Louisana governor Bobby Jindal, the two-term Republican and potential presidential candidate, has announced the formation of a new group called America Next. The organization bills itself as a "conservative policy group" that aims to "focus on winning a war of ideas." Here's an excerpt from a mission statement by Jindal on the new group's website:
...here’s the truth – Conservatives have failed to articulate and sell a national policy agenda to the country, a vision of what conservative policies can accomplish when put into practice.. We’ve detailed the awful things the Obama Administration has done, all the failings of the left, and we’ve pledged to undo as much of that as we can.
That’s good, it needs to be done.
But conservatives must be willing to demonstrate that we have the courage of our convictions by going on offense in the war of ideas. That is where AMERICA NEXT comes in.
Jindal's initial statement doesn't list any specific policy ideas or proposals, though he has made education reform a priority during his governorship. But in places, the America Next mission statements sounds a bit like the first draft of a presidential announcement:
Many historians call the 20th century the American century, and they see this century as something different. Many of our politicians act as if our best days are behind us.
I believe America is a forever young country, and that we can usher in a new era of growth, of freedom, of unprecedented success and greatness. Freedom is never an old idea.
However, I also believe that if we don’t develop and enact a new policy agenda in Washington very soon, our country will decline. I believe the hour is late.
It’s up to us. Each generation must affirm the promise and the Dream of America for themselves. My generation has thus far failed to do so.
There will be no change in our country or in Washington, without building, championing, and selling the ideas that can unleash great opportunities for an American future.
Jindal will serve as America Next's honorary chairman, while the day-to-day operations will be run by Jill Neunaber, a veteran of Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign and most recently campaign manager for Massachusetts Republican Gabriel Gomez's failed bid for U.S. Senate. Neunaber will operate the 501(c)(4) group from Alexandria, Virginia, just outside of Washington.
Curt Anderson, a spokesman for America Next, says the group will have "experts all over the country, including Governor Jindal, working on policy plans."
"We will focus intensely on policy prescriptions," Anderson writes in an email to THE WEEKLY STANDARD. "Not just political talking points, but actual policy proposals that can turn conservative thought into reality. Jindal has done a lot of this at the state level, as have other conservative governors. And of course we will promote those ideas to the greatest extent possible. But this is not a super PAC, and it will not be playing around in elections. It’s all about policy formulation."