I have to admit that I'm disappointed that Gov. Haley Barbour decided against running for president next year. It's not because I think he would have made a great president. (I don't think he's electable.) I hate it because Mississippi now won't undergo the rigorous scrutiny of the national media like we would have had he run. And that is a very unfortunate thing.
Sunshine is and always will be the best disinfectant, and Mississippi is in need of a cleansing. Sure, it would have been terribly painful for us to be put under the national microscope and have all of Mississippi's dirty laundry hung out for the world to see. But it would have been so very beneficial in the long run. Such scrutiny would have served as an open heart surgery for Mississippi, in a manner of speaking. We would have been laid bare, our innards cleaned and rerouted for the better. But we won't get that now.
In a post last night, Jere Nash mentioned the constant flow of bad press Haley Barbour had been receiving, this time it was over Barbour's comments about Mississippians' access to healthcare. Before this healthcare statement, there had been quotes from Barbour about the CCC, Nathan Bedford Forrest, and Head Start.
While the early focus had been on Barbour's race-relations history, it would have soon shifted to other areas. Barbour's lack of commitment to adequately funding education would have no doubt been an area of intense scrutiny, and that would have likely turned into coverage of our education system as a whole. The national media would have also certainly focused on Barbour's family members who worked as lobbyists during Barbour's governorship, the issue of Gov. Barbour's blind trust, his use of the state plane, and on and on. Those issues would likely have led to an exploration of inefficiency and secrecy in state government.
A good scouring by the well-trained national media would have been good for us as a state. Too bad we're not going to get it.