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John McCain praises Bobby Jindal; does that carry special meaning?

Now, that the two major parties' presidential nominees are both presumptive, everyone can start speculating full-time about the vice presidential picks of either Sens. John McCain or Barack Obama.

But Wednesday we may have gotten a peek into the running mate selection process for the Republican pick. McCain and his aides have said little about progress in vetting vice presidential candidates.

Louisiana Gov Bobby Jindal and his wife Supriya, a possible vice presidential running mate for Republican presidential nominee Sen. John mcCain of Arizona

But McCain supporter Charles “Buddy” Roemer, the former Louisiana governor, seemed to relish stirring up trouble for one prospect -- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal -- a rising Republican star.

With McCain and Jindal within earshot at a town-hall-style meeting in Baton Rouge, Roemer said, perhaps revealingly, “He’s encouraged -- he’s allowed, he’s hinted that his vice president might be in this room,” Roemer said of McCain, his voice rising dramatically.

Soon the 36-year-old Louisiana governor, the U.S.-born son of an immigrant from India, who'd been standing in the wings, bounded....

... on stage to interrupt Roemer midsentence: “I thought I better rush up here before he gets me into more trouble,” Jindal told the audience.

After an introduction from Jindal, McCain praised the young Louisiana governor, who recently spent a weekend with his wife, Supriya, at the McCains’ weekend retreat outside Sedona, Ariz.

McCain credited Jindal with cutting taxes five times in Louisiana, reducing regulations and creating “probably the strongest and most effective ethical and lobbying reforms in the United States of America.”

In a sign of their growing friendship, he even ribbed Jindal about his efforts to woo his wife, who McCain called the “brains of the outfit,” noting she wisely refused Jindal’s first request for a date when they attended high school together in Baton Rouge. 

But one town hall questioner wasn’t letting McCain out the door without at least a word about whether Jindal was a possible No. 2. Why not? he asked McCain.

“I believe that Gov. Jindal is the next generation of leadership, not just of the Republican Party, but of America,” McCain answered.

“What he’s been able to accomplish in his 36 years on earth has been quite remarkable. And it’s a great American success story. So I know he’s earned a place in the future of the Republican Party and our country.”

Which sounds quite nice, doesn't it? Except McCain has been using that exact same line about “earning a place” in the party on other possible veeps, including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Plus, given the McCain campaign’s sensitivity about its candidate's age, they might not prefer a running mate who's a living reminder in media coverage that those much-praised 36 years on earth are almost exactly half of McCain’s own nearly 72 years on earth.

-- Maeve Reston

Photo Credit: AP

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If McCain select Gov Jindal as V.P., can you say “President Obama”. “…..On social issues, Jindal has a record only James Dobson could love. He strongly and openly opposes abortion (without exception, even in cases of rape and incest), supports teaching intelligent design in public schools, has proposed bans on both stem-cell research and flag burning, and voted for a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman. McCain, on the other hand, has flip-flopped on all these issues, with the exception of flag burning. On McCain’s biggest problem with the conservative base, immigration, Jindal would be an effective counterbalance: He has consistently been an outspoken opponent of illegal immigration, and voted in favor of building a border fence. His economic record is a bit less dogmatic. He tends to vote against free trade agreements like CAFTA but consistently sides with energy interests over environmentalists. For example, he favored a motion to lift the moratorium on offshore gas drilling, one of many votes that led the League of Conservation Voters to give him a rating of just 7 percent. “

Gov. Jindal is a wonderful guy, and very intelligent.

It's obvious that they are looking for someone to "mirror" Obama, for the Republicans...

What about Hillary's supporters? We are 18 million strong! It would be very tempting to cross over IF McCain would consider MEG WHITMAN!

She does not have political baggage, and she would be a fabulous CEO for the economy!

Or why not Steve Ballmer? Why not Ballmer/Gates '08? The name Meg Whitman as a possible vp candidate for McCain seriously brings to mind the question of 'lesser of two evils'. Can anyone say 'Fee'bay?

I dont know... he looks like his a secret muslim too....
or more like a secret hindu -
Have any one seen him killing a cow?

Plus, i agree that a woman as McCain VP will attract all of those feminist that voted for Hilary that wishing for the end of feminism. Cause nothing is more feminist that anti abortinism, christian fundamentalism, and the slogan
"barefoot and pregant", and those are the core values of Republicans.. Those and killing people... and free market. Coooondolezzaaaaa VP!!!

Conaleza (sp) Rice.......A black woman on his ticket, if Bush gets us out of Iraq by November .........then Rice would insure his election by helping to pick up the women voters over 30.

Kainsword : That is OK if Republican stands for anti abortion because these new young voters need to learn for themselves. McCain/Rice and no abortion plus maybe another war where they can set up a draft.....all good lessons for the Obamabots.

Rice would be a great lesson for the new young Obamabots. These are the young women that do not know abortion rights could go away. It would teach them never again to back a good speaker with little to say.

Jindal is without a doubt one of the future of the GOP. His accomplishments in the areas of education, healthcare reform, and ethics reform at the mere age of 36 dwarf Hillary, Obama's and even McCains! He took a bloated healthcare budget 400 million in the red and turned it into a record surplus in just four short years, at the mere age of 26!

As fantastic a president as he would be, Lousiana needs him now. It needs him to continue on the course he set out for the state. Cleaning up the disaster that Louisiana has become is a mammoth almost impossible task. And I can't think of anyone anywhere more capable of doing it than Bobby Jindal. And if he were accomplish this, he could practically walk straight into the Oval Office in either 2012 or 2016.

I had originally thought that it was age that got Jindal on the short list for VP. However, I have been researching this guy and watching him closely along with the other possible VP candidates for Mccain and I have to say...this guy is impressive. He is genuine and a straight talker. I sensed great chemistry between Jindal and Mccain. I believe Jindal will not only balance out Mccain in terms of his oratorial skills but will match Mccain in the realm of common sense and straight talk. This guy has a natural oral of positivity, excitement and passion about him. When you hear him can't help but believe he likes doing good, he's truthful and he's passionate about make possitive changes. I'm leaning hard on towards this guys as Mccain's or loose in November, I do agree that Jindal will be big....very big very soon.


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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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