Louisiana Gov. Jindal running for president
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, pitching himself as a “doer” in a field of talkers, has declared his candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination and set about trying to distinguish himself from better known rivals.
It’s a long-shot effort for an accomplished but overshadowed governor, and his prospects will depend in large measure on his continued courtship of evangelical voters. But several other contenders also are determined to win over that group.
“We have a bunch of great talkers running for president,” Jindal said at his opening rally Wednesday. “It’s time for a doer. I’m not running for president to be somebody. I’m running for president to do something.”
Jindal, the nation’s first elected Indian-American governor, can point to a political career filled with many achievements in a short time: a position as state health secretary when he was merely age 24, election to Congress at 32 and election as governor four years later.
But the Republican lineup does not lack seasoned politicians, some with much more star power.
Jindal announced his campaign online earlier Wednesday. Video clips on his website showed Jindal and his wife, Supriya, talking to their three children about the campaign to come.
Aides discussed Jindal’s plans to focus on social conservatives, as he has done for months in extensive travels, and highlight his reputation as a leader steeped in policy.
Jindal intends to present himself as “the youngest candidate with the longest resume,” citing an extensive background in public policy and government, strategist Curt Anderson said.
Unpopular at home, Jindal waited until the state legislative session had ended and lawmakers found a way to close a US$1.6 billion budget gap before he scheduled his presidential announcement. But he has been building his campaign for months with trips to key presidential voting states, particularly Iowa, where he has focused on Christian conservatives.