Gov. Bobby Jindal restarted his campaign for the 2016 presidential nomination.
Like a politician shouting in the forest, did anyone notice?
On a good day, Jindal is lucky to equal the margin of error in national polls in which he has been listed or polls in such critical early states as Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
The political tea leaves are easy enough for most to read, but they do not necessarily tell the full story.
For one thing, while other candidates — including some not named Bush — may have vastly exceeded Jindal’s early fundraising, he started his official campaign only recently. Thus, he is better-heeled than people might think, as he raised millions for affiliated campaign organizations Believe Again — an ostentatiously named political action committee — and American Future Project and America Next nonprofits.
All these, as well as the official committee, have shown about $9 million in fundraising, enough to make Jindal competitive for a while. Though these PACs and nonprofits by law are not supposed to coordinate activities with their favored candidates, the reality is that they will act closely together.
Further, although it’s not as hot in Iowa as it is in Louisiana, another factor is that few voters are likely to have tuned into the campaign by now and will do so over the coming weeks and months of fall. Jindal has time, although not that much.
One serious problem is that he is, at this point, likely to be excluded from a prime-time television debate because there are so many candidates ahead of him. At this stage, we believe the political prognosticators are making too much of the early debates. Still, it’s got to be painful to the ambitious young Jindal to see a blowhard like Donald Trump given a television slot ahead of a sitting Republican governor with actual government experience.
Several of the candidates ahead of Jindal lack even the limited level of qualifications in government that a young Illinois senator named Barack Obama boasted in 2007. Those ahead of Jindal who will not be president may keep him out of debates, and perhaps that will hobble his campaign. It’s a safe bet that those on the early stages include at least a few who will never be contenders for the nomination in the home stretch.
Back home, we will watch this long shot try to make his mark, and maybe he’ll do better than expected — because he has to, and reasonably soon.