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Jindal Dodges Potential Veepstakes Pitfall

One of the most fascinating elements of the quadrennial Veepstakes is its changeability. Even as the presidential candidate weighs his potential options, the politicians being considered are mixed up in the nitty-gritty of their day jobs -- often veering into dangerous territory that could ultimately jeopardize their chances at being picked.

VP Watch

Gov. Bobby Jindal (La.), who is the hot veep pick in some national Republican circles, found that out the hard way over the last few weeks.

Elected in 2007 on a reform platform, Jindal has had considerable success moving that agenda -- centered on a more open state government (more disclosure, less revolving door lobbying) -- through the legislature.

But Jindal had largely stayed out of perhaps the most contentious fight of the session -- a proposal to increase pay for state legislators from $16,800 to $37,500.

Despite pledging on the campaign trail to prohibit such a move by the legislature, Jindal said this year that he would not interfere in the matter and would not veto a bill passed by the body to increase its own pay.

That pledge backed Jindal into a corner. He had used the goodwill of the state legislature to move through a series of reforms, but his hands-off approach to this decidedly controversial issue threatened to overshadow the progress toward reform he had already made.

Bobby Jindal
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (AP file photo)

As importantly, it threatened to tarnish the "golden boy" image he currently enjoys in the national press. Jindal is touted by many national Republican observers as the next Barack Obama -- a young politician with an unconventional background who will put a new face on the Grand Old Party. To be seen as going along to get along politician would have struck a major blow to this building national reputation.

As Adam Nossiter of the New York Times wrote in the first paragraph of his story on Jindal's conundrum: "The reformist image of Gov. Bobby Jindal, considered by Republicans a top potential vice-presidential choice, has recently taken a beating after Mr. Jindal refused to veto a sizable pay increase that Louisiana legislators voted for themselves this month."

Faced with an unappealing choice, Jindal reversed himself yesterday -- announcing at a press conference that he was vetoing the pay raise bill due to its detrimental effect on his attempts at reform in the state.

"I clearly made a mistake by telling the legislature that I would allow them to handle their own affairs," said Jindal. "As with all mistakes, you can either correct them or compound them -- I am choosing to correct my mistake now."

Curt Anderson, a national media consultant and Jindal adviser, said that the governor "did something that's not in the political playbook -- he admitted a mistake and corrected it -- and he didn't try to hide any of it or pretend it was the plan all along."

Democrats were less kind in their assessment of Jindal's reversal. "It was one of the worst political miscalculations I have ever seen," said Wooten Johnson, a Democratic consultant based in Louisiana. "It was either sheer stupidity or arrogance."

While Anderson insisted that Jindal's decision had absolutely nothing to do with national politics and the veepstakes, the veto likely preserved Jindal's chances at being named John McCain's running-mate.

Reform is the coin of the realm in a general election where both McCain and Barack Obama are seeking to cast themselves as the true agent and the candidate best able to shake up the status quo. Jindal 's clean government profile is a natural fit for McCain if the GOP candidate wants to double down on pushing the image of reform in the fall.

With the veto, Jindal can still stand on the moral high ground as someone committed to changing the system rather than going along with old order. But for those devoted to seeing Jindal on a national ticket either in 2008 or beyond, the recent pay raise fight should serve as a wake-up call about the in-state dangers that could derail his bright future.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 1, 2008; 4:12 PM ET
Categories:  Veepstakes  
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Next: The Case for Mitt Romney

Comments

Jindal is a great choice for Mccain as VP. I have been watching the paying close attention to the liberals opinion of Jindal as VP....and I must say....he is the one pick all democrats are fearing the most. Jindal would expose the two line resume of Obama and minimize the historical factor that has propelled a smooth talker as something more then he really is. Jindal is truelly the historical factore with substance.

Posted by: richard | July 13, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse


i don't know why the media is still talking about Bob J. He was never going to be picked...Obama's people would have had a field day because he is one year over the qualification to become president-talk about new and inexperience...because I have never heard of him until 4 months ago. If you live in the same state as your governor then you have to know him, does not mean the rest of the world does....and the media would bring in his "Race" as an issue while they wave the American flag and a question mark behind him to see if he is working for us or the other side of the world...get the picture...when McCain picks a VP it is more important than Obama's because NO# 1. His age...he could have another cancer attack in a year or worse...what's left is the VP on his side and then it is down the line from there... not a smart choice because a vote for McCain is really a vote for his VP.

