Sunday, October 21, 2007

Bobby Jindal Wins Governorship of Louisiana

Bobby Jindal, a GOP Member of the House of Representatives, won the governorship of Louisiana on Saturday, taking 53 percent of the vote in a crowded field, avoiding an election runoff. The Washington Post has the story:

Rep. Bobby Jindal (R) became the nation's first Indian American governor Saturday, outpolling 11 rivals in Louisiana and drawing enough votes to avoid a runoff election next month.

With about 90 percent of the state's nearly 4,000 precincts reporting, Jindal had 53 percent of the vote. His nearest competitor, state Sen. Walter J. Boasso (D), had 18 percent.

Louisiana holds an open gubernatorial election, with candidates of all parties competing. By drawing at least 50 percent of the vote, Jindal avoided a Nov. 17 runoff race with Boasso.

"Let's give our homeland, the great state of Louisiana, a fresh start," Jindal said to a cheering crowd at his victory party, according to the Associated Press.

Jindal, 36, was making his second attempt to become Louisiana's first nonwhite governor since Reconstruction. The last one was P.B.S. Pinchback, a black Republican who served briefly between 1872 and 1873, at a time when many white voters were disenfranchised.

I frankly haven't been following state-level politics all that much, but the GOP's success in the Louisiana election and elsewhere holds some important implications for 2008. Angevin13, over at The Oxford Medievalist, provides some analytical perspective:

First, powerhouse Niki Tsongas defeats her no-name Republican opponent in uber-liberal Massachusetts by only 6 percentage points, [and] now a Republican wins the Louisiana governorship, largely as a rebuke of the incompetence of the previous Democratic governor, Kathleen Blanco.

So much for that 2008 anti-Bush, anti-GOP landslide we keep hearing about. And so much for an MSM that does little else than carry water for the Democrats. If the MSM were interested in news, the fact that the Oxford-educated, Roman Catholic-converted, Republican son of Hindu immigrants just won the Louisiana gubernatorial election as the first non-white candidate in Louisiana since Reconstruction would be major news.

The 2008 elections, Presidential, Congressional, and Gubernatorial, will all be about one thing: competence. Who's got it, who doesn't. The electorate is fed up with the B.S. The elections won't be about Bush, and it will be a mistake to portray them that way. Despite conventional wisdom, which says a Democratic cakewalk is on order, the Democrats are in trouble, since they have little else to offer besides some good anti-Bush soundbites. Not that the Republicans don't have anything to worry about, it's just that the situation is not as dire as the media would wish it and make it.

Hey, I'm feeling better about next year already!