Friend and foe alike offered praise for Attorney General Mike Moore last week, as one of Mississippi’s hardest working elected officials announced he would not seek re-election and would not run for governor.
Moore is going home, so to speak, to spend time with his family, and we suspect, prepare for his next big thing: a race for the U.S. Senate in 2006 or 2008.
But, time will tell on that.
Moore’s announcement should have come as a surprise, but didn’t. Speculation has swirled around the attorney general with a variety of scenarios about what he might do politically this year analyzed by professional and armchair pundits alike. And one of those options was not to run.
The race to replace Moore should be spirited and intense with viable Republican and Democratic candidates vying for the job. And as we consider a replacement important questions should be asked. After all, as effective as the attorney general has been, and he has been a successful and popular AG, Moore’s activism demands critical assessment.
For example, while Moore’s lawsuit against so-called Big Tobacco led to a financial windfall for the state, the outrageous compensation for private attorneys involved in the case remains a troubling concern.
And a more basic question to ask is do we really want the government suing its way to success, so to speak? In the long run, will the expanded role and authority of the state attorney general’s office best serve Mississippians’ interests?
We have our doubts.