A Punjabi Vice President?

Bobby JindalOn the South Asian group blog, Sepia Mutiny, blogger and Duke University professor, Amardeep Singh, wonders whether Republican presidential candidate John McCain might seriously be considering Indian-American Louisiana governor, Bobby Jindal as his running mate.

“I know it’s crazy, but maybe it isn’t as crazy as it sounds,” wrote the blogger when he first suggested the idea in February. The New York Times now seems to think it's a possibility in an article this week, and American radio host Rush Limbaugh has also echoed the idea.

Jindal was born in Lousiana to Punjabi Indian parents. He used to be a Hindu, but converted to Catholicism after high school.

In his post, Singh argues that if Barack Obama wins the nomination of the Democratic Party, John McCain will end up looking “very old and very white”.

He reasons:

Jindal is both young and brown, and the novelty of putting him on the ticket might mitigate the novelty of a Barack Obama presidency somewhat. It would certainly generate a number of “isn’t it inspiring?” types of stories and editorials in newspapers and on cable news — lots of good press for McCain and the Republican party as a whole.

Second, McCain desperately needs to motivate the base — the really conservative members of his party — and one way he can do that is to pick someone for the Vice Presidency who is himself a thorough social conservative. Jindal, as we’ve already established, fits the bill, what with his opposition to abortion in every instance (“no exceptions”), his opposition to Stem Cell research, his support for the teaching of Intelligent Design in schools, his support for a constitutional amendment banning flag-burning, and his pro-gun outlook.

Although Singh, concedes it's unlikely Governor Jindal will be selected, his closing comment in a post submitted to Voices without Votes via a reader today, is an open question: “….perhaps we’re due to have our first Punjabi Vice President.”

More than 75 comments have been posted by readers of Sepia Mutiny, debating the likelihood of this event, and whether or not it's fair to characterize Jindal as a Punjabi if he doesn't identify himself in this way.

One reader writes:

I will appear nude on [Sepia Mutiny] if he is picked. There is no way any sane adviser would recommend Jindal to McCain. Nothing against Jindal, its just not a good fit. I say Crist has it.

Another retorts:

It makes sense. The VP is the ‘attack dog'….I'm sure if the Republicans have Jindal on the ticket, any talk of racism/bigotry against Obama would be zero. He should take it if asked. If McCain loses or wins, Jindal would be a viable presidential candidate in 2012 or 2016 or sooner.

Photo above is by Flickr user Marc V. Genre.


  • jc

    Is he a US citizen? Was he born here??
    He should not be VP – he is not a true American.

  • Yes, he was born in the USA. I think he certainly qualifies as a true American.

  • Rahul Bhatia

    My Cheers to this guy.

  • Ted

    Jindal (and Crist) are good Governors, but it’s a no-brainer that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is the best Veep pick for McCain.

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