News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Voters expecting more of same from Gov. Riley

Inauguration of a new governor carries an excitement that is missing from the swearing in of one who is entering a second consecutive term.

This year in Alabama the lack of that first-time thrill is a welcomed no-show as Gov. Bob Riley begins this new term.

Sure the pomp and ceremony were enough to get thousands of people caught up in the moment, but afterwards it was back to work.

Alabamians feel more comfortable with their governor than they did four years ago when he took a controversial win from incumbent Don Siegelman. Many people doubted the outcome of that close election and many more doubted Mr. Siegelman's fitness to continue serving, and if Mr. Riley had the political skills needed in the job.

Even Gov. Riley scaled back the big parties that marked his rare achievement in Alabama of back-to-back terms this week.

There's talk of Mr. Riley running for vice president to add some spice to inauguration events, but Alabamians had rather him stick to his task of making the state more prosperous.

He plays down the talk of national aspirations and cites programs he wants to push through the Legislature that would help more low-income residents and bring equality in education opportunities.

Based on his overall performance during the first term, we would like to see him stay and finish the job and not get distracted with national politics.

Alabama needs his steady leadership here.

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