Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal -- in Detail(s)
The folks over at Details magazine offer a preview of a piece coming out in the August issue (though not due on stands until July 15) on Bobby Jindal, one of the names bandied about as a possible running mate for John McCain. No bombshells in the preview, but it gives a broad look at a guy with intense ambitions, rapid political success -- with the occasional knock-back -- and an evolved sense of his faith and politics.
Jindal was born in the U.S. six months after his parents arrived from India. "Being the son of an immigrant is almost like being a convert to Americanism," the piece quotes Jindal as saying. He's also a convert to Catholicism from Hinduism. He became a Republican after growing up in a nominally Democratic house and has succeeded politically in Louisiana despite being the antithesis of a Louisianan, writes Jonathan Miles.
"He doesn’t care much, for instance, about food. His musical tastes run toward middle-of-the-road FM rock -- Clapton, the Beatles -- though, really, whatever's on the radio will do. He doesn’t drink alcohol -- an anomaly in a state where, as the joke goes, cirrhosis of the liver gets listed on death certificates as 'natural causes' -- or even coffee, Louisiana’s second official liquid. In a state so devoted to hunting and fishing that its license plates read SPORTSMAN’S PARADISE, Jindal’s chosen sport is tennis. But something else sets Jindal apart in this deep-fried southern state: His first name is Piyush, not Robert..."
Jindal has downplayed talk that he might get on the Republican ticket, but as Miles -- and others -- point out that at half McCain's age, Jindal counters the relative youthfulness of Barack Obama, and his ethnic background could help erode that historic distinction for the Democratic ticket, as well.
Let the speculation continue.
-- Scott Martelle