Jindal, McCain insist meeting won't be about choosing running mate
Posted by Bruce Alpert, Washington bureau May 22, 2008 10:02PM
WASHINGTON -- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal on Thursday continued to play down speculation that he's a serious contender to be John McCain's running mate as he prepared to join two others discussed for the GOP ticket for Memorial Day weekend barbecuing at McCain's Arizona ranch.
As pundits debated whether he would be a good vice presidential candidate, with his age, 36, viewed as both a potential plus and negative, the McCain campaign and Jindal continued to insist the weekend won't be about narrowing down the field of choices. It's purely a social event, campaign officials said, although Deputy Republican National Committee Chairman Frank Donatelli suggested that it might help McCain assemble his fall campaign team.
In addition to Jindal, slated to attend are possible vice presidential choices Charlie Crist, the Florida governor whose endorsement of McCain helped him win Florida's January primary, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who unsuccessfully challenged McCain in the GOP presidential primaries.
Jindal's response: "I've got the job I want." But he again refused to take himself out of consideration. "It would be presumptuous for me to turn down something that has not been offered," Jindal said.
Regardless of what happens, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., said it is a"real honor" for Jindal to be considered. Her Republican colleague, David Vitter, R-La., said the freshman governor would be a great choice for McCain, although "I'd hate to lose him" as governor.
Also attending the Sedona get-together is Sen. Joe Lieberman, who has been campaigning for McCain, Sen. Lindsey Graham, and Sen. Sam Brownback.
Will the 'nearly lily-white' party consider Jindal an asset? Hmmm.