Los Angeles Times, 11/5/7

Republican Gov. Haley Barbour was standing in a preacher’s living room here one recent weeknight, giving his Katrina pep talk to a small group of voters and making the case for his reelection.

“Our people weren’t looking for somebody to blame,” Barbour said, his deep, Yazoo City drawl rounding his vowels. “They weren’t whining or moping. . . . We got knocked down hard. And people got back up, hitched up their britches and went to work.”

This down-home mantra is Barbour’s attempt to instill a unifying sense of pride in this perennial underdog of a state. It’s a message he hopes will resonate across lines of race and class.