From The Richmond Times-Dispatch
Is Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal the Republican Barack Obama?
A political podcast I downloaded asked that question recently, but it wasn't the first time I have heard it. It likely won't be the last, either.
We can answer the query unequivocally, here and now: No, he's not -- and he doesn't have to be. There are similarities between Obama and Jindal, but Republicans must realize that the 36-year-old Southern governor isn't a miracle GOP answer to the president-elect.
It is easy to see why some people want to cast the Pelican State governor as a conservative counter to Obama -- and it's not only the two men's shared skin tone. Both are reform-minded political and policy whiz kids who cut to the front of the political line, displacing notorious political machines in Chicago and Louisiana, and quickly zoomed to national prominence. Both also show the best of America: Obama, the highly educated son of an African immigrant, won a seat in the U.S. Senate and the presidency with so-called post-racial coalitions; uber-educated Jindal, whose parents emigrated from India in the 1970s, claimed the governor's chair in a region once wary of those who could be branded "outsiders."
The comparisons present a nice package, neatly tied, for Republicans who want to believe they have an Obama of their own ready to reclaim the mantle from the charismatic Democratic president-elect. Before Jindal said that he will not run for president in 2012, some members of the media also liked the Obama-Jindal narrative because they might have had the chance to bill that year's campaign as a clash-of-the-titans election.