The Fix: Jindal says Palin is 'absolutely' electable
1. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) gave Sarah Palin's national hopes a boost over the weekend, telling Bloomberg's Al Hunt that he believes it's possible for the former Alaska governor to be elected president.
"Oh, absolutely," Jindal said when asked if he thought Palin is electable. "I think it's up to her to make the case to voters. I think we have several -- and, by the way, I am biased towards governors and those that have run organizations and executives who've had to balance budgets, make tough choices."
Jindal was asked about a recent column by "Morning Joe" co-host and former Florida Republican congressman Joe Scarborough, who wrote that "it's time for the GOP to man up" and acknowledge that Palin is unelectable.
"The same leaders who fret that Sarah Palin could devastate their party in 2012 are too scared to say in public what they all complain about in private," Scarborough wrote late last month.
On the one hand, the fact that Jindal -- who is running for a second term as governor in 2011 -- has unequivocally ruled out a bid for president in 2012 makes it easier for him to be generous about a potential Palin bid. In politics it's always better to be magnanimous than petty, and Jindal's "interested observer" role makes it far easier for him to be big rather than small.
On the other hand, some other high-profile Republicans with potential presidential ambitions have made less charitable comments about a Palin White House bid. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, for instance, was asked by comedian Jimmy Fallon last month about a Palin bid. Christie's less-than-enthusiastic response: "Well, who knows, Jimmy? It's an amazing world."
One potential reason for that difference: Christie has said (half-jokingly) that he wouldn't even consider running for vice president in 2012. Jindal, however, has left the door open to serving as the eventual nominee's running mate or running for president in 2016.
2. Indiana state Sen. Mike Delph is inching toward a primary challenge to Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.).
In a statement posted to his website Friday, Delph directly alluded to a potential run against Lugar, saying he is "increasingly concerned with his actions on my behalf and on behalf of Indiana within the last few years."
Delph went on to speak out against Lugar's support for the DREAM Act, which Delph cast as increasing federal involvement in public schools and supplying amnesty to thousands of illegal immigrants.
"I have neither ruled in nor ruled out any future plans," Delph said, citing his recent reelection to the state Senate. "I continue to pray for Senator Lugar, his staff, our state and our nation in the hopes that we turn back to what made this country great: Faith, Freedom, Family, and a Federal government of limited and enumerated power."
Delph said a decision will be made sometime in 2011 on "any federal opportunities."