Bobby Jindal takes oath as Louisiana Governor
Indian-origin Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal took the oath of office for his second term before hundreds of people, with a focus on education and a pledge not to rest on the accomplishments of his first four years.world Updated: Jan 10, 2012 08:02 IST
Indian-origin Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal took the oath of office for his second term before hundreds of people, with a focus on education and a pledge not to rest on the accomplishments of his first four years.
"I Bobby Jindal do solemnly swear that I will support the constitution and laws of the United States and the constitution and laws of this state," Jindal said as State Supreme Court justice Catherine "Kitty" Kimball administered the oath.
Jindal who won re-election with no formidable challenge from democrats walks into his second term with a huge mandate.
"I love to boast about the progress the people of Louisiana have made over these past four years, but I won't and here is why. All of that was yesterday, we cannot stand, we must not rest on our laurels," said Jindal.
He expressed the need for more jobs and even more gains in public education.
When it came to overhauling education, Jindal said "I believe we all need to check our party affiliations, our ideologies and our political agendas at the door... Reforming and improving education should not be a partisan issue.
"Getting our kids ready to face the challenges this world has to offer, getting them prepared to succeed and triumph should not be a political matter."
"Look our kids only grow up once. Waiting for the system to reform itself is not an option, now is the time to act," he said.
Jindal said Louisiana has the goods to move forward.
"No state has faced what we have faced or overcome what we have overcome. The biggest natural and man-made disasters of our lifetimes happened right here in Louisiana over these past six years," he said towards the end of his speech.
Former governors Kathleen Blanco and Mike Foster were also present.
Jindal easily coasted to a second term Saturday, winning in a landslide election after failing to attract any well-known or deep-pocketed opposition.
The 40-year-old Republican overwhelmed nine competitors in the open primary, where a candidate wins the race outright if he or she receives more than 50% of the vote.
With four-fifths of precincts reporting, Jindal had received about two-thirds of the total vote.
His closest competitor, Tara Hollis, a Democrat from north Louisiana, garnered about one-fifth of the total vote.
All of the other candidates were in single digits.
"I will use every day, every hour of these next four years to make Louisiana the very best that we can be. I don't believe in resting on our past accomplishments.I don't believe in taking time off," Jindal told a packed hotel ballroom of supporters in Baton Rouge.
Jindal piled up $15 million in campaign cash from around the nation and attracted no Democratic challengers with statewide name recognition or fundraising heft.
He's had consistently high approval ratings since taking office in 2008.
His win comes amid the virtual collapse of the Democratic Party's clout in the state.
In the current term, Republicans have gained control of all seven statewide elected posts and both chambers of the legislature.
Hollis was an outsider to the political establishment and was unable to drum up the cash needed to challenge Jindal or mount a big-ticket advertising competition.
The first Indian-American governor in the US, Jindal is considered by some a possible presidential contender in the future. He recently published a book and regularly appears on national news shows, but he ruled out a 2012 run.
First Published: Jan 10, 2012 08:00 IST