Reminder: Jindal on Leno tonight

As I mentioned last week, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal will be on Leno tonight in a show he taped earlier. If Leno is on past your bedtime then you can read the full transcript here:

Leno: So, tell us Bobby. If John McCain came asking or begging you to be vice president, you’re telling us you will say “no”.

Jindal: Jay, again, I would be honored but I have a job to do and that is to be the governor of all of the people in Louisiana, republicans and democrats, rich and poor, young and old.

Leno: Spoken like a politician Bobby. You are learning fast. But, getting back to the question. Would you say absolutely say I would not serve as Vice President if asked. Remember you would be a heart beat away from the Oval Office and McCain is no “spring chicken”. Are you telling the nation tonight you would not serve no matter what?

Jindal: Jay, I have a job to do. I was voted into office by a large majority. I want to be the best Governor Louisiana has ever had and we have really had some real colorful clowns in the past.

Leno: So, that is the best we will get from you tonight, right.

Jindal: I have spoken repeatedly about this issue explaining my feelings, so let’s talk about how Louisiana is becoming a major force to be reckoned now and in the future.

Leno: Governor, first, I’ve been wondering. Tell me. How did an Indian American become Governor of the same state that almost put David Duke in the mansion a decade or so ago? Did you buy his list or something?

Jindal: (laughs) Well, Louisiana has changed so much in the past decade and will do so even more during my administration. I am pleased that the son of an Indian immigrant could become Governor in the Deep South. I was born in Baton Rouge, am an American and am dedicated to turning Louisiana around after years of neglect and poor leadership. [Link]

I have to say, he is saying all the words a person who’d accept and invitation to be VP should be saying. I don’t think you’d HAVE to resign your Governor’s job to be a Vice Presidential running mate. I guess it is in his advantage to keep his name in the spotlight by not dismissing the idea. I’ll link the video once its up.

143 thoughts on “Reminder: Jindal on Leno tonight

  1. Ponnuru speaks in the “standard” NE dialect. He sounds like most of the ABDs I know, though he says many ridiculous things

  2. 100 · vivo said

    speaking of odd sounding Indian -american politicians, how would one describe Ramesh Ponnuru lol?

    Fat Indian who is against stem-cell research.

  3. Piyush is the Mitt Romney for the Indians. He was probably for stem-cell research at Brown University…Oh yeah, he probably refers to Brown University as “White University” as a Freudian Slip. Finally, I’d call Piyush as a “Tom Uncle” (not an “Uncle Tom”). That’s more syntatically correct for the South Asians.

  4. Every time there is anything on Bobby Jindal on SM, the usual Bobby Jindal is an Uncle Tom comments come up.

    Anybody who said that needs to get a life. What have any of you done in you life that compares to him. If Mr.Jindal was to become McCain choice for VP, he would be the most succesful desi ever in American history. Yes there may be some others who become very rich here, but yet none will be know worldwide like Mr.Jindal. Maybe some of you want Bobby Jindal to fail, because then you can complain about what evil country America is and how hard you have it here in the evil racist country known as the United States.

    Alot of the anger here is at Bobby Jindal here is for him changing his name and religon. Yet where is the anger when White Americans become muslims, sikhs or any other eastern religon and change there name. But those people looked very highly upon, where any desi who does the same is a sellout.

    To think that Bobby Jindal parents came from the villages of Punjab and how far he made it is proof of the American Dream. And being of punjabi background, he is someone I want my young daughter to look as future role model.

    Living here in Canada, where many people who come from the Punjab do stupid things and give the community a bad name, I would love to have a Mr.Jindal here in Canada, not these useless people who only get elected cause they run in area with a high brown population but the only thing they ever do is go to weddings and give shorts speeches.

    Do I agree with Mr.Jindal views. Some I do, and others he is too far to the right for me.

  5. Suki bhraava, that was the most articulate comment you’ve left here…not that I necessarily agree with all of it, but still…impressive. Anyway, Jindal’s change of religion was a genuine conversion, which I fully support…and his politics don’t bother me either…the only thing that bothers me about him is his utter lack of interest (and reluctance to engage in) the non-religious aspects of his cultural heritage. It’s not that he’s ignorant of it…someone that bright CAN’T be…it’s that he doesn’t care for it. That’s a shame. But I guess you can’t get so far in American politics, especially in a place like Louisiana, by being visibly Indian (in a cultural sense). If word got out that he spoke to his kids in Punjabi (not that he even knows it), or if he had given them Indian names, that would turn off a lot of voters I think, on a visceral level. Right or wrong. Anyway, I’m proud of him too. And I’m proud of this country for letting him get this far. Not that I’d want him to be a role model for my (hypothetical) kids…he’s TOO assimilated.

