|No . . . For The Last Time, You Idiots, I Am NOT Dinesh D'Souza.|
It Won't Happen!
FiveThirtyEight makes the obvious call that he should have run in 2012. Not only was the field weaker then (fewer governors) but he was stronger (his policies are not popular in his home state). After his spectacular flame-out in his State-of-the-Union rebuttal his 'rising' star moved to Make-A-Wish category. In a field where a lot of people are vying to be a voter's second choice, Jindal is hoping to clock-in as a third-choice. Really?
In every category that Jindal checks the box, someone else checks it better. Consider:
- Minority Candidate: Rubio is more popular (by far) and also a minority. So is Cruz. Carly Fiorina is a woman candidate.
- Young and Dynamic: Rubio and Cruz again--but let's throw in Walker here too.
- Really Religious: Huckabee and Carson both out-poll him. Heck, Santorum out-polls him.
- Governor: Walker, Perry, Bush.
- Policy Wonk: Rand Paul, Rubio--but is this even really a category?
Then there's his campaign, such as it is: Jindal has re-tooled his persona on the stump--going from moderate to hard-right (a strange strategy in a field with a totally crowded right) and has come out swinging hard at Jeb Bush (instead of the cluster of guys out-polling him at the bottom). He's said it's time for a Doer-Not-A-Talker: that's actually Scott Walker's wheelhouse. Is he going to hang it up when Walker formally announces?
Back in January The Onion noted that Jindal might find 'multiple weeks of campaigning' (like, maybe 2 months?) too hard on his family! Isn't this a waste of, well, everything? Time, money, talent?
On The Other Hand . . .
Jindal does have a plan of sorts: Win Iowa on conservative credentials and the Duck Dynasty endorsement and then raise money to compete in South Carolina. After that, he's for-real. He does actually have the power of the Duck behind him (he defended them during the period of media-outrage, and they have not forgotten. Ducks have long memories). In Iowa? That could actually leave a mark.
Iowa isn't the crown jewels, of course--winning Iowa doesn't guarantee a nomination (ask Santorum)--but everyone likes a come-back narrative and Jindal is a sitting governor.
The Net-Net on Jindal
Jindal also thinks he's good at the attack-strategy. He has some cred there--he's got Gingrich-level teeth in his troll-game and he plans to use 'em. This could be interesting: if he says things that are either more clever or more outrageous about other candidates he could leave a mark--and he might get funding as a "stalking horse."
A 'stalking horse' is a concealment device that hunters use--to hide behind when they snipe at their targets.
|It Looks Just Like Jindal!|
It is possible that Jindal's role will be to attack targets that are hampering whoever his preferred candidate (the first likely winner to offer him a cabinet position) is. If he is really Troll-Level 9000, this could work to keep him in the race (arguably that's what Sheldon Adelson did with Gingrich trying to force other more likely candidates in the billionaire's direction on Israel).
If Jindal can't take someone down with him though, he's going to be inconsequential. His plan to win Iowa and then launch is delusional and donors will recognize that.
But What's He Thinking??
Jindal's cred is crashing in his home-state. He's taken a big hit in the party's elite. This is basically a last gasp before he goes under. He's not going to win re-election and if he doesn't do well here . . . it's over.
But what's in his mind? Let's fire up the Omnivorous Telepathy.
Man, it's a shame Christie flamed out like that. I had a whole battery of fat-jokes ready to go: I heard Christie put on a yellow rain coat and people yelled Taxi!! Ha. I can still get Walker, though--he's so stupid I heard he bought tickets for Xbox Live! Haha--that'll slay 'em.
I'm gonna be in Iowa for like the next year or something. Does Motel 6 have a rewards program? Should check on that. Let's see . . . Ohh--I should hit Hillary. That's good for an extra three-percent in polling and a spot on Fox and Friends if this doesn't work out. How about: "Bill Clinton always said he married Mrs. Right--he just didn't know her first name was 'Always'." Heh.
I could be here all night! Gonna win this sucker.