For sure McCain's "short list" is somewhat long. Former candidate Mitt Romney gets talked about a lot. So do Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and former Ohio Congressman and Bush Budget Director Rob Portman. Also on the list are former Pennyslvania Governor and Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge and Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, the 2000 Democratic Vice Presidential nominee. Lately former Secretary of State Colin Powell, an unlikely pick, has also received buzz.
And of course we advocated here for sometime the selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
The challenge for McCain is to find someone who will 1) stay out of trouble, 2) shore up his standing with the base, 3) not scare off moderates as well as disaffected Clinton Democrats, 4) Hold their own against Joe Biden in debates and 5) give him a little Google juice going into the Republican National Convention.
I believe that person is Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. Here's Jindal on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno:
Jindal has an interesting background. He's a first generation immigrant who was born in Baton Rogue while his parents, immigrants from India, were attending Louisiana State University. At 37 years old, he's the youngest Governor in the US. He served in the US House of Representatives, where he was Britney Spears' Congressman. Here young people who are fired up over Jindal talk about the Louisiana Governor:
Could you imagine Jindal debating Biden who has referred to Indian Americans as 7-11 and Dunkin' Donuts workers?
More importantly he's an impassioned, articulate, intelligent, dynamic young man. And he brings a lot to the ticket. He'd be the only Southerner on the ticket. Like Biden, he's a Roman Catholic who converted from Hinduism in high school.
He comes from a solid middle class background and worked his way up to the top at a young age. He has the immigrant experience and if nominated would be the first Asian to be part of a major party ticket. And he even has somewhat of a resemblance to his namesake, Bobby Kennedy. A Rhodes Scholar, Jindal is ten years younger than Obama, was born one year before Biden entered the senate.
Unlike Obama, Biden or even McCain, as a Governor, Jindal is a Washington outsider who has solid Conservative credentials. As the child of immigrants himself, he has credibility when calling for immigration reform.
McCain could really fire up the troops, gets lot of press and find a candidate who could appeal to all the important swing votes - without the baggage of a boring white guy like Romney, Portman, Pawlenty, etc.- if he picked Jindal.