Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?

In the post this morning on the Romney donor network, I noted that in the underlying article from WaPo’s Wesley Lowery on that network’s favorite and slightly-less-favorite ’16ers, there was nary a mention of onetime GOP “savior” Marco Rubio.

But there was another famous name missing from a list that ultimately included non-world-beaters like Mike Pence along with the notation that Mitt’s donors generally love GOP governors: the two-term governor of Louisiana.

I was reminded of that fact in reading a separate piece from National Review‘s Eliana Johnson about Bobby Jindal’s preparations for an almost certain presidential run:

Though Jindal skewered Mitt Romney just a week after the 2012 election, he’s now turning to the Romney camp in an effort to beef up his fundraising operation. Sources say he is looking to tap Romney’s vast donor network and has asked Romney’s finance director, Spencer Zwick, for an assist with introductions to some of the Romney campaign’s top givers.

A number of the GOP’s likely Republican presidential candidates, including Rand Paul, are looking to Zwick to make these introductions. That’s in part a rite of passage – presidential contenders always want access to the fundraising list compiled by the previous candidate – and in part because the Romney team, which opted out of the public-financing system, was able to raise over $1 billion, an unprecedented amount for a GOP candidate. Romney and Zwick’s stable of top-dollar donors also has an especially loyal reputation relative to that of other nominees from both parties.

So even as the Romney donor network discusses their relationships with and preferences among a long list of potential 2016 candidates (including Paul, who was mentioned in surprisingly favorable terms in the Lowery piece), Bobby Jindal is looking for ways to invite himself into that world to make a pitch. This is not a good sign for him. Nor is it a particularly good sign, BTW, that he designated himself head of the crusade for “religious liberty” in a Big Speech in California right before said crusade fell into a giant ravine next door in Arizona.

Poor Bobby. Here’s a guy so brilliant and accomplished that you’d think all he’d have to do is stand in front of GOP “invisible primary” audiences with his resume in hand and just say: “Ecce Homo!” Instead he’s running around throwing himself in front of cameras, and seeking access to donor networks, like he’s just another pol. Makes you want to cry.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.