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.

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