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Jindal Says No to Senate

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will not be running for Senate in 2010. AP Photo/The Advocate, Bill Feig

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.

By Chris Cillizza  |  April 13, 2009; 11:40 AM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Is this news? Well, everything is relative.

Posted by: newbeeboy | April 13, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Jindal should worry about getting reelected in 2011, IMO. As CC pointed out he has a terrible deficit problem at the same time he is turning down money from the stimulus bill. If the economy turns around in two years (which is very possible) then Jindal may be facing a serious Democratic challenge who will use his lack of support for the stimulus bill as a club against him.

Posted by: AndyR3 | April 13, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

In my view, JIndal is not going to be a 2012 Presidential candidate nor a 2010 Senate candidate. With Tony Perkins out in 2010, it looks like David Vitter is in great shape. Jay Dardene is looking at the race, but my guess is that Dardene will pass on the race and not run against Vitter. With some new polls recently coming out showing Vitter at about 50% against any democrat he's put against and the fundraising he's been doing...including having Bobby Jindal speaking at his fundraiser...he's in good shape. It looks like Vitter's only primary may be against Stormy Daniels, the porn star. Vitter is sitting in a great spot for 2010. For Jindal, he to is in a great spot. Jindal should spend his time governing La., trying to get them out of the budget crunch their in, promote strong socially conservative policies & win reelection in 2011. At Jindal's age, he don't gotta try for it all here in 2012. Jindal should try to fix La. and make them financially solvent and win reelection in 2012. Then, to buy time, run for senate in 2014 against Mary Landrieu and that could give him alot of time beyond 2012 to build a resume to run for President on. I believe 2012 is going to be a showdown between SC gov. Mark Sanford vs. Utah Gov. John Huntsman Jr. Moderate vs. conservative. Mark Sanford is positioning himself as the front-runner. There are a few X factors, however: Mitt Romney, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, Minn. Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Posted by: reason5 | April 13, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Enough people will have remember his pathetic speech after President Obama's address that he blew his chances for anything but being a LA politician.

Posted by: ILDem | April 13, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

"Heilemann, we believe, is right, however, in his prediction that Jindal is an unlikely presidential candidate in 2012."

That would be the smart move for Jindal - stay out of the 2012 race, and establish credentials of competence in preparation for 2016 and beyond.

Posted by: bsimon1 | April 13, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

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