Louisiana's first non-white chief executive since Reconstruction—and the first elected Indian-American governor in US history—vowed yesterday in his inauguration speech to clean up the corruption-plagued state. The charismatic Piyush "Bobby" Jindal, a Roman-Catholic convert from Hinduism, is a conservative Republican who also becomes, at age 36, the nation's youngest governor in office.
"We have the opportunity—born of tragedy but embraced still the same—to make right decades of failure in government," said Jindal, referring to the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina. He pledged to immediately convene a legislative session on ethics reform, and seek to improve economic conditions in Louisiana. "He's a fresh face, a do-gooder—a whiz kid," gushed one observer.