In their gracious concession speeches, his Democratic opponents Walter Boasso and Foster Campbell and independent John Georges also called on their supporters to rally behind Jindal.
While this sunshine-and-rainbow honeymoon will end the minute that Jindal's sworn into office, the temporary truce is welcome ' especially by my e-mail inbox. For the past four months, I've been flooded with a dizzying 10-20 campaign announcements an hour. In the final weeks leading up to the election, it all blended into a blur of LOOK AT THESE ENDORSEMENTS and JOE MISREPRESENTED MY POSITION ON HEALTH CARE and WE JUST RAISED $10,000 and THEY'RE RUNNING A DIRTY CAMPAIGN and WATCH THIS YOUTUBE VIDEO and MY OPPONENT HATES CHILDREN AND PUPPIES, until I was ready to take a sledgehammer to my computer monitor.
And that doesn't even take into account letters to the editor. Campaigns bring out some of the most, shall we say, spirited letters. One anonymous writer called The Independent "a slime bag group of radical disgusting right-wing a--h---s," while regular reader Roder Russo of Youngsville says The Independent is "not interested in facts only the typical liberal hyper filly, innuendos and lies."
There will still be plenty of those types of missives sparked by the statewide runoffs for attorney general and commissioner of agriculture and forestry, where you can take it to the bank that AG candidates Royal Alexander and Buddy Caldwell and Ag commish candidates Bob Odom and Mike Strain will be smiling for the cameras and scratching and clawing like vultures over a carcass behind the scenes. There are also runoffs in a number of local city council races and state representative races.
But it's all over in the race for the state's top spot. Like it or not, Jindal is the new leader of Louisiana.
Longtime Louisiana political analyst and demographer Elliot Stonecipher presented some interesting theories regarding Jindal's future at his recent Oct. 3 Lafayette speech as part of The Independent Weekly's Lecture Series. Stonecipher believes that for Jindal to have a real shot at meaningful ethics reform and substantive legislative changes, our new governor is going to have to show voters how the sausage is made.
Stonecipher may be onto something. In Jindal's acceptance speech, he promised: "If and when folks try to stop [ethics reform], I will call them out. If and when people try to throw in amendments designed to derail ethics reform, I will call them out."
Go for it. Name names. Point the finger at legislators who load up bills with unrelated pork and poison pills and delay the process with procedural nonsense.
That cuts both ways. Members of the Legislature, whether they're Democrat, Republican or independent, need to have the courage to stand up to Jindal and similarly call him out if they believe he's pushing legislation that would take Louisiana down the wrong path. Battles between governors and the Legislature are nothing new, but far too often it descends into rote partisan posturing. Both sides would do well to tone down the sniping and grandstanding and give voters an honest, unfiltered peek at some of the ridiculous stunts pulled behind closed doors.
How will this factor into Jindal's ability to lead? Stonecipher has another theory worth keeping in mind: one of the reasons the state Republican Party is so united behind Jindal is because the national Republican Party views Jindal as a rising star. He represents a potential national voting base that's traditionally eluded Republicans, even more so in recent years: young minorities. With that in mind, the national party won't wait too long before bringing Jindal up on the national stage ' possibly even as a vice presidential candidate on the 2012 or 2016 ticket.
Using Stonecipher's hypothesis, Jindal can make some bold moves and fail. If his major policy initiatives are thwarted by the Democratic-majority Legislature, the national party can hold Jindal up as a candidate who vigorously tried to enact change but was derailed by partisan politics. If he succeeds, he'll have a positive track record to run on, and the national party won't risk the potential damage from any Jindal missteps in a second four-year term.
In either scenario, Jindal's likely a one-term governor. Here's hoping he makes the most of it.
School board members Mark Babineaux, Hunter Beasley and Tehmi Chassion can vote to fire Cooper — because we all know that’s exactly what they’ll do.
District 2 school board candidate Simon Mahan is hoping to unseat first-term incumbent and former Carencro Mayor Tommy Angelle in the Nov. 4 election.
District Attorney Mike Harson is showing his desperation by falsely attributing quotes to his opponent and blocking journalists from his social media.
The governor is traveling the country laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, but his approval ratings at home hover well below 50 percent.
State District Judge Bob Downing extended the order and delayed a planned Wednesday hearing about a permanent injunction while negotiations continue between Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the waste disposal site operator.
New Louisiana higher education commissioner Joseph Rallo will be paid more than his predecessor.
Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each had four rushing touchdowns, and Louisiana-Lafayette rolled to 419 yards on the ground in a 55-40 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the validators-in-chief for Democrats struggling through a bleak campaign season in states where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular.
President Barack Obama is turning to black radio listeners to plead for midterm votes, a targeted approach to drum up Democratic support at a time when many candidates don't want him around in person.
WaPo Watergate editor Ben Bradlee dies; Clintons stump for Dems; Liberians stranded and more national and international news for Wednesday, October 22, 2014.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
"I am extremely disheartened by the political machines that are attempting to hijack my efforts along with others that advocate for children."
Landrieu, who is fighting to keep her seat for a fourth term, said that Ebola is serious and precautions should be taken, but she accused Republicans of using the virus outbreak in West Africa to "create fear" here at home.
Law enforcement agencies are participating in a "Louisiana Heroin Summit," designed to address the recent rise in heroin use and drug-related deaths around the state.
State education officials are preparing to release performance scores for public schools and public school districts.
Saints coach Sean Payton is starting a new week by emphasizing, repeatedly, the many good things he noticed during New Orleans' latest loss.
We will be offering our recommendations on the constitutional amendments tomorrow.
The justices did not comment in leaving in place lower court rulings that dismissed the lawsuits against BP and other companies involved in the worst U.S. offshore oil spill.
White registration is down by 7,700 voters while black registration has shot up by 7,100 voters.
Even though it had been rumored for months, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu finally pulled the trigger recently on a major campaign shakeup that moved control over to a few Big Easy insiders.
Louisiana's health department says it will seek law changes to stop billing sexual assault victims for exams and tests.
It wasn’t the historic slashes to higher ed funding or the ensuing tuition spikes that recently had LSU’s student body and faculty riled up in collective outrage.
Will $400 be enough for the re-election campaign of LPSB's Hunter Beasley to overcome two years of holding our school system hostage and hurting the education of our children all because of a personal dislike of the superintendent?
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham said Friday he expects his playing status in Detroit to be decided by coach Sean Payton on Sunday, shortly before the game.
Lawmakers have sidestepped a decision on whether they accept claims from Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration that the state closed last year's books with a nearly $179 million surplus.