Conservative advisors to Mitt Romney's campaign are starting to coalesce behind Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal as their pick for vice president, according to several sources who believe that he will be their champion in a Romney administration that some fear will be too moderate.
"We want somebody who we can talk to and who will take our case to the president," said one conservative Romney advisor. "He's one of us."
Another source said Jindal's key attributes are his southern roots, his Indian-American heritage, and his ease with talking health care and his Catholic faith. '"He is an appealing person to Evangelical voters who should be a huge voting block for the GOP ticket," said the source, who expressed some concern about the religious right getting energized for a Mormon.
Conservatives have been dissecting Romney's potential choices and believe that he is leaning toward a governor or senator, such as Ohio Rep. Rob Portman. Some conservatives like Portman, but activists claim that he isn't as much of a social policy warrior as they are. And they are worried about his close ties to both President Bushes, including a stint on George H.W. Bush's bid to beat Ronald Reagan in the 1980 GOP primary.
Some social conservatives have tried to rally support for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, but realize that Romney is inclined to choose a current governor and one who sticks to a message of fiscal and personal responsibility like Jindal.