With all the Jindal-as-VP-buzz surrounding John McCain's presidential bid, Louisiana's 36-year-old governor is receiving a fair amount of national attention he might not otherwise be enjoying. Today's New York Times takes yet another look at Jindal, and notes, not surprisingly, "Mr. Jindal’s spokeswoman did not respond to messages on Friday." (Read "Stonewall Jindal.") The article points out that Gov. Jindal's religious and conservative beliefs seem to be taking hold in Louisiana and are also right in line with the Louisiana Family Forum, where the governor "is seen as practically one of the family."
Still, for a governor whose campaign in 2003 ran radio advertisements extolling the Ten Commandments and attacking liberals, the approach has been studiously low-key and nonideological. Mr. Jindal himself has been nearly invisible at the Capitol, lawmakers and Louisiana reporters say.
Hot-button terms and issues are avoided. Cloning will not get state financing but also will not be criminalized, and Mr. Jindal is nowhere to be seen on the Louisiana Science Education Act, which promotes “open and objective discussion” in the schools of “evolution, the origins of life, global warming and human cloning.”
A hearing for the bill last week was packed with Christian advocates — it has already passed the State Senate unanimously — and it was proposed to its legislative sponsor by a Louisiana Family Forum member. Barbara Forrest, a philosophy professor at Southeastern Louisiana University and a critic of the bill, testified that it was “designed to permit teaching intelligent design creationism in Louisiana public schools,” though there was no mention of creationism or intelligent design in the bill.
In his election campaign, Mr. Jindal said that “there’s no scientific theory that explains how you create organic life out of inorganic matter,” and that students should “decide for themselves.”
Read more about Jindal's education reform plans.