Sunday, October 23, 2011

Kenneth, Still The Governor

It's beginning to sink in that post-Katrina Louisiana is now among the reddest of red states and will remain so for the foreseeable future as Gov. Bobby Jindal won re-election easily and took two-thirds of the vote in the state's Saturday runoff election.

With more than 99 percent of precincts reporting, Jindal carried 66 percent of the vote with his nearest challenger, Democratic school teacher Tara Hollis, taking 18 percent. None of the remaining eight candidates moved out of single digits.

Jindal, whose vote count allowed him to bypass a November runoff, has been viewed as a potential vice presidential contender. But he has said he would serve out his term as governor if re-elected.

"I will use every day, every hour of these next four years to make Louisiana the best it can be," he said.

Once seen as a possible presidential contender himself, Jindal has since endorsed Texas Governor Rick Perry for the Republican nomination.

"Jindal doesn't aim low," said Bernie Pinsonat, a Baton Rouge political analyst and pollster. "I don't think anybody in Louisiana thinks that Bobby Jindal doesn't have ambitions to be president," he said.

Pinsonat said the key to what Jindal did next was the 2012 presidential election. "If (Democrat) Barack Obama is re-elected, Jindal will throw himself 100 percent into running for president in 2016," Pinsonat said.

Jindal has no chance of course.  Well, not any more of a chance than Perry, Bachmann, Cain, or Ron Paul does now, anyway.  The more important story is that the massive remaking of Louisiana's population after Hurricane Katrina has now cemented the Bayou State as blood red.  It's an important lesson in demographics that has not been lost on other Republican leaders in other states or at the national level either:  when you remove minorities from the voting equation, Republicans win.

Despite Louisiana's economy crashing during his tenure, Jindal still got 2/3rds of the vote.  Ask yourself why he was rewarded with four more years when the economy and jobs are the most important single issue among voters and just last year the state's coastline was ravaged by the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster and farmers this year were flooded out of their lands when Jindal gave the green light to do so in order to spare the wealthier parts of New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

Jindal should have been run out of town on a rail yesterday.  Instead he won overwhelmingly.  Think about what allowed that to happen.

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