Gov. Gibbons delivers a solid performance

We give Gov. Jim Gibbons high marks on his first State of the State address.

Sure, it may not have lived up to the billing that he created by hinting at exciting new ways of running the state. And much of his speech was extolling programs that are actually already in place. Too, oftentimes he was short on specifics, and the state still has major budget hurdles, including highway funding and health care, that require solutions.

But did anyone really expect Gibbons to solve all problems in his first month in office? This is his grace period, something anyone taking on a new job deserves.

What Nevadans saw Monday night was a confident, clear and well-prepared governor. The words he chose gave every indication he will be an assertive leader willing to listen to the ideas of those who oppose him.

And, in a general sense, he said all the right things about the direction the state needs to go. For example, he rightly labeled the nationwide rankings of the state's schools as "unacceptable." He said he's got a plan to battle the meth problem, and that deserved the applause it received.

But grace periods don't last long when there's so much to be done. From here on out, the generalities will be replaced by forging the fine details of legislation and finding the money to get it all done while trying to find common ground with equally stubborn people who have far different views. His reputation suggests those skills aren't Gibbons' strong suit, but he'll have plenty of opportunities to prove his critics wrong.

After all, the only grade that really matters is the final one.


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