1) Back when Gov. Bobby Jindal first announced his bid in June, his advisors pitched him to visiting reporters as the guy who could fill multiple lanes, from anti-establishment candidate to policy wonk to movement conservative. But all those lanes were crowded, and Jindal came off more as someone who would try anything to get someone, anyone, to pay attention. As for being anti-establishment, nobody who's spent the past two decades working in state and federal government was ever going to be able to compete against Donald Trump and Ben Carson on that front.
Jindal did manage to make headlines several times throughout the season, but they mostly amounted to head-scratching commentaries, of the can-you-believe-this-guy-said-this variety. He never looked comfortable or sincere, or managed to appear ready for prime time.
2) Jindal's Iowa-or-bust strategy was actually his smartest course, given his talents and limitations. He performs well in small settings, and with the religious conservatives who make up a huge bloc of the Republican caucus electorate. Running in Iowa is also considerably cheaper than attempting to compete nationwide or in big states with expensive media markets, so his paltry fundraising wasn't necessarily fatal. Still, even there, he never broke through to the top tier.
3) Don't discount the importance of the prime time debates, and Jindal's failure to qualify for any of them. The ratings were huge, and the stages were ridiculously crowded. It was hard enough for viewers to keep track of everyone who was there, let alone remember that they were also supposed to consider those who weren't. Jindal's absence from the main show sent a definite signal to both voters and contributors that they didn't need to bother with him.
And of course, don't discount the oxygen that Trump and Carson sucked out of the air. There was barely enough left for well-heeled candidates such as Jeb Bush, let alone also-rans like Jindal.
4) To the extent Jindal's dreadful approval rating at home -- just 20 percent in the new University of New Orleans poll -- did him in, Jindal may be able to thank cheap oil and toll it's taken on Louisiana's treasury. This is not to say that he didn't run the state fisc into the ground, or pursue risky gimmicks such as raiding trust funds and eliminating the Stelly income tax increases.
It's more that, if the price of oil had remained high, the house of cards might have come crashing down next year, not this. His constituents still would have been supremely irritated that he spent so much of his time out of state, and geared so many of his official policies actions towards running for president. But perhaps they wouldn't have been quite so up in arms.
5) At 44, Jindal was the baby of the huge field, just a tad younger than Mario Rubio and Ted Cruz. That made his focus on opposing same-sex marriage and rants about hyphenated Americans particularly shortsighted, and it puts him distinctly out of step with more open-minded, younger voters who will only become more powerful in future years. Most experts think Republicans need to broaden their appeal if they want to stay competitive in the future, but Jindal played only to the existing base.
He's young enough to have a chapter or two left in public life, but his upstart, "young man in a hurry" days are over. If he wants to reintroduce himself to the American public in the future, though, he's going to have to slow down, start a job and actually finish it, and just begin to behave more maturely.