Back in 2004, I attended the "candidate school" organized by the NRCC (National Republican Congressional Committee), which was essentially a crash course in how to keep an underfunded campaign afloat. It was helpful, I admit.

Anyway, one of the presenters was the guy who did the mailers for Bobby Jindal's race for Governor back in 2003. He made a point to show that he designed Jindal's mailer differently than others, with more text and detail - to show just how technically savvy Jindal was. To illustrate his point, he recalled one of the live debates in which Jindal was asked about a particular health-care issue. Jindal quickly replied, "I have 4 things to say about that..." After the debate, the consultant asked him why he chose 4. Jindal said, "Well, I had 2 on the top of my head, and I figured that while I explained those, 2 more would come to me." The consultant's synopsis: "That's just how smart this guy is."

According to NJ's walking conservative litmus test, Rick Shaftan, Jindal only lost that race because at the end it was all about "the 1st Indian American blah-blah-blah" and not about the guy's smarts and know-how. No matter, he went on to win a congressional seat with the support of controversial far-left New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin, and get re-elected as well in 2006. Overlooking some neoconservative moments, like waving around the "neocon blue" finger during the 2005 State of the Union address to celebrate Iraq's first post-Baath election (who cares if the Republic is fading away - the Imperial provinces are having elections!), Jindal has proved himself a worthy elected official and will likely ascend to the Louisiana governorship.

To that end, I had the opportunity to see him speak to a group of business leaders in NYC a couple of weeks ago, and he did a great job. His grasp of the issues is impressive, and I believe he will clean house down there. He is acutely aware of Louisiana's industrial downturn, and that the state has not adapted to the fact that companies do not see the need to locate there anymore. Jindal mentioned something about preventing Louisiana from becoming "Jamaica without the beaches".

Finally, let me point out that Jindal is a role-model as far as ethnic candidates go. Naturally, he has a lot of support from other Americans of South Asian origin scattered across the US, but the supporters he attracted in NYC were the same Republican donors that any "traditional" candidate would attract.

Well done, Bobby. And I love the accent.

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