Posted by: anne | July 11, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Lousiana... The State of Lousiana, isn't the State of Lousiana ranked # LAST in every category? Politics has NOT been a serious issue in Lousiana for how many decades? Was it ever? State Legislators making less than 17K/yearly, NO WONDER! That's volunteer pay! Giving State Legislators pay raises gives officials a sense of responsibility and accountabilty, not to mention, what is the average State Legistlator's Pay across the 50 States?

http://www.empirecenter.org/html/legislative_salaries.cfm

Take a look at Illinois, New York, and California. Also, Many State's have a Daily Pay, you'll have to do some multiplication.

Bobby is taking a State from the Dark Ages to the Golden Ages and that takes good politicians. With more pay, you have more accountability, responsiblity, and best yet, PERFORMANCE...

Posted by: Thinking | July 4, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

This is the idiot who said "Intelligent Design is the very best in science."

Smart & upcoming? Puhleaze. Fascists.

Posted by: I_HATE_REPUBS | July 3, 2008 1:57 AM | Report abuse

Chris, you have succeded in writing a bunch of crap! No wonder wapo is at the bottom.

Trying to polish the image of a man who is not principled enough to maintin his position and had to changed for the sole purpose of maintaining his job.

Posted by: Dew5050 | July 2, 2008 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Any idiot who thinks that Bobby Jindel is anything but real is not very well read. This guy accomplished more in his 20's then most people do in their entire life. I can say this because I was there and would still be there if Katrina had not happened. I would love to see him as VP, but he is to young and unfortunately for him, other people would make it a problem. However, he is a financial wizard. He would scare the pants off the democrats and a lot of the republicans. He truly practices what he preaches.
You go Bobby. I'll see you in the White House in my lifetime. The world is going to have to stand up and take notice of you now. Louisiana would miss you and you would miss them, but think of all of the good you could do for this country's economy.

Posted by: Rose Colored Glasses | July 2, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Any idiot who thinks that Bobby Jindel is anything but real is not very well read. This guy accomplished more in his 20's then most people do in their entire life. I can say this because I was there and would still be there if Katrina had not happened. I would love to see him as VP, but he is to young and unfortunately for him, other people would make it a problem. However, he is a financial wizard. He would scare the pants off the democrats and a lot of the republicans. He truly practices what he preaches.
You go Bobby. I'll see you in the White House in my lifetime. The world is going to have to stand up and take notice of you now. Louisiana would miss you and you would miss them, but think of all of the good you could do for this country's economy.

Posted by: Rose Colored Glasses | July 2, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Jindal is not being seriously considered for VP. He is too young and inexperienced. Everyone know this -- but some days writers and reporters just need something to do.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Jindal is not being seriously considered for VP. He is too young and inexperienced. Everyone know this -- but some days writers and reporters just need something to do.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

"and Jindal is so much better than his LA predecessors that he will be forgiven his impurity in LA by the voters and by Rs, generally"

If that is what you believe can you please rid mother earth of your defective gene pool!?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I happen to be unfortunate enough to live where Jindal is Governor. In regard to his inexperience, you always leave out he was also a US Congressman too. He is being lambasted for flipflopping on vetoing the double pay raise, but he had no choice but to VETO it. The whole state was up in arms, calling for a recount. He was being held hostage that either he votes for it, or the state legislators will block all his proposals. Every state representative in the parish (county) I live, has all sorts of other 'incomes' in their portfolios. Mainly do to using their office as a cash cow. I'm soon going to start a .ORG and for free, list all the investment companies, real estate companies, and construction companies, etc., these state employees have as their side jobs. Let the public know who all the crooks are, and why they don't recuse themselves from voting on issues where there's conflict of interest involved. We recently lost our local representative to a RICO conviction, and his replacement has real estate offices and he's an appraiser, besides sitting on the board of a large local bank. So you might ask, why did he take a $16,000 a year job? Because we have the best politicians money can buy, the gang that can't shoot straight! I applaud Jindal for whatever reasons he had for this travesty raise, that was enacted on the last day in session (last Friday) and was to take effect yesterday. I also applaud him for taking a nationally unpopular stance of chemical castration, for child rapists. This guy is a Rhodes scholar and I welcome his youth and his breath of fresh air. Just back in the early 90's, David Duke ran in the Republican party for Governor. Somewhere in this state are lunatic racists who voted for him, a lot of them!

