Mississippi Rises Again

A new young Governor promises an era of reform

A seven-piece band served up a bouncy rendition of the once popular tune Ain't No Stopping Us Now. In the steamy hotel ballroom, Democratic partisans lifted a rhythmic chant: "Mabus, Mabus, Mabus." On the podium, Mississippi's new Governor-elect let out a short celebratory whoop, then slowly declared, "Change has come." He repeated his campaign theme, "Mississippi will never be last again!"

The assertions were not entirely outlandish. Raymond Mabus Jr., a wispy, cocksure state auditor, had spent four years in a zealous crusade against public corruption during his first term in public office. Then, in an iconoclastic campaign for Governor, he...

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