The first rule of vice-presidential selection is “do no harm.” Mr. Jindal has made a couple of public gaffes, including accidentally referring to Obamacare as “Obomneycare” in late June, and delivering an arguably lackluster Republican response to the president’s State of the Union in 2009. He also served in the George W. Bush administration. Still, he was not in Mr. Bush’s inner circle, and his gaffes were simply that.
Mr. Jindal has an outstanding resume. With a brilliant academic record, excellent public work in Louisiana’s health care system, two terms in the House of Representatives and now as governor, Mr. Jindal has displayed good sense and fiscal conservatism. His work should appeal to the policy-oriented Mr. Romney. His conservatism is already trusted by the party faithful.
Mr. Romney, behind in battleground states, must shake up the race. To that end, Mr. Jindal is young, the son of Indian immigrants and a Catholic. Mr. Romney needs to make inroads with immigrants, minorities and the young if he is to win. With 41 Catholic organizations, including Notre Dame University, currently suing the Obama administration for religious discrimination over Obamacare, Mr. Jindal can help Mr. Romney make inroads with a group that represents 24 percent of the electorate and that voted in slight majority for Mr. Obama. Finally, Mr. Jindal is from the South, which gives geographic balance to the ticket. Thus, Mr. Jindal seems like Mr. Romney’s most probable choice.