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Saturday, 25 June 2011 00:20

It is possibly the most positive news in Louisiana’s clouded political history that there has been a state administrator with the impact that Bobby Jindal has created in state and federal circles. His outstanding track


Gov. Jindalrecord in elected, appointed, and volunteer positions ranks him among future front runners for presidential and vice presidential candidacy.

Bobby was born to Punjabi Indian immigrants, Amar and Raj Jindal while they were in graduate school in Baton Rouge in 1971. He real first name is Piyush which he substituted early on with the Americanized Bobby.

Although becoming the U.S.’s youngest governor at age 36, he is no stranger to important positions. Following graduation from Brown University and completing his graduate degree from Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, he was hired as a consultant for McKinsey and Company advising Fortune 50 companies.

In 1996, Louisiana’s Governor Mike Foster, appointed Jindal as Secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals. The agency was facing a collapse of Louisiana’s medicaid program with a $400 million deficit. In three years, Secretary Jindal turned that significant deficit into a $200 million surplus.

Two years later, in 1998, the President appointed Bobby to serve as executive director of the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare. During his tenure in Washington, D.C., Louisiana’s governor requested Jindal’s service in advising Louisiana on how to best use the $4.4 billion tobacco settlement. In his spare time he was appointed president of the University of Louisiana System (16th largest in the U.S.).

In 2001 President Bush appointed Jindal as Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation of Health and Human Services; a position he held until his resignation in 2003 to return to Louisiana as a gubernatorial candidate. His first bid for the top position fell short and he successfully ran for the United States Congress, representing Louisiana’s First District. He was reelected to that position again in 2006, when he announced his intent to run for Governor of Louisiana once again.

Elected with an unprecendented 54% of the vote in the primary in 2007, Bobby became Louisiana’s first non-incumbent gubernatorial candidate to win that position without a runoff. He was sworn in this past year and has faced a number of challenges, not the least of which was a major hurricane striking the New Orleans area for the second time in 3 years.

Jindal’s platform upon entering the Governor’s Office has been one of ethics reform. Within a month of taking office he successfully directed passage of a bill requiring increased financial disclosure of elected officials; eliminating gifts from lobbyists and prohibiting state officials from entering into state contracts.

Governor Jindal’s name was mentioned numerous times by national media as as possible Vice Presidential pick for Republican candidate Senator John McCain; although he has denied ever speaking to McCain about the vice presidency. He most probably would have had an opportunity to speak before the 2008 Republican National Convention; but his attention was spent directing emergency relief efforts during and following Hurricane Gustav’s visit to Louisiana.

Recently his effective work as governor has enabled Louisiana to receive over $2 million in Federal emergency funds from Ike; and it is felt that his performance during Louisiana’s crisis will go a long way toward insuring the federal government’s attention when he speaks.

Bobby and wife Supriya, are the parents of three children; and in August, 2006, Bobby was called upon to assist in the delivery of his 3rd child before Mom and Dad could get to the hospital!

For those readers old enough to remember the past 40 years of Louisiana’s rocky political past and poor reputation nationally, Governor Bobby Jindal shines as a bright young star. Hopefully his brilliance is not captured too soon by the national government; although what would be Louisiana’s loss is sure to be the United States’ gain.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 July 2011 16:24