He's repeatedly denied any immedeiate presidential aspirations, and his big national speech debut last year may have lead to more comparisons to 30 Rock's Kenneth the Page than Ronald Reagan, but don't count out Bobby Jindal in 2012. So writes Newsweek's Andrew Romano in his weekly column, "Absurdly Premature 2012 Watch." Despite some of the conventional wisdom that suggests Jindal would be a much more polished national candidate after having served two full terms as governor of Louisiana, Romano presents the following scenario that he suggests may be too golden an opportunity for the rising GOP star to pass up:
In the winter or spring of 2012, the Republican Party finally selects its new presidential nominee, who is, given the field, probably a white, middle-aged, rather old-fashioned man. The new nominee then turns to Jindal, who has realized that with Louisiana's crushing budget shortfall it's impossible to rack up the sort of accomplishments he racked up during his first term (ethics reform, tax cuts, a workforce-development program), and asks him to serve his party and his country as the GOP's vice presidential nominee instead. Unable to pass up this "once in a lifetime" opportunity, Jindal happily accepts, providing the Republican ticket with exactly the sort of modern, multicultural appeal it needs to compete with Obama, and exactly the sort of pragmatic conservative credentials that will attract voters turned off by four years of Democratic rule. If the GOP loses in November, Jindal, now a figure of national prominence, returns to Baton Rouge, serves out his second term and assumes his new place (in a party that almost always revives its previous standard bearers) as the next Republican in line. And if the GOP marches to victory, well ... he becomes the youngest vice president ever. Win-win, right?
Read the full colmun here.