New governor offers lofty hopes, language

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 17, 2004

New Gov. Haley Barbour’s inauguration speech on the steps of the Capitol in Jackson Tuesday was certainly filled with uplifting language.

&uot;This is the moment to lift our horizons for Mississippi,&uot; he said, later noting he not only envisions his home state &uot;in new, larger dimensions; I expect it.&uot;

That kind of attitude is right for Mississippi right now &045; one that looks forward with optimism ready to face the challenges ahead.

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Barbour &045; and Mississippi &045; do indeed face challenges. Like our neighbor Louisiana, which saw the inauguration of its first female governor Monday, Mississippi needs great attention to economic development.

Barbour’s speech focused on that need. While he did not detail any policy initiatives, he spoke in broad terms about strong job-creation efforts.

And he encouraged Mississippians to raise their expectations for themselves and for their neighbors.

That call for unity is important in a state which has seen racial, political and economic divisions for decades.

We respect Barbour’s pledge to raise his and our expectations and goals for our state’s future, but we know the challenge lies not in elevated language but in the work ahead.

Our own community leaders will be working with Barbour’s administration to bring jobs to our area, and we again urge the new governor not to forget Southwest Mississippi as he embarks on plans to boost the economy of the entire state.