Bobby Jindal, the nation’s first Indian-American governor, was elected this past fall. At the tender age of 24 (he’s now 36), he’d been tapped to lead the state health department, and then went on in quick succession to head one of the state’s university systems and serve as an assistant secretary in the federal government. He is a true wunderkind.
As a new U.S. congressman in 2005, Jindal was elected president of his freshman class and ginned up a photo op at the State of the Union address in which his fellow Republicans sported purple fingers in solidarity with Iraqi voters.
He ran on a platform of ethics reform and eliminating corruption. He says he hopes to be remembered for competence and honesty.
His secret? Be prepared. Jindal plied world-weary voters with a batch of detailed plans for ethics reform, economic development and hurricane recovery, and a torrent of words explaining them.
“Who you know is not more important than what you know,” he says.
—Adapted from “Bobby Jindal: The first Indian- American Governor has a plan (or 12) for Louisiana,” Gilbert Cruz, Time.