It’s official—Bobby Jindal is running for President of the United States.

Today’s initial announcement was quieter than the many that have come before it. There was no stadium, no enthusiastic crowd, no Instagram enthusiasts—just a single camera, and a conversation between Jindal and his wife and children.

It was…different. Watch:

The crowds and flashing lights will come later—his more formal announcement will take place tonight at 5:45 EST, just outside of New Orleans. Bobby’s son Shaan will be offering a behind the scenes look at the announcement on Twitter’s new live streaming app, Periscope. You can watch that stream here.

His announcement will be the first step of a long and potentially rocky road toward the nomination. While other candidates have already thrown their elbow in the door when it comes to polling, Jindal’s pre-announcement push has produced a less than enthusiastic showing.

WaPo has a prickly take:

There are already 12 other major Republican candidates in the race, with several more expected to enter soon. And Jindal is running behind nearly all of them: Several recent polls have shown him at just 1 percent support among GOP voters, either last or tied for last.

In the most recent Fox News poll, the news was even worse. Jindal wasn’t just behind all the other candidates, he was also behind “None of the Above,” which got 2 percent.

Jindal aides and advisers say that a central part of the governor’s pitch will be that he is “fearless.” His recently declared opposition to gay marriage and an executive order on religious freedoms will be data points to show that he’s willing to take on the corporate wing of the party in ways that no one else is.

“He’s not afraid to talk about things that normal politicians are nervous to talk about,” one aide said, previewing the announcement anonymously because Jindal had not formally announced his candidacy yet.

Still, Jindal could earn support from conservatives eager to humiliate the liberal establishment’s too-predictable reaction to a minority conservative entering the race. Earlier this year, MSNBC played host to a discussion that quickly took a racist (actual, legitimate racism, people—mark it down) turn when guest Arsalan Iftikhar wondered whether Jindal was using policy positions to “scrub some of the brown off his skin as he runs to the right in a presidential bid.”

It’s sick, and predictable, but also the kind of thing that flows directly into viral ads and could stand to help Jindal raise both his name recognition, and his favorability.

Before this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Professor Jacobson did a great breakdown of the horse race—and floated the theory that Jindal was already auditioning for Vice President, whether he knew it or not:

Bobby Jindal needs to show he’s not just a policy wonk, and can excite people. He may be auditioning for VP, whether he knows it or not.

Carly Fiorina has the most to gain at CPAC. Like Jindal, I consider her auditioning for VP, given she has not held political office before. She did well at the Iowa Freedom Summit, and a solid CPAC appearance could take her from “who?” to a serious candidate.

Interesting comparison to Fiorina. Jindal, for the most part, comes across as very approachable, likable, and “normal”—at least, that’s been my experience. He may not ever have the numbers to rise to the top of the Presidential pool, but his wonkish approach to politics and easygoing style could prove a formidable foil to Fiorina’s more commanding (and, from what I’ve seen, less-approachable) presence.

Let’s take this to the comments—how high do you think Jindal will fly?


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