I believe I was among the first bloggers to throw out the name Bobby Jindal as a possible running mate for John McCain — I made the speculation back in February, not too long after McCain emerged as the front-runner in the Republican primaries. At the time it seemed a bit out there, even to me, and there was never any indication from anyone close to McCain that Jindal was on their list. Still, the story kept floating around, and now it seems to have moved to the next level.
For the first time, there are signs that Jindal is being considered among a very short list of possible running mates by the McCain camp:
Senator John McCain is planning to meet this weekend with at least three potential Republican running mates at a gathering at his ranch in Arizona, suggesting that he is stepping up his search for a vice president now that the Democratic contest appears basically decided, according to Republicans familiar with Mr. McCainâ€™s plans.
Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts and a one-time rival for the Republican nomination, have all accepted invitations to visit with Mr. McCain at his ranch in Sedona, these Republicans said. (link)
A couple of other names are also mentioned by the New York Times article, including Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, and Bob Portman. Lindsay Graham will also be invited to the “Veep Vet” party in Sedona, though thus far it appears he’s going as a close friend of McCain’s, rather than as a potential VP.
Given all that competition, it still seems unlikely that Jindal would be chosen. The strongest reason I was able to come up with before was a presumed Republican anxiety about a game-changing, mass-movement emerging around Obama. And while that has happened to some extent, it’s also become clear that there are limits to its reach (i.e., Appalachia). So the idea of off-setting a minority Democratic candidate with a minority Republican Vice-Presidential candidate is probably seeming less urgent now.
Still, perhaps we’re due to have our first Punjabi Vice President.