October 20th, 2007
08:07 AM ET
11 years ago

A rare second chance

Bobby Jindal and his wife Supriya campaign after casting their votes in Louisiana's governor's race.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Second chances don’t come around that often in life. But Bobby Jindal’s getting one Saturday.

Jindal’s a Republican congressman from Louisiana. Four years ago he lost an extremely close governor’s race to Democrat Kathleen Blanco.

On Saturday, however, the three term congressman is expected come out on top in Louisiana’s gubernatorial primary election.

Blanco’s not running for re-election. Her political fortunes were greatly damaged by both the state and federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina. Blanco announced earlier this year that she was dropping out.

Jindal, the Oxford-educated son of Indian immigrants, is far ahead of his eleven rival candidates, and the only question is whether he’ll win 50 percent of the vote and avoid a runoff election.

Louisiana does things a bit differently when it comes to holding elections. Candidates of all parties compete in an October primary, and if no one wins 50 percent of the vote, the top two candidates face off in a November runoff.

- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser

Filed under: Bobby Jindal
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. laurinda,ny

    I'll just say this that I have an aunt & uncle in Baton Rouge and my cousin is in the state police. They are disqusted with the mess that Bush left their city in. They are Republicans and couldn't stand Blanco, but now my aunt doesn't bring up the great Bush anymore. She feels that if you can't say anything nice about people don't say anything at all.

    October 19, 2007 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  2. Angela, Alexandria, VA

    An Indian REPUBLICAN...LOLOL-you gotta be kidding me!

    October 19, 2007 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  3. Larry

    laurinda, ny –

    I wish you would follow your aunts advice. Every post you make is the same...everything is always President Bush's fault, republicans are evil, HRC is the savior...blah, blah, blah.

    I am not saying that Katrina was not a disaster, but how is that Bush's fault? Does he control the weather now? Disasters happen, and clean-up/recovery takes time. I am sorry if you thought that the entire recovery process should have been compeleted in a matter of hours, but its just not possible. The government is only "help" not the end all solution. Mismangement happend at the STATE, LOCAL and FEDERAL levels, but the STATE and LOCAL politicians should have been prepaired and taken first.

    October 19, 2007 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  4. Roger Crandall, Baton Rouge, LA

    Even if I am democrat, what I hear about Bobby Jindal is all the praise. I would be happy to see him elected as Governor of Louisiana as long as he can get the work done after all the mess Bush and his incompetant FEMA had created.

    October 19, 2007 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  5. VJ, Atlanta GA

    To Larry,

    Bush's fault was that he insisted that Mr. Brown was doing his job when he clearly wasn't. When all the news channels reached New Orleans with their crews, what was stopping the federal govt to reach there?

    Mr. Bush's fault was that he trusted Rumsfield in a war where there is nothing but disaster.

    I can probably list 100 othe things here but dont defend something thats not worth just because you are a republican.

    October 19, 2007 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  6. Larry

    Actually, I am an Independent/Libertarian. And I can agree that there are a lot of things that Bush and the current admin have done that are not the optimal outcome one would hope for. I can also cite many shortfalls of the previous administration.

    However, Nagin and Blanco and the State should have had some sort of plan together, and should sholder some of the blame for the mismangement. The blame cannot rest soley on the President for Katrina.

    I was merely stating that lauinda, ny on all post takes the stance of it all being President Bush's fault all the time, and all republicans are evil. There are good and bad in both parties, as well as independent/libertarians. Just my two cents.

    October 19, 2007 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  7. Demonweed

    Disaster relief is clearly a duty of government. Failure to act, even if one is such a Randian nitwit as to set aside all humanitarian values, has a long term economic impact far more costly than sensible relief efforts ever could be.

    Being incapable of reaching beyond an extremely simple ideology, it seemed that George W. Bush was convinced it was not the place of the federal government to act. Clearly he did not act as if it was his business to be in any way attentive to the effort . . . that is until after the political fallout began. Great leaders do not wait for their people to drag them into being marginally competent. Great leaders struggle with every fiber of their being never to sink to a level of marginal competence.

    Marginal competence is what FEMA displayed after crucial days of dramatic underperformance. In any other nation with a decent industrial base, a sitting government would not survive the scandal of such extreme bumbling, never mind compounding it by deflecting blame to other levels of government or daring to question if the federal government should have a role in major disaster relief.

    Whatever mistakes the Mayor and the Governor might have made, it was the federal government alone that possessed the resources and institutions required to address a disaster of this magnitude. Leaving those resources largely idle while New Orleans descended into waterlogged anarchy had a very real cost in American lives and our overall national economic well-being, never mind the regional outlook.

    So long as that whole "government is the problem" crowd continues to preside over government, it will be a problem. However, it doesn't have to be. The solution involves raising our political standards so that no one pandering to the sheer ignorance of anarcho-capitalist nut jobs is rewarded by a base of unwavering supporters and a string of electoral victories. Not even the worst among us deserves leadership so lacking in a basic grasp on reality, never mind the kind of excellence we ought to all demand of our top officials.

    October 19, 2007 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  8. Steve, Sumter SC

    I find it highly disturbing that folks (especially Laurinda from NY) seem to forget that N.O. has a democrat mayor AND governor. Nagin was re-elected and Blanco is soon to leave. Where is is the disgust with them? Where is the disgust with John Edwards for investing in a company that is making profit off of N.O. forclosures (especially in the 9th ward). Or do they get a pass because they are democrat? Any La. Democrat embarassed by William Jefferson? Anyway, back to the point, maybe Jindal is what they need to move forward. Laurinda, calm down!

    October 19, 2007 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  9. laurinda,ny

    Larry.. First of all it is still a mess. People are never going back home which means that their lives will probably always be in inner turmoil. Second.. The Bushies could have done more sooner and it should have been mostly finished by now. Third..The Bushies don't care about anyone except themselves. Fourth..The Bushies should be taking care and investing in our country, not investing our money in taking care of other countries. My aunt & uncle were two of the idiots that helped get the moron in. That is why we didn't talk very much on the phone because we use to end up in an arguement and I would hang up. You CAN NOT reason with a Republican!!

    October 19, 2007 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  10. Neill C., Montgomery, Al

    Bush was at fault because he expected the local government to be the 1st line of defense as it should be, and Louisiana had 2 incompetents in charge – Blanco and Nagin. Blanco and Nagin did everything wrong and yet the Democrats still blame Bush. You know, not everything is Bush's fault but every time anything happens it is Bush's fault because of the Iraq War. There are some very convoluted arguments out there to ultimately tie everything to Bush, but Democrats are good at convoluted arguments.

    October 19, 2007 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  11. Shardule, Boston, MA

    I am surprised very few of these comments actually has to do with Jindal. I'm a Democratic-leaning Indian (from Mass.), but I am interested in learning more about Jindal...any help?

    October 19, 2007 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  12. Joe, Omaha, NE

    But the Republicans are even better at them.

    October 19, 2007 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  13. laurinda,ny

    Neill..Your ridiculous. How is the local government suppose to help all thoses people when such a big disaster happened. If those levees were made right and taken care of it might not have been so bad. Not to mention all those empty trailers that were bought with tax payers money that were on display as if the moron intented to do something with them.

    October 19, 2007 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  14. DC Shreve, Ohioo

    Federal Response? Blanco was not hurt by the Federal response. It was all of her own doing. When the dust settled and Thinking Americans figured out that it was a total State and local melt down, she knew she didn't have a chance. Corruption is always uncovered

    October 19, 2007 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  15. laurinda,ny

    DC..CORRUPTION IS ALWAYS UNCOVERED, that is why Bush and Cheney will be tried for war crimes aleast the American people will get some satisfaction.

    October 19, 2007 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  16. ML, New Orleans, LA

    Is he going to take his oath on a flying carpet or perhaps while charming a cobra?

    October 19, 2007 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  17. Steve Peoria IL

    laurinda – you say you believe in "if you don't have anything nice to say about someone, don't say anything." Yet you constantly say bad things about people, instead of discussing the issues. I know it's human nature but next time try - just try to comment on the topic without name-calling. That's real debate. Thanks

    October 19, 2007 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  18. Dina Filiaggi, Birmingham AL.

    Nagin a DEMOCRAT , waited until Saturday to call an evactuation. He knew On TUES this dangerous storm would prob. necessitate an evacuation. The stupid people of New Orleans who supposedly don't have cars, would NOT leave. How stupid is that? When you see pictures of the aftermath, you see hundreds of cars . I thought these people didn't have CARS?!

    FEMA is NOT responsible for rebuilding the lives of people who REFUSED or were too stupid to go to higher ground. FEMA is not responsible for giving these people a new house. That's not what they do. The Gov. and Mayor of New Orleans didn't do squat to manage before, during or AFTER the storm. Yet the stupid people of New Orleans re-elected that chocolate mayor. They should have to live with that decision for four years.

    October 19, 2007 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  19. Chris, Middletown, CT

    Ever walk by a homeless guy who is rambling incoherently? Its the same with laurinda – just smile....look forward....and keep walking....

    The race in Louisiana is less about partisan politics and more about the right person for the right job. There is so much blame game that goes on that people lose focus on the task at hand....and thats whats happened...there is no evil in either party – just different ways to do things...theres actually not that much different between all of us...take the SCHIP deal...(and forget the political grandstanding) – we all want to help poor children...it became a program that provided insurance for adults too...and not managed properly....refocus for "just children under age 16" – who are truly poor...and a graduated scale where someone making alittle more has to pay some too...(and you can't stay on this program forever...its a helping hand) – we would all agree....its time to STOP THE RHETORIC

    October 19, 2007 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  20. Harry, Chatham, TN

    I wish you people out there could see how destroyed East New Orleans is right now The only thing that is open is a McDonald's and a Bank that is poerating inside a trailer. The government should have helped these people that were 11 feet under water. Their houses are ruined and they will not be coming back, they were not given the insurance to remedy their situation. They have jobs in other cities, their employers moved to new cities, and New Orleans is a disaster. Bush doesn't control the weather, but FEMA, a federal organization, controls the federal response and reconstruction. SHAMEFUL!

    October 19, 2007 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  21. D Wills, Tampa Fl

    Posted by Larry:

    And I can agree that there are a lot of things that Bush and the current admin have done that are not the optimal outcome one would hope for.

    LOL!!! Is that how you spin this disaster of an administration?

    Just say 'No'. Snuff it out and and back away from the ashtray!

    October 20, 2007 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  22. Ethan, Brooklyn, NY

    Right, all the problems were DEM Mayor Nagin's fault and DEM Gov Blanco's fault. But R Mayor Giuliani and R Gov Pataki were HEROES on 9/11 despite the fact that nobody told hundreds of NY firefighters to evacuate and despite the fact that the R governments in NY had 6 years to fix the communications problems with the radios.

    The Right's selective finger-pointing is totally and thoroughly disingenuous.

    At the VERY VERY least, if/when Bobby wins, he should be held to the same accountability standards that the Right wing is screaming about now. And that means:

    Fix the levees Bobby
    Fix the communications interoperability Bobby
    Fix the broken public educational system Bobby
    Fix the broken disaster crisis plan Bobby
    Fix the crime problem Bobby
    Fix the drug problem Bobby
    Fix racial inequity Bobby
    Fix public/low-income housing problems Bobby

    Give me a break. It'll never happen.

    And btw, anyone who really knows their stuff knows that fixing the levees is important but the real solution to the New Orleans flooding issue is the elimination of the MR-GO (Mississippi River Gulf Outlet). Mr Go is the artificial channel that funneled the tidal surge right up into the New Orleans levee system causing failure of 53 different levee breaches.

    Yes, eliminate the Mr. GO and restore the LA wetlands, or New Orleans will be flooded again, levee reconstruction or not.

    Good luck with all that Bobby.

    October 20, 2007 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  23. Chris, Pittsburgh PA

    Any chance you people could move past the "repubicans suck" "no democrats suck" level of debate?

    No? Of course not. Because instaed of solving problems all most people seem to care about is who is winning.

    October 20, 2007 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  24. Paul, Philadelphia

    I lived in New Orleans when Jindal and Blanco faced off the first time.

    For those who don't quite get this, no liberals have a chance in a state wide election in LA. Though Blanco is a Democrat, she is southern Democrat. Mary Landrieu's victories have always been very close, and she takes a beating down there. The Blanco-Jindal race came down to this:

    Blanco: "Yeah, I am a woman, but I am INCREDIBLY conservative."

    Jindal: "Yeah, I am an Indian, but I am EVEN MORE CONSERVATIVE."

    I am a Democrat and I voted for Jindal. Despite his at times near whacko conservatism (google "Bobby Jindal"+"social conservative" some time), I felt that Jindal had Blanco beat in just about every category – more administrative experience, smarter, better world view, more connections outside of the state.

    After our previous governor who had a VERY hands off approach to governing (Why should I travel overseas to encourage businesses to locate here?), I felt Jindal had the best shot at running a quality, efficient economy and government.

    Most of all, I thought Jindal would be a better operator. Blanco's Katrina record validated this opinion, I think.

    There is a general consensus in some segments in Louisiana that, in the end, voters had a lot less problem with a female governor than with a "colored" governor. The day before the election, many assumed Jindal would win. Blanco's victory was kind of a shock.

    I don't like Jindal's social views, but I have always felt he overplayed them to get cred in a very conservative state (he is from the same part of the state that elected David Duke to the state legislature). I think he is a brilliant guy, a capable policy maker, and I think he will benefit Louisiana a lot better than the good ol' boys we usually elect ever have.

    Sometimes, whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, sometimes you really do need to vote for the best, most capable candidate. I think that is Bobby Jindal.

    October 20, 2007 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  25. Laura Tulsa OK

    Good Luck to Bobby Jindal . He will bring the much-needed fresh perspective to Louisiana politics.

    October 20, 2007 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
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