Friday, May 23, 2008

Filling Out McCain's Ticket. Bobby Jindal?!

Nowadays Barack Obama isn't the only man getting serious about picking a running mate. John McCain has officially let the media know that he is actively engaging the process. It's not exactly clear what this GOP 'maverick' will be looking for, but it's easy to guess what some of his criteria might be. It's well known that McCain would be the oldest newly-elected president in history... should he prevail. This is enough of a concern that he has recently been pressured to release his medical records to the public. For what it's worth, the official record says that he is in decent health. There are no signs of the cancerous skin growths that he has battled with in the past. Of course, I wouldn't put his personal doctors above a bit of obfuscation.

Whether or not McCain's truly on death's door, many observers seem to believe he's going to have to balance out his advanced age with a healthy, young partner-in-crime. This strategy might be of mixed value if there is a real chance an elected McCain will die in office. Will the American conservative public be comfortable voting for a ticket that has an inexperienced candidate a mere tumorous node away from the White House? I guess that remains to be seen. They've already invested their support for eight years in a man who had nothing in his past but failure. Now after the fulfillment of Bush's promise, they are desperate for new hope. Just like the Democrats, they are seeking a fresh face.

Some party leaders are touting the possibilities of Bobby Jindal. Rush Limbaugh himself suggested that the current Louisiana governor might be the right man for the job. Apparently the fat, pill-popping, hack actually holds some real power among the Right- McCain has recently invited Jindal for a sit-down. Bobby Jindal is unique in a few ways. At 36, he is the youngest executive of any state in the union. He's arguably the only living politician who has named himself after a Brady Bunch character. He's a rare Hindu-to-Catholic convert. And if he is chosen- he will be the first Indian (Asian-American) to be considered for a national office of this stature. His parents are Punjabi Indian immigrants.

Bobby Jindal fulfills another perceived need for McCain-he is a known Right Wing extremist. He is well known for publicly stating that he is against abortion in ALL circumstances, including in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother's life is at risk. He is also in line with the Theocons on other key issues- he is against stem cell research, and he supports the teaching of 'Intelligent Design' in the public schools. When it comes to the typical Republican platform, Jindal is slavishly obedient. As a US Congressman, he voted with his party 97% of the time. He is rabidly nationalistic, and would like to see a Constitutional Amendment banning flag-burning. Finally, he has a terrible environmental record- the League of Conservation Voters gave him a rating of 7%.

If McCain is truly looking for the "next Ronald Reagan" (as Limbaugh fashions Jindal), then he is right on target. The big question is whether or not the Republicans will elect a person of color to a position that close to the presidency. McCain certainly hasn't limited his search to just this one little guy from the Deep South. He has had discussions with Mitt Romney. And he's looking into another governor from the key Southern battleground state of Florida. At 51, Charlie Crist is a known quantity, and two decades younger than McCain. Despite his near-Draconian stances on crime (for which he earned the moniker "Chain Gang Charlie"), he is more left-leaning than many partisan hacks would prefer. He has good environmental ratings and is known as a supporter of civil rights. More about him if the situation warrants...

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Certainly, would be a powerful fundraising factor. The South Asian community has made it in America, on an economic level but feels very left out politically.

9:52 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

"One tumorous node away", huh? Gotta love that sense of humor! Oh, and where do we go to protest the suggestion of Bobby Jindal as Veep? McCain is going to have to do significantly better in his choice although I don't see the Republicans maintaining the office (too much water under the bridge and all that).

Personally, the thought of a Bobby Jindal out there legislating anywhere scares me.

6:37 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...


Yeah, I guess I tend to get a bit dark at times. I don't know where to go to protest the idea of Jindal- perhaps you might consider voting for someone else, now that McCain has tipped his hand. That would be an effective protest.

1:09 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Oh, how droll. Don't think I haven't already considered that option!!! I think this bears close watching and it should be interesting to see how everything unfolds over the next few months. At least more people seem interested in this upcoming race and if that encourages people to vote I'm all for that. (If it encourages people to "read" I'm all for that!)

10:29 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

I'd think that after the debacle of the last eight years, many people are going to be directing a more critical eye toward potential presidential prospects.

6:23 PM  
Blogger jefg99 said...

Perhaps a bit off-topic, but I for one cannot wait to read the book about the next month of positioning for the Democratic candidate. This should get even more interesting than it has been. Florida is once again in the heat of the battle.

Several books and at least a couple of movies should follow.

I for one would like to see the day when many people are talking about who they want to vote for, instead of who they CAN'T bring themselves to vote for. Ever the optimist, perhaps in 2012?

10:47 AM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...


I can tell you from personal experience that it feels pretty good to have a candidate I want to vote for right now.

I can also assure you that there are a lot of people across the nation who feel the same way. In my group of friends (age 25 through 50) the vast majority are excited about this election in a way they have never been during their lifetimes. To us the the time we have waited for is NOW.

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go easy on the Kool Aid.

12:17 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...


"Go easy on the Kool Aid."

Quite an original response... well played, sir!

obviously straight from someone who is bitterly resentful that I have chosen not to drink his/her favorite brand.

6:02 PM  

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