There will be much more of this to say later, but for now, let me just say that McCain is just crazy if he really is going to make his choice this soon, and even crazier if he makes Jindal his choice this soon. Jindal isn’t ready for prime time. (In the words of b-ball announcer Dick Vitale, he’s not yet a “prime time player,” or “PTPer.”) He’s never faced a hostile media. He has never been forced to defend some of his more exotic past writings and statements. He has never had his record put completely under a microscope. And choosing him might perversely put Louisiana in play FOR OBAMA, because I fear a big backlash against McCain/Jindal if Jindal runs for another office so soon after a Louisiana desperate for reform elected him. There is REAL resentment growing against Jindal in Louisiana for all of his national politicking.
Finally, a Jindal election as Veep would turn Louisiana into a Landrieu-owned machine. If Mary Landrieu wins re-election to the Senate, which is definitely more likely than not, then Jindal becoming Veep would AUTOMATICALLY, by state law, make Mitch Landrieu governor. (Mitch is Lt. Gov now.) A state whose governor and senior U.S. senator are brother and sister is a state far too in the control of one family. And I say this as somebody who still strongly resents the fact that the Bush administration gave the tacit support necessary to re-elect Ray Nagin as mayor of New Orleans over Mitch Landrieu. Mitch would have been a good mayor, far better than the incompetent and highly weird Nagain; but Mitch as governor, where political ideology matters more than at the city level, would be a huge win for union bosses, trial lawyers, and big government.
Now that would be a terrible trick to have played upon the suffering people of Louisiana: If Jindal becomes Veep, then it would mean that national Republicans subjected New Orleans to four more years of Nagin as mayor and to three years (at least) of Mitch Landrieu as governor. But that, of course, is if Jindal wins, and the betting here is that in the long run the choice of Jindal would hurt McCain politically more than help him.