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Beshear the Futurist: 2007
Governor Beshear the Futurist:
Inaugural Message Offers a Vision for Kentucky’s Future

by Ivan Potter

Frankfort, KY.
December 11, 2007

Standing before an estimated crowd of 5,000, Governor Steve Beshear offered up an inaugural speech of concern, hope, and vision. With the state capital as a backdrop, Governor Beshear delivered one of the most important speeches of his life. He was no longer the candidate, but rather the leader of over 4 million Kentuckians.

This speech will mark the beginning of a noble experiment in Kentucky politics. Beshear will be the first Democrat elected governor in the 21st Century and as such will have to come to grips with the problems and opportunities of this new age. Besides being the first Democrat of the 21st Century to be elected governor of Kentucky, he will be the first Futurist elected to that office in Kentucky’s history.

What Lt. Governor Beshear set out to do in 1983 as the driving force and the chairman of Kentucky Tomorrow Commission, Governor Beshear will have the opportunity to lead the state into the future.

Governor Beshear stands at the crossroads of Kentucky’s problems. He can move the state forward along the path of progress. But first, he will have to address the money crisis that will frame the 2008-2009 state budget. One of the core foundations of his speech dealt with the economy.

“The current state of the economy means that we will need to be jealous guardians of the public’s money. We will need to make difficult choices and set clear priorities. We will need to show the courage to cut back where we can now, in order to invest in what we must in the future.”

Just as great as the problems that face Kentucky in this new century, so to are the great opportunities for progress. Beshear invoked the image of “Kentucky -America’s Next Frontier.”

This one simple but yet eloquent appeal to the citizens of the state goes beyond politics as normal. This is the stuff of vision setting, strategic planning, bold leadership, and statesmanship.

These are all necessary skills for a governor to have in these troubled times.

Steve Beshear in 1,608 words, captured the problems and fears of the traditional status quo old boy political network that we call modern Kentucky.

In the same 17 minutes of speaking, Steve Beshear also framed our hopes for a better tomorrow. He ended on a high note of vision in which Kentucky could become a model for America in rallying its people and resources to design, build, and forge a new future in the 21st Century.

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