  6. 106 · Amitabh said

    …the only thing that bothers me about him is his utter lack of interest (and reluctance to engage in) the non-religious aspects of his cultural heritage. It’s not that he’s ignorant of it…someone that bright CAN’T be…it’s that he doesn’t care for it. That’s a shame.

    True. Jindal has succesfully managed to make his ethnicity less significant by simply not talking about it. Even on Leno he seemed disinterested.

  7. 105 · Suki Dillon said

    To think that Bobby Jindal parents came from the villages of Punjab and how far he made it is proof of the American Dream.

    I think this is a stretch. It certainly isn’t proof that anyone can make it.

    I do believe that some people are overreacting when it comes to his distance from his cultural heritage, but I also understand where such disappointment comes from. You say you want your daughter to consider him a role model and be like him. Do you also want her to change her name to Jennifer and convert to Christianity? I think that question is imporant because whether or not political expediency was a player in his various decisions to dissociate himself from his ethnic background, the fact is that without such a distancing there is no way he would have come as far as he did. Louisiana would not have elected the proudly Hindu Piyush Jindal.

  8. If Mr.Jindal was to become McCain choice for VP, he would be the most succesful desi ever in American history.

    Depending on how you define success, becoming governor of a U.S. state might already make him the most successful desi ever in American history.

  9. To think that Bobby Jindal parents came from the villages of Punjab and how far he made it is proof of the American Dream.

    His parents don’t come from a real, hard-core village background…they come from urban (albeit small-town) Punjab and are pretty well-educated themselves. My point being, he is similar to many ABDs (myself included) whose parents came here in the 60s and 70s as educated professionals. He’s had a lot of advantages, although yes he’s brilliant and hard-working.

  10. I mean, does this guy ever even crave Indian food once in a while? I’d be fascinated to know what he and his wife/kids eat for dinner…would roti/daal/sabzi completely destroy his image?

  11. I mean, does this guy ever even crave Indian food once in a while? I’d be fascinated to know what he and his wife/kids eat for dinner…would roti/daal/sabzi completely destroy his image?

    WHO CARES? Nobody has any imperative because of their birth to hold on to certain values or system of life. What sort of pigeonholing of people is this?

  12. I’m told he enjoys fava beans and a nice chianti, along with some . . . other stuff! ;-)

  13. WHO CARES? Nobody has any imperative because of their birth to hold on to certain values or system of life. What sort of pigeonholing of people is this?

    I CARE (not that I’m losing sleep over it). I’m curious about it…and I find these kinds of things interesting, how people choose to balance things and what if anything they want to hold on to. This is a public figure of Indian background so I’m even more fascinated (yes I suppose there is some judgemental attitude too). I mean, how can one not miss Indian food (although I have no idea if he does or doesn’t, but I thought of the question because it’s probably the most primal attachment to the culture that you could have…even my half-Indian cousins still crave it if they go without it for too long).

  14. What sort of pigeonholing of people is this?

    By that token, labelling someone Italian or French or German is a form of pigeon-holing. Especially since those terms imply a certain cultural identity that the so-labelled person may or may not personally subsribe to. But society will still assess them (in part) through those lenses.

  15. but Rahul was pulling your leg!

    Actually, I wasn’t. Frankly, I find all these discussions about Jindal’s brownness, Obama’s blackness etc. quite tiresome.

    An interesting discussion is how Jindal has played the identity game: he is brown when it comes to Indian-American donors who fall over themselves to fill his coffers because he makes them feel he is “one of them”, but then he turns around and distances himself from that identity in a variety of ways when it comes to other situations. That’s a slick move to pull off, but I don’t really care which part is real, and which part is the act.

    By that token, labelling someone Italian or French or German is a form of pigeon-holing.

    Only if you expect them immediately to ostentatiously grab their crotch for luck while-a eating-a spaghetti, or have a complete absence of humor about their frankfurters. Otherwise, it is just an observation.

  16. That’s a slick move to pull off, but I don’t really care which part is real, and which part is the act.

    Ok, that was worded poorly. It would be interesting to figure out which part is real to get a feel for who is being taken for a ride, but beyond that, I don’t have an opinion based on his ethnicity.

  17. 122 · Rahul Actually, I wasn’t.

    Apologies, then, to you, Rahul, and to Amitabh.

  18. Rahul, Yes, I hear you–I’m pretty allergic to most PoMo jargon/analysis, but there is a very real sense in which (much of) ethnicity is “performative.”

  19. Only if you expect them immediately to ostentatiously grab their crotch for luck while-a eating-a spaghetti, or have a complete absence of humor about their frankfurters. Otherwise, it is just an observation.

