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Column: Jindal Not The Right Candidate For GOP Veep

This story was written by Matt Gravens, The Daily Reveille


Now that the Democratic Party has finally found its presumptive nominee in Barack Obama, everyone is scrambling to see who the two vice presidential candidates will be.

After a Memorial Day party at his home in Arizona, political analysts believe they know who is on the short list for John McCain's VP. Invitations were sent to Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota.

Huckabee and Pawlenty were unable to attend the gathering for personal reasons. The other three were available. Many speculate these men could potentially be McCain's running mate.

But Jindal isn't ready yet.

Don't get me wrong -- Jindal is great. He has done a lot in the 37 years he has been alive. He was a consultant, worked in both health and education on the state and federal level and spent more time in Washington, D.C., than Obama.

Jindal has also been governor for six months. Jindal knows what he is doing, and he is doing it well. Under the guidance of Jindal, the Louisiana Legislature has already passed massive ethics reforms.

Jindal has more work still to do here.

He has an education plan that can make the education system better. The plan calls for tax breaks for parents who send their children to private school or home school their children.

The measure also includes a teacher pay raise and a "School Choice Initiative" that would allow students in New Orleans to use state money to go to private or parochial schools in the city. I back Jindal's education program 100 percent. A voucher program is the only way education will get better.

The voucher program allows for a free market where competition takes over and makes the education program better by allowing parents to send their children to the best school in their area. The plan seems to help low income families more because these families are usually stuck with substandard schools.

This is only the beginning of what Jindal can do for the state. There is so much more that needs to be done. Health care needs to be addressed along with economic reform. It's not time for Jindal to leave the state yet.

Another factor working against Jindal is his age. He's just a little too young. If he became vice president he would be the second youngest vice president ever behind John Breckinridge, who was 36 years old when he took office under James Buchanan in 1857.

Jindal is a great man and most certainly part of the future of the Republicans. It is important for Jindal to finish out his term as governor.

Since our country's beginning, almost half of our presidents have been governors. Some of the country's best -- including Theodore Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Franklin Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan -- were governors.

In 2009, the first non-governor President since George H.W. Bush will be inaugurated.

It's important for the president to be a governor.

It teaches individualsw important lessons and really gives them a chance to shine. If a governor can turn a state around like Jindal is trying to do in Louisiana, then he or she can definitely attempt to make the claim that he or she can change the United States.

While governor, an individual gets the experience of running a government. And that is important because that is what the President does. He runs a government.

Jindal has worked in U.S. Congress and understands how the legislative system works. Now he needs to prove that he make great changes in Louisiana as governor.

Jindal has an importnt role to play in this election. It's just not as the vice presidential candidate.

The Republican National Convention being held in September does not have a keynote speaker.

Jindal would be a perfect candidate for the job. Jindal could get several hundreds of thousands of Republicans fired up about maintaining control of the White House by winning on Nov 4.

This would also broadcast Jindal's name to millions of people and make them more aware of who he is. And in following in the steps of Obama after his 2004 keynote speech, Jindal could easily launch a presidential candidacy in 2012 or 2016 depending on McCain's success in November.

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