The Washington Times - May 5, 2008, 07:30AM
story on Louisiana Gov. Bobby JindalSen. John McCain SEE RELATED:


here in this morning’s New York Times,
And the McCain campaign knows the environment for Republicans remains toxic. They noticed that on Saturday night Republicans lost their second House seat in a special election in two months — this one in a district they had held since 1974 and that Bush had carried by almost 20 points in 2004.\ \ \ Another McCain staffer called my attention to this finding in the latest Fox News poll: McCain led Obama in the straight match-up, 46 to 43. Voters were then asked to choose between two tickets, McCain-Romney vs. Obama-Clinton. Obama-Clinton won 47 to 41.\ \ \ That reversal of a three-point McCain lead to a six-point deficit for the McCain ticket suggests what might happen (a) when the Democrats unite, and (b) if McCain were to choose a conventional running mate, who, as it were, reinforced the Republican brand for the ticket. As the McCain aide put it, this is what will happen if we run a traditional campaign; our numbers will gradually regress toward the (losing) generic Republican number.\ \ \ Maybe that’s why, in separate conversations last week, no fewer than four McCain staffers and advisers mentioned as a possible vice-presidential pick the 36-year-old Louisiana governor, Bobby Jindal. They’re tempted by the idea of picking someone so young, with real accomplishments and a strong reformist streak.\ \ \ It might also be a way to confront the issue of McCain’s age (71), which private polls and focus groups suggest could be a real problem. A Jindal pick would implicitly acknowledge the questions and raise the ante. The message would be: “You want generational change? You can get it with McCain-Jindal — without risking a liberal and inexperienced Obama as commander in chief.” I would add that it was after McCain spent considerable time with Jindal in New Orleans recently, and reportedly found him, as he has before, personally engaging and intellectually impressive, that the campaign’s informal name-dropping of Jindal began.
back to earth column Jon Ward, White House correspondent, The Washington Times