06:02:52 PM PST

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