By selecting Bobby Jindal as his vice presidential running mate, Mitt Romney would be reaching for history, much as John McCain did four years ago. The Louisiana governor — born Piyush Jindal — would be the first Indian American ever to run for the White House on a major party ticket.
But Jindal could not be more different
Palin, McCain’s pick, who was the first Republican woman nominated for the
While Palin was the antithesis of a policy wonk, Jindal,
41, is a former Rhodes scholar who made his name deep-diving into substantive
issues like healthcare. At 24, he was appointed head of Louisiana’s Department
of Health and Hospitals, beginning a pattern of firsts and youngests that have
marked Jindal’s nearly two decades in public life.
Despite that contrast, however, Jindal could serve
Romney in the same manner that Palin boosted McCain in 2008. He is likely to
appeal to the social conservative base of the GOP
more than the candidate topping the ticket. A convert to Roman Catholicism,
Jindal steadfastly opposes same-sex marriage and legal abortion — without
exception — supports prayer in the public schools and earns high marks from the
His placement on the ticket could also serve as a one-man
rejoinder to the image of the GOP as a province of the rich, white and
privileged. Jindal is none of those things.