According to the Times-Picayune, Governor Bobby Jindal has set a timeline to enter the presidential race. Jindal has decided to enter the race in June, after the legislative session.
Gov. Bobby Jindal will wait until the Louisiana legislative session ends in June before announcing whether he’ll enter the 2016 presidential race.
The Republican governor’s chief political adviser, Timmy Teepell, said Monday that Jindal wants to stay focused on the final session of his term before deciding about the White House bid.
The legislative session begins April 13. Lawmakers must wrap up their work by June 11.
The Governor wants to be perceived as focusing on Louisiana. The perception that Jindal is only focused on his national ambitions has led to even some Democrats calling for his resignation. Meanwhile, his out of state travel has become an issue in budget hearings.
Team Jindal is also facing doubts from natural supporters. Quin Hillyer had a piece in The Advocate last month arguing that Jindal should skip a presidential run.
Hillyer argues that Jindal’s ambition should be tempered and he should instead position himself for a cabinet post by staying out. The problem with Hillyer’s argument is that a Republican may not win the White House in 2016. Plus, Jindal doesn’t really bring anything to the table on a ticket. There is no downside to a Bobby Jindal run at this point because he won’t be elected statewide to anything soon and it’s unlikely he can make a bid for Congress anywhere in the state.
From a purely political perspective, Jindal has nothing to lose by striking while the political fire is hot. If a few of the more conservative candidates stumble, Jindal could easily find himself in a position to be a dark horse.
There’s one thing Jindal really needs and that’s a successful legislative session. Jindal needs to pick up a few wins on some big issues like the budget and Common Core. If he can line up legislative successes, his presidential bid looks better.
But, there will be a major problem for Jindal. Many in the legislature, in both parties, would love to do nothing more than embarrass him during the session.
Jindal has failed to build the relationships necessary to move legislation through the legislature. This, of all things, may be what sinks Jindal’s political ambitions.