Friday, June 28, 2013

Will He Or Won’t He – Only Bobby Knows For Sure - Or Does He?

If I go there will be trouble, And if I stay it will be double”
-          The Clash

Lots of political tongue wagging this week with the rumors growing louder that Governor Bobby Jindal will run against Senator Mary Landrieu in 2014.
Despite Jindal advisor Curt Anderson claiming that Jindal has “no interest” in running against Landrieu and multiple columns in The Hayride extolling the virtues of Congressman Bill Cassidy and his allegedly $4 Million war chest (although the article doesn’t say what it will cost to buy Cassidy any sort of name recognition or a personality), the Jindal for Senate rumor makes too much sense.

With his current poll numbers at their lowest levels ever and his inability to pass major legislation, Jindal’s chances of becoming President, or even Vice-President, in 2016 look increasingly dim.
A Cabinet position, assuming the Republican nominee wins in 2016 and wants Jindal to be a part of the team, also looks remote.

Jindal as Secretary of Health and Human Services? How could he be appointed to that post after he gutted Louisiana’s healthcare system?
HUD? With all of the issues in New Orleans, are you kidding?

Energy? Not with the BP oil spill still in people’s minds.
Education? He pushed for vouchers and approves of Charter Schools.

So, what’s left? Agriculture? Homeland Security? Labor? Transportation? Veteran’s Affairs? Interior? Commerce? Treasury?
I don’t see Jindal getting, or even wanting, any of those slots.

So, what will he do when his term is up, assuming he stays on through 2015?
Can’t go back to Congress – already been there and done that.

Campaign for the Republican Presidential nomination that even he can’t believe he can win?
Sit out a couple of months and hope that Senator David Vitter runs for and wins the gubernatorial race to replace Jindal and open up a seat in the Senate? That could happen but why wait?

“This indecision’s bugging me”
Why not go to the Senate a year early for a term or two and build your national profile for a Presidential or Veep run later? After all, Jindal’s only 42. After 2 terms in the Senate, he would be all of 55 and have even more of a resume.

In addition to getting to the Senate a year early (assuming Vitter leaves and runs for Governor), defeating Mary Landrieu (beating an incumbent Senator would make national news and catapult Jindal back into the spotlight), getting Vitter’s hand-picked candidate (the not very Conservative Cassidy) out of the race and out of Congress, and blocking a Vitter gubernatorial bid by appointing Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne to serve as the interim Governor, giving Dardenne a leg up on replacing Jindal, the scenario could show that Jindal still is a powerful force in Louisiana.
Or, he could throw an additional monkey wrench into the pot by appointing Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser as interim Governor. Jindal and Dardenne are not on great terms and appointing Nungesser, or anyone for that matter and bypassing Dardenne, would be a blow to Dardenne. Nungesser, who has announced he will be running for Lt. Governor, was the beneficiary of Jindal’s fundraising support after Nungesser lost his last attempt at the Lt. Governor’s job.

Of course, this is all speculation and no one knows for sure, probably not even the Governor. But, the good news is that it’s early. The Senate race isn’t until November 2014 and Governor Jindal still has a job, for now.
Jindal could announce his decision next spring and still have time to campaign and beat Landrieu. Announcing that late would also freeze Cassidy out since he’s already announced that he will not be seeking re-election to Congress this fall.

The point is, it doesn’t really matter who writes what or denies what now.
But, I’m sure that somewhere Governor Jindal is smiling since we’re even talking about him and not mentioning his failed tax swap plan.