Last Modified: Saturday, June 30, 2012 10:03 PM
Remember Bobby Jindal?
Freshly scrubbed, a boy wonder, he was attached to the Gov. Mike Foster administration almost two decades ago.
Back then, Murphy J. “Mike” Foster Jr. was your grandaddy’s gubernatorial candidate, with a name entrenched in the state’s dark Bourbon Democrat past. Foster rode motorcycles and went to college classes while serving as governor, but nonetheless, near 70, seemed to evoke a Louisiana gone by.
But the old pol took a shine to young Jindal, who had quickly emerged from the Ivy League and Oxford as a valued technocrat with an amazing capacity for policy. Murphy named Jindal, just 24, secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals and, three years later, named him president of the University of Louisiana System. Jobs flew by for Jindal, who built a formidable resume by the age of 32, when he ran a close second for governor. Four years later, after time in Congress, he ran successfully for governor. What a fresh start for Louisiana.
Political columnist John Maginnis dismissed comparisons then of Jindal to former Gov. Buddy Roemer, another young Ivy Leaguer who once seized the governorship. In “Louisiana Governors: Rulers, Rascals and Reformers,” Maginnis was quoted as saying that Jindal “learned better about how to work with others” and “to win over instead of run over” his opponents. More darkly, though, opponent Walter Boasso described Jindal as “big brain, no heart.”
Comes now an older — though not old — Jindal, still building his resume, still looking skyward for new political offices. Touted as a vice presidential possibility for GOP hopeful Mitt Romney, the current version of Jindal might make Boasso, not Maginnis, seem the better seer. In Louisiana, there has been an outbreak of criticism of the governor, who has been derided as “Huey P. Jindal” for heavyhanded actions against those who seemingly cross him or even question him. Ominously, many of the governor’s sharpest critics are fellow Republicans who have been gored by the governor’s actions.
Most recently, the governor has
come under fire for a veto that stripped some 40 percent of the budget
from the Council on
Development of French in Louisiana, a 44-year-old state agency
that promotes teaching the French language in Louisiana and
embraces French culture in its myriad forms in our state.
Critics say the veto was aimed at Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, whose office oversees CODIFIL, but instead hit Louisiana Cajuns and Creoles, who have at various times been persecuted in Louisiana.
Punishing the persecuted never plays well nationally.
We miss that younger, well-intentioned Jindal, who reached out to all Louisianians and seemed to unify voters in 2007.
We miss Foster, who seldom held grudges, too. He never seemed so young.
This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Ken Stickney, Jim Beam, Dennis Spears, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.
Posted By: rob On: 7/1/2012
Title: If you miss that younger idealistic jindal...
I've got news for you. He never existed. He capitalized on Blanco's ineptitude and Louisianians post Katrina/Rita hope and has done absolutely nothing but use it as a stepping stone to higher office. He is Sarah Palin with an Oxford degree eyeing a particularly high speech fee upon completion of his political career. We do not need people in government who are only after their post government pay check. We need people in government who give a ___ and Jindal is *not* that person.