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Monday, February 18, 2013 2:55:53 PM (IST)  

Is Bobby Jindal preparing for a 2016 presidential run?

Washington, Feb 18 (IANS): Louisiana's Indian American Governor Bobby Jindal is laying the groundwork for a likely presidential bid and using his state as a testing ground for policies that play well with national conservatives, according to a media report.

He's passed a sweeping school voucher plan, rejected the Medicaid expansion in Obamacare and proposed scrapping the state income tax, all intended to please the Republican party's conservative base, Politico, an influential media site focusing on politics noted in a report Sunday.

It cited political observers who've watched Jindal up close for years as saying "it's become increasingly fuzzy where his governing ends and his presidential ambitions begin."

It was unclear "whether the 41-year-old policy wonk's plans are aimed at Louisiana's problems or future GOP (Republican) voters in Iowa and New Hampshire," the two states where the first presidential primaries begin, Politico said.

Jindal's bold policy proposals in Louisiana come at the same time he's raising his profile nationally, both through his new post as head of the Republican Governors Association and his frequent commentary on the future of the Republican Party, the influential site noted.

His headline-grabbing policies aren't the only way Jindal is boosting his national profile, the Politico said noting that since the November election, he's become a go-to commentator for cable news shows on the Republican party's challenges and direction going forward.

In a speech at the Republican National Committee's winter meeting last month, Jindal said the Republican party needs to "stop being the stupid party" and that comments from some Republican candidates in 2012 inflicted "damage to the brand."

He also said on Fox News recently that any Republicans already thinking about 2016 plans "need to get their head examined."

"But Jindal appears to be doing precisely that," Politico said suggesting "It's no coincidence that Jindal took the helm at the RGA this year: The position gives him reason to travel the country and build up a national network that would be crucial to any presidential bid."

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