Republican Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana last weekend won re-election with a staggering 65.8 percent of the vote in a state that remains heavily Democratic. It is, the governor's office contends, the highest percentage achieved by a candidate since the state's open primary was created. Jindal won all of the state's 64 parishes, increasing by four the number of parishes he won in 2007.
One might expect this to be big news beyond the state, but most newspapers and TV media outside Louisiana either buried Jindal's win on inside pages and deep into their newscasts, or ignored it.
In a telephone conversation, I asked Governor Jindal why? "It runs contrary to the political thinking in Washington, which is about more spending and bigger government," he said. The big media don't want to focus on successes that come as the result of smaller government and less spending because it not only reduces the size and power of government, but the influence of journalists who see themselves co-equal with, if not superior to, government.
Republicans don't do well, Jindal says, "when we are not consistent with our principles." The coming election, he adds, needs to offer a clear choice between "a permanent central government in Washington and a conservative approach" that will achieve what everyone says must be done -- Social Security and Medicare reform, a transformed tax code and smaller government. He calls November 2012 a "tipping point election."
Jindal says Texas governor and GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry, whom he has endorsed, can best advance the conservative ideas they share because of Perry's executive experience, energy policies, job creation and commitment to reducing the size and cost of government.
Would Jindal take vice president if the eventual nominee offered him the job? He gives the standard answer, "I already have a job," but given what he sees as a "once in a lifetime" opportunity to affect real change, it's hard to believe he would reject the offer should he get the call.
It would be nearly impossible for President Obama to criticize Jindal's record in Louisiana, including his success in turning around failing schools following the destruction of Hurricane Katrina. That disaster has led not only to new school buildings but also reconstructed curricula, school choice and improved grades.
While President Obama makes speeches and wants to spend money we don't have in a phony attempt to create jobs, Jindal is succeeding with conservative ideas.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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