It wasn’t that long ago that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal was touted as the Republican answer to Barack Obama. Intelligent and charismatic, he had a compelling biography (as the child of Indian immigrants), and an abundance of raw political skill – no one becomes the country’s youngest serving governor by accident. With his string of conservative victories in the Louisiana statehouse and a large national fan base, he was poised to become a Republican superstar.
But then this happened:
Jindal’s attempt to offer the Republican response to President Obama fell flat on its face, with Jindal presenting himself as something akin to the real-life version of Kenneth the Page. Jindal’s post-speech career has been low-key. Despite his continued popularity within the GOP, he’s kept away from the national stage, and focused on his job as governor of Louisiana.
If yesterday’s Louisiana Republican primary was any indication, it has paid dividends. As The Washington Post reports, Jindal won 66 percent of the vote in a 10 way primary, scoring a majority in all of the state’s 64 parishes. As The Post notes, his victory speech had all the notes of a national address, “He insisted he wouldn’t talk about what the state had accomplished over the past four years because ‘that was yesterday, and as Louisianans and as Americans … we are relentlessly focused on the future, not the past.’”
If Jindal is able to finish his second term in a similar position of strength, then he’ll be well-positioned for a debut on the national stage. It’s not hard to imagine a 2016 – or a 2020 – where Jindal is a top contender for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination.
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