Neshoba speakers ply crowds with humor, stories

By Bobby Harrison/NEMS Daily Journal

JACKSON – Politicians apparently believe every good speech begins with a joke or a personal story.
That was the case for many of the state’s top politicians as they spoke Wednesday and Thursday during the annual Neshoba County Fair.
Lynn Fitch, who is in her first year as state treasurer, told the story of stopping by a doughnut shop for her children while in her workout clothes.
As she was paying for the order, the clerk noticed her gym membership on her key ring, prominently displaying her name. The clerk exclaimed Fitch had the same name as the state’s treasurer.
Fitch paid for her order without telling the clerk she was the state treasurer.
House Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, returned to his college days to make a crowd connection.
Gunn attended Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where he played quarterback. Early in his freshman year, during a practice, Gunn said he was running an option play where the quarterback had to decide whether to pass, hand off or keep the football based on what the defense did. Gunn said the defense did not focus on him, leaving the field wide open for him to run.
Not far down field, Gunn said he was caught from behind, prompting the coach to praise him for making the right decision. But the coach added, next time, to run hard.
Gunn said he responded, “I was running hard. It don’t get no better than that.”
Gov. Phil Bryant endeared himself to the crowd to begin his speech. He told the crowd he was invited to the Republican Governors Association in Colorado to hear from presumed GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
“I think I made the right choice,” he said. “I wouldn’t miss the Fair for anything in the world.”

bobby.harrison@journalinc.com