Monday, October 06, 2003

Vote for the Indian ... it's important!!

I'd be failing in my duties as an ex-Louisianian if I did not take note of the governor's race down there.

No, it's not a recall. Louisiana, because it's Louisiana, has its governor's elections in odd-numbered years. And the primary is on a Saturday ... and it's an open primary where the top two vote-getters, no matter the political party, go on to the runoff.

Not a strange system if you grew up with it.

But it does produce strange results sometimes. Witness Edwin Edwards vs. David Duke in 1991.

And this year's race is also strange ... but in a non-typical strange way.

After Saturday's primary, the stage has been set for Louisiana to get either:

a) its first woman governor (Kathleen Blanco)


b) its first governor born to Indian (as in India) parents who has never held actual elective office, but who is Catholic, a product of Baton Rouge public schools, an honors graduate of Brown University, a Rhodes Scholar and an arch-Conservative Republican.

The latter is Bobby Jindal, who by all accounts is much, much, much too bright of a young man to still be living in Louisiana.

He came in first in the primary with 33% of the vote. Blanco (who reminds people at every turn that her maiden name is Babineaux - read: Cajun) finished with 18%.

You have to be damned impressed that a brown man can get that much support in such a backwards state.

Problem for Bobby is that his 33% represents about 99% of the wacko, anti-abortion, Christian Coalition crowd that forms the base of most Republicans' base in Louisiana.

Current Governor Mike Foster, a Republican, is a burly, hunting-and-fishing type whose granddaddy was governor. That goes a long way toward courting coonass Democrats who otherwise might vote Democrat.

So can an intellectual Indian get that kind of support? Not likely. Bobby has to come up with some reason for blacks and poor whites (who aren't anti-abortionists) to vote for him.

It may not be Edwards/Duke, but it'll be a fun month to watch politics down there.


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