Republicans have chosen Louisiana’s young governor, Bobby Jindal, to deliver a high-profile national address that will follow on the heels of President Barack Obama’s first State of the Union Address to the U.S. Congress on Feb. 24.
The choice of Jindal, 37 years old and of Indian heritage, points to a search for new leaders for the Republican Party, which is still reeling from the loss of its majority in both the House of Representatives and Senate to Democrats and the White House to Obama.
Jindal – who proved his mettle as an able administrator and communicator after Hurricane Gustav tore across Louisiana in September – has been tapped as a rising star in the Republican Party.
A darling to conservatives like talk show host Rush Limbaugh, who has dubbed him as “the next Ronald Reagan,” Jindal will have a chance to polish his credentials before a national television audience later this month.
“Here in Louisiana, we have first-hand experience with reforming government and cutting taxes to stimulate our economy in uncertain times,” Jindal said in a statement on Wednesday. “This is a terrific opportunity to talk about our great state to the nation.”
Too bad many in Louisiana won’t be listening. Feb. 24 is Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras, the big party in these parts, especially in New Orleans, before the start of Lent.
Photo Credit: Reuters/Jeff Haynes (JIndal shakes hands with a then President-elect Obama)