Two words that aren’t on anyone’s mind that probably should be: vice president. Enough has been made about the GOP 2016 presidential race. Rand Paul? Mike Huckabee? Jeb Bush? Chris Christie? Someone else? There is no shortage of names to toss around. At this early date we have heard it all. Every candidate has his strengths and is plagued by weaknesses. The best choice will be someone who can dismantle Hillary Clinton in a general election. This we already know. However, a ticket is made up of two people and the vice presidential nominee needs to be as appealing to the American populous as whoever the party chooses to be their guy in the Oval Office.
Enter Bobby Jindal.
He thinks he could be a presidential nominee in 2016. Sadly, the rest of the country isn’t on the same page as the Republican Louisiana governor. In the latest RealClearPolitics poll, Jindal is at a measly 2.4 percentage points and last among potential candidates. Of course, when the leaders, Paul and Huckabee, aren’t exactly leading anyone, it is still an open race. Nonetheless, inexperience and lack of name recognition will fault Jindal if he chooses to pursue a presidential bid.
Jindal is clever, intelligent and full of ideas. All three are qualities befitting of a right hand man. He has degrees from Brown University and Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, causing many to call him one who sits in an ivory tower. The education he received, however, can be incredibly useful to the president, as Jindal always seems to have a new suggestion. Additionally, the son of Indian-American parents has put his ideas into practice many times over in his home state.
In fact, it is his ideas that gained him national recognition. Jindal’s editorial in CNN in late April, where he urged the Republicans to not be the “stupid party”, made waves. A healthcare alternative to ObamaCare was released at the same time through his America Next group and the GOP finally had their response to the Affordable Care Act. Instead of just demanding that the bill get repealed, the party, thanks to Jindal, now had an adequate replacement. That ivory tower was finally getting results on a national stage.
“We’ve got to go out there and win the war of ideas,” Jindal said in reference to his beloved Republican party. It is obvious that the wonk is capable of bringing fresh, innovative and exciting legislation to a capital that is sorely in need of a makeover. Jindal has the power to jump start a lethargic Washington.
Also of importance is the fact that he fits the bill for what the GOP is looking for. The young, child of immigrants, minority reformer completely turned Louisiana around. The state has voted solidly Republican in presidential elections when Jindal was governor. Though not as a presidential candidate, he could be appealing in the vice presidential position. In Iowa, a swing state, 41 percent of those polled said they had a favorable opinion of Jindal. Only 9 percent said they found him to be unfavorable.
The GOP could also benefit in demographics if they chose Jindal as a vice president nominee in 2016. In the past two decades, Asian Americans have moved quickly from voting solidly Republican to voting primarily Democratic. In 2012, 73 percent of Asians voted for Barack Obama. That was the highest among every ethnic group, with the exception of African-Americans. However, nearly one half of Asian American voters remain independent and say they are open to persuasion in future elections. But neither party has created major efforts to sway these constituents.
Bobby Jindal, an Indian-American, on the ticket could secure the important Asian American vote. It is a fact that voters tend to choose candidates who look like them. He may also be able to attract African-American and Hispanic voters, dispelling the notion that the Republicans are a party that doesn’t want or doesn’t care for minorities.
Jindal is a master debater; he will easily give the ticket a leg up when he has to go face-to-face with the Democratic vice presidential choice. His views are in line with what the Republicans want to promote and the GOP chose him to serve as the chairman of the Republican Governors Association in 2013. Jindal, after attempting to reform education in Louisiana, became a national leader on the topic with plans to release a policy paper on the decisive issue. He is popular in the party and knows how to effectively run a state.
It is because of all of this that Jindal is expected to run for a presidential nomination in 2016. He would be best off, however, being tabbed as the vice presidential choice and should move himself in line to receive this position.
It would be a win-win situation, giving the young politician invaluable experience and allowing Jindal to breath new life into a waning party.