When it came time for the LSU Department of Chemical Engineering to plan its centennial celebration last week, it couldnt have asked for a better speaker than First Lady Supriya Jindal. A chemical engineer herself, Jindal spoke knowledgably about the 100-year-old departments nationally recognized research and the impact of the states chemical industry.
She also focused on a human element. With 26,000 people employed by Louisianas chemical industry, the sector generates $5.9 billion in earnings, creating $125 million in tax revenues, she said. Thats millions of dollars going towards schools and roads. It was just the latest in a long line of public appearances Jindal has made since her husband became a nationally recognized governor, and she has found a way to mix the ceremonial duties of her position with the political realities of her husbands job. For instance, Supriya Jindal has been touring the state reading books to school children, helping food banks increase their inventories and visiting hurricane relief stations. On the political front, she was in Pennsylvania late last month campaigning alongside Cindy McCain, the wife of GOP presidential nominee John McCain. Jeremy Alford