The immediate aftermath of a presidential election provides an early critical step for the next cycle’s candidates to position themselves for a run.And it appears that Republican Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is doing just that this week, criticising presidential nominee Mitt Romney and urging the party to adopt new ideas and platforms.
Jindal’s latest positioning came during a barrage on Wednesday and Thursday that saw him continually hammer Romney’s comments claiming that President Barack Obama won the election because he provided “gifts” to minorities and young voters.
“We have got to stop dividing American voters,” he told reporters at a Republican Governors Association meeting in Las Vegas.
Then, in a direct shot at Romney’s “47 per cent comments,” Jindal added: “We need to go after 100 per cent of the votes, not 53 per cent — we need to go after every single vote.”
But he didn’t stop there. Jindal, the new head of the Republican Governors Association, continued to promote his momentum this week, writing an op-ed on CNN advocating a different approach for Republicans looking to win future elections. He also tweeted out a few news stories covering his comments from Wednesday night:
Conservatives think there is a clear pattern developing. Ben Domenech, editor of The Transom and a research fellow at The Heartland Institute, wrote in an email that Jindal is “head and shoulders above any other Republican in framing where the party needs to go from here.”
“I think a lot of people expected Jindal to be part of this, but no one expected him to dominate the discussion so thoroughly,” he wrote. “I think he’s really tapped a nerve here. Jindal is a Yalie and a Rhodes Scholar, wonky and respected for someone who’s one of the youngest governors, so a lot of folks from the Mitch Daniels side of things take him seriously; but he’s also a dedicated reform-minded conservative, so the base likes him as well.”
Other conservative consultants agreed. One said Jindal was balancing between “priming the pump” and trying to fix the party’s issues.
And when asked if Jindal was already moving to position himself for 2016, another conservative consultant responded with a simple, “Yes.”