Bobby Jindal Goes Home

A couple of years ago I was out in California for a meeting and ran into Bobby Jindal and his wife. They were in the same hotel. I’ve know the Governor of Louisiana for a number of years. I’m a native of Louisiana. We caught up on life and I mentioned I had not been home in quite a while to see my parents.

We parted company and I went to my meeting. That evening the phone in my hotel room rang. The Governor’s Chief of Staff was calling to tell me Governor Jindal wanted me to fly back to Louisiana with him the next day. He knew I had a day of down time before my flight, had not seen my parents in a long time, and could hop a flight back to Atlanta the next day.

I agreed. We got to the airport the next morning and Governor Jindal looked at me, smiled, and said, “Good. If you didn’t come I was gonna call your mama and tell her you had the opportunity and refused.” We both laughed hard.

When I decided it was time to retire from RedState, Governor Jindal was the first elected official in the nation I talked to about it. He was encouraging and told me he thought I could pull off departing and starting over with no problem. When I was doubting, he gave me a shot of confidence to leave.

Governor Jindal also gave Louisiana a shot of confidence. I fled that state after the Edwin Edwards vs. David Duke race where my parents had a sticker on the back of their car “Vote for the Crook. It’s Important.” I never even considered I could return home to what I considered a third world hell hole. Hell, a family down the road from us literally kept a cow on a cinderblock in the front yard for milk. Everyone I went to high school with it seems either wound up working for the state, working for Exxon, or going to jail. Louisiana was a state without a lot of hope.

When Katrina blew through I was well settled in Georgia, but my parents were and still are in the Felicianas where we have a family farm. My parents now live in my grandparents’ home in Jackson. The roads are still crumbling there and the biggest industry is still the prison system. But there is something new — suburbs stretching from Baton Rouge up a nicely paved Highway 61. Baton Rouge is growing in every direction.

After Katrina, the Democrats in the state imploded. The old ways and old bureaucracy collapsed. Bobby Jindal kiar lost to Kathleen Blanco in his first run for governor. The Democrats ran a blatantly racist campaign in which they intentionally darkened Bobby’s skin in mail pieces and referred to him as “Piyush Jindal,” which is his actual given name that no one calls him. In 2007, Bobby came back to beat Blanco after Katrina. He never looked back.

Bobby Jindal oversaw a fundamental transformation in Louisiana. State industries were downsized and privatized. People were forced to compete in the private sector. The state payroll stopped serving as an extension of the welfare state. Ethics reforms were pushed through the legislature quickly. Legislators fought Jindal, but Jindal used his mandate effectively for change. Soon, businesses started pouring into Louisiana. More and more industry came in providing more and more people a way out of poverty.

Four years after his first term, Jindal got re-elected with only nominal opposition. He won with 53.9% of the vote and saw Democrats and others pick up several parishes (the state has parishes, not counties) in 2007. In 2011, he won every single parish and 65.8% of the vote. The Democrat got just 17% of the vote. The legislature headed toward the GOP as well.

Bobby Jindal gave Louisiana a lot of hope. Unfortunately, he was never able to capitalize on that in a Presidential race. He couldn’t find a reformist message and was crowded out. At home, resentment with his budget cuts and politics led Republicans to start vocally criticizing him. On the campaign trail, Jindal became known more as a bomb thrower than a policy wonk. With Louisiana as his base, he did not have the deep pocketed billionaires other candidates had just by virtue of residency in states with those billionaires.

At the age of 24, Bobby Jindal became the Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. At 28, he was the president of the University of Louisiana System, overseeing more than 80,000 college students in the state. At 30, President Bush appointed him Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services. By 33, he had become a congressman. He was a Governor before turning 37. It is a pretty damning indictment on the whole debate process this year that a man with that resume could not make it on the main debate stage in any of the Republican debates.

Bobby Jindal is the smartest Governor in America, one of the great reformers of the twenty-first century, and a genuinely kind soul. He is returning to Louisiana to finish out his second term with a population that is ready to move on from the Jindal era. The Republicans in Louisiana, with David Vitter as their nominee, are crumbling and, should Vitter manage to turn the tide and win, look set to roll back parts of Jindal’s legacy.

Bobby Jindal may not be the man Louisiana wants right now, but he is Governor the state needed. I probably will never move home, but I know now that I could. It is thanks to the single minded determination of a native son of the Bayou State whose parents were immigrants to our nation. I suspect we have not heard the last from Bobby Jindal and it would be our loss if this was the end of his career in politics.

Another Reason Bobby Jindal Should Be On The Main Debate Stage

I continue to be appalled that Bobby Jindal is not on the main debate stage with the other candidates. He is doing it again — proposing actual substance and thinking out of the box. This time it is his tax plan. Jindal has a serious proposal that would actually require everyone to pay something into the system, even those who still wind up getting more back.

A lot of the Republican candidates want fewer people on the tax rolls.

Mr. Jindal takes a different tack on taxes than his GOP rivals, particularly those looking to shield more Americans from paying federal income taxes at all, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and real-estate developer Donald Trump. Mr. Bush would nearly double the standard deduction and estimates under his plan that roughly 15 million additional Americans would “no longer bear any income-tax liability.”

