By: Allen Johnson
Is Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama continues to encourage the defections of Republicans (so-called Obam-icans), newly elected Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal is apparently winning over some traditional Democrats in Louisiana. I just left a roomful of 1,000 black educators who stood up and cheered him, local media consultant Cheron Brylski said after a meeting of the Black Alliance for Educational Options earlier this month. The crowd applauded Jindals victories from the recent special session on ethics as well as his strong advocacy of charter schools and public education, she said. There is also an overwhelming pride about having a minority governor. (Jindal won 15 percent of the black vote last fall, more than any Republican candidate for governor of Louisiana in recent memory.) In addition, New Orleans Democrats have been buoyed by Jindals announced initiatives to jump-start the states economy and to end the Katrina-fueled mental health crisis. A self-described liberal, Brylski says she is actively campaigning for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (after receiving a personal phone call from former President Bill Clinton). Nevertheless, Brylski also says that Jindal represents Louisianas last hope for turning the state around. I am as (strong) for Bobby Jindal as I am for Hillary Clinton, Brylski says.