Bobby Jindal, the Louisiana governor widely seen as a Republican rising star, will keynote a high-profile Christian conservative fundraising dinner next month in Iowa, his office confirms.
Jindal will speak at the Iowa Family Policy Center's “Celebrating the Family” banquet in suburban Des Moines on November 22nd, according to his spokeswoman, Melissa Sellers. While in the state, he also may to go to Cedar Rapids to see some of those areas impacted by the summer floods. Jindal, of course, has led his state's recovery from Katrina since being elected in 2007.
It will be Jindal's first visit to Iowa, Sellers said.
The trip is a reminder that, even with a presidential election looming, caucus politics is never far away in the Hawkeye State.
The Christian conservative organization is led by Chuck Hurley, a well-known activist who first backed Sam Brownback before switching over to Mike Huckabee in this year's GOP nomination battle.
Their flyer touting Jindal's speech features quotes from conservative luminaries. "The next Ronald Reagan," says Rush Limbaugh.
Jindal, 37, got some vice-presidential buzz this year and spent a well-documented Memorial Day weekend at the McCain ranch near Sedona along with other prominent GOP elected officials and potential future rivals.
He has won praise from a range of Republican figures from McCain's top advisers to Limbaugh to anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist.
Though never thought to be in the serious running to be McCain's running mate, he has emerged as frequent surrogate this year, doing Sunday morning shows on the Arizona senator's behalf and spending last Saturday at the LSU-Florida game in Gainesville making the pitch for the nominee.
He already has credentials with the moneycons (Limbaugh and Norquist), and he's working hard to build them with the theocons. All Republicans are neocons until proven otherwise, so he's covered there. He's young, so he can run away from Bush-brand conservatism and call himself a "new kind of Republican." That there is really only one kind of Republican who could possibly win their primary -- a Bush-McCain type -- will get lost in the glitz. Assuming the economy is straightened out by then, 2012 will be too early for him, but he'll only be 45 in 2016, younger than Obama is now. Anything can happen in eight years, but this guy is dangerous -- anyone who can win the support of the irrational conservative base and a general election is. He could fashion a Giuliani-like campaign around the "Miracle of New Orleans", and in eight years be running around the country chanting "Change change change." That we've already seen the conservative kind of "change," and didn't like it much, will have been forgotten.
In 2016, Biden would be 73 -- older than McCain is now...