This publication has been more than critical of Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant in many areas, particularly during his run for governor, for which he will go head-to-head with Dave Dennis, Hudson Holliday and Ron Williams on Aug. 2 in the Republican primary.
Insiders admit to us that he has deserved much of the criticism.
His guffaws are numerous, but when all is said and done, he’s got the best boots.
Most importantly, and what will mean the most to governing Mississippi during the next four years, is Bryant connects to people.
Little old ladies adore him when he comes and speaks to their clubs, and they trust him on a level that is more meaningful than their adoration of his gorgeous gray locks.
We think Bryant is the one candidate who is uniquely positioned to be a coalition builder. Hopefully, he has Gov. Haley Barbour’s dossiers on every member of each chamber and both parties. Perhaps he will use them for good. Politics is the art of compromise and there has been far too little of that in the last eight years. We need to work together to move this state forward.
Barbour, a Republican, and Speaker of the House Billy McCoy, a Democrat, are, effectively, gone. Both did what they felt was best for the state, but they were more in to one-upsmanship than statesmanship. Barbour is going to tout all of his accomplishments as governor and Republicans are forever going to be looking back on the “the good-old days of Haley B.” But let’s look at the facts.
Mississippi was ranked at the bottom of every economic, education, and healthcare chart in the nation when he took over.
We are still there, and as this publication has pointed out, in some areas we are further down the list than where we started. Certainly Barbour promoted a “us-against-dems” in Jackson and used his power over the media groups to promote such pointless and reckless animosity.
With new leadership and new legislators let’s pray that we can do better.
Mr. Bryant, you have our endorsement. For the sake of Mississippi. For the sake of our children and the children of this state — get us off the bottom.
So, do the job, and do it well.
>> The views expressed here represent the opinion of the Mississippi Business Journal, and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of individual MBJ staff members.
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