By Ben Kamisar
Gov. Bobby Jindal on Wednesday became the 13th candidate to wade into the crowded Republican 2016 field, after he announced his intention to run for president in a Facebook video.
“Mommy and Daddy have been thinking and talking a lot about this. We have decided that we are going to be running for president,” Jindal told his family while sitting around a table in what looks to be their backyard.
Jindal will have his work cut out for him as he joins the ever-expanding Republican field. He currently polls at about 1 percent in national polling and in both of the first two nominating states, Iowa and New Hampshire. In order to have a shot at making it into the first debate, which will only allow the top 10 candidates in national polling onto the main stage, he’ll have to improve those numbers.
While most candidates preempted their own official announcements with sleek videos that could double as campaign advertisements, Jindal’s own video is a dramatic contrast. It seems to be taken from a camera nestled in a tree, with the newly minted candidate's face almost entirely blocked out by a branch.
The video appears to capture his children’s first reactions to the news. Shaan, his oldest son, smiles and gives his father both thumbs up in response to the news.
Fighting his way to a victory in the early primary states will require significant travel, something with which Jindal’s children seem to be on board. When he told them that they could go back to Iowa if they behaved, his other son, Slade, smiled.
Jindal’s wife, Supriya, asked her children what they liked best about Iowa.
“Popcorn,” Slade said.
Jindal, who has been Louisiana’s governor since 2008, served a two-term stint in the House. He had been seen as a possible presidential candidate and a strong minority voice in the party immediately after President Obama’s election. But he stumbled through the GOP’s 2009 State of the Union response and the negative reaction hurt his national stock.
But he’s returned to the national stage over the past few years, releasing a detailed plan to replace the Affordable Care Act and bashing his GOP colleagues for not specifically addressing their own replacement plans.
“We’ve got a lot of talkers in this race, we need a doer. I’ve not just talked about how to replace ObamaCare, I’ve got a plan. I’ve actually reduced the size of government at home, we’ve cut our budget here 26 percent over 30,000 fewer government bureaucrats.” he said Wednesday morning on Fox News’s “America’s Newsroom.”
“We need that kind of radical action in D.C., we need that kind of dramatic change in direction, not incremental change.”
He also criticized President Obama and Democratic frontrunner Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonAT&T-Time Warner merger: Rigged by cozy regulatory relationships? Fighting for affordable energy could remake presidential race Trump claims Democrats are making up polls MORE, arguing that they are advocating policies that move “towards socialism.”
In response to his announcement, the Democratic National Committee barely even addressed Jindal as a serious candidate.
Press secretary Holly Shulman’s statement criticized other “failed” Republican governors that are leading Jindal—Govs. Chris Christie (N.J.), Scott Walker (Wis.) and John Kasich (Ohio), as well as former Govs. Jeb Bush (Fla.) and Rick Perry (Texas).
--This report was updated at 1:28 p.m.