On all these points, Bobby Jindal could be a breath of fresh air. He’s a wonk’s wonk. He ran the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals at the age of 24. He was the top staffer on the Breaux-Thomas bipartisan Medicare-reform commission at 27. At 28, he became the youngest-ever president of the University of Louisiana system. He has been working to reform government-run health care for nearly his entire adult life.
And his personal story — son of Indian immigrants, Ivy-educated Rhodes Scholar — could resonate in the urban and suburban communities where immigrants and college-educated voters mostly reside.
Strangely, however, that isn’t the path Jindal has taken. Instead, he seems to feel the need to atone for his virtues, by arguing that conservative reformers are “jilted” Washingtonian “navel gazers” who aren’t “fighting for our principles.”
But this is a false dichotomy. Just because you live in a city, or because you want Republicans to appeal to a broader electorate, doesn’t mean you oppose conservative principles.