Often what a politician does not say speaks volumes.
Such was the case last week at the Neshoba County Fair where two Republican stalwarts – state Auditor Phil Bryant and Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck – did not address the crowd at the annual political speaking that draws politicians, political operatives and media from throughout the state.
Sure, it was an off-election year event, which means the interest is a little less, making it is easier for a politician to skip the traditional event, and miss out on the oppressive heat. Still, it is a rare occurrence for a statewide elected official to miss a fair appearance. Former Attorney General Mike Moore, the charismatic one who was a visitor at the fair this year, used to miss on occasion when he son, Kyle, was playing in out-of-state tournaments with his youth baseball team.
Granted, there is probably no sinister motive. Both Tuck and Bryant probably had trips that conflicted with the fair. Tuck, especially, because of the multitude of special sessions in recent years, has the right to a get-away whenever she can schedule one.
Still, the absence of Tuck and Bryant is interesting because of the daunting decisions they face about their future.
Bryant, appointed auditor by former Gov. Kirk Fordice in the 1990s when elected Democratic Auditor Steve Patterson resigned under a legal cloud, faces the decision of running for a third term for the post where more than likely he would not face any serious opposition or running for another post, such as lieutenant governor.
In short, Bryant faces the decision of the sure thing – his re-election as auditor – or the not-so-sure thing – his candidacy for the office of lieutenant governor where he would be considered one of the favorites, but not a shoo-in.
Bryant faces some tough decision, but probably not as difficult as Tuck. Tuck, who has spent most of her adult life in state politics, is term-limited out of the office of lieutenant governor.
North Miss Daily Journal