When Barack Obama tapped Joe Biden as his vice presidential pick on Saturday he forced John McCain’s hand when it comes to his own choice. But not only did he force McCain’s hand he potentially tied his own.
John McCain has to pick Bobby Jindal as his vice president. Jindal swipes the “Change” theme right out from under Obama’s feet. Jindal is much newer to the scene than Obama, he’s younger, inspirational, a rising star in the GOP, and he has executive experience as the Governor of Louisiana. Jindal also sends a message that the Grand Old Party has finally embraced their growing diversity. The message would be clear: “George Bush is unpopular, Republicans wasted time and money, and we took the country down a path we now regret; but we’re moving in a direction of change we hope to reflect on the rest of the country.”
Jindal’s work as Governor can be highlighted if he’s the vice presidential pick. Unlike Obama, Jindal has executive experience at a relatively young political age. He’s 37, that’s nine years younger than Obama. Yet, Obama’s thin resume as a Senator, I believe could not stand against Jindal’s shorter resume as a Governor. After all Governors run essentially what is a microcosm of the country. And if you’re going to pick someone with executive experience, that would be a Governor, not a Senator, then you really only have two “wow” factor choices; Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and of course, Jindal.
He rose as the Post-Katrina Governor. He was also the first Indian-American governor in our nation’s history; in a southern state no less. After the debacle in New Orleans by Mayor Ray Nagin and former Democratic Gov. Kathleen Blanco. When Blanco was up for re-election she resigned and Jindal became the first Gov. of Louisiana with Indian roots. His work in Louisiana is starting to move the state forward and provide a healthy and bright outlook for the future. Jindal’s whole mantra was “cleaning up corruption” Much like McCain Jindal is a reformer, dedicated to cleaning up government corruption in Louisiana.
I’ve beaten this horse to death I know, and Jindal himself has stated firmly that he won’t be the pick nor does he want to be. But at the end of the day if Jindal turns down the offer or McCain passes on offering Jindal the VP nod; McCain should at least consider offering Jindal a prime time speaking role at the Republican Convention. If nothing else that visual of the first Republican Indian-American elected Governor of a southern state, whose predecessor was David Duke would send a strong message; perhaps even stronger than that of the actual VP choice itself. The message would be the Republican party, the party fairly or unfairly labeled the “racist” party, the party that “doesn’t care about minorities” “the country club party” and you know what that means aka the “old rich white men club” or “the good old boys club” finally embraced with open arms their diversity. I believe that would not only rally the Republican party but turn a few Independents and soft Democrats who aren’t sold on “Obama mania”
And if it’s not Jindal who gets the VP nod then I’m still pushing equally as hard for John Thune, Eric Cantor, or Tom Ridge. Or hey, how about another bold choice in Michael Steele; former Maryland Lt. Governor. In a year of “change” the Republicans must embrace that trend and stray away from the usual suspects: middle aged white men who you couldn’t them apart even if they told you their names first. The Dan Quayle’s of the world need not apply. That means you Mitt Romney.