Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ponnuru: Jindal "hits the sweet spot"

Ramesh Ponnuru runs down strengths and weaknesses of each potential Veep and finally arrives at the young governor from Louisiana, Bobby Jindal.

Jindal is the only potential vice-presidential candidate who hits the sweet spot: He is simultaneously a conservative favorite, demographically interesting (he’s a Catholic of Indian ancestry), and a reform-minded, competent governor. Pawlenty and Jindal, then, are the two candidates with the strongest cases.

I think Jindal looks the strongest on paper but the weakest on television, and within the context of a three month race, the latter probably matters more.

(This is Bobby Jindal's very awkward smile, and smiles matter very much in the national political game).

But Ponnuru makes a very good point -- if Romney is going to pick someone boring for Veep, he should do it soon, lest time inflate excitement to unreachable heights.

If Romney picks Kyl, McDonnell, Pawlenty, Portman or Thune -- anyone on this list, that is, but Christie or Jindal -- he should make the announcement soon. None of those guys is going to excite the Republican convention, so there is no point in waiting for it. The longer Romney waits, the more conservatives will speculate about candidates like Rubio and the more many of them will feel let down by a choice that isn’t designed to give them the rush of momentary excitement.

If Romney is going to do something boring, in other words, he should at least do it in a novel way.