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Gubernatorial races I will recall and remember….

October 7th, 2003 · 3 Comments

Tonight all eyes are on California where, CNN tells me now, Arnold Schwarzenegger will be governor . But this weekend, another gubernatorial campaign caught my eye. ..

Opening the paper Saturday morning, I saw a familiar face: Bobby Jindal, who was a friend of mine in college. The article in the Seattle Times Louisiana favors Indian-American for governor described how he is running for governor of his home state. Later that night, I went and searched the web for the primary results : Bobby won! Even though it has been years since I have talked with him, I find myself feeling excited and happy for my college friend.

I must say that I am not surprised, at least in some sense. I agree with the Times article quote: “If Jindal’s success has astonished pols and analysts in Louisiana, it hasn’t shocked many who have known him for years.” I wasn’t a close friend but we would have lunch together now and then, and we also had some of the same friends.

Bobby is brilliant: a Rhodes Scholar who was accepted to Harvard Medical School and Law School as well. I remember how powerfully he could speak but also how he had a sense of humor too. I can still remember some of the jokes he said to me:). During the time we knew each other in college, he was also very much a gentleman, perhaps in the Southern sense; I can’t say for sure since I am not that familiar with the culture of the South. But I like to think that his generosity and respect for others spoke of more than just his cultural training: I like to think that his courtesy and kindness spoke of his character and heart.

Our common faith formed the foundation for our friendship. The last time I saw Bobby, I think, was his graduation celebration. He had completed college a semester early, in December, so it was a special occasion. Friends gathered together, sitting in a circle in a living room, and I remember especially that Bobby’s priest came and served communion. How many college graduation celebrations with friends involve priests and communion?! It was through our faith that we met and connected and I know his faith in God has been very important to Him. The Times article mentions his Catholic conversion in college.

I didn’t stay in touch with Bobby, but through a common friend I found his email address a few years ago and dropped him a note. Can’t seem to find that email now ….must have been a while ago, but I remember he told me how he had married a girl he had liked in high school, Supriya. Now I see they have a baby girl, Selia Elizabeth, about the same age as our baby Elisabeth.

I am happy and glad to see Bobby’s hopes becoming closer. But others may be surprised at his success: “The 32-year-old’s rapid rise has confounded many political experts, who expected his youth and ethnicity to work against him in this conservative Deep South state.” It is amazing indeed that Bobby is taking positions “that appeal to the same rural whites who backed Klansman David Duke in 1991.”

And even more amazing tonight to think that, if Bobby should win the election, then he and Arnold Schwarzenegger will both be governors at the same time, and will be at some of the same meetings, the same party, sitting in the same rooms. If someone had said to me fifteen years ago that Bobby would be governor of Louisiana someday, I probably would have believed it, maybe even at age 32. But Bobby and Arnold both as governors…??? I smile at the thought of the two of them together. Knowing Bobby, I’m sure he’ll have something witty to say when he meets Governor Schwarzenegger…..it all seems so amazing, unbelievable to me….

As the Times article starts “Something is happening in Louisiana”
Yes, indeed, it sounds like something is happening there.
May God bless you Bobby.

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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 enoch // Oct 8, 2003 at 12:13 am

    Yes, may God bless Bobby. He was my sci li study buddy, and we hung out alot our soph/junior years. Have his email here somewhere if you want it. Saw him at Rex’s wedding, and he’s the same gentle, convicted, humble chap. quite a guy!

  • 2 qqba // Mar 19, 2004 at 8:14 am

    Hello.i’am from china!can i make friends with you?

  • 3 Julie Leung: Seedlings & Sprouts // Dec 1, 2004 at 2:56 am

    Old friend in high places: Mr. Jindal goes to Washington

    Speaking of people in the news… a college friend of Enoch’s and mine has now become a Congressman. Last year I wrote a few times about Bobby Jindal’s candidacy for governor of Louisiana. He lost in a close election and…