Haley Barbour is ready for a life of retirement– golf, bouncing grandchildren on his knee, more golf, speechifying and lobbying. As Barbour hangs up his hat as governor of Mississippi, he will transition to a different type of life. After all, he’s 64 years old. It’s time for him to give up the nine to five day, but don’t expect to find him sitting on the porch in a rocking chair.
In fact, I could imagine that his eight years as governor might have been a little stifling. He went from the high-flying jobs of head of the Republican Party and head of an influential Washington lobbying firm to being the figurehead of sleepy, little Mississippi. Taking the position was a little bit of a step down for the influential politician with big ambition, but it opened a door for something bigger.
Barbour shut that door himself when he announced his decision to not run for President in 2012. When he finally decides to sit a spell in that rocking chair, wonder if he’ll regret that choice? For now, though, he’ll go back to BGR, the Washington lobbying firm he founded. He’ll fly around the country holding court in backrooms and speaking to groups of conservatives as they chow down on chicken and potatoes. And he’ll get even richer.
More power to him. He’s a Mississippi boy who made good. Barbour rubs shoulders with the rich and the powerful and has made himself both in the process. It’s now time for him to enjoy the fruits of his labor.
Back here in sleepy, little Mississippi, we’ll watch for him on morning television. We’ll shout, “Hey, Mama, there’s Haley again,” and we’ll say our “remember whens” as we go back to our grits and gravy. Yeah, that boy done good for himself!
Nancy Lottridge Anderson, Ph.D., CFA, is president of New Perspectives Inc. in Ridgeland — (601) 991-3158. She is also an assistant professor of finance at Mississippi College. Her e-mail address is email@example.com, and her website is www.newper.com.