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Hurricane Gustav may make or break Jindal's future
September 02, 2008 21:26 IST
Last Updated: September 04, 2008 16:51 IST
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, once considered a potential running mate of Republican Presidential nominee John McCain [Images], is in spotlight again as attention is focused on his state's response to Hurricane Gustav, which may make or break his political future.
His predecessor Kathleen Blanco was severely criticised for her slow response to cope with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which smashed the Gulf Coast, leading to the flooding of New Orleans three years ago.
Blanco, who was cast as an ineffective bureaucrat, suffered a major damage to her political career and decided against seeking re-election and Jindal, who had lost narrowly to her in 2003, was elected last year.
It is now 37-year-old Jindal who finds himself in the hot seat as Hurricane Gustav bears down on the state.
How Jindal, widely seen as a rising star in the Republican Party, handles himself is critical to his political future, although his closest aides eschew the idea that any political calculation enters into this sort of situation, the report said.
Jindal was one of the potential candidates for McCain's running mate before the Republican White House hopeful zeroed in on conservative Alaska Governor Sarah Palin [Images].
Jindal's off to a good start, the Washington Post said, adding that his press conferences in the run-up to Gustav's landfall was authoritative and extremely detail-oriented.
Jindal's past experiences in the Louisiana government -- running the health and human services department in the state -- suggest a flair for management, the report said.
"Moments of crisis define political leadership -- fairly or unfairly," Phil Musser, a Republican consultant who advised Jindal's campaign last year, was quoted as saying.
"My experience leads me to believe that at the end of the day, Louisianans, and Americans, will be really proud of and thankful for Bobby Jindal."
The report said all eyes will be on Jindal this week and his performance will ultimately be seen as fodder for the political grist mill.
"Shine this week and his star rises ever higher. Falter and Jindal's seemingly assured spot on the national ticket will become a lot shakier," it said.
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