It doesn’t take an expert (Admittedly, I am not one among them)to have observed that Katrina was a watershed event. It certainly affected politics in the state of Louisiana. A hurricane destroyed one governor and created another one who seems to be hurriedly destroying the state. Some have asked; How did we get stuck with this self-righteous, bean-counting asshole who looks like he stepped off the cast of the Big Bang Theory (Sorry, Clancy Dubos, but that line was too damned good not to steal).
Anyhow, here’s my take. I think several things helped Jindal.
1. Gov.Tinkerbell Kathleen “Baby Neaux” Blanco. Her inept response (in tandem with Dubya)to Katrina sealed the coffin of Democrats in this state. Jindal was elected (after passing over him in 2003) as sort of a buyer’s remorse reaction. Kind of like Mitch Landrieu in New Orleans. It was as if the voters were saying, “Sorry about not taking you to the prom, but since my hot date didn’t show up, how about it now, babe?”
2. The news media bought this guy’s narrative– hook, line, and sinker about him being some sort of super smart wunderkind. They did their usual due diligence in never paying attention to how he nearly destroyed health care as Mike Foster’s Health and Human Services Director. There were some that warned people about what he would do with the full power of the governor’s office if he got it. And like the U.S Mail–he did deliver.
3. In an emergency, he knows all the numbers and knows where the cameras are. He projects an air of calm, yet he cuts a commanding figure in these situations. In other words, different from his usual persona where it looks like he’s trapped in a perpetual bowel movement (see above picture). If I didn’t know any better, I would swear that he smiles like that because he’s struggling to hold back the corrosive cynicism that seems to live within him. Just my opinion..along with the rest of them.
In any event, it turned out that this was even more manipulative than what the usual politician is capable of. Some of the responsible pundits, told us; his ambitions are trained on a higher office. Louisiana was merely just a stepping stone for him.
4. The Democratic party had no viable candidates to run. Any one who was a worth a damn switched parties. The last time, we got two unknowns and a box of Popeyes fielding his opposition. Some would say, the chicken got 30 percent of the black vote, (I voted for the chicken)and that’s being as conservative as I’ll ever be. I say that in jest, but in all seriousness, there was little effort by the Democrats to challenge him.
Those are just a few reasons–a quick and dirty list–if you will. I’ll leave you now with this sobering thought–historians like me will have a field day with the Jindal era—Louisianans for the next 40 years—not so much. 😦