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Democrats Sent a Message: Jindal Wins

Captain Ed says:  [1]

Louisiana elected its governor on the first ballot for the first time in recent memory, and the voters sent a message to the corrupt Democratic machine at the same time. Bobby Jindal, who narrowly lost a runoff four years ago, becomes the first Indian-American governor [2] of a state after prevailing against a desperate opposition that stooped low enough to smear Jindal over religion [3]:

Republican Bobby Jindal won election as Louisiana governor Saturday, setting a string of firsts and leaving no doubt that the state’s voters strongly desire new leadership two years after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.Jindal, 36, will be the nation’s youngest sitting governor. The son of Indian immigrants, he will also be the first Indian American governor in U.S. history, and the first nonwhite to hold the job in Louisiana since Reconstruction.

The election of Jindal, who is a conservative, underscores the fast-fading fortunes of the Democratic Party in Louisiana after the hurricanes. …

Democrats make up about half of the 2.8 million registered voters in Louisiana, outnumbering Republicans by nearly 2 to 1. But the number of registered Democrats has dropped by nearly 57,000 since the 2005 hurricanes. Residents have criticized the state government, which is dominated by Democrats, as incompetent and corrupt.

Jindal capitalized on that sentiment, making the fight to root out Louisiana’s corruption a central theme of his campaign. One of his commercials portrayed his Democratic rivals as crooked clowns with cash coming out of their pockets.

Democrats have used Hurricane Katrina to beat up on George Bush for the past two years, but that didn’t fool Louisiana voters. They saw the difference between the rescue and repair efforts in Mississippi and Louisiana, and knew the difference was the state and local government responses. The Democrats have run the state as corrupt incompetents, but their poor leadership didn’t cost lives until 2005. The voters have begun cleaning house in Louisiana.

It is important to note that Jindal isn’t the only winner, here. Democrat Charles Foti is now the former attorney general for the state.  For the first time in three decades he’s of a job.   There’s a runoff at this point between Republican Royal Alexander, and Democrat Buddy Caldwell.

This is really the first opportunity that voters outside the New Orleans area have really had in the voting booth, post Katrina, and the voters outside the so-called “Chocolate City” are in the mood for housecleaning, at last.  This is, without a doubt, yet another blow to the Liberal narrative of an uprising against the republicans because of Katrina… and Iraq, for that matter. The voters clearly feel, and I agree, that Louisiana as a whole, and New Orleans in particular has been long bereft of leadership.

It’s now down to whether not Jindal will meet expectations. Frankly, he’s going to get a letter resistance from Democrats, in doing his job.  Are there going to spend a lot of time trying to make him look bad.  On the other hand, given the performance the Democrats have been turning in for the last couple of decades, it seems clear that the bar for improvement isn’t very high.   at that stage, it becomes a question of how many Republicans will be able to coattail themselves in to office.

Of course, if you’re a liberal, this isn’t exactly the best of omens for November 2008.