Next Time Around

by Alice Chao, Staff Writer

Next time around, let’s vote for a President who has brought tangible good change and reform to their state, rather than giving the reins of our country to an untested candidate with little experience. We can do much better than Obama.

Case in point, according to numerous sources (including 60 Minutes), Illinois and Louisiana were widely recognized as being among the most crooked and corrupt states in this union.

Then Bobby Jindal was elected governor of Louisiana, taking office in January 2008. He turned the Louisiana state capitol on its head and came up with the toughest ethics reforms laws in the nation, transforming Louisiana almost overnight into one of the most transparent and least crooked states… while, if a certain former Governor Blagojevich is any indication, little has changed in Illinois.

Jindal and Obama, at 38 and 47 years old respectively, are both relatively young politicians. But look at the difference in their qualifications to lead a state or country:

Bobby Jindal’s Resume
1996 (age 25) Appointed Secretary, Department of Health and Hospitals; rescues Louisiana’s Medicaid program from bankruptcy by turning a $400 million deficit into three years of surpluses totaling $220 million.
1998 (age 27) Appointed Executive Director, National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare, a 17-member panel charged with devising plan to reform Medicare
1999 (age 28) At the request of the Governor’s Office and the Legislature, volunteers his time to study how Louisiana might use its $4.4 billion tobacco settlement
Appointed President of the University of Louisiana System (16th largest in the U.S.) at age 28!
2001 Appointed by President to be Assistant Secretary of U.S Department of Health and Human Services (age 30)
2003 Resigns from federal post to return to Louisiana and run for Governor (age 32)
2004 Elected to U.S. Congress, representing Louisiana’s first district (age 33)
2006 Re-elected to U.S. Congress (age 35)
2007 Elected Governor of Louisiana with 54 percent of the vote in the primary (age 36)
2008 Sworn in as Governor of Louisiana (age 37)

Barack Obama’s Resume
January 8, 1997 – November 4, 2004 Illinois State Senate (age 35-43)
January 4, 2005 – November 16, 2008 US Senator (age 43-47)
2009- President

Obama never implemented or pushed for laws that brought good reform, never ran even a small town or business, and showed something of a lack of commitment to his job by playing a significant amount of hooky from his job as a Senator. Obama was never tested on his version of change and reform; today Illinois, Obama’s home state, is still considered to be one of the crookedest states in the union. How is good change supposed to come from an untested President who changed little of significance for the better in his state? Do we really want to have a President who does not know the meaning of true reform that goes beyond just words? Let’s, as a country, open our collective eyes and see that there is more to voting for President than merely identifying the most attractive looking candidate, or the candidate that gives the best speech, or the tallest candidate, or which candidate sold more books, or which candidate is younger, or which candidate has better campaign slogans.

In particular, the better orator is very often not the better President. Yes, Jindal had a rather embarrassing national debut in his response to Obama’s first big speech as President; he was almost universally mocked by the media, with the exception of Rush Limbaugh. What people saw in Jindal’s response to Obama was an awkward, very young Indian-American governor with a heavy Southern accent who did not have the benefit of an audience, who sometimes fumbled with his words even with the help of a teleprompter. One would not be attracted to the perceived mediocrity of such a candidate until you consider his résumé, something that should be a top consideration whenever voting in a candidate, NOT how good of an orator a candidate is. After all, good speeches don’t make growing debt and deficits go away, good speeches never make up for a severe lack of experience, good speeches have yet to help me land a needed job, good speeches don’t stimulate the economy, but experience does and is exactly what a certain President lacks and seems to be blind to the fact.

The moral: let’s actually look at what the candidate believes in, their qualifications or lack thereof, see if this candidate believes what you believe, if both of you have similar visions for America, make sure that the candidate you are voting for has substance and can help make our country a better place; not just one that has a flashy look, woeful inexperience (which translates into hip/cool) and vague one word slogans. Then when in the polling booth bubble in the candidate most in line with your beliefs but at the same time has the most experience. Hopefully this does not translate into another four years of suffering under Obama.

NOTE: Just so you know, while I speak highly of Bobby Jindal, he is actually my number two pick for President in 2012; my dream ticket would be Huckabee/Jindal.

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