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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 IndiLouisiana_gov_bobby_jindal_possiblea. "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

Comments () | Archives (5)

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The Democratic Party probably now wishes they had Jindal, instead of Obama.

Jindal appears to have accomplished much more than Obama, who strong-armed himself into a political career in Chicago. There's also no question about his faith, his associations and his moral compass.

John McCain would definitely hold up in a better light with Jindal as his VP. But personally, I wish the GOP would get Meg Whitman, one of the founders of E-Bay, as she fulfills 2 parts of what McCain is missing. One, she's a woman, ergo Hillary supporters would happily come to her. And she's one of the most successful CEO's, propping up McCain's weakness on the economy.

Ideally, they should have run Jindal/Whitman... and the Dems should have gone with Clinton/Obama. WHAT A RACE that would've turned out to be!

Jindal is impressive in his thinking, accomplishments, talking and work doesn't hurt that he's a value candidate with natural authenticity. Mccain will not very well with JIndal on the ticket. Jindal is not Obama...he's actually accomplished amazine things in his 37 years through hard-work and not thru ambitious tactics.

Meg Whitman stood silent at ebay as fraud continued to run rampant through their company. Is this the kind of leadership you want?

Of course Jindal is a hypocrite, demanding higher ethical standards on others but not his administration. And what has JIndal accomplished other than the ability to manipulate the media?

America should not set its standards that low.

Jindal card would be a fight-dark-with-darkER strategy. Indian-Americans are arguably as dark or darker than blacks. Yet their color of skin is no barrier to professional success in the U.S., as Indian-Americans are one of the most successful ethnic groups in the U.S; witness the countless doctors and engineers of Indian descent.

Too, Jindal brings tremendous executive experience and capability to the ticket, having worked in the private sector advising Fortune 500 corporations as a McKinsey consultant, and in the public sector as a top federal official and the president of a state university system among other prominent roles.

Unlike Obama, a graduate of an exclusive prep school, Jindal didn't need affirmative action to gain admissions to Brown and Oxford Universities. Like most Asians, Jindal succeeded solely through the dint of hard work, and intellectual prowess as evidenced by his graduation from a magent high school at the age of 16.

Having Jindal on the ticket would bring much-needed excitement to McCain's campaign, and help shed the GOP's image as a party of stick-in-the-mud white males. As an additional practical benefit, having Jindal on the ticket would help McCain raise funds from the Indian-American and larger Asian-American communities.

Jindal still lacks strong name-recognition among voters, thus it behooves upon McCain to name Jindal as the vice-presidential candidate at the earlist possible date, and start familiarizing the electorate with Jindal's name and his track record of success.

Look at Jindal record. He accomplished at age 37 what most of the politicians have achieved in their entire political life.

He was elected governor in southern state with his color and background, that speaks his skills. He is a great communicator too. If McCain chooses Jindal as his VP, He can raise 100 million dollars easily in a month from rich Indian-American community.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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