Haley Barbour’s Actions Speak Louder Than His Words
Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour does not think race, he thinks citizens of Mississippi

By Ellen Ratner

I am a true liberal and my ideas of interest include expansion of the safety net, access to health care for all, a graduated income tax and much of the usual views that liberals get tagged with. I am also a liberal in the dictionary definition of trying to be open-minded.

Sunday, while traveling in Mississippi I started to get e-mails from friends quoting Governor Haley Barbour discussing Virginia Governor McDonnell’s proclamation on Confederate History month. The proclamation did not mention slavery. Barbour said that people were making “a big deal out of it” and it “doesn’t amount to diddly.”

While the e-mails were piling up on Sunday from folks asking me how I could like this guy, I thought of my four and a half years traveling to Mississippi since Hurricane Katrina. However, ask almost anyone on Gulf Coast — black or white — what they think of him now and he has almost universal support. He and First Lady Marsha Barbour did an amazing job during and after the hurricane. They made sure all citizens of Mississippi got services and support. Race was not a factor, need was.

I have also seen Governor Barbour many times up close and personal. I have been at the governor’s mansion and have seen him interact with his staff. Governor Barbour does not think race, he thinks citizens of Mississippi. In casual situations he talks to everyone, and unlike some liberal politicians I know, he is not looking beyond you for the next important person to talk to. I disagree with most of his political viewpoints but I know that if there ever was a Southern politician whose actions I admire it’s Governor Barbour.

Actions speak louder than words.

Ellen Ratner
Washington Bureau Chief, Talk Radio News Service
Fox News Contributor
4/12/10