Scalise is currently considered a frontrunner for the House Majority Whip position, thanks to GOP voters in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District. This past week, those voters dumped Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the second-highest ranking Republican in the House, in favor of a little-known economics professor who spent a small fraction of the millions that Cantor and his supporters poured into the primary.
If you’re wondering, the name of the butterfly in this story is David Brat, a 49-year-old professor at Randolph-Macon College.
The day after Brat upset Cantor in Virginia’s primary, Cantor announced he would step down as Majority Leader on July 31. That triggers a race for his successor, and the clear frontrunner is the current Majority Whip, U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. If McCarthy runs for Majority Leader, as expected, it opens a race for Whip, and that’s where Scalise enters the picture.
GOP House members, who currently hold a majority, will meet behind closed doors on Thursday, June 19, to elect their new leaders. That vote could have profound implications for Louisiana if Scalise wins the No. 3 spot in the House.
It's now Day 3 of my countdown of the top five reasons why Bobby Jindal will not be president in 2016, or ever, despite his non-stop campaigning in key caucus and primary states. We started on Tuesday with Reason #5 (He's from Louisiana — Duh!) and continued yesterday with Reason #4 (He doesn't "look presidential").
Now it's time to roll out Reason #3:
He’s too timid to be a frontrunner, and the GOP loves frontrunners. If the definition of boldness is the willingness to risk one’s political capital to pursue the greater good, Bobby Jindal is the opposite of bold. Given the choice between risking his political capital and playing it safe, you can count on Jindal to play it safe every time.
The only time in his six-year-plus tenure as governor that anyone called one of Jindal’s initiatives “bold” was when he pushed a plan to replace Louisiana’s middling income tax with the highest combined state and local sales tax rates in the nation. The plan was hatched by the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and endorsed by every conservative think tank in the land, which hardly qualifies it as “bold.” If anything, it was a typical Jindal ploy; it played to the bleachers of the GOP’s most conservative chorus.
Why is this important?
Because you don’t get to the front of the pack by playing it safe. To be a frontrunner, you have to distinguish yourself. You don’t have to commit political suicide, but cheerleading louder than everyone else won’t suffice. You have to swim against the tide sometimes — as a matter of principle, not political expediency. Jindal has never done that, and he’s not likely to start. He just doesn't have it in him.
Consider the men who have captured the GOP presidential nomination in recent decades: Every one of them began the primary season as the frontrunner, and every one of them distinguished himself in some way that was not typically Republican.
Yesterday, I began counting down the top 5 reasons why Bobby Jindal will not be president — not in 2016, not ever. Reason number 5: He's from Louisiana — Duh!
Today I present reason #4: He doesn’t “look presidential.”
Admittedly, this sounds like a really shallow observation, but let’s face it: American presidential elections are basically popularity contests that focus largely on charisma and good looks, with some emphasis on philosophy thrown in for good measure. If voters (including those in party primaries) really focused on qualifications and experience more than appearances and other superficial qualities, Barack Obama would never have beaten Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in 2008, and John McCain would have soundly defeated George W. Bush for the GOP nod in 2000. There are many other examples.
The importance of “looking presidential” infects both political parties, but let’s focus on the GOP, because that’s where Jindal has to compete. Consider the Republican presidential nominees of the past three decades:
For the past four years, maybe longer, it’s been the worst-kept secret in Louisiana politics: Bobby Jindal can’t wait to leave Louisiana and run for president. Despite his boilerplate “I have the job I want” response to early inquiries about his frequent fundraising trips to early caucus and key primary states, Jindal could never plausibly deny his higher ambitions.
So much so that he recently acknowledged that “everybody knows” he is “thinking” about it. Consider that a prelude to “praying over” his decision and “talking it over with his family” before officially announcing the obvious.
In typical Jindal fashion, the rollout of his budding candidacy was assiduously contrived. In late March, Jindal told the Heritage Foundation’s conservative news service, “It’s something we’re thinking about. It’s something we’ll pray about.”
In early April, he told an interviewer for National Public Radio, “There’s a practical benefit to having governors run for president.” Actually, the real “practical benefit” inures more to the candidates than to the country.
But even an eternal political optimist like Jindal must admit that he faces a long, uphill climb to win the Republican nomination, let alone the White House. At least a half-dozen — sometimes eight or nine — other Republicans consistently poll better than he among GOP voters looking to 2016.
Jindal supporters note that he’s still young, and that’s true. He’ll be 45 in the summer of 2016, which means he could factor into the next four presidential contests as a candidate or potential candidate.
For now, however, Jindal’s best shot at the White House appears to be on the coattails of a GOP presidential nominee as his or her vice presidential running mate. No one officially runs for vice president, of course. You have to start by running for president — and distinguish yourself without alienating the eventual nominee. That’s not easy for a guy whose stock in trade is bashing other politicians.
That’s just the beginning. If the nation (and the national media) ever takes a close look at Bobby Jindal, there’s liable to be plenty they won’t like.
Starting today and continuing through Friday, I’m going to count down five reasons why Bobby Jindal will not be president. I’ll present reasons 5 through 2 on this blog, but you’ll have to pick up a copy of Gambit on Sunday or Monday to read Reason #1.
Here we go:
5. He’s from Louisiana — Duh! We Louisianans love our state, with all of its eccentricities, but the rest of the country thinks of us as America’s crazy aunt in the attic, someone fun to visit but not someone you’d put in charge of the household. Politically, we have burnished our reputation as a cauldron of corruption, a banana republic that somehow attained statehood while America wasn’t looking. That’s hardly the launching pad for a conservative, button-down GOP candidate for president.
With all this dysfunction, Republican governors are not going to take a back seat to anyone in Washington anymore.
Up until now, we have just lived with the brand that Washington gave us. Republican governors don’t just talk about conservative ideas, we put them into action. The answers aren’t coming from Washington. Republican governors are driving the American comeback.
We are no longer going to outsource the Republican brand to the folks in Washington.
For the, "Best Place To Get Married", Rosie Jazz Hall! Rosie's Jazz Hall is the…
thats my erster ! really needed a laugh today brah. thanks , rickngentilly.
Does Buffa has enough money to fight the mighty Torres V?
The judge considered his age? A ripe old 58? How old was Edwards when he…
Folks - I'd just like to throw my two cents in here with one simple…
Hi "Business wants to win voting", please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
How can a business procure some flyers/cards that we may set next to a cashier…
Hi Gwendolyn, Please email email@example.com so we can help. Thanks!
Can't get it to let me vote
Heyyyyyyy: Missed one: best book on NOLA published in the last year !!! What gives???…
AC: What you need to ask is NOT, (a) "Do I live here?", but, (b)…
AhContraire, please STFU. You are a nuisance troll who doesn't like music or alcohol, we…