Jindal was approached by McCain forces to gauge his interest in the vice presidency and told them he was not interested in being vetted due to his desire to continue on with his current job, to which he was elected just one year ago.
While the official reason that Jindal took his name out of contention was his lack of a desire to leave the Louisiana governorship, there was also real trepidation within his political inner circle that Jindal might wind up as the pick — McCain was attracted to his comprehensive health-care knowledge — and be caught up in what they believed to be a less-than-stellar campaign that could pin a loss on Jindal without much ability to change or control the direction of the contest…
The end result — intentional or not — is that Jindal, should he run in 2012, will be free of any taint of President George W. Bush or McCain.
Ruffini wrote a smart post back in July about the perils of being a losing VP, which I think would have held true this time for everyone except Palin. She’s so remote geographically — and politically, aside from the energy issue — that being on the ticket was her only way onto the national media’s radar. (A Senate run would have forced her to challenge a Republican incumbent.) That said, I think she’s right about this and that it’ll be a problem for her going forward, at least vis-a-vis Obama. The One’s chief rhetorical asset on the stump was that his is a new way of doing things, whether that’s true or not; Palin, by virtue of having been on the ticket this year, will by definition be spun as something retrograde in 2012, especially in light of what I said over the weekend about the economy and national security trumping culture war as key issues. Huck will be the candidate of blue-collar economic populism; Jindal will be the candidate of health care reform and, per his hurricane prep in Louisiana, emergency preparedness; Palin will be the candidate of … pro-life? Not enough to win a national election, especially if The One’s first term goes reasonably well, but on the upside she has plenty of time to develop her credentials in other areas.
Exit question: Is Mitt seriously not running? Seriously?