Posted by: Sean | July 2, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I must commend James analysis of the La. pay raise. I agree that's a ludicrious salary for the actual work & days put into it.

Jindal is a great up & coming Republican star. However, I'm not certain a vice-presidential run right now would be best for him. He has a bright future. His 1st term as governor lasts until 2011 & if he wins re-election then, he could be La's. governor until 2015. He's been a US congressman, but after being a governor it's doubtful he would want to return to the legislative branch. Maybe a US senate seat, but I doubt it. If he keeps his title as a reformer for years, he will really make a great case for the Presidency. Although, it would be very cool to be the US VP under Dick Cheney's defination of the office. That's the one to have!

Posted by: reason | July 2, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

" - - is touted by many national Republican observers as the next Barack Obama" ??!!
MUCH AS I ADMIRE HIM FOR ALL HIS ACHIEVEMENTS, HE IS NO OBAMA ! JUST DOESN'T HAVE THE CHARM or CHARISMA - -

Posted by: Hussien for America | July 2, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Please McCain, pick Jindal!

Picking Jindal as VP would give McCain a political media story for history but he would lose the general election in a landslide.

First and foremost, stop calling him "Bobby" Jindal. His name is Piyush Jindal. Bobby is just a name he adopted to himself because he loved to watch the TV show, The Brady Bunch.

Jindal's presence on the McCain ticket would negate any crap that could come out of the Republican Party or Republican-leaning 527 groups on topics like Obama's lack of experience, lack of patriotism, and racism.

Jindal is significantly younger than Obama with no meaningful national experience. He has only been in the governor's job for 5 months. Jindal was born in Louisiana to parents who came to America as graduate students (hmmm...not American citizens). Jindal was a Hindu who converted to Catholicism in high school and is reported to have witnessed "demon spirit possession" in college.


Experienced Republican Politicians in the McCain campaign are only throwing Jindal's name around to keep the media interested in McCain. Most Americans have no clue about Piyush Jindal's history or beliefs.

Yeah, Republicans and Republican-leaning independents are going to vote for a Republican ticket that has a "sometimes confused maverick" 71-year old and a 37-year old Indian-American. {MAJOR SARCASM!}

I could see many in the Republican base not voting in the general election with a McCain/Jindal ticket.

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | July 2, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Oh God once again WAPO Fizzle Chris has
proven that WAPO employs total retards and
complete incompetent fools,on it's staff
Since had Fizzle Chris done even just a
little bit of honest research about this
Republican Screw Up Gov Bobby Jindal,the
GOP Version of Foul Up Barack Hussein Obama
then Chris the Fizzle would have learned
that Jindal is becoming absolutely hated
already in Louisiana and not seen as the
wonderful McCain VEEP that only village
idiots like Chris see Jindal as now then.
Hey Mr Drizzle You Fizzle Chris go real
the New Orleans Newspaper about Jindal
will you and then come back and correct
your phony baloney shill job BS or go pick
up your final paycheck you loser.

Posted by: Ralphinphnx | July 2, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Also, the recall was a longshot given that a lot of signatures were needed to even force the vote. Also, Jindal won over 50% of the vote despite facing a large number of opponents.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 2, 2008 5:27 AM | Report abuse

Just so we all are clear. Jindal had promised not to allow in-term pay raises during his campaign for Governor. When he decided to stay out of the issue, it was a flip-flop, lie, change of heart, educated change of mind or whatever you want to call it.

When the pay raised was passed, a recall petition was filed. If a certain number of signatures was reached, then there would be a recall election. (50% needed to kick him out)

Only after he vetoed the pay raise, the petition was dropped.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 2, 2008 5:24 AM | Report abuse

So the reform position is to keep the salaries of legislators so low that they will continue to set the standards for crooked government that Louisiana is known for? Okay, that makes sense.

