Nossiter Sniffs at Conservative La. Gov. Jindal, Friend of "Fiscal Stringency"

Southern-based Adam Nossiter's reporting reveals a clear suspicion of conservative Southern (racist!) Republicans, which is muffled but not entirely absent from his Monday profile of Louisiana's new wunderkind Republican Governor Bobby Jindal, "In Louisiana, Inklings of a New (True) Champion of the Right," who is one of several candidates to become John McCain's vice presidential running mate.

The lede is patronizing:

Religion and fiscal stringency have a friendly home at the state Capitol here, with a conservative, Bobby Jindal, in the governor's office, a host of straight-arrow novice legislators eager to please him and an honored spot for the Louisiana Family Forum in the old marble halls.

The newly conservative tone of state government is seeping through a host of successful bills - on school vouchers, creationism, stem-cell restrictions and tax and spending cuts - and it is adding to the speculative frenzy here surrounding Mr. Jindal as a potential vice-presidential choice for Senator John McCain.

Politicians here say they are certain that Mr. Jindal would balance a McCain ticket, and not just because he is an Indian-American. The Christian right has a new champion in Mr. Jindal, a serious Catholic who has said that "in my faith, you give 100 percent of yourself to God."

His allies are later described as "zealous young legislators."

Nossiterwas less than enthused when Jindal took office in October 2007, though the election of an Indian-American as governor of a Southern state should have been cause for celebration for the racially sensitive Nossiter.

From Nossiter's October 21, 2007 story:

"The ascendancy of the Brown- and Oxford-educated Mr. Jindal, an unabashed policy wonk who has produced a stream of multipoint plans, is likely to be regarded as a racial breakthrough of sorts in this once-segregated state. Still, it is one with qualifiers attached.

"For one thing, he is by now a familiar figure in Louisiana, having made a strong run for the governorship in 2003, though losing to Ms. Blanco. Before that he had held a series of high-profile administrative jobs, including state health secretary at the age of 24, when he earned a reputation for efficiency - critics said cold-bloodedness - for slashing a bloated budget, cutting jobs and lowering reimbursements to doctors.

For another, he did not have the support of a majority of the state's blacks, about a third of the population, who vote Democratic.