‘Tanned. Rested. Ready’ – Bobby Jindal’s 2016 US Presidential Campaign Slogan

Bobby Jindal, family and staff at the announcement of his presidential bid at Kenner, Louisiana, June 24
Bobby Jindal, family and staff at the announcement of his presidential bid at Kenner, Louisiana, June 24

That is Indian-American Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s new 2016 presidential campaign slogan and the “tanned” part is supposed to be a reference to his skin tone.

“The liberal media that developed this week was disgusting: Apparently Bobby isn’t brown enough for them,” wrote Timmy Teepell, Mr Jindal’s campaign manager, in an email to supporters.

“Well, this will make the left even more upset. We are now selling the first limited edition t-shirt of the campaign, and I want you to know about it,” Mr Teepell was quoted as saying by The Times-Picayune.

Bobby Jindal, 44, used a similar line about being “tanned” in his official presidential campaign launched on June 24.

National media has seized on Mr Jindal’s relationship with the Indian community, even as he himself has tried to distance himself from his Indian roots.

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Mr Jindal, a Republican, has time and again reiterated his remarks about de-hyphenating Indians and other ethnic groups from Americans.

“I am done with all this talk about hyphenated Americans.

We are not Indian-Americans, African-Americans, Irish Americans, rich Americans or poor Americans. We are all Americans,” he had said while announcing his 2016 presidential bid.

In February, several news outlets questioned whether a portrait that hangs in Louisiana’s Capitol makes Bobby Jindal appear to be a white man.

Though against categorisation of Indian-American, Mr Jindal does not shy away from his parents’ immigration story in political speeches. The governor frequently references the tough journey his parents took from India to Baton Rouge as a point of pride. He made sure to outline their travails during his official presidential launch.

Mr Jindal’s talk about dehyphenating Americans had riled many Indians and he faced a barrage of criticism on Twitter following the announcing of his presidential bid.

The governor’s team has termed this as absurd and said that the new t-shirt which has the slogan imprinted on it is one way they are trying to discredit this type of criticism.

Mr Jindal, the first Indian-American to make a presidential bid, is the 13th Republican aspirant to target the White House in this election cycle.

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