Posted by: Optimyst | July 1, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Bobby Jindal has shown his integrity and honesty. He would be a great a Vice Presidential pick by McCain, and he runs circles around Obama in every aspect.

Posted by: MO | July 1, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

So Jindal does the right thing and the dumicrat consultant says its bad. I guess that's because the dumicrat consultant is one of those good ol Loosiana corruptions with his hands in the taxpayer pockets.

And Cileaza states he reversed his position. I know this is supposed to be an edgy hip column and snarky and all, but it's really just a dumicrat shill. Maybe Jindal flip flopped but it's a flop that needed to be flipped.

Ever notice that when Jindal and McCain flip flop it's for the people and when Dumicrats flip flop like Obama with the campaign funds, it's for themselves? And whose greedy?

Posted by: bandmom | July 1, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Why Scrivener (ID below) is raising the "Gang Stalking/Community Stalking" issue:

WARANTLESS WIRETAPPING IS THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG...

CITIZENS (INCLUDING JOURNALISTS) ARE BEING UNJUSTLY TARGETED AND SCAPEGOATED.

IT'S "ORGANIZED VIGILANTE STALKING" (A/K/A "GANG STALKING"/"COMMUNITY STALKING")

AND IT'S HAPPENING ALL OVER AMERICA.

Why hasn't the mainstream media "connected the dots"? As an earlier post noted in the first entry on this blog, the warantless wiretapping began BEFORE 9/11. It's just part of a frightening mosaic that already has nullified the rule of law and the constitutional right of due process under the law.

People are being targeted for ruin -- financially, socially and physically -- by an organized campaign of vigilantism that some victims believe is funded and supported my multiple levels of government. The phenomenon, which has yet to break through to the mainstream media, is commonly known as "gang stalking" and "community stalking." But that nomenclature tends to trivialize the issue. This is a re-emergence of the KKK, the Stazi and the Gestapo. It is mob rule seemingly coordinated and condoned by rogue elements within the power structure.

This link explains it, and contains sublinks to additional information:


http://citizensoulpower.wordpress.com/2007/09/21

Those who raise this issue find that their computer connections are subject to frequent interruption and tampering. Their ability to freely communicate and is severely circumscribed. Their careers are ruined, their reputations are slandered, and their physical well-being is placed in serious jeopardy. The link explains how this is done.

http://citizensoulpower.wordpress.com/2007/09/21

I am a former investigative/business reporter/producer for major newspapers and TV stations. And I have been a victim of organized gang stalking for more than four years. I have contacted media outlets, but I find that there is a concerted effort to destroy my credibility. My name is Victor Livingston and my telephone number is (215) 295-0852. My email is erratic and I can't rely on its veracity. If you are a fellow journalist, please investigate this in your own community; odds are, it's going on in your own backyard. I have tried to seek redress through "the system," so far to no avail.

If you know Sy Hersh, please send him this post.

Posted by: scrivener | July 1, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

"With the veto, Jindal can still stand on the moral high ground as someone committed to changing the system rather than going along with old order."

I don't really get this--why could his change of heart not have gone like this: "I realize I pledged to veto pay raises, but really people, you do get what you pay for and I am asking MORE of state legislators (and hopefully getting it) and so I think they deserve more from us. So, as a good faith gesture, I am asking the legislature to reduce the proposed raise by 50% and I am asking you, the voters, to go along with it as good policy."

The world won't spin off its axis, everyone gets something, and if he does not get the VP nod he has not burned his bridges with every legislator from both parties. That would be leadership.

Posted by: Clio1 | July 1, 2008 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Louisanna's legislature is like many, a part-time legislature. They must meet for at least 60 days in even years and 45 days in odd years (maximums of 85 and 60 total respectively). So that's 290 days max and they'll be paid $67,200 for it (keeping in mind the maximum is straight calendar days so you're talking a maximum of 3 months a year, tops). Now the median family income in Lousiana is $38,671 (about $9,000 short of national). So you're telling me that getting paid $30,000 more than the average family makes for a comparable amount of time worked isn't enough? They also have their district accounts that pay for part-time staffers. In other words, this whole article is much ado about nothing.

