Louisiana (US), Feb.24 (ANI): Fast-talking Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal plans to rehearse the Republican Party's response to President Barack Obama's address to Congress with a teleprompter today before delivering it live from the governor's mansion in Baton Rouge.
According to the Washington Post, this is the grandest opportunity of Jindal's young political life, and he is banking on impressing Americans just as he wowed the Rhodes panel when seeking its scholarship as a 20-year-old.
Then, it took the panel a mere 30 seconds to pencil in Jindal's name, as he stood out on the long roster of Louisiana's high achievers with his intelligence and eloquence.
The judges took another 45 minutes to settle in on the second finalist.
Jindal has been anointed the boy wonder of a Republican Party that was left battered by the 2008 election and hungry for new leadership.
His audition on the national stage is tonight, and at 37, he was still working last night on the 10-minute speech.
Aides said he is writing it himself, although he has received input from party leaders.
In his star moment, Jindal is being anything but cautious.
Leading up to his speech, Jindal has voiced withering criticism of Obama's 787 billion dollar economic recovery package, becoming the most prominent of a handful of Republican governors from Southern states to say they will reject some federal funds in the stimulus plan.
Jindal's gamble is being widely regarded by GOP strategists as an attempt to burnish his fiscal conservative credentials in expectation of a presidential bid, perhaps as early as 2012.
The son of Indian immigrants, Jindal is the first non-white governor of Louisiana since Reconstruction and offers the GOP an attractive rival to Obama.
"Look, I think every American is incredibly proud by the president's personal story, the fact that we will be seeing him addressing his first joint session of Congress tomorrow night, and I have been selected and honored to give . . . the Republican response," Jindal said yesterday.
In picking a governor to deliver tonight's speech, GOP leaders are acknowledging that without a majority in Congress, the big ideas necessary to rebuild their party are likely to come from state capitols.
Jindal is among several GOP governors harboring national ambitions, a group that includes Florida's Charlie Crist, Minnesota's Tim Pawlenty, South Carolina's Mark Sanford and Utah's Jon M. Huntsman Jr.
In Jindal, the GOP has chosen a charismatic spokesman with intellectual heft. (ANI)