Politico: Jindal Says He's Not Interested in 2012 Run

Ben Smith reports:

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, seen by many Republicans as the most promising standard-bearer for a remade party, said at a Richmond, Va press conference that he isn't running for president in 2012.

At a news conference Wednesday with Bob McDonnell, Virginia's 2009 Republican candidate for governor, Jindal was asked if he was interested in being president, AP reports.

His answer: "No."

Jindal said he's planning to run for reelection in 2011, something that would make pivoting to a national campaign logistically and politically tricky.

I'm not sure this is a hard no. For one, Bobby Jindal isn't categorically ruling out a run, only saying he's not interested in running. (Politicians have wiggled out of tighter squeezes than that in the past.) Moreover, it's not clear to me that running for reelection in 2011 would preclude Jindal from running in 2012. Smith is correct that the pivot would be difficult -- but I don't see it as an impossible one. Remember, Mike Huckabee was able to come in second in the 2008 Republican primaries despite effectively having no national organization, and John McCain won despite having run out of money and drastically downsizing his campaign a half year before voters went to the polls. If they were able to pull off these feats in 2008, it's not clear to me Jindal couldn't -- particularly following a successful reelection bid that could garner him some momentum and attention.

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"Tie myself to a losing campaign that will destroy my political future? Nah."

Crossposted at The Motley Moose

Fresh in from the Washington Post today, we have news that Bobby Jindal, the Republican Governor of Louisiana, was never seriously vetted for the Vice President position. Yes, I know, you're thinking "What, as opposed to Sarah Palin?" Apparently, however, this was done at his request.

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Angling for 2012

Is it just me, or are the efforts within the Republican ranks to already begin to angle for the party's 2012 presidential nomination two months before Barack Obama is even sworn in as President more than a bit unseemly?

Two potential candidates will be in Iowa before month's end, multiple prospects -- almost certainly including Sarah Palin -- will make high-profile appearances this week at the Republican Governors Association meeting, and Newt Gingrich's name has already been floated in a Bob Novak column.

[...]

Huckabee, winner of the 2008 Iowa caucuses, returns to the Hawkeye State Nov. 20 for stops in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines to hawk his new book, "Do the Right Thing: Inside the Movement That's Bringing Common Sense Back to America."

[...]

Jindal, elected governor of Louisiana in 2007 after serving in Congress and holding health care posts in state and federal government, makes his first trip to Iowa on Nov. 22.

It's bad enough that the political media is speculating about 2012 already, trying to read as much as possible into the machinations at events like the Republican Governors Association meeting and the like, but for politicians who know better to purposely go out and throw flames on the fire by scheduling trips to Iowa -- again, knowing exactly what such moves entail and imply -- is quite stunning.

While I don't expect Republicans to lay down so that Obama can get everything he wants, decorum would strongly suggest that they at least respect the office of the Presidency to the extent that they would allow the President-elect to assume the office before they begin to vie for it. And considering that beginning a White House effort, even a nascent one, extremely early does not necessarily increase one's chances of winning (see: Patrick Ruffini), the Jindals and Huckabees of the world might actually be better served holding off for two months -- or better yet two years -- before hitting the hustings.

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History Doesn't Bode Well for Palin 2012

The closer election day and the more likely a positive outcome for the Democratic ticket, the more you can see and hear about Sarah Palin getting ready for a 2012 run for the nomination.

This got me wondering: has anyone ever won the nomination of their party or even the presidency after being the running mate on a losing ticket?

Follow me below the fold for what I found. Let's just say history does not bode well for Palin 2012.

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Sarah Palin Already Losing the 2012 GOP Primary

Along with the superb numbers for Obama (a 53 to 40 lead) in the latest Newsweek poll, we find more bad news for John McCain's VP nominee:

Sarah Palin continues to be a major drag on the McCain ticket. For the first time since McCain picked Palin as his running mate, more voters, 46 percent, have an unfavorable opinion of the Alaska governor, than have a favorable opinion, 44 percent. Nearly a third of voters, 31 percent, say that McCain's choice of Palin makes them less likely to vote for him, while 19 percent say the Palin pick makes them more likely to choose McCain (49 percent say it makes no difference). Perhaps most concerning for the McCain campaign is that 34 percent of independents say the Palin pick makes them less likely to support McCain, compared to 45 percent of Democrats and 9 percent of Republicans.

Of course, that's nearly conventional wisdom by now - Palin is making McCain bleed independents and helping give Obama an edge as we enter the final stretch. But buried near the end of the poll is this fascinating question, asked only of Republicans and Republican leaning voters...

If John McCain is not elected president, which one of the following three possible candidates would you be most likely to support for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012?

The topline results are an amazing repudiation of the McCain/ Palin ticket:

Mitt Romney 35%
Mike Huckabee 26%
Sarah Palin 20%
Other Candidate 10%
Don't Know 9%

Among "traditional" Republicans, it's:

Mitt Romney 42%
Mike Huckabee 23%
Sarah Palin 19%
Other Candidate 9%
Don't Know 7%

Even among "social conservative" Republicans, Sarah still trails Mittens and Huckabee:

Mitt Romney 30%
Mike Huckabee 31%
Sarah Palin 23%
Other Candidate 8%
Don't Know 8%

Now, it's always been assumed that even if Palin had lost moderate and swing voters, she still had the support of the base. And by a 38-9 margin, Republicans say Palin makes it more likely that they will support McCain. But it may be that many Republicans LIKE Palin, but that that doesn't translate into a desire to see her as the presidential nominee in her own race. Quite frankly, it may be that many Republicans see the writing on the wall as much as everyone else and simple believe Palin is not the most qualified candidate. It's also not great news for Giuliani, who apparently is already in the early stages of launching his 2012 effort.

So, while this election is clearly not over, and obviously a lot can happen in 4 years, we're left with an interesting take away - at the moment, Republicans clearly prefer McCain's primary rival, Romney, over his chosen successor, Palin, for 2012.

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