Today's WaPost features a long profile on LA Gov. Bobby Jindal:
Like the president-elect, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana is young (37), accomplished (a Rhodes scholar) and, as the son of Indian immigrants, someone familiar with breaking racial and cultural barriers. He came to Iowa to deliver a pair of speeches, and his mere presence ignited talk that the 2012 presidential campaign has begun here, if coyly. Already, a fierce fight is looming between him and other Republicans -- former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who arrived in Iowa a couple of days before him, and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who is said to be coming at some point -- for the hearts of social conservatives.Under the man headline are the words:
"Jindal May Prove To be Republicans' Version of Obama"
My theory is that elections are often reactions (or overreactions) to the current president. As such, Obama's style was in clear contrast to George W. Bush. Sarah Palin's problem was that she was perceived to be too similar (stylistically) to an unpopular -- and too familiar -- President Bush.
Of course, the question is whether or not the things that work today will work in the future. It very well might be that Americans are sick of the aloof, intellectual Obama, and are looking for a more folksy alternative. If that's the case, Palin will be very well positioned.
On the other hand, it is very possible that Obama's campaign is the beginning of a new trend in politics. If that's the case, Jindal is, perhaps, the perfect candidate. He is a conservative policy wonk/intellectual who has proven himself (so far) to be highly competent.
This will be fun to watch...