Support in Jindal’s state grows for him as McCain’s mateJune 2nd, 2008 - 9:48 pm ICT by IANS
New York, June 2 (IANS) Speculative frenzy surrounding Louisiana’s Republican governor Bobby Jindal as the possible vice-presidential mate for Senator John McCain is being fuelled by the conservative tone of a host of bills pushed through by Jindal’s administration, The New York Times has reported. Even as Jindal’s reputation grows as a new and true champion of the right, politicians in Louisiana say they are certain he would balance a McCain ticket, and not just because he is an Indian American.
The Christian right too has a new supporter in Jindal, a Catholic convert who has said that “in my faith, you give 100 percent of yourself to god,” the daily reported Monday.
“He (Jindal) has everything McCain is lacking. He’s seen as a true conservative, which McCain is seen as less than,” State Representative John LaBruzzo, a Republican, was quoted as saying by the Times.
Ordinary citizens in the state too seem to be taking pride in the fact that their governor is being considered for a vice-presidential nomination.
Bumper stickers saying “Jindal for VP” are increasingly seen in Baton Rouge, the state capital, after the governor’s recent weekend stay at McCain’s Arizona ranch and the Republican presidential candidate’s upcoming scheduled campaigning in Louisiana.
Jindal’s avowed policy on fiscal stringency and tilt towards religion is showing up on bills, some not originating with him, on tax and sending cuts, creationism and stem-cell restrictions, the Times reported.
For example, the House is considering an income tax cut, endorsed by Jindal, that would cost the state $300 million.
A bill favoured by Christian conservatives that opponents argue indirectly teaches creationism, would be signed by the governor, legislators say, as he has raised doubts about evolution.
Still, the Times points out, for a governor whose campaign in 2003 ran radio advertisements extolling the Ten Commandments and attacking liberals, his approach as governor has been studiously low-key and non-ideological. Hot-button terms and issues are avoided. For instance, cloning will not get state financing but also will not be termed a criminal offence.
On running for vice-president, Jindal has been reiterating that he is not interested as he wants to concentrate on his job in the state.
The first Indian American governor of a US state, he took the oath of office in January. He has also said that it is pointless commenting on the possibility of a ticket with McCain because the party has not made the offer to him.
After the conclave at McCain’s ranch two weeks ago, Jindal said the subject of vice presidential candidate was not on the table. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Florida Governor Charlie Crist were also there for what media speculated was an audition of potential running mates for McCain.