The Baton Rouge Business Report had this first…
Gov. Bobby Jindal, who gave his endorsement to Texas Gov. Rick Perry last fall, says he won’t endorse another GOP candidate now that Perry has dropped out of the race. “While I don’t plan to endorse anyone else in the primary,” Jindal tells Daily Report, “I look forward to supporting the nominee. America cannot afford four more years of Barack Obama.” Jindal says he had endorsed Perry because “he is a personal friend, he has a strong record of job creation, and he and the people of Texas helped our state during Hurricane Gustav.” Perry ended his campaign earlier today, just two days before the South Carolina primary, and gave his endorsement to Newt Gingrich. In doing so, Perry said: “Newt’s not perfect, but who among us is?”
Jindal then followed up with a statement on Facebook…
I don’t plan to endorse anyone else in the primary, I look forward to supporting the nominee. America can’t afford 4 more years of Barack Obama.
It’s a shrewd political move for Jindal, considering that of the two most viable GOP candidates he brings a lot to the table as a potential vice presidential pick for either.
Mitt Romney needs a conservative to help his bona fides, and he also needs some regional balance should he be the nominee. Jindal is seen as a conservative, even despite some of the carping he’s put up with from his right in Louisiana, and he certainly offers some Southern flair.
Newt Gingrich doesn’t need a lot of help in the South, but amid the blowup about his second wife’s decision to air their marital dirty laundry on ABC News tonight he might want to burnish his family-values credentials. And Jindal, who has a lot of appeal to religious conservatives and has an unquestioned reputation as a family man, certainly helps in that regard.
Jindal probably helps with demographics as well given that the Obama campaign increasingly looks like it will be focused on accusing Republicans of being racists. He’s not exactly Herman Cain, but he’s definitely not a guy goofball writers at the New York Times can call “the whitest white man to run for president” in modern times, or whatever it was Lee Siegel scribbled last week.
Which means Jindal sits back and waits for the two candidates to come to him. He’s off the campaign trail, which he needs to be anyway. Jindal has the fight of his political life coming up in the Louisiana Legislature this spring as his radical package of education reform, which would all but destroy the state’s educational establishment as it’s currently constituted, will either make him one of the most transformational figures in American conservatism or break him on the rocks.