by Peter Jenkins
Gov. Bobby Jindal is no more. John Bel Edwards has just begun his first term as governor of Louisiana, and in the coming months and years we will come to understand how he will shape our state. For now though, I take a look back on Jindal’s legacy as governor. What were his best and worst moments during his time in office?
Worst (where do we start):
- Education. After years of out performing Mississippi on testing scores, Gov. Jindal was tired of our kids being worked so hard. So, he supported the Common Core testing requirements — before he opposed them of course. It seems he just couldn’t make up his mind on what position to take when it came to the education of our children.
- Higher Education. Still education-related, but higher education deserves its own discussion. Since 2008, the funding for higher education in our state has been cut by over 42 percent. Now yes, we all know that “The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything” is 42, according to Deep Thought. Maybe Gov. Jindal was trying to play a joke on us, or maybe he took the supercomputer too literally. Either way, bad call dude.
- Healthcare. Throughout his tenure as governor, Jindal championed the idea of public-private partnerships for the charity hospital system that we used to have. He probably truly believed that these would work out for the benefit of the people, but they didn’t. So, before he was governor poor people could get healthcare at certain charity hospitals, now they can’t go there and since he didn’t expand Medicaid, poor people have to get their healthcare from the medication aisle at Wal-Mart.
- Running for President. Let’s be honest here, watching Gov. Jindal run for president was one of the strangest things that happened in 2015. Every now and then you see something that’s so bad you can’t look away, and that’s a good description of Gov. Jindal’s presidential campaign, a train wreck from the first to the last day. Well, at least now he finally got away from that kiddie table.
- Economic Development. In all honesty, under Gov. Jindal’s administration, there were some large companies that moved to Louisiana. One of those companies was Sasol in Lake Charles. These companies have brought jobs to our state and helped families too. However, even here Gov. Jindal hindered his own progress through many of his anti-family pieces of legislation that many businesses have opposed during his tenure. Some of these pieces of legislation attacked the LGBTQ community, restricted abortion access, and are now keeping families from accessing food stamps when they need them. Many companies don’t want to move to a place where legislation is going to be hostile to their employees.
- Last, but nowhere near least, is that response to the State of the Union in 2009. That response to President Obama’s State of the Union is only out-stranged by Marco Rubio’s 2013 response, when he chugged that bottle of water like he’d been walking in that desert with Selena Gomez for a year without rain.
The biggest thing I’ll miss about Bobby Jindal being governor is the ability to count down the hours until he leaves office. What I won’t miss is his almost daily ways he was able to make our state look like the stereotypical South sexist, homophobic, and racist.