It’s finally here, Bobby Jindal’s inauguration as Louisiana’s new Governor, and it seemed to take forever to happen. I don’t remember another time that there was so much anticipation for a leader to take the oath of office, at least I can’t think of a time in my lifetime that it’s happened, not this much anticipation.
I’ve really had some time to think about it, why Jindal has this aura of hope, light, and excitement around him. Was it just a really well ran, effective campaign? The energy from so many young people actively involved in his campaign? Was it the lack of leadership from the previous administration? Or is Bobby Jindal the second coming of Albert Einstein, Ronald Reagan, and Jesus Christ all rolled up in one? Was it that Hurricane Katrina was so mismanaged that we’ve had 2 years (since hurricane Katrina) to think of the consequences of not electing Bobby Jindal? Or was the Delta Queen just annoying to look at for four years?
Maybe it’s all of the above, save the Jesus Christ blasphemous comment. When Bobby Jindal ran for Governor four years ago, he had a 10 point lead just one week out of election day. Kathleen Blanco’s unbelievable come from behind victory shocked Republicans throughout Louisiana. Perhaps many of Jindal’s supporters didn’t think their vote mattered, or perhaps they couldn’t bring their selves to vote for a brown guy, maybe they thought it’s time to vote for a woman as Governor. Whatever excuse they made, they’ve had four years to think about it. They’ve had four years to regret it.
Let’s not forget Hurricane Katrina and it’s impact on this state, or how the then Governor would not even meet with President Bush when he came to town. Or how she wouldn’t listen to President Bush’s recommendations and rushed down to Cuba to meet the dictator Fidel Castro. The hostility she displayed towards the President of the United States did not help matters when that hostility continued during a time when we needed his assistance the most. Hurricane Katrina was a moment when politics should have taken a back seat, and yet it seems that the politicians were more interested in political propaganda than they were saving lives (think Mary Landrieu’s ‘punch the president comment).
It didn’t bode well for Governor Blanco that she worried about her legacy after Jindal’s election, or even offering up advice to him. It added to the anticipation of Governor Jindal’s administration as Kathleen Blanco’s most recent press clippings left us reliving Hurricane Katrina. It’s a great relief that Governor Kathleen Blanco is no longer the Governor. Half the anticipation is a monkey off this state’s shoulders, as if we abandoned all hope while Blanco’s administration was there.
Then there’s Bobby Jindal, there with his hand out ready to glad hand potential voters, but his hand seemed to be a hand that is lifting up people who have just fallen down rather than just another politicians ready to kiss babies and whatever else one could offer up to kiss.
Perhaps it was the campaign, whose youthfulness created excitement long before Jindal walked into a room and helped keep the momentum up as Jindal gave his speech. Watching his speeches, however, it was unnecessary for his staff to do so, Jindal did a fine job off it all on his own.
When Louisiana’s wonder boy takes the oath of office tomorrow, I can’t help but to wonder if Louisiana’s new Governor can live up to expectations. Can he save Louisiana? Or does anybody even care if he can or not, just as long as he’s better than the last Governor?
As for me, I’ll enjoy the moment and Thank God It’s Monday! Thank God Bobby Jindal is the Governor of Louisiana.