November 13, 2004


Jindal backs Lafayette Republican: Surgeon Boustany in 7th District runoff (PATRICK COURREGES, 11/13/04, The Advocate)

Bobby Jindal, Louisiana's newest Republican congressman-elect, said Friday in Lake Charles he is supporting 7th Congressional District Republican candidate Charles Boustany Jr.'s bid to join the state's delegation.

Jindal handily won election to Louisiana's 1st District seat in his first run for the post Nov. 2, and spoke in favor of Boustany, a retired heart surgeon from Lafayette, at a Lake Charles Republican Roundtable luncheon.

"I'm proud to call Bobby a friend and hope to call him a colleague," Boustany said.

U.S. Sen.-elect David Vitter, R-Metairie, who left the 1st District to run for the Senate seat he won outright Nov. 2, is expected to travel to Lake Charles today to endorse Boustany.

Boustany faces state Sen. Willie Mount, D-Lake Charles, in a Dec. 4 runoff. [...]

Jindal said after the meeting that Boustany's having been a practicing physician would give him near-instant credibility on key health-care issues in Congress.

"His experience on the front lines will be very valuable," Jindal said. "It earns him natural respect."

Fellow members of Congress would automatically look to Boustany as an expert on health-care issues, and the relatively few physicians who have served in Congress in the past have quickly become major players on health-care issues, Jindal said.

"If it weren't for 9/11, I think health care would be the biggest issue in America," he said.

Boustany said he and Jindal could work together using their experience working from different ends of the health-care spectrum.

Jindal knows the policy and administrative end, having served as Louisiana's secretary of Health and Hospitals and as a federal health policy official in President Bush's administration, Boustany said.

"We can very quickly take the lead on health-care issues," Boustany said.

Mr. Jindal stands to be the most significant freshman representative in quite some time.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 13, 2004 1:42 PM

I figure we'll see Jindal at HHS before the end of Bush's term.

Posted by: Bart at November 13, 2004 5:19 PM

Absolutely not. Keep him in Congress, considering how hard it was to get him there in the first place. Maybe he'll be more welcome statewide in a few years and become Gov or Senator Jindal.

Posted by: brian at November 13, 2004 9:33 PM