I think it is a travesty that CNBC is further restricting the debate stage at a point candidates are already starting to drop out. I think the American people deserve to hear from Jindal who, by the way, is the only candidate to aggressively stand up to Trump.

The two-term Governor of Louisiana deserves to be heard instead of shuffled off to a kids’ table with little media coverage and no viewers.

Bobby Jindal Wins the First Debate

He spoke truth to the GOP — particularly to a well heeled crowd who clapped when George Pataki said he’d fire Kim Davis in Kentucky.

The crowd may have been the snobbish elite of the GOP, but Jindal wasn’t playing to them. He was out to make a name for himself and he did. He called the President a socialist and pointed out the President kept all his promises while the GOP has been breaking theirs.

Amen. He was repeatedly right on with his statements. He was aggressive on Planned Parenthood. He made [mc_name name=’Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’G000359′ ] squirm on the issue and pointed out the GOP has already surrendered on the issue.

Bobby Jindal won the first debate. He won because he wasn’t willing to be a Republican partisan. He put his country first and told the truth.

Bobby Jindal and Going Home Again

Today, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal will announce he is running for President of the United States. As a native Louisianian, I have seen first hand the transformation of the state for the better under Bobby Jindal’s stewardship.

I am from East Feliciana Parish. The per capita income in East Feliciana is $15,428. Growing up, most everything in the parish was state owned. The state’s insane asylum is there. One of its major prisons is there. A retirement home for war veterans is there. So too is a retirement home for state employees. Then there’s a prison for the criminally insane. It goes on and on.

When my family moved back from Dubai, I started out going to the Wilkinson County Christian Academy, a thirty minute drive into Wilkinson County, MS, but as gas prices soared above $1.50 (!!!) due to the outbreak of the Gulf War, my parents decided to send me into the public school system. My first week in tenth grade, I heard a student ask what the world “liberty” meant.

Graduating from high school, I was one of the few who fled the state, having received an academic scholarship to get away. Most of the students I graduated with went to work for either the state or for Exxon, the largest private employer nearby. Few people ever really left.

East Feliciana Parish is some of the most beautiful country in the United States. It has some of the nicest people and the best food. And it existed as, essentially, a welfare state until Bobby Jindal came along.

Jindal lost his first election for Governor. Kathleen Blanco, the Democrat, ran an openly racist campaign darkening Jindal’s skin in mail pieces and referring to him as “Piyush,” his given name that no one calls him. After her disastrous four years, the state welcomed Jindal. Four years later, the Democratic Party in Louisiana was virtually extinct and Jindal swept the state with only nominal opposition.

In his nearly eight years as governor, Jindal has privatized much of the state’s industry. Friends and relatives of mine hate him for it. They lost comfortable, near guaranteed state jobs and had to go into the private sector. But Jindal made Louisiana more efficient. He also cleaned up corruption in the state. Major corporations no longer had to wonder who had to be bribed. They could move into the state free of government officials looking for handouts.

Going home to see my parents, I have seen how Baton Rouge has spread as more people have moved into the area. Farm land is now suburban. Many of my lower income friends now have higher paying jobs.

But it has come at a cost. Jindal has fought long and hard for school choice and education reform, but he has not always had a cooperative legislature. Likewise, many of his critics say he kicked tough budgetary issues down the road and those issues are now bigger and worse. Jindal, however, has more than once insisted one time money not pay for all the time projects. The legislature has often ignored him and now needs more money.

The people of Louisiana, eight years into Jindal’s administration, seem ready to move on from him. Those candidates running to replace him are, in some cases, Republicans openly blaming Jindal for Louisiana’s problems. There is no love lost between U.S. [mc_name name=’Sen. David Vitter (R-LA)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’V000127′ ], who covet’s Jindal’s job, and Jindal. Vitter has been openly critical of choices Jindal made — painting Jindal as an outsider.

And it is true. Jindal is an outsider. An Indian-American, Jindal is not a cajun good ol’ boy. But then the cajun good ol’ boys left Huey Long’s slowly crumbling welfare state in place with no desire to fix it. Jindal fixed it. For many, it was and is tough medicine.

That may ultimately be the biggest problem Bobby Jindal faces on the road to the White House. He was the Governor that Louisiana desperately needed, but is, because of that, now the Governor it no longer really wants. He did what had to be done, but possibly at the expense of his future career.

Bobby Jindal is a good man. He will be one of the smartest men ever to run for the White House. He has the skill set in healthcare and reform that the nation needs. But he is anchored by a boot state that, in its soul, resents Jindal forcing it out of the nineteenth century. Because of Bobby Jindal, I can go home again. Politically speaking, I just do not know if Jindal can.

CNN Reports on No-Go Zones. Forgets All About It While Interviewing Gov. Bobby Jindal.

CNN’s Max Foster interviewed Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal over the weekend. He grilled Jindal on so-called “no-go zones.”

Pay attention to what Jindal actually said, as documented by CNN.

