Hey, do you remember back last year when everyone was talking about the Governor of Louisiana as a likely POTUS contender, if not a favorite to be an early frontrunner? Yeah… whatever happened to that guy?
Well, it turns out that he’s still out there and has set himself up with a brand new exploratory committee.
Bobby Jindal announced Monday that he’s forming a presidential exploratory committee for a potential run for the 2016 Republican nomination.
The Louisiana governor, a fierce social conservative who has been active in the early nominating states, will make a decision after the state’s legislative session ends on June 11.
“For some time now, my wife Supriya and I have been thinking and praying about whether to run for the presidency of our great nation. We’ll make a final decision in June,” Jindal said in a statement sent to reporters.
This wouldn’t be at all surprising if we weren’t three weeks into the merry old month of May already. The nascent race was essentially stalled in a cloud of maybe and wannabe all last winter and into the early spring, but when Ted Cruz picked up the starting gun and fired it, things rolled into high gear pretty quickly. There are a few numbers we can look at to see just where Jindal is starting from if he’s really getting into this horse race, but none of them are stellar.
In the RCP Poll average Jindal doesn’t register more than 1% support (when he shows up at all) except for a single CNN/ORC survey where he managed twice that. Back at the end of March he had begun placing his first two hires for Iowa (primarily his own staff from Louisiana, not national campaign trail politicos) and his Believe Again PAC was up and running, but wasn’t breaking any major news headlines for fundraising totals.
It’s true that Jindal had announced early on that he wouldn’t be making a decision about running until June when the Louisiana legislature was finished with their work, but he must have taken a fresh look at the question since he said that in March. As more and more nationally known names were jumping into the race there were resources that were drying up quickly. Major donors were being courted, with some of them essentially swearing allegiance to the early favorites. (At least until they eventually drop out, anyway.) Also, the seasoned campaign staffers who are qualified and available for an undertaking as massive as a fifty state effort are limited in number. We’ve seen some promising outsiders in the past who have tried to do it all their own way with their trusted friends from home and it generally doesn’t end well.
June may turn out to be too long to wait. If all of the big fish are already in the pool by then, along with some surprising upstarts, the size of a splash Jindal can make with his announcement will be greatly reduced. He may surprise me, but it just doesn’t look like there’s a significant segment of the public standing off to the side and raising their lonely eyes for the arrival of the Louisiana Governor.