Friday, October 26, 2007


UK Newspaper, London 2006 from UK is OK
all reproduction rights reserved Wm. Greiner
Bayou Bobby
A new governor offers hope for disaffected Louisiana expats.
BY ROD DREHER Friday, October 26, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

Alas for me, I didn't get to cast a vote for Bobby Jindal, the winner of last weekend's Louisiana governor's race. It's been 15 years since I left the Bayou.

The last time I voted in a gubernatorial contest there, it felt less like a civic duty than an occasion of sin. I pulled the lever for Democrat Edwin W. Edwards--instead of my fellow Republican, David Duke--following the instruction of the bumper sticker on my car: "Vote for the Crook. It's Important."

That evening, I went to a party in Baton Rouge, attached myself to a keg of Budweiser and talked long into the night about how, four years after electing the supposedly reform-minded governor Buddy Roemer, it had come to this. I was only two years out of LSU and, like just about everybody I knew then, wanted to move away. What future did any of us have in a state where the choice was either a blow-dried Ku Klucker or an oleaginous Cajun kleptocrat? (As the joke had it, the Wizard or the Lizard?)

I soon left for Washington, D.C., a new job and a new life. Many years later, in an online discussion about the fate of the state, I read that a well-known New Orleans journalist, having lost hope in his family's future there, stood in the middle of his newsroom to announce his resignation. He said that he loved the city dearly but couldn't raise his children in a town that cherished parades more than libraries. Framed that way, you can understand why so many Louisianians choose to expatriate, but never quite get over leaving.
excerpt The Wall Street Journal


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