Friday, June 13, 2008

President McCain's Veep

But one of Jindal's job titles hasn't gotten much attention -- and it just might prompt a few questions if his Veep candidacy gains steam: Exorcist.

As others noted during his 2003 and 2007 gubernatorial campaigns (see update), in an essay Jindal wrote in 1994 for the New Oxford Review, a serious right-wing Catholic journal, Jindal narrated a bizarre story of a personal encounter with a demon, in which he participated in an exorcism with a group of college friends. And not only did they cast out the supernatural spirit that had possessed his friend, Jindal wrote that he believes that their ritual may well have cured her cancer.

Reading the article leaves no doubt that Jindal -- who graduated from Brown University in 1991, was a Rhodes Scholar, and had been accepted at Yale Law School and Harvard Medical School when he wrote the essay -- was completely serious about the encounter. He even said the experience "reaffirmed" his faith.

Jindal's affection for battling demons never surfaced during Jindal's failed run for governor in 2003 or his successful one in 2007. The state Dems did make an issue in 2007 out of Jindal's extreme Catholicism and his view of Protestant tenets as heretical, but the effort provoked a backlash among voters who thought the assault was religious bigotry. So Dems didn't make an issue out of Jindal's experiment.

But Jindal's battle with the dark forces may become an issue should his Veep candidacy proceed. While it's hardly a blockbuster revelation, it could provide fodder for bloggers and late-night comics to turn his candidacy into a media sideshow.

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