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A Man to Watch: Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Chairman of the Republican Governors Association, Comes out Swinging

By Keith A. Fournier
November 16th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

We have got to stop dividing the American voters. We need to go after 100 percent of the votes, not 53 percent. We need to go after every single vote. And second, we need to continue to show that our policies help every voter out there achieve the American dream, which is to be in the middle class, which is to be able to give their children the opportunity to get a great education, which is for their children to have even better-paying jobs than their parents. So, I absolutely reject that notion, that description. I think that's absolutely wrong.

LAS VEGAS, NV (Catholic Online) - Piyush "Bobby" Jindal is the 55th Governor of Louisiana. He has achieved great popularity among the people of his State by a record of proven leadership with real results. That same record has earned him tremendous respect nationally. He was just appointed the Chairman of the Republican Governors Association, succeeding Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia. He is highly regarded by his peers.

Governor Jindal is a devout, practicing, morally coherent Catholic Christian. His journey to the Catholic Church is a fascinating one. He was raised in a Hindu home in Louisiana, the child of Punjabi immigrants who was born in the USA after his immigrant parents arrived from India. He was raised as a Hindu, reading the Vedic scriptures

As a teenager he began to read various religious texts searching for truth. He read the Bible, at first intending to disprove its claims. However, as is the case in the story of so many who come to embrace Christianity, the book read him. Following an admittedly intellectual path in his faith journey, he eventually embraced Christianity.

While a student at Brown University he continued along his intellectual faith journey. It led him to the Catholic Church. I understand why. I am a revert to the Church. I came home to the faith into which i was baptized as a child after a similar intellectual journey. He was sponsored for Baptism by his roommate.

St Jose Maria Escriva often said "Men, like fish, have to be caught by the head" and Bobby Jindal is a well formed Catholic Christian who intelligently grasps his faith and seeks to live it out in a unity of life. He was caught by the head. His policy positions are well informed by the wisdom he has garnered along his journey into the Catholic Church. His wife Supriya is also a Catholic Convert.

The Governor is known to be very bright - but also very down to earth. He is real, comfortable with regular people, a man of the people with no airs. He holds an M. Litt. in Politics from Oxford University and was a Rhodes Scholar. However, he is said to be very apporachable, warm and kind.  His public policy positions on an array of vitally important matters such as his defense of the fundamental human right to life and his support of authentic educational reform through parental choice, all flow from a consistent and integrated worldview. 

Following the abysmal defeat of the Republican Presidential ticket on November 6, 2012, the Governors Political Party, the Republican Party, has been going through necessary and serious reflection. This past week, he met along with all of his fellow Republican Governors met in Las Vegas, Nevada. The agenda was full and meant to be reflective. However, the reflection was interrupted when the vanquished nominee of their Party, Mitt Romney, made some comments on his loss which properly raised the ire of many - and were widely reported in the Media.

On Wednesday Governor Romney made comments to his former supporters on a post election telephone call. This excerpt is not an official transcript but a portion of lengthier comments and based on a reliable source: "What the president's campaign did was focus on certain members of his base coalition. Give them extraordinary financial gifts from the government, and then work very aggressively to turn them out to vote."

"The Obama campaign was following the old playbook of giving a lot of stuff to groups that they hoped they could get to vote for them and be motivated to go out to the polls, specifically the African American community, the Hispanic community and young people. In each case they were very generous in what they gave to those groups."

Governor Bobby Jindal came out swinging in response to the comments by Mitt Romney and the implication they contained that votes were somehow "bought". I was very glad he did. His comments to the Press at the Governors Association have now been widely reported throughout the media. They also seem to have lit a fire under many disenchanted Republicans.

When Jindal was first asked about the discussion the Republican Governors were going to have at their meeting he said, "This election is a wake up call. There is going to be a period of introspection where we discuss what went wrong." Then, when he was pressed specifically about the comments made by Governor Romney, he came out swinging.

Remember, Governor Jindal had supported the Romney candidacy, even speaking during the campaign as a surrogate.

In his characteristically respectful way he began, "Gov. Romney's an honorable person that needs to be thanked for his many years of public service, but his campaign was largely about his biography and his experience. And it's a very impressive biography and very impressive set of experiences."

"But time and time again, biography and experience is not enough to win an election. You have to have a vision. You have to connect your policies to the aspirations of the American people. I don't think the campaign did that, and as a result this became a contest between personalities. And you know what? Chicago won that."

He was specifically asked to comment on Romney's assessment as to why he lost the election, the implication of Governor Romney that it was because of "gifts" to certain constituencies by President Obama, and the Governor said forcefully, "No, I think that's absolutely wrong. I don't think that represents where we are as a party and where we're going as a party. That has got to be one of the most fundamental takeaways from this election."

"If we're going to continue to be a competitive party and win elections on the national stage and continue to fight for our conservative principles, we need two messages to get out loudly and clearly: One, we are fighting for 100 percent of the votes, and secondly, our policies benefit every American who wants to pursue the American dream. Period. No exceptions."
 
"We have got to stop dividing the American voters. We need to go after 100 percent of the votes, not 53 percent. We need to go after every single vote. And second, we need to continue to show that our policies help every voter out there achieve the American dream, which is to be in the middle class, which is to be able to give their children the opportunity to get a great education, which is for their children to have even better-paying jobs than their parents. So, I absolutely reject that notion, that description. I think that's absolutely wrong."

The Governor of Louisiana made the rounds on the media all day on Thursday reiterating both his stinging critique of the Romeny comments and his vision for the future of his own Political Party. His youthful demeanor and obviously non-Caucasian features underscore the refreshing clarity, intelligence and dynamism of his comments - as well as his potential role as a leader in the future of the Republican Party.That is, in a new Republican Party, led by new women and women of vision and ideas.  

This is not your father's Republican Party - though my father was not a Republican. He, like me, was a Democrat until the leadership of that once great Party was taken over by the new coalition of cultural revolutionaries who oppose the Right to Life, Marriage, Religious Freedom, economic freedom and responsible government.

I for one am glad to see a new face for the "Grand Old Party". I hope time becomes a tutor and failure an invitation to serious change and a genuine restoration of that Party.  If it is going to happen, Bobby Jindal is one man to watch.  

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