For the most part, two types of people become American presidents: governors and senators. As the Republican presidential primary takes its internecine tone to Louisiana, most will be focused on Governor Romney and Senator Santorum. But the fact is, there is another presidential hopeful who will carefully consider the election results. And while he will certainly support the eventual nominee, he likely knows that his own best shot at the presidency depends on that Republican losing to President Obama in November. George Will and other leading Republican strategists and pundits are becomingmore and more resigned to the likelihood of an Obama victory in November. So, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal may be right to consider an open seat 2016 presidential bid.
But if Governor Romney’s struggle to secure the nomination is any indication, then perhaps Jindal’s problem is less about timing and opportunity and more about the substance of his record. At every turn Romney has had to defend gubernatorial decisions and opinions ranging from health care to immigration and gay marriage. Indeed, Romney’s record is both his greatest asset and his greatest liability.
Were Jindal to run for president, he would similarly have to answer for past errors and present failures. Rather than hope voters ignore mistakes in the future, he may do well to correct present day problems in real time. Louisiana’s hurricane mitigation and rebuilding program has been fraught with allegations leading to a federal investigation of graft, corruption and fraud. Under Jindal’s leadership, the program has directed funds away from homeowners whose properties were destroyed by Katrina and instead fundedrenovations and elevations by people who in some cases had no storm damage at all. The program is a poster child for failure…….