Newly minted Nevada governor Steve Sisolak showed his emotional side through most of his inaugural address today in Carson City.
He cried about his love for Nevada.
He cried about raising his daughters, Ashley and Carley, whom he called “kind, compassionate, hell-raisers of the highest order.”
He cried about teachers who have to buy snacks for their kids who come to school hungry.
He cried about prescription drug prices.
He cried about the response of Las Vegans to the October 1 Route 91 Harvest Festival massacre, and about his personal experience as he stood at the scene of the carnage listening to the cell phone rings from the bodies that lay before him.
And while he was telling stories of sorrow and resiliency, mostly his crying was positive.
Sisolak had, after all, just been sworn in as the first Democratic governor in two decades, dealing with a Democratic legislature that is one precious seat shy of a super majority.
And he laid out his priorities pretty clearly, starting with education, which he called “the bedrock for a thriving economy.
“We can‘t expect talented workers to stay here if we can’t guarantee their kids a quality education,” Sisolak said, after promising that he would fight for kids and educators in rural and urban areas.
“We need to do better by our students, and that means we have to do better by our educators,” whom, he said, “should have the resources and respect that they deserve.”
He also stressed that the state needs to do better about health care, which he called the most personal issue people will address.
“I am committed to cracking down on the rising cost of prescription drugs, blocking any effort to cut back on pre-existing conditions, protecting access to women’s health care, and defending a woman’s right to make her own medical decisions.”
Sisolak did, of course, refer to the Raiders stadium, which he was instrumental in pushing through as chair of the Clark County Commission. He briefly mentioned electric vehicles, and renewables, and “tech and other promising industries.”
Missing, though, from his speech was any reference to public lands and immigration, which is the defining issue of the Trump administration, and is driving the current federal government shutdown over a border wall.
And even though he talked about Route 91, his focus was on the compassion of Las Vegans, not on the guns and ammunition that made it possible – a glaring omission in a