    Oh really? Only if? And why is that, because the great Rahul says so? Learn to accept that this whole type of discussion boils down to OPINIONS; there are no FACTS here. I’m stating my opinion. But if it means so much to you, you win this one. Rahul prasann hua?

  20. An interesting discussion is how Jindal has played the identity game: he is brown when it comes to Indian-American donors who fall over themselves to fill his coffers because he makes them feel he is “one of them”, but then he turns around and distances himself from that identity in a variety of ways when it comes to other situations.

    This I agree with 100%.

  21. Only if you expect them immediately to ostentatiously grab their crotch for luck while-a eating-a spaghetti, or have a complete absence of humor about their frankfurters. Otherwise, it is just an observation.

    Sure, because of course that’s the first thing I think of when I think of Italians or Germans. Ridiculous.

  22. but there is a very real sense in which (much of) ethnicity is “performative.”

    I sort of inferred judgment in Amitabh’s question as I was viewing it as an extension of #106, which is a sentiment that I don’t agree with (the “That’s a shame” sentence), which is what I was responding to. I agree with the latter part of #106 though – about what Louisianans might expect of their governor.

    I’m stating my opinion. But if it means so much to you, you win this one

    Yeah, I am just arguing with the idea that saying somebody is Indian doesn’t mean that we should expect them to behave a certain way… And I was just exaggerating mannerisms because there is so much interrogation of what behaviors Jindal should show, from his religion, to his name, to the names of his kids, to the food he craves. We wouldn’t like it if non Indians pigeonholed us to behave a certain way, or if Lemurians made claims about what Scythians should do, so why do we feel ok demanding that of Jindal?

  23. Sure, because of course that’s the first thing I think of when I think of Italians or Germans. Ridiculous.

    Ok, since it seems to be a night of clarifications, I was not being literal with these characterizations.

  24. His parents don’t come from a real, hard-core village background…they come from urban (albeit small-town) Punjab and are pretty well-educated themselves. My point being, he is similar to many ABDs (myself included) whose parents came here in the 60s and 70s as educated professionals. He’s had a lot of advantages, although yes he’s brilliant and hard-working.

    Jindal parents were educated, but on Leno he said that the rest of his fathers none of the other 8 kids made it past grade 5.

  25. I meant to say the rest of his fathers family none of the other kids made it past grade 8

  26. Does anybody know when Jindal was growing up in Louisiana in the 70′s and 80′s. What was the punjabi or even desi population of the area he grow up in. If he had grown up in some place like Yuba City, he might have a different kind of childhood.

  27. I mean, does this guy ever even crave Indian food once in a while? I’d be fascinated to know what he and his wife/kids eat for dinner…would roti/daal/sabzi completely destroy his image?

    I think his namesake Bobby from Brady Bunch liked pork chops and apple sauce

  28. I think his namesake Bobby from Brady Bunch liked pork chops and apple sauce

    Dude that was Peter.

  29. but there is a very real sense in which (much of) ethnicity is “performative.”

    lets just agree he suffers form performance anxiety and call it a night

  30. 113 · Amitabh said

    I mean, does this guy ever even crave Indian food once in a while? I’d be fascinated to know what he and his wife/kids eat for dinner…would roti/daal/sabzi completely destroy his image?

    The typical white person thinks that Indians have curry. He should just say he has curry all the time.

  31. While governor my guess is that in front of a camera it’ll be crawfish boils & etoufee/gumbo 24×7. But the bro should stay away from po’ boys which will surely do a number on his narrow subcontinental arteries. He can run 10 miles a day to maintain is ectomorphic physique (or to avoid being seen with an unrelated desi), but he can’t outrun genetics. He should pencil in an angioplasty for his 45th bday.

  32. bobby’s hair’s a little unpresidential. i mean, he’s got good hair, and a president must have hair, but its a little boyish, like his name. he needs to do something about that.

  33. Aside from his name he may need to change denomination to Presbyterian/Episcopalian when he runs for president. But then again maybe with the growing Hispanic vote he can stay as is. Then again I hear Pentecostal/charismatic sects are becoming increasingly popular in this demographic. Expect to see Jindal speaking in tongues (he can get away with Punjabbering)and offering “laying on of hands” as an alternative to universal healthcare

  34. How is Bobby Jindal actually undermining the rights of Indian-Americans? I mean, you can make some BS case about guilt by association about how he’s hurting the rights of racial minorities by being a Republican, but c’mon. Stop with the Manicheanism. You can’t label a party that represents almost 50% of the country as being as evil as the Nazis. And the GOP is never going to change for the better if moderates and minorities don’t join it and moderate it from within instead of casting rocks from the outside.

  35. Yeah, that’ll win independents. A Gov. with a biology degree that doesn’t believe in evolution but does believe he has taken part in an exorcism.