Jindal Says No to Senate
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) has no interest in running for the Senate in 2010 against Sen. David Vitter (R), according to sources familiar with his thinking.
The "Jindal for Senate" rumor began in earnest over the weekend when John Heilemann, a reporter for New York magazine, said during an appearance on "The Chris Matthews Show" that on a recent trip to New Orleans he had picked up the rumor that the governor was thinking of abandoning his post to run for Senate.
"He's got a terrible budget situation down there, he's thrown himself into a Republican primary up in Baton Rouge that he's going to apparently get creamed in," said Heilemann. "And I think what's interesting about it is that it tells you that he's got the message that 2012 isn't his year."
Curt Anderson, a consultant to Jindal, said that a Senate bid has never been part of Jindal's calculation and dismissed the idea as rumor-mongering at its worst -- and managed a shot at Heilemann in the process.
"It's a complete fabrication and very odd journalism at best," he said. "People from New York tend to consume a lot of alcohol when they are visiting New Orleans."
The simple truth is that Jindal's interest has long been state politics. He ran (and won) a House seat only after losing his first gubernatorial bid in 2003 and was widely seen as simply biding his time in federal office before he ran for governor again in 2007.
Heilemann, we believe, is right, however, in his prediction that Jindal is an unlikely presidential candidate in 2012. Jindal has pledged to run for reelection in 2011 and, if he does so, it would be nearly impossible for him to do the campaign legwork in Iowa and New Hampshire in the heat of a reelection bid.
Jindal is also just 38 years old -- meaning that he can bide his time and wait for the right opportunity to run for president. In 2016, he will only be in his mid-40s and could well be looking at a country hungry for change after eight years of Democratic control.
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