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Do You Want to Be President?

If you are a Senator or Governor from the party which does not control the White House — and if you haven’t been indicted recently — one thing that you can count on is being asked if you plan to run for President.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal got the expected question while appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press today.

Governors Tim Pawlenty (R, MN) and Mark Sanford (R, SC) got essentially the same question on Fox News Sunday this morning.

Even California’s Arnold Swarzenegger was asked about his future on CNN’s “State of the Union” (although host John King pointed out that it would take a constitutional amendment to permit the foreign-born Governator to run.)

Political protocol requires politicians to say things like “I’m only focused on my current job” and “My concern is the people of (fill in the blank).”

The trick is to declare your dedication to your current job without flatly ruling out the possibility of seeking what you really want — the ultimate job promotion.

Here is how Jindal handled the question with David Gregory on Meet The Press:

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Jindal made the safe play — but just once we’d like to see some politician say: “I love my job, but under the right circumstances, I wouldn’t mind moving up. Let me ask you David — would you rule out the possibility of someday anchoring the Nightly News?”

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