CL – Mississippi waits for Toyota, and Barbour’s legacy

Meanwhile, the building in Blue Springs awaits workers and equipment.

Landing Toyota was a coup for Mississippi and Gov. Haley Barbour, who was lauded by local and state economic development officials and Toyota executives for getting Mississippi to the top of the list.

Shortly after the Toyota triumph, Dennis Cuneo, who spearheaded the site selection process for Toyota, described our governor’s salesmanship.

“When Kia was looking for a site in Mississippi, (Barbour) called me and he said, ‘Kia’s looking for a site, but I’m not going to show them anything above (U.S.) Highway 82. I’m reserving that area for Toyota.’ ”

However this all works out, that decision about Toyota will remain a pivotal point in determining the governor’s legacy.

If Toyota becomes a reality, then Barbour will be lauded for years to come about his success in reshaping the state’s manufacturing base. However, if its unsuccessful, he becomes the governor who pushed all in and lost.

Unfortunately for him, like the rest of us, all he can do is wait for Toyota.