With respect to the question of whether or not John McCain will tap Louisiana’s Governor Jindal for his VP, I have been quoted on this website as saying, to paraphrase, “when pigs fly in hell.” I just don’t see the strategic value in such an arrangement. Why would Jindal want to give up the best possible job in the world (executive experience in a state which he can only make better…since it can’t possibly get any worse) in order to run with a nominee with tough odds (its forecasted to be a bad year for Republicans)? If he has ambitions he should strategically wait until 2012 or 2016 to act upon them. On the flip side, why would McCain pick someone who is young, intelligent, brown and relatively inexperienced to take over for him if he keels over while in office (he’s kind of old you know)? It undermines the very arguments he will need to make against Obama. But today we saw these pictures as the straight talk express rolled through New Orleans:
U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the presumptive Republican Party presidential nominee, today toured a portion of New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward still showing the ravages of Hurricane Katrina and called the federal government’s initial response to the catastrophe “disgraceful.”
In New Orleans as part of his “Straight Talk Express” tour, McCain – with Gov. Bobby Jindal at his side – sharply criticized the Bush administration for “mishandling” the disaster but also said Congress must share some of the blame for backing pork barrel projects when that money could have been used to strengthen the city’s levees and restore the state’s vanishing wetlands and coastline. [Link]
My guess is that McCain is trying to do whatever he can to get the media to stop focusing on the Clinton-Obama slugfest and to start concentrating a little on him. What better way to do that then to make people start speculating about his VP with greater interest. Also out today was this article:
There is a buzz in Republican political circles that John McCain could pick former Hewlett-Packard Chairwoman Carly Fiorina, 53, to be his vice presidential nominee.
NBC11 political analyst Larry Gerston said a potential McCain-Fiorina ticket could inspire Republicans who think the country may be on the “precipice of change…” “A number of Republican leaders are looking for a way to take a rather stodgy candidacy and bring some life to it,” said NBC11 political analyst Larry Gerston. “It comes at a time when Democrats have an African-American and a white woman battling each other — while the Republicans have a 71-year-old white male as the presumptive nominee…” [Link]
So there are two McCain stories floating out in the media on the same day. One has him paired with and ambitious and often vilified white woman and the other has him paired with a brilliant but relatively inexperienced young brown man. Hmmmm. Getting back to Jindal, this is what he had to say about the speculation:
Gov. Bobby Jindal dismissed rumors about him joining Sen. John McCain on the Republican ticket as vice president, but didn’t definitively say he would refuse McCain if called upon by the presumptive nominee.
Instead, Jindal said, “He’s not going to ask.”
“I’ve made it abundantly clear that I’m happy in my job,” Jindal said while in Monroe on Thursday. “I love the job I have.
“It’s flattering that my name has been raised, but this is a historic time in Louisiana and I want to be a part of it…” [Link]
Interestingly though, he does leave the door open AND he is appearing on Jay Leno next Monday. Politicians often go on the late night show circuit before announcing something major. However, like I point to above, this could all be a clever attention grabbing stunt by the Republican establishment. I still think this is a very unlikely pair.