In some circles there is surprise and in others no shock at all at the news that John McCain is meeting with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal again this week, presumably to discuss the Vice Presidency. That apparently puts Governor Jindal on the very short list, and removes Mark Sanford from it.
This blog has long touted the Louisiana Governor's qualities. However, recent developments in Louisiana show the true contrast between two reform minded conservative southern governors.
The Louisiana State Senate recently decided, by a vote of 36-2, to not meet to discuss and vote on the vetoes issued by Governor Jindal. That is historic when one takes into the account Governor Jindal vetoed 238 line items in the Louisiana state budget, a record for that state. In one session of the Louisiana legislature, Governor Jindal has been able to have marked budget accomplishments. That is something Governor Sanford has not been able to do in six sessions in South Carolina.
I realize some will blame the legislature, and not Sanford for such a record. However, Jindal deals with more Democrats than Sanford does. Jindal is in a state notorious for its good ole boy backslapping and downright corruption. Louisiana even has even had a Governor serving from jail! Jindal must either have their respect or their fear if those legislators give up that pork without a fight.
Of course, it is possible the good ole boys in Louisiana were willing to give Governor Jindal a big budget victory in order to try to "kick him upstairs," as the New York Assembly did with Theodore Roosevelt in 1900.
Regardless the reason, Jindal's success with the Louisiana budget gives him a victory Sanford simply does not have. If Sanford were picked for the ticket, the national media and the Obama campaign would hammer the fact that Sanford can not even work with members of his own party to get things done. Stories about the pigs in the State House, the horse and buggy at the State House, and the hundreds of vetoes overridden would become defining stories of Mark Sanford. I can envision some pundit saying, "Even Dan Quayle got along with members of his own party."
Governor Jindal does not have that problem. Though only 37, his record in Congress, the Bush Administration, and in Louisiana shows him as a politico who can get things done.
Will Bobby Jindal be McCain's pick? I do not know. However if John McCain is looking for a younger, conservative reform Governor from the South, Jindal is his choice, hands down.