Jindal can be blamed by the press either way-- he fails to live up to "reform" or he fails to "work together" with the legislature. The reality is that there is a give and take in any working relationship, especially a legislative-to-governor one.

Jindal is a smart man with a bright future. Playing the game of scrutinizing every single angle is such a new trait in the media and in the political scene that it is virtually unparreleled. No one cared much about Roger Clinton's drug dealing when Clinton ran for President and when he was considered as a veep in 88, but now that the press has nothing better to do.....we get little things like this.

Bigger picture-- What's Jindal bring to the table?

Posted by: James | July 1, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Oh Chris, Chris, Chris. You should thank the Lord that the suits at the Washington Post don't read your articles. If they did, you would have been fired a long time ago.

If all you political wizzards are correct then your thinking goes like this:

1. Old man McCain will be 72 if elected President and he has a history of all sorts of medical problems.

2. The public is aware of his medical history and how old and frail he appears to be especially in the evenings when his thought process seems to slow down.

3. The public is aware his choice for VP will be most important especially with the strong possibility that the VP will become President as McCain does not finish his first and only term.

4. So the political wizzards like Chris select for McCain a VP who is a first term southern governor of Indian background with less than two years of government experience and looks like he should be carded before being served in a bar.

5. This is not what the voter is looking for as a potential McCain replacement.

Jindal is not a serious candidate for VP. We know it. Why don't you know it Chris? Stop playing with us and try to get serious.

Posted by: Get Serious | July 1, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Ugh. I hate this kind of BS. One of the reasons that the New Orleans Police Department has historically been one of the most corrupt in the nation is because the officer's pay has been shockingly low.

Give the legislators their damn raise. If the people don't like it, they can vote them out.

Posted by: Doug in NYC | July 1, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

I don't think so. If republicans want to
attract moderate democrats esp women they should not choose Jindal.

Posted by: JohnAdams1 | July 1, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

As a Louisiana resident, I have to say your analysis is a bit superficial, Chris. Jindal flip-flopped due to a nascent recall effort and voter anger, which you entirely neglected to mention. There was also the fact that he was first trying to protect his whack-job fundamentalist agenda (school vouchers and creationism) and then, once he got it passed, he could reverse himself at no cost. See this post for more details: http://www.degenerate.com/archives/000193.html

Posted by: Matter | July 1, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

Greetings from the Pacific Northwest- long time reader. Thought you would be interested to know that Darcy Burner, Democrat challenging Dave Reichert's 8th District seat, had her house burn to the ground this morning.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008027474_webfire01m.html

Posted by: Clint | July 1, 2008 7:44 PM | Report abuse

this article was a huge waste of time - seriously chris, this is the best criticism you could come up with???

ps can you do an article on Obama's connection to felon Tony Resco in the next few days?

thanks in advance.

Posted by: fred | July 1, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Re: Loup-bouc

Thank you so much for your brilliant analysis!!!

Posted by: peace4world | July 1, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Re: Jindal

Chris, I disagree. Why are you thinking about the match-up only in terms of "numbers"? McCain's favor over Jindal because-he-is-young is the same logic as Obama's visiting Europe because-I-do-not-have-foreign-policy-experiences-in-my-CV.

If McCain favors Jindal only because he is young and successful governing his LA State, it means someone in his Campaign is not smart: McCain does not need to court minorities or women voters--or even young college students.

It is true that VP only has a symbolic power, yet the position could be critical in case something happens to President, meaning that he/she must have the equivalent credentials, experiences, and values as those of McCain as well as those of the Republicans and those of American Values.

Why are you wasting your time guessing the numbers? As I said earlier, the best match is Mitt Romney. Give us a challenging question to debate.

Posted by: peace4world | July 1, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Well, while I don't feel myself shriveling up, I think your exorcism might have just turned me into a newt.

Posted by: swalker3 | July 1, 2008 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Hey ep, you retard:
Bring it on! Liberals will run from a guy doing EXORCISMS? Get it out in daylight you worm, and you'll shrivel and die. I'm so sick of you nuts.,

Posted by: md83 | July 1, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

So, to shore up the Republican base McCain is going to pick a dark skinned lad with a funny last name?

