Doug Mouton / Northshore Bureau Chief
NEW ORLEANS -- Even before his second term as Governor of Louisiana begins, Bobby Jindal's top campaign aide said Thursday, Jindal is eyeing up a third term, although not immediately.
"We're not talking about changing the Constitution at all. We're talking about sitting out a term," Timmy Teepell said.
Teepell is Jindal's top campaign strategist and his former chief of staff.
"The governor loves serving the people of Louisiana. He says this is the best job he's ever had. He has a burning passion to make Louisiana the best place in the world to raise a family and find a good paying job, and he's got a lot of plans for the second term, and he's a young guy, and so, I can't imagine that this would be his last term."
Jindal is 40 years old. Timmy Teepell is 36.
Before this announcement by Teepell, most of the political speculation about indal's future centered around a possible run for U.S. Senate. Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu is up for re-election in fall 2014.
"I think it's much more likely he runs for a third term as governor than move to DC," Teepell said of Jindal's intentions.
"It's a little unusual to hear before he even takes his oath of office for his second term to already be hearing about a possible third term," Eyewitness News Political Analyst Clancy DuBos said of Teepell's statements, "but that only confirms what most of us have always known about Bobby Jindal - that if you cut him open, the only thing that bleeds out is ambition."
The question is, why would Teepell say anything about what the governor may do in eight years.
"I think there might be some palace intrigue going on here, knowing that some of the governor's, I don't want to say enemies, but potential rivals for the affection of the Republican faithful are also looking at the Governor's Office, not the least of whom is David Vitter," DuBos said.
DuBos said it's no secret in political circles that Republican Sen. David Vitter is eyeing a run at governor, after his landslide re-election victory last year.
"It's no secret that Bobby Jindal and David Vitter are not exactly pen pals or bosom buddies," DuBos added.
Other potential gubernatorial candidates in 2015 include Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne, State Treasurer John Kennedy, Commissioner of Agriculture Mike Strain and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
Landrieu is the only Democrat in the potential field.
"If he continues to enjoy popularity and success as Mayor," DuBos said of Landrieu, "he would be the logical Democrat to run statewide."
Teepell said Jindal would be a strong candidate in 2019, regardless of who the incumbent governor would be, because he said Jindal has led a renaissance in Louisiana.
"When you do that as Governor," Teepell said, "I don't think it's hard to get elected to a third term."
At 40, Jindal could potentially takes spend years away from the Governor's Mansion before running for a third term, but Teepell said he believes Jindal will, and "I'd bet on it, and sooner rather than later."
The possibility of facing Jindal in 2019 would not scare off any of his potential rivals in 2015, according to DuBos, who chalked up today's talk as political gamesmanship.
"It's just a way of tweaking his potential rivals," DuBos said. "I'm a little surprised, and that's what leads me to conclude that this is all just a little bit of inside baseball, palace intrigue within the Republican Party. I think it's still Jindal and Vitter sniping at each other behind other coded messages."