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Jindal's Money (And Why It Matters)


Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal raised $3.5 million in 2008, a potential sign of his strength as a national candidate.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal raised better than $3 million in his first year in office, a total that far eclipses past chief executives of the Pelican State and will serve to fuel further speculation about his national ambitions.

Jindal brought in a total of $3.5 million in 2008 from more than 2,100 donors over the past year. He has $3.38 million left in the bank with more than two years remaining before he stands for reelection in 2011.

The past two governors of Louisiana raised far less than Jindal, according to a release from the state party. Gov. Mike Foster (R) collected $694,000 in 1996 while Gov. Kathleen Blanco (D) raised $1.8 million in 2004.

Jindal's fundraising "demonstrates the success of his commitment to bringing a new day to Louisiana," said state party Chairman Roger F. Villere, Jr. in a statement announcing the totals.

Jindal's 2008 cash take is all the more interesting when considering that he is not likely to face serious Democratic opposition in 2011. Not only is the state trending more toward Republicans (Sen. John McCain won it with 59 percent and Republicans won two contested House races there last November) but the Democratic bench is weak, and national Democrats are far more focused on defeating Sen. David Vitter (R) in 2010.

"Jindal is traveling all over the country to raise money for his 2011 re-election run that, at least at this early date, appears unlikely to attract any serious competitors from the Democratic Party," wrote Mark Ballard, the Baton Rouge Morning Advocate's Capitol news bureau editor.

Why does Jindal's fundraising matter in the context of 2012?

Because the first -- and highest -- bar for any potential Republican candidate to clear is to show he or she has the capacity to raise the vast sums that will almost certainly be required to run a competitive race against President Obama.

The president raised roughly $750 million during the 2008 campaign, and it's almost certain that he will raise $1 billion (and possibly MUCH more) for his 2012 re-election race.

That means that to avoid being totally swamped by Obama financially (as McCain was in 2008) the GOP nominee must demonstrate a national fundraising base that can deliver at least $500 million and probably closer to $750 million for the November 2012 election.

Does Jindal's $3.5 million take in 2008 mean that he can raise those huge sums in a few years time? No. But, it does indicate a significant level of excitement for him among donors in Louisiana and nationally, an excitement likely to increase after he gives the Republican response to Obama's Congressional address next Tuesday.

"Leading into Jindal's [State of the Union] response, these numbers show his already huge appeal to Republicans in Louisiana and nationally," said Phil Musser, a Republican consultant and former executive director of the Republican Governors Association. "They also show he's got a solid, disciplined staff in place and is committed to -- and is executing -- a strategy to organize and monetize that interest."

Jindal has played coy to date on a 2012 race, insisting that he is focused on winning re-election in 2011. We believe him. But, assuming he wins that race -- and wins it easily -- he will have to look seriously at whether or not a national bid makes sense. That decision is still a ways off (and budgetary struggles in Louisiana could complicate his glide path) but with his moves over the first few months of 2009, Jindal is putting himself in a place where he will make a decision on a presidential run from a position of strength rather than one of weakness.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 18, 2009; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2012 , Governors  
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Comments

If one listened to the Anchor Baby Governor Jindal (his mother was 4 mos. pregnant when she arrived here) one would hear how 'government' is BAD! BAD GOVERNMENT! He speaks as if he lives in India? A real class system! Pull yourself up by your bootstraps and if you fall over and die in the streets of then Bombay, so be it.

Strange mantra 'government' bad is peculiar, considering Governor Jindal is GOVERNMENT.

What has Jindal done as governor in his first 100 days? What has he done for the people of Louisiana without the Federal Funding that trickles in and GOD only knows where it is going. Remember, No ACCOUNTABILITY for that Katrina MONEY?

We should all keep our eyes on the GREATNESS of this NEW REPUBLICAN PARTY LEADER! Do we listen to him because he is a Rhodes Scholar? Are there any other scholars within the Republican Party?

Let's all watch Louisiana and the GROWTH AND PROSPERITY from his LEADERSHIP.

Let us not forget why they have not rebuilt New Orleans.
Two newly elected GOVERNMENT officials, both REPUBLICANS.

But let us not forget another key word he and the Republicans love to despise, HOLLYWOOD.
Hmm....it seems it took someone from Hollywood to BUILD HOMES and bring DEMOCRATS back to NEW ORLEANS! Thanks Brad Pitt!

Posted by: sasha2008 | February 25, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Have to disagree with your last paragraph. Jindal cannot run for Governor in 2011 and turn around and run for President in 2012. The first presidential contest is in January 2012, just two months after his gubernatorial election. He's going to have to do one or the other.

Posted by: mdk2 | February 23, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

It is disappointing that the media failed to point to Jindal's hypocrasy in continuously pandering for additional Katrina dollars but suddenly feigning concern over deficits. Perhaps, accountability regarding spending is the primary impetus to GOP acceptance of stimulus money. He, along with the rest of those spewing inaccuracies, need to check the 2008 exit polls. The demographic the GOP so far has failed to acknowledge the loss of is the EDUCATED!

Posted by: xclntcat | February 23, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Watching Louisiana Governor Jindal dig himself into a deep ideological hole was an unexpected surprise. Give that man an extra shovel.

Posted by: maxfli68 | February 22, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

George W. Bush will be remembered as the most inept and worse president in American history as well as the last Republican elected president of the United States.

Mr. Jindal will never be any more than he is presently, he does not posess any skills for greatness.

Posted by: jigsawjo | February 21, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Chris, Your still an idiot. What do you know about Louisiana? NOTHING. Gov. J. will not run for President in 2012. So stop your worrying. One thing I will tell you is that there will come a time that you will say to yourself that Obama was the straw the broke the camel's back. You will see some day. Oh by the way, I am 100% CAJUN and yeah I am from Louisiana. Put your head back in the sand Chris. You could never write for a REAL newspaper. Your done.

Posted by: poptoy1949 | February 20, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Posters, take heed of orlandus, turtlelovenurse and jdm58. Jindal has shown Louisianians absolutely nada so far except for hiring a bunch of aides with 6figure salaries (when mean wages in Louisiana are around 32K), watering down secondary education by promoting the teaching of creationism and spending time and money campaigning all over US while Louisiana is stuck at the top of the bad list and the bottom of the good list in every state-of-the-state category.

Posted by: rawreid | February 19, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

WAIT....THIS JUST IN.

MICHAEL STEELE JUST ANNOUNCED THAT THE RNC WILL TURN IT'S ATTENTION TO HIP HOP!

WTF...HAHAHAHAHAHA

THIS IS A MUST SEE...I WANT TO BE THE FIRST TO BUY TICKETS TO THIS FIASCO.

CAN YOU IMAGING COUNTRY FOLKS AND HIP HOP FOLKS HOLDING A HO DOWN?

HOW WILL MRS. STEELE CONNECT THE DOTS ON THIS ONE?

DAVID DUKE AND CLAN...MIXING WITH LIL WAYNE...LMAO.

MY PREDICTION ON THIS ONE IS STEELE IS SPLITTING THE RNC IN HALF...

TRY THIS, IF YOU HAVE DOUBTS. TAKE A GLASS OF WATER THEN POUR PEPPER INTO THE WATER.

THIS IS THE SALT AND PEPPER TEST. SEE HOW FAR THE PEPPER SPLITS FROM THE SALT.

YOU CAN'T MIX REDNECKS WITH THE HIP HOP CULTURE. IT JUST WONT WORK...JUST TO MUCH HATRED BETWEEN THESE TWO GROUPS.

IF STEELE PULLS THIS OFF...HE WILL BECOME THE NEW MESSIAH. REDNECKS ARE JUST DOWN RIGHT HATEFUL PEOPLE!

Posted by: opp88 | February 19, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: hiberniantears | February 19, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Drindl –

Under your progressive economic plans and “funding” why do we even need to have taxes at all. Why don’t we just print money for ALL of our wants The laws of economics are immutable - they function whether we want them to or not, and are independent of the pretension of legislators. They will not be mocked, nor will they, even when confronted by all the HOPE in the world, be CHANGED.

Posted by: leapin | February 19, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

It is amazing that this Governor publicly states he does NOT want to accept money from the stimulus package, when his state is still suffering from the after-math of Hurricane Katrina. Just who are his constituents? If I lived in the lower 9th ward, or anywhere in New Orleans still waiting for help cleaning up for that matter, I would be picketing to vote him out of there! How quickly we forget...

Posted by: jdm58 | February 19, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

If you wanna know about the guy you are thinging about marrying, a start is to ask a neighbor. I am a neigbor! It is stunning how insightful these comments are from readers in the next town! This is a joke hope it went over well.

All of these comments are bits of truths that add up to the sum total of the truth! Bobby is a young govenor, look at the people he surrounds himself with, they are old money in Louisiana, not diverse, non minority and OLD IDEAS and Politics! He is louisiana politics as usual and you can't put "Lipstick on an Pig". He is not a progressive think tanks, or post 20st century.

Jindal's first executive decision did not demonstrate fiscal conservative values. It was a pay to play scheme. He told the legislators, if you give me what I want, I will give you what you want! It back fired, they wanted raise their pay from 13k a year to 50k a year. The state citizens, bipartism, was outraged and threaten impeachment. He promised he would not support the raise but he would not veto it either. What a jerk! This time He was not working in Bush or Fosters admininstation, it was his so he couldn't hide on that one. He had to come back to face the public with the "deer caught in headlights look".

Bobby has done nothing to improve the lives and visibility of Louisiana residents so far, but it has only been a year. He is laying very low and observing and studying Obama. He is going to Iowa and having TownHall meetings and telling folky stories like how he had to deliver one of his baby's. Not funny!

Like Palin, Gustav allowed him to come out and hog the camara's on plans that Blanco learned and put in place after Katrina. Bobby has values from India and he is a fast talker that says the same thing each speech. Fiscal Responsibility is his platform. That's his story and he is speaking to it!

Posted by: turtlelovenurse | February 19, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Ah Louisiana, give the republicants another knife to plunge into your neck.

Posted by: orlandus81 | February 19, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Odd, I am not certain if the GOP has decided what it wants to be when it grows up. The abortion issue and taxes seem to be the two issues that have remained somewhat consistent over the years.I really think Palin is the weakest national candidate I have ever seen, pity. If the GOP wants to push the female candidate issue,I still say there are better choices, but alas, I care not. Jindal dodged impeachment in his state because he saw the cowards way out was not fairing well. Once the GOP decides what it wants to be, a mandate, then I will look seriously at Jindal, Chris (Fl),and (ugh)Palin. Right now, I am just happy that Alaska is still stuck with her and not the lower 48. Think I'll give it until this time next year, then look out.

Posted by: sinya | February 18, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Unlikely that Gov. Piyush Jindal can match the amazing levels of support recently seen in O-Nation (on a 1-10 scale):

Hillarians (0.9)
Biden (3.8)
Rahm (6.3)
O's mother in law (7)
Axelrod (8)
Gibbs (8)
Oprah (9.39)
Sen. McCaskill (9.4)
Mrs. O (10)
__________Line of rationality

The lady from Brazil who plans to tattoo a fullbody image of BHO on herself for a parade (12)
NYT columnist Judith Warner and her girlfriends (18, serious red zone/summon security)(for offering our 44th President the gift of something very personal that we VERY MUCH doubt BHO asked for, or wants)

Can Jindal match that intensity of support?

Posted by: broadwayjoe | February 18, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

"The mad ape in CT will have a chance in 2012 after the Great Obama Depression."

Is that who the republican party is thinking of running? Par for the course.

Must correct your revisionist history. Since this Depression offically started last year, that would make it the Great Bush Depression.

Posted by: drindl | February 18, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

plathman writes
"it's hard to know what the most important issues will be for the 2012 election and therefore also hard to evaluate jindal as a potential candidate this far out."


That's certainly true. In 2005 few people were pointing to the economy as a critical issue in the 2008 election.

I will repost what I wrote on the Palin thread: both Palin & Jindal are probably too young and inexperienced to offer a plausible alternative of Obama stumbles before 2012. The voters will be looking for gravitas both of them lack. If Obama does not stumble & instead puts the economy back on track, its not likely 2012 will be a good opportunity for the GOP to retake the White House.

Posted by: bsimon1 | February 18, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

"Chris once again i will tell you that Jindal ZERO, Noda, chance against President Obama in 2012. Jindal would be better to run in 2016"

The mad ape in CT will have a chance in 2012 after the Great Obama Depression.

Posted by: leapin | February 18, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

it's silly to talk about jindal in 2012 right now.

it's not so much that there's not enthusiasm or that there's a case to be made that he's positioning himself for a run. his being chosen to give the republican rebuttal to obama's address to congress almost certainly will burnish that image of candidate-in-waiting.

but, it's hard to see jindal having an argument if obama jump starts the economy. if the war in afghanistan is the most important issue 2-3 years from now, what would jindal's argument be? he hasn't taken serious positions on the war or criticized its conduct. it's hard to know what the most important issues will be for the 2012 election and therefore also hard to evaluate jindal as a potential candidate this far out.

maybe he could run on a platform of his story like obama, but would it work for his base? are evangelicals going to be enthralled with his conversion to catholicism even (or especially) after his introduction to christianity was through an evangelical branch that didn't speak to him?

maybe, as chris points out, all that matters is that he has the money to play ball.

Posted by: plathman | February 18, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Gov. Piyush Jindal's fundraising in LA doesn't matter with regard to 2012.

His extremist act, which includes, as we understand it, exorcism and support for mutilation of convicts, will not play outside the Bayou and the Deep South. Even Mrs. Todd Phalin would be a stronger GOP candidate.

Further the same GOP base that is comparing our President to a chimpanzee (see articles about today's NY Post racist cartoon) and distributing anti-black and anti-Hispanic CDs to RNC members (see Saltsman articles) is not going to support a brown guy named Piyush (remember one of Mac's and Hillary's "winning" arguments against O was that his middle name was Hussein).

Jindal needs to worry about his own state's support given his threat not to accept stimulus money and his questionable handling of Katrina funds.

Jindal is a non-story.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | February 18, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Jindal really has much of a chance on many different levels.

http://open.salon.com/content.php?cid=116637

Posted by: sjxylib | February 18, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

By the time Republicans have purified themselves of anyone but the hardest core government and tax haters, It won't mater who there candidate is. A generation knows them as the party of Fear, Hatred and Division. Not a good brand when everyone else is working together to fix the mess they made.trying to d

Posted by: thebobbob | February 18, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Someone needs to ask how much of Jindal's money comes (illegally) from India. There are pleny of reports floating round that at least half of his campaign contributions are laundered money from Indian corporate and, even, government sources.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | February 18, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

That's funny, Mark... thanks for the info. I like graham's comment the most -- 'let's not get crazy here...'

What I find weirdest is that some of them were slamming the bill [and voting against it] and then exactly one day later touring the state and touting it, like the day before never even happened. it's that amnesia I was talking about earlier....

Posted by: drindl | February 18, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Jindal appears to be both competent and honest, making him the most exceptional of LA guvs. I hope he succeeds in LA. I do not think his fundraising means he is the R nominee for 2012 - I agree with bsimon.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 18, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

drindl, you will love this [assuming my understanding is current and correct]. I think the final draft as signed allowed governors to turn down the funding only to have it offered directly to the state leges 30 days later. Thus Jindal and Goodhair can say "no" knowing their leges will say "yes, please, yes".

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 18, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Louisiana is facing a $2 billion budget shortfall and is being hit hard by unemployment. Jindal said over the weekend he might not accept federal stimulus money for idealogical reasons. Will he gain support for his idealogical purity, or lose it for not helping the people of his state when they are suffering? Well, at least he's consistent, unlike:

– Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), who complained that the “federal government is spending money they don’t have,” told Rachel Maddow he would nevertheless accept funds for Minnesota: “Our view is, if you buy the pizza, it’s OK if you have a slice.”

– Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who also campaigned ardently against the bill, said he would nevertheless gladly accept its funds for his state. “You don’t want to be crazy here,” he said.

– Rep. John Mica (R-FL) gushed over the bill, which he, too, voted against. “I applaud President Obama’s recognition that high-speed rail should be part of America’s future,” he said in a press release.

– Rep. Don Young (R-AK) boasted that he “won a victory for…Alaska small business owners” in the recovery bill he refused to vote for.

Posted by: drindl | February 18, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Nevadaandy said:
"Jindal may be the Republicans best hope to win back the White House. He is a young fresh face, and like Obama a minority candidate. Unlike Palin he doesn't come over as overly conservative."

I love how the Republicans tried to berate Barack Obama throughout his entire presidential campaign (and still to this day amazingly), saying he was inexperienced and hadn't accomplished anything (which wasn't true). Now, we have a guy who has only been in office for a little more than a year, and his name has come across the tongues of nearly every Republican in the country. They call Obama "the messiah", yet they treat this guy like a real "messiah". They even like to mention that...you know...Jindal is a MINORITY! What a novel concept to actually acknowledge that there are non-white citizens in the country that can be presidential candidates. Some folks have even said that he will be elected POTUS someday like its fate or destiny. What's next...the Republicans talking to African-Americans like real people and not test lab guinea pigs? I guess since the Republicans have run out of ideas, they have resorted to "me too" identity politics as well. Raising millions of dollars isn't going to hide that, and Jindal's lack of accomplishments other than hopping from one political office to another just doesn't impress me.

Posted by: profyle424 | February 18, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Considering the quantities of Kool-Aid being consumed in Republican circles, I'm buying stock in it.

His average donation was $1,609.52. Not what I call small money donors. My question: how much money did Obama pull out of Louisiana during the election? Including the small amounts that aren't disclosed by donor? Unless things just go horrible, Obama will run unopposed in the 2012 Democratic primary. It will be like Clinton in 1996. Every dollar he raises in the primaries he can use to either 1) beat up the Republicans who have to spend their money beating up each other and/or 2) build a get out the vote network to keep his reddish states. Until the Republicans can figure out how to raise money roughly 50/50 (big donor/small donor), they can ignore their candidate's fund raising ability in picking someone.

Posted by: caribis | February 18, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

mattadams writes
"Jindal ZERO, Noda, chance against President Obama in 2012. Jindal would be better to run in 2016"

If Jindal is as smart as people claim, he is positioning himself as the obvious VP choice for 2012. He's young enough that he doesn't have to enter what will surely be a crowded field & risk tarnishing his reputation in a difficult year.

Posted by: bsimon1 | February 18, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Chris, I agree with your thoughts.

As with this past election, we saw candidates coming out much earlier than in previous elections. As we know long campaigns like long wars are very costly.

What Pres Obama said earlier that if the Stimulus Plan backfires, then he might not get re-elected the next time. The key to his raising a billion relies on his ability to hang onto his army of supporters and if his strategies for getting us out of the economic mess is right, and how he handles the two wars.

Jindal may be the Republicans best hope to win back the White House. He is a young fresh face, and like Obama a minority candidate. Unlike Palin he doesn't come over as overly conservative. If he can turn Louisiana around in his first term of office he certainly will win the nomination over Palin who would rather focus her efforts on maintaining her national exposure than showing she can lead a state through tough economic challenges.

Posted by: Nevadaandy | February 18, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Chris once again i will tell you that Jindal ZERO, Noda, chance against President Obama in 2012. Jindal would be better to run in 2016

Posted by: mattadamsdietmanager1014 | February 18, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

When Mitt Romney can write a check for 20 million to his campaign any time he wants s3.5 million isn't squat in my eyes.

Tell me when he has 30 million in the bank.

Posted by: AndyR3 | February 18, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

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