Posted by: swalker3 | July 1, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

A major criticism of Obama is that he is inexperienced. Jindal has even less experience in elected office than Obama (and Jindal's inexperience was displayed here). So I can't imagine McCain choosing Jindal for VP candidate and thus undercutting concern over Obama's inexperience. So it won't be this time around for Jindal as VP, but his intelligence, drive, moderation, and youth mean that he will likely occupy an prominent position in national politics in the future. Gumbo

Posted by: Gumbo | July 1, 2008 7:09 PM | Report abuse

I actually live in this... interesting... state known as Louisiana. I hope to God that McCain does pick Jindal as his running mate. The people in Louisiana would never forgive him for backing out on his promise not to become VP, and when they inevitably lose in November, that'll be the end of Jindal's career. One less irrational right-wing ideologue in the world. Everyone wins!

Posted by: geauxnats | July 1, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Bear with me. This post IS germane to the Fix's topic.

Skinner v. State of Oklahoma, Ex. Rel. Williamson, 316 U.S. 535 (1942), held that forced punitive sterilization is unconstitutional. Only with the most disingenuous legal dancing could the current Supreme Court hold valid the Louisiana chemical castration statute, which provides a form of punitive forced sterilization.

In Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927), the Supreme Court bought into eugenics and upheld non-punitive forced sterilization of a mentally handicapped woman who conceived (or wanted to conceive) though their parents, grandparents, and great grand parents conceived mentally handicapped offspring. The Court said: "Four generations of idiots are enough."

That decision has been criticized severely (as outrageous, uncivilized) in numerous later Supreme Court decisions, and, likely, overturned by implication. If it has been overturned, then forced chemical castration is unconstitutional (a due process clause violation) even if the state insists (and the federal courts agree) that it is a non-punitive, preventive measure.

One can argue respectably also that since women sex offenders occur but one cannot castrate a woman, a castrated male offender is denied equal protection. Or would the governor "circumcise" a woman offender to discourage her offending again by denying her the chance of pleasure? Then what of the woman who has VAGINAL orgasms? Is SHE punished LESS -- so that the other woman is treated unequally?

How astonishing: A United States state elects to its governorship a lunatic who practices exorcism, believes "intelligent design" and wants it taught in public schools, and would impose a criminal punishment (or preventive eugenics) one would expect only in the most barbarous of barely civilized nations.

How NOT astonishing: McCain -- win by any means McCain -- may pick Jindal for VP running mate, because lunatic Christians might vote for the McBush ticket.

But what the Hell?

Today, the Huffington Post reported that Obama wants to one-up Bush -- by installing an Obama version of federal support of faith-based initiatives. See http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/07/01/obama-plans-to-expand-bus_n_110140.html

Obama tried, with his usual "nuanced" explanation (read dissembling), to deny that his program would violate the first amendment:

"Now, make no mistake, as someone who used to teach constitutional law, I believe deeply in the separation of church and state, but I don't believe this partnership will endanger that idea - so long as we follow a few basic principles. First, if you get a federal grant, you can't use that grant money to proselytize to the people you help and you can't discriminate against them - or against the people you hire - on the basis of their religion. Second, federal dollars that go directly to churches, temples, and mosques can only be used on secular programs. And we'll also ensure that taxpayer dollars only go to those programs that actually work."

The first amendment prohibits government-supported faith-based initiatives. SOME examples: (A) putting a crèche and crucifix in a court prosecuting a Jew for selling condoms on Sunday; (B) benedictions given in public school classes or graduation cerimonies; (C) government's funding religion-related activities of religious institutions; (D) government's funding a religious school's busing students (rather than parents' transporting their children to school); (E) government's funding church programs that commit religious discrimination.

Obama's pandering-to-Christians program (he ain't pandering to Muslims or Jews) WOULD violate the first amendment.

Government cannot ASSURE churches use government funds ONLY to finance purely secular acts that do not involve religious discrimination. But even if Obama COULD assure funds don't finance any religious institution's act related to the institution's religion, still his program would violate the first amendment.

The first amendment prohibits government's endorsing religion. Endorse religion is EXACTLY what Obama's program does --- endorses church "charity" (says it's needed, maybe better than state charity), and church "charity" is, always, an advertisement of religion.

Obama's program would be (Obama said) a "critical" part and "moral center" of his administration. So, his administration would BE an establishment of religion.

Obama said: "I ... see faith as...both a personal commitment to Christ and a commitment to my community; that while I could sit in church and pray all I want, I wouldn't be fulfilling God's will unless I went out and did the Lord's work...."

Though, alas, not yet the judiciary's standard, Jefferson's, Benjamin Franklin's, and John Adams's papers indicate that the fitting test is: Would fair-minded, objective, non-religious atheists perceive a challenged program endorses religion? That test is not the judiciary's because (contrary to Supreme Court politics) it would invalidate "In God We Trust" and the prayer sessions that start each day in Congress and the Supreme Court's having reliefs of the Ten Commandments on its walls.

In his excuse (see quote above), Obama mentioned that he had taught constitutional law. I pity his students. I pity us because, likely, Obama will become President, but otherwise McCain will, and one can expect that McCain will propose his own program of federal support of faith-based initiatives.

Posted by: Loup-bouc | July 1, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

MarkInAustin writes:
"Jindal is so much better than his LA predecessors that he will be forgiven his impurity in LA by the voters and by Rs, generally."

Nice. But you have to admit that Blanco, Foster, Edwards, et al. going back to Huey Long have set the bar pretty low. Rick Perry would look like George Washington next to that lot.

Posted by: mnteng | July 1, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

How could McCain criticize Obama for lack of experience, or even campaign effectively on his own experience, with this guy as his running mate?

Posted by: rodeoclown | July 1, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

ask jindahl about the exorcism he performed.

Posted by: linda | July 1, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

There is a difference between flip-flopping repeatedly on the same issue (as McCain has done in recent days) and honestly changing your mind (as Jindal and Obama have done). But there is nothing worse than a politician who sticks rigidly to a failing policy (like Bush). It is always best to admit your error quickly, and move on.

Posted by: bodo | July 1, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

"Shouldn't Jindal be working at 7-11?"

If Obama is electable for office, Jindal has an equal opportunity to the White House and constitutionally. What kind of remark is that?

If this election is about "change", then let's change our attitude of who is electable to the highest office of the nation.

Posted by: mouli | July 1, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

It's perhaps unbecoming of a politician to admit a mistake and correct it. There may be other motives that Jindal may have such as the occupancy of the white house.

Contrast this with George Bush who puts himself above all else including the constitution. Certainly, Jindal will be an asset for McCain.

At the same time, his support and sense of "balance" with regard to creationism couched as facts is troubling.

Posted by: mouli | July 1, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Response to: (peter north | July 1, 2008 5:55 PM)

"Shouldn't Jindal be working at 7-11? I can't believe the rednecks in Louisiana elected this guy."

It's more proof that Repubs will do anything to win. David Duke was their first choice.

Posted by: Dr. Don Key | July 1, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Keeping pay for state legislators low has always played into the hands of corruption. Low pay keeps "ordinary" citizens like teachers or firefighters from running for the legislature because they can't afford to serve, thus leaving it the realm of the well-to-do. The other way to serve in a low-paying position is to take money "on the side" by converting campaign contributions to personal use or simply taking outright bribes. Jindal's position is "business as usual", not "reform", and is cloaked in the false populism of "sticking it to the bums".

Posted by: Stonecreek | July 1, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

He puts a "new face on the Grand Old Party." Wheeeeeeee! Jindal has more flops than Ginobli. He's one of the them GD flipfloppers I done seen on TV.

Posted by: Dr. Don Key | July 1, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Jindal has bungled his way out of Veep consideration. Too many controversial position taken as of late.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: matt | July 1, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

This guy looks like a retard.

Posted by: Sara kukorlo | July 1, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Shouldn't Jindal be working at 7-11? I can't believe the rednecks in Louisiana elected this guy.

Posted by: peter north | July 1, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Hum this is man who supports castration of criminals and perform exorcisms. Of course Cris "McCain can do no wrong" Cillizza thinks he is great.

Posted by: Julian | July 1, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

reversed himself yesterday
McCain Flip
Jindal Flop

Posted by: Ted | July 1, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Why don't we just abolish that 35-year-old age requirement for the Presidency anyway?

America is a really big country. There have got to be thousands of even younger people with really exotic backgrounds that we could put a heartbeat away from the Presidency. Think of all the football and basketball players in their 20s, at the height of their popularity. Why couldn't one of them become the new face of the Republican Party?

Posted by: Zathras | July 1, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Is this the reality channel's new summer show "Let's get those VP candidates to drop like flies"

Posted by: nclwtk | July 1, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Yes, because when I think reform, I think former Bush administration flunkie.

Posted by: Chris | July 1, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

"Yeah, you've gotten a number of facts wrong (meaning you probably didn't actually read the article -- surprise, surprise)"

Can you link to it?

Posted by: DDAWD | July 1, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

More than being a reform candidate he's a family values candidate.

Reform candidate is a good thing, but family values platforms are incredibly idiotic. How do you derive any policy from a FV platform? The guy is pretty hardcore conservative. Pretty much went with Bush on everything. A good reason for his success is the incompetence of the governor during Katrina. He was the biggest name that wasn't the incumbent party.

That being said, his greater than 50% vote total among a large field of candidates is very impressive.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 1, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

The whole business of exorcisms would be a goldmine for the late night comedians.

More seriously though, choosing Jindal as VP undercuts one of McCain's key criticisms about Obama, that he's too young and inexperienced. Jindal's nearly a decade younger than Obama, but somehow he'd be qualified to become CINC if McCain were to pass away?

Posted by: Sandeep M | July 1, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

This guy is well beyond a nutjob.

In college, Jindal physically restrained a young woman in order to perform an exorcism on her, during which time he smelt the sulfuric smell of Satan.

How do we know this? Because he actually wrote about it in a magazine article.

Posted by: info | July 1, 2008 4:51 PM
_________________________________________

Yeah, you've gotten a number of facts wrong (meaning you probably didn't actually read the article -- surprise, surprise), but you go ahead and attack Bobby Jindal for his devout faith. Please. I'm begging you.

I will sit back and enjoy watching all of America run screaming from the liberals.....once again.

Jindal won't be on the ticket this year, but Dems better try to get something better on him than this, 'cause he'll be a national figure real soon.

Posted by: ep | July 1, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Wow, $16k. I think that deserves a pay raise.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 1, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Granted Lousiana is basically a third world country so 16k there goes much farther than anywhere else. Nevertheless, 16k is still a very small salary. Reasonable salaries would actually decrease the incentive for coruption.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 1, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

This is a lovely puff piece by Cillizza and it may have some relevance as whether or not McCain will pick this guy as VP, but how come it is treated as gospel that any legislative (or judicial) pay raise is politically corrupt or undeserved? I don't pretend to know whether the Louisiana legislators are full or part time, but $16k+ per year is next to nothing. $32k+ per year hardly qualifies as opulence either. Perhaps the temptation for corruption would lessen and the qualifications of non-millionaires willing to run for office or serve on the bench actually would improve if we didn't treat public service as though it were a vow of poverty.

Posted by: lazy journalism | July 1, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

This guy is well beyond a nutjob.

In college, Jindal physically restrained a young woman in order to perform an exorcism on her, during which time he smelt the sulfuric smell of Satan.

How do we know this? Because he actually wrote about it in a magazine article.

Unfortunately for Obama, I read yesterday that Jindal nowhere to be seen on McCain's veep list.

Posted by: info | July 1, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I am a Louisiana resident and I thought we were electing a leader when we elected Jindal. What we got is a "not my fault" politician. When he promised to veto any effort by the legislators to raise their salary before the next election we believed him. When he said that we "should be mad the legislature and not him" he passed the buck. He failed to do his fiscal responsibility and veto the raid on the state treasury. I am mad, mad at him and the legislature. Hopefully we will be able to elect a true leader the next election who will keep his word. Anyone know such a person and where we might find him/her.

Posted by: independentpol | July 1, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

There are no virgins actually successfully running any state government, and Jindal is so much better than his LA predecessors that he will be forgiven his impurity in LA by the voters and by Rs, generally.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | July 1, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

thank goodness I'm not the only one flopping around like a fish these days.

Posted by: snObama | July 1, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

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