Is Bobby Jindal running 2012 US presidential race?

By Arun Kumar, IANS,

Washington : Bobby Jindal, Indian American governor of Louisiana, has been chosen to keynote the National Republican Congressional Committee’s March fundraising dinner, fuelling speculation that he may emerge as the party’s presidential candidate in 2012.

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“Bobby is a rising star and is a part of a new generation of leadership in our party,” NRCC chairman Pete Sessions noted in an e-mail to supporters.

“He has a budding record of success, having implemented sound, common-sense business practices since he took office in 2007 and started rebuilding his great state.”

The March 24 dinner will put Jindal in touch with big Washington donors as he puts his celebrity status to work for House Republicans. It’s an event where former president George W. Bush has delivered the keynote address every year since he became the chief executive in 2000.

Another indication that Republicans may be looking at him as a potential candidate was that he has been picked up over Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who was defeated in the 2008 elections when she contested as party presidential candidate John McCain’ vice presidential running mate.

An NRCC spokesman said Palin had not been asked to keynote the dinner.

“A darling of social conservatives and an emerging generation of Washington Republicans, Jindal’s presence at such a high-profile dinner will set tongues wagging,” the Politico, focusing on presidential politics, said.

The first-term Louisiana governor knows something about House races, having been elected to two terms in Congress before moving to the executive’s office, it said.

“But it is Jindal’s attractiveness to conservatives as a presidential contender that makes his appearance notable.”

Jindal, for his part, has denied that he is in the running for the 2012 presidential elections saying he would concentrate on the development of Louisiana, which has been badly hit by the devastating hurricane Katrina a few years ago.

Jindal drew attention in December with a brief trip to keynote a conservative group’s dinner in Iowa, which traditionally kicks off both parties’ presidential nominating contests.

The party must rely on potential presidential candidates and prominent rising stars to compete with what has proven to be an overwhelming advantage for Democrats.

Other top party fundraisers who appeal to Republican donors include former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and several members of Congress.