Jindal was also unable to offer examples during an earlier interview with CNN’s Max Foster, saying that he’s “heard from folks here that there are neighborhoods where women don’t feel comfortable going in without veils … We all know that there are neighborhoods where police are less likely to go into.”

“I think that the radical Left absolutely wants to pretend like this problem is not here. Pretending it’s not here won’t make it go away,” he told Foster.

Pressed for details, Jindal said only “I think your viewers know absolutely there are places where the police are less likely to go.”

And asked whether that feeling may be caused by high crime rates, rather than the Muslim population in the area, Jindal said, “This isn’t a question.”

This was all based on a speech Gov. Jindal made to the Henry Jackson Society in London about the so-called “no-go zones,” which is not Jindal’s own designation for the areas, but what is used in common parlance in London. Jindal told the society, “In the West, non-assimilationist Muslims establish enclaves and carry out as much of Sharia law as they can without regard for the laws of the democratic countries which provided them a new home.”

Max Foster of CNN acted like he had never heard of such a thing and, in fact, seemed downright insulted by the idea that there might be areas of muslim population where men try to impose sharia law on the local population.

Turns out CNN has run a report on just such an area. And, it was in London.

Perhaps Max Foster should watch his own network. Or maybe he should read the Gatestone Institute report that documents no-go zones in Europe and, in particular, France. In fact, there’s a 2,200 page report on French “no-go zones” that copiously documents their existence.

The post CNN Reports on No-Go Zones. Forgets All About It While Interviewing Gov. Bobby Jindal. appeared first on RedState.

The First of Many 2016 Polls

Let the games begin for 2016. RedState readers, who do you prefer?

Who is your preferred candidate for 2016
Jeb Bush
Ben Carson
Chris Christie
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Ted Cruz94%Senate Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard94%
Mike Huckabee
Bobby Jindal
John Kasich
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Rand Paul92%Senate Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard92%
Mike Pence
Rick Perry
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Marco Rubio81%Senate Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard81%
Rick Santorum
Scott Walker
Free polls from

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The 2016 Republican Field: They Don’t All Suck

On January 27, 2007, I wrote what remains one of the most read posts in RedState history. The title summed it up. “They All Suck”. In it, I noted that the field of Republican candidates then taking shape headed into the 2008 election were just terrible. Giuliani, McCain, Romney, Tom Tancredo, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. Duncan Hunter68%House Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard68%, and Sam Brownback were a lightweight crew of candidates. as I noted:

They all suck. Let’s just admit it. Every one of the thus far announced Republican candidates for President sucks. From the lecherous adulterer to the egomaniacal nut job to the flip-flopping opportunist with the perfect hair to the guy who hates brown people to the guy we’ve never heard of to the guy who has a better chance of getting hit by a meteor while being consumed by a blue whale being struck by lightening.
They all suck. (Well, okay, Brownback doesn’t suck at all, but I perceive no viability for his candidacy.)

That post galvanized the following year of Presidential politics among conservatives. We saw other entrants into the field, but by and large the candidates were unaccomplished, only looking accomplished in light of the Democrats’ own nominee — a half-term Senator who spent more time voting present than doing anything.

Fast forward now to the field that is shaping up in 2016. We may very well have a race that includes Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Mike Pence, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Rand Paul92%Senate Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard92%, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Ted Cruz94%Senate Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard94%, and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Marco Rubio81%Senate Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard81%. Others may join the race too. In fact, with the exception of Jeb Bush whose career in elected politics was ending as RedState was starting, it is worth noting that at some point RedState has raised money for and supported every single person on this list. It is a testament to our success as a site.

As it stands now, this will be one of the deepest, most experienced benches of Republican candidates since 1980 when the GOP fielded three governors, two congressmen, two senators, and the former CIA head/RNC chief. We will have six governors looking, five of whom will have served or be in their second term. There will be three senators who’ve been able to galvanize various parts of the right. And there still may be others. More so, of the governors, all will have been economically successful within their states during rocky national economics. They’ll stand in sharp contrast to any field of Democrats.

Frankly, this goes to why national parties see-saw. With Barack Obama, the Democrats’ bench became very shallow through a series of major defeats in 2010 and 2014. They were not able to make up ground in 2012. Meanwhile, the Republican bench has been growing and deepening for some time.

Conservatives may view each of the candidates differently. Some will be more liked by the base than others. But every one of them would be well qualified to be President and to stand up to any Democrat, be it Hillary Clinton or someone else.

I am excited about the 2016 field in a way I have not been excited about either the 2008 or 2012 fields. The media will not be able, this year, to talk about a weak Republican field, though they may try. This is also a reason the major Republican donors might want to rethinking trying to consolidate the field quickly. The candidate who will do best in the general will be the candidate who can win the small dollar donors, not the large dollar donors.

With so many gubernatorial picks, the mega-donors of the GOP might want to see which of them can break through and connect to the small dollar donors on their own terms. The odds are always, in a Republican primary, with Governors. Letting them go at it alone, relying on their own bases of funding and messaging, will have a way of shaking up the race and thinning the herd in a way productive to both the interests of the conservative base and the less conservative mega-donors.

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