My friend and former colleague John Mercurio makes a good argument for why Bobby Jindal won’t even run for the GOP nomination in 2012.
Louisiana chooses its governors in off years, which means Jindal, who has already announced plans to seek a second term, will likely have his name on a state ballot in November 2011. That’s just a few short months before Iowa caucusgoers will cast the first votes of the 2012 primaries. Other Republican candidates already will have spent months participating in a dizzying round of televised debates and town-hall forums. (Remember how Fred Thompson was widely panned for joining the 2008 race too late? He announced in September 2007.)
The prospect of Jindal seeking both offices in 2011 would require political contortions the likes of which even he would be hard-pressed to perform. Imagine him urging Louisiana voters, still recovering from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, to support his re-election so he can spend the next year as an absentee governor, traveling the country as a presidential candidate. He could deny charges, likely to come from all corners, that he’s using his re-election bid as a launching pad for the White House. But if he reverses course after November and runs for president, he would face the impossible task of assembling a last-minute national organization at the same time he’s suffering a fatal blow to his credibility.
Elsewhere, the Bobby Jindal/Kenneth the Page comparisons have gone viral. Check out this clip:
Jindal should consider himself fortunate that Jack McBrayer (the actor who plays Kenneth the Page on 30 Rock) doesn’t bear an uncanny physical resemblance to him. Otherwise, Jindal would be getting the full Tina Fey/Sarah Palin treatment. On the other hand, Ben Smith pointed out the new Facebook group calling for Kal Penn (of Harold and Kumar fame) to play Bobby Jindal on SNL.
Update: Andrew Sullivan nails it — “All that really happened here is that Jindal – stylistically and substantively – had the worst debut on national television of anyone since Palin’s encounter with Katie Couric.”