Once dubbed the best possible candidate to oppose President Barack Obama in 2012, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is calling it quits in his run for the White House. His announcement on Tuesday was capped with the statement that it was just “not my time.”
Jindal has struggled to gain a footing in this 2016 GOP nomination race despite having a high name ID and the experience many Iowans would crave in a presidential candidate. This is largely because the campaigns of Donald Trump and Ben Carson have overshadowed his and other socially conservative campaigns. It could be seen greatly in the campaign finance reports, with Jindal having just over a quarter of a million dollars in the bank at the end of the last reporting period that ended September 30.
The son of Indian immigrants, Jindal was seen as a rising star in the party after making a surprising second in the 2003 gubernatorial race, losing in the run-off election to then-Lt. Gov. Kathleen Blanco. He took his popularity to the House, winning two terms to Congress in 2004 and 2006, before running in the open governor’s election in 2007, easily winning the jungle primary with 54 percent of the vote and 36.5 percent more than the runner up.
But his status in the party took a tumble in 2009 after giving the Republican response to Obama’s first address to Congress, a speech many panned as poorly delivered and conjuring up issues the GOP wanted to avoid, namely Hurricane Katrina. It did not derail his popularity in the state, winning with an even larger margin in his 2011 reelection campaign. But a poor economy and a failed tax reform proposal hurt his political standing in the state and he was unable to regain his stature in the national field.
During his presidential campaign, Jindal was routinely stuck in the lower tier of what was 16 candidates from the party. He appeared in each of the four undercard debates held before the main debate and was unable to differentiate himself from his opponents to take a rise to the higher tiers, which could have translated into more campaign cash and higher public presence.
Jindal’s dropping out marks just the third Republican and sixth candidate overall to call it quits. Republicans Rick Perry and Scott Walker have already stopped their campaigns while Democrats Lincoln Chafee and Jim Webb and long-shot Larry Lessig have ended their runs.