AP Analysis: Miss. Gov. Bryant focuses on unity in inaugural speech

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant’s inaugural speech Tuesday combined poetic flourishes with recognition of the state’s most intractable issues — a lagging education system, a struggling economy and one of the nation’s highest teenage pregnancy rates.

In a state deeply affected in recent years by Hurricane Katrina and Mississippi River flooding, the 57-year-old Republican used “rising together” as his inaugural theme and said “rising water forced us to higher ground” and made the state stronger.

While he didn’t get lost in a thicket of policy proposals, Bryant said every resident should have the chance to be gainfully employed, every person should have access to a good education, every child should be born into a “mature, two-parent family” and every person should know that tax dollars are properly spent.