Governor - Elect Bobby Jindal's Victory Speech

This is a transcript of Governor-Elect Bobby Jindal's victory speech October 20 2007.

"Thank you...thank you...thank you Louisiana.

Folks...I've got an idea...Let's give our homeland...the great state of Louisiana...a fresh start!

I received phone calls from Mr. Campbell, Mr. Boasso, and Mr. Georges.

They were all gentlemen and very gracious.

I also spent some time today talking to Governor Blanco.

I'm confident we'll have a smooth transition.

I want to start by thanking my wife and best friend. Those who know me well, realize that there is no Bobby without Supriya.

We celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary two nights ago in grand romantic fashion by going to the final debate...I love you honey.

See folks, I really do have a heart after all!

And let me thank our wonderful kids -- Selia, Shaan, Slade.

They have made a habit in this campaign of crashing press conferences and disrupting events at inopportune times.

You all may get to know them quite well.

I suspect the Governor's mansion will become a bit of a playground soon, but we promise not to let them color on the walls.

I stand here tonight very humbled by your support.

It's hard to describe, but I really feel a heavy sense of not only gratitude for all of you, but also of responsibility.

More than anything, I stand here tonight tremendously excited and exceedingly optimistic about the opportunity to make real change and to turn our state around.

You can never adequately thank everybody, but, since I do respect my elders, I want to take just a moment to thank my parents.

My folks came to this country in pursuit of the American Dream.

And guess what happened-- they found the American Dream to be alive and well right here in Louisiana!

They originally chose Louisiana so mom could study at LSU.  Go Tigers! Beat Auburn!

My dad was the first and only one of 9 kids to even go to high school.

Like most of you, my parents walked a much harder road than I have ever walked.

And I want to thank them publicly for their sacrifices for me and my brother.

But let me say this -- My parents have seen what I have seen, that in America and specifically in Louisiana -- the only barrier to success is your willingness to work hard and play by the rules.

Don't let anyone tell you any different; don't let anyone talk bad about Louisiana.

Those days are now officially over.

We are serving notice - Louisiana is very soon going to be on the rise.

In recent months many in our nation have gotten the wrong view of Louisiana.

A false picture of our state has been painted in many instances.

Our state has been depicted as a haven for incompetence and corruption.

Well...we have some of that...just like every other state does.

But let me paint for you the real picture of Louisiana - Here's what I've found while visiting with folks in all 64 parishes and in every nook and cranny of our state.

The people of Louisiana are God-fearing, hard-working, law-abiding, freedom-loving folks who look out for each other.

The people of Louisiana are the salt of the earth, they have been so good and kind and generous to my family and me.

I was born and raised right here in Baton Rogue.

But during this campaign I've seen places in Louisiana that you probably can't find on a map.   And I've seen them multiple times.

I spent so much time in North Louisiana, one mayor made me an honorary citizen... and five minutes later the assessor gave me a tax bill.

There is a ton of work to do in Baton Rouge, and I will devote myself to it fully.

But also know that I'm going to be a Governor who travels the state relentlessly.

One thing I know for sure, you can get a distorted view sitting in the halls of government.

Things start to look different.

The lobbyists begin to look larger and the people begin to look smaller.

Reality becomes distorted.  I've seen it in Congress as well.  I'm not going to let that happen to me.

I'm not going to be taken captive by the government crowd in Baton Rouge.

Today, we begin a new chapter in the history of Louisiana.

I have said throughout the campaign that there are two entities that have the most to fear from us winning this election -- One is Corruption, and the other is his sidekick Incompetence.

If you happen to see either of them, please let them know the party is over.

I don't want to mislead anyone, this aint' gonna be easy.

I can't do this by myself.

While I can't do it alone, together we can do anything we set our minds to.

I know some of you were looking forward to a little time off...but in many ways, our battle has just begun.

I suspect that some of those who oppose making big changes in Louisiana government... will mount a counter offensive.

And some who have been feeding at the trough may not go quietly, but that is up to them, they can either go quietly or they can go loudly, but either way, they will go.

Starting today, every citizen of Louisiana has equal access to state Government.

Who you know will no longer be more important than what you know.

But, before we can change the direction of our state, we all have to change our current mindset.

We have to defeat cynicism, we have to stop saying-- "politics is always corrupt, there is nothing we can do about the mess in Baton Rouge."

Sadly, those words roll right off the tongue.

We have all become accustomed to thinking that we can't do anything about corruption and incompetence in state government.

We just can't think that way anymore.

I'm asking you to believe that we can turn our state around.

I'm asking you to give Louisiana another chance.

I'm asking you to believe in the greatness of our people.

I'm not just asking you to give me a chance, I'm asking you to give yourself a chance, I'm asking you to give US a chance, I'm asking you to once again believe in Louisiana.

This won't happen overnight.

I certainly can't promise you that you will never again see any Incompetence or Corruption in Louisiana.

But I can promise you this -- when they rear their heads, they will not be tolerated, no excuses will be accepted.

I also can't promise you that I won't make any mistakes.

In fact, as Supriya can testify, I can pretty much promise that I will.

But I can also promise you this, when I make mistakes, I will own up to them, I will learn from them, and I will not be afraid to change course.

As I promised in the campaign, right after I'm sworn in, I'm going to notify the legislature that I will be calling them in for a special session to pass real ethics reform with real teeth.

It is my intention to work closely with the legislature, and I am looking forward to it.

But please understand this, I'm not going to take no for an answer on reforming our ethics laws.

Real ethics reform is not simply campaign rhetoric.

It is the lynchpin for change, for regaining the confidence of the voters, for turning our state around.

If and when folks try to stop it, I will call them out.

If and when people try to throw in amendments designed to derail ethics reform, I will call them out.

And I'm gonna need your help.

Ethics reform is the first step in winning the public trust.

It's the first step to unlocking our future.

It is the first step to growing our economy and bringing great jobs to Louisiana.

Before we can create real economic growth we must show the voters and the entire country that we are serious about changing our reputation.

We can do it, we must do it, and early next year we will do it.

I have a major announcement to make -- The campaign is over.

Now it is time for a fresh start.

At times it was a rough campaign, lots of charges and counter charges thrown out there.

It's over.

I bear no ill will to anyone.

To all those out there who did not vote for me tonight -- I'm asking for your support as well.

The campaign is now in the past.

I'm not interested in fixing anything in the past.

As of this moment, I'm only looking at the future.

This is a time for us to pull together.

Republicans, Democrats, Independents -- we are all Louisianians first.

North or South, we are all Louisianians first.

Rural, suburban, small town, big city, we are all Louisianians first.

The time for partisan politics is behind us.

This is not my victory tonight. This is our victory.

The people of Louisiana have spoken, and they have spoken very loudly-- they are ready for a fresh start.

There has never been a clearer mandate for change in our state.

This is our time.

Many have said that the eyes of the nation will be on us.

And while that is true, and that is nice to know, that is not what motivates us.

Our motivation is pride in our state, pride in our homeland.

Our motivation is building great jobs and careers for our kids and for their kids.

Our motivation is the firm and unyielding belief that Louisiana can be the greatest place in the world to not only chase the American Dream, but in fact to actually catch it.

I want to thank God for the many blessings He has bestowed upon me and on all of us.

And I want to serve notice to the rest of the country -- keep your eyes on Louisiana.

Everyone in the country has helped us in our time of need, and we are very grateful, and we still need help.

But please know this -- We are not simply going to try to rebuild, we will have no part of such a small goal.

We are setting our sights much higher; we are getting ready to take off.

Just like all Americans, you can't keep us down.

From our schools, which have failed too many children for too long....we can change, we must change, we will change.

To our government, which has been too corrupt...we can change, we must change, we will change.

And our business climate, which has been too weak, we can change, we must change, we will change.

This state wants change...and I have one more message tonight...if you are a business looking at expansion...and especially if you are a young person trying to decide where you will make your home....change is not just on the way...CHANGE BEGINS TONIGHT.

Good night, and may God richly bless you."