Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Then again, I could be wrong 

Right after I penned the post below, I see that Jindal has adopted (one of) McCain's latest talking points:

"One of the reasons I'm supporting (McCain) -- he has made it clear he would rather lose an election than lose a war. He's made it very clear -- let's listen to the commanders on the ground," Jindal said.

Apparently, Jindal and McCain are scheduled to actually meet Thursday instead of today (as I thought) and take a helicopter tour of oil rigs in the Gulf and marvel over how "not a single drop" of oil was spilled after Katrina and Rita. (Update: Or perhaps they will see some oil sheens. Update #2: Now Mac has cancelled the meeting, citing the weather.) And if other reports are to be believed, McCain will perhaps announce his Veep choice this week. Now, if he's meeting with Jindal on Thursday, that leaves precious little time left this week to meet with, say, Romney or Pawlenty for the big announcement.

Circumstances are forcing me to re-evaluate my long-held position that McCain won't pick Jindal to be Veep. Did I underestimate the political stupidity of the McCain campaign?

Sure, the national press will have a big fluffernutter over PBJ if and when McCain picks him to be Veep. But that will only last a few weeks. Then, before the Veep debate the "vetting" of Jindal will get serious and there will likely be a national discussion over Jindal's belief in teaching creationism and/or his youthful exorcism episode. How will that play? Moreover, how will Jindal's extreme youthfulness and foreign policy inexperience play? Can you imagine Jindal trying to use that dumb "[McCain and I] would rather lose an election than lose a war" line in a Veep debate against, say, Sen. James Webb? Can you imagine the response Webb would have to that crapola? (Not to mention the fact that back in November of 2007 Jindal was hopeful that Bush would listen to the Iraq Study Group's recommendations... but we'll get to that later. Also, there would be horror among Louisiana conservatives by the prospect of a Governor Mitch Landrieu. Knowing how "strategic" some of them are, I wouldn't be surprised to see a "Vote Obama/Keep Jindal in LA" movement occur.)

I hope I didn't give my faithful YRHT readers a bum steer by totally underestimating Jindal's chances to be Veep. Usually I have a damn good read on how these things will play out, and I have some pretty informed sources in GOP circles who have discounted the Jindal as Veep possibility from Day 1. ("Day 1", btw, was when Rush Limbaugh floated Jindal as his preferred VP choice.) But maybe I'm wrong on this. Being "wrong" would be embarrassing, of course, but if I'm going to be wrong about a political prognostication, I would SO LOVE for it to be this one.

I can't fathom how much fun this will be for me if McCain selects Jindal. Can't you see a dramatic Veep announcement staged on an oil rig in the Gulf? Bobby and Mac, standing out there in hardhats, a banner stretched over their heads reading "McCain/Jindal: We know the Drill"

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(I would also love to be a fly on the wall if/when McCain tells Gov. Charlie Crist that he picked Jindal to be his Veep.)

"But I endorsed you, John! I flip flopped and supported oil drilling for you! I'm getting married to a woman for you! What more do you want?"
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Update: Steve Sabludowsky from Bayou Buzz has the latest speculation on Jindal, and points out that this Fox News article might be mistitled. It happens.

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11 Comments:

It doesn't say anything about your judgement if McCain picks Jindal. I think it was unsaid that you thought McCain would pick a VP who could help him win the general election, not lose well with the GOP base.

By Anonymous joejoejoe, at 12:30 PM  

Too many Landrieus! Vote Obama!

Bwaa ha ha

By Blogger jeffrey, at 12:38 PM  

Oyster, I too underestimated the reach of Jindal nation. Today I had lunch with a far-right, ivy-educated "intern" from my office. When she found out I was from Louisiana, she immediately wanted to know what I thought about Bobby. I explained that he is a disappointment, tending too far to the right when he doesn't have to and jumping the shark by pushing creation science in the public schools. This of course outraged our two other lunchtime companions, both of whom consider themselves moderates.

She of course had no explanation for his creation-science position, but went on to lecture me on the merits of the healthcare paper he wrote while at Brown and praised his experience in government. Any-hoo, I left the table impressed by her level of excitement about Bobby J and relative familiarity with his background that I figured Bobby really has made himself out to be right-wing hero creature.

Despite this apparent passion on the right from her, Rush and others, I'm convinced Bobby would be a huge detriment to the McCain ticket. Really, creation science is a non-starter for many independents. Combine that with Bobby's exorcism experiences and I agree that he will make for an easy target.

By Anonymous bigshot, at 2:12 PM  

In 1988 I saw Dan Quayle at a rally right after Bush the elder picked him to run as his VP. The press ate that guy up. He looked genuinely frightened. Jindal may not be as stupid as Quayle, but if he gets picked, I agree it's going to be fun in the extreme. That said, I still don't think he's going to be picked. I don't think McCain is going to make any announcement re: VP this week. This is all just a desperate attempt to change the subject from Obama's star turn abroad.

By Anonymous dsb, at 3:11 PM  

"That said, I still don't think he's going to be picked. I don't think McCain is going to make any announcement re: VP this week."

Yeah, I saw an article where Novak held out the possibility that he had been "duped" by a senior McCain advisor.

By Blogger oyster, at 3:49 PM  

Oyster,

Great analysis -- and I submit that it's no shame to have been "wrong" about this one, if that turns out to be the case. Truth is, history may well show that if McCain picks Bobby as VP (I still don't think he'll do it, but who knows? He's been making lots of strange decisions lately.), HE may well turn out to be the one who was "wrong." As others have noted above, Bobby may play well in Jena and Pineville, but his many genuflections to the Religious Right will make him an easy target for Democrats among swing voters.

By Anonymous Clancy, at 4:09 PM  

If it happens, this has got to be it:

"Fluffernutter and PBJ"

It's perfect, and the "Fluff" is ACTUALLY older then McCain:

http://www.marshmallowfluff.com/pages/history1.html

By Blogger celcus, at 4:11 PM  

"Fluffernutter and PBJ"... see, it would be so much fun!

By Blogger oyster, at 4:34 PM  

Oh, come on. Cut Mac some slack about the weather thing.

I mean, really, who could ever have imagined that it might be storming in Louisiana in late July?

By Anonymous KamaAina, at 6:07 PM  

TPM linked to some scuttlebutt that Jindal is under consideration for the keynote address at the GOP convention in Minnesota. That makes a lot more sense.

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/07/23/jindal-i-will-not-be-vp/

Plus more VP denials from PBJ...

By Anonymous joejoejoe, at 12:06 AM  

The fact that McSenile is considered "the serious contender" for the white house is skeery enough in and of itself. The Senator's Son is hardly the "hero" that he likes to be portrayed as in the media, and uber-reich-wing "wunderkind" Bobby will only make him look all the more doddering and foolish.

Personally, I don't see Bobby settling for VP. He's been groomed every day of his life to be the next Dumbya, and I see him running for Pres by 2012, 2016 at the latest. He's just using McSenile as a publicity platform, in order to get his ears and nose out there into the public eyeline.

By Blogger Anntichrist S. Coulter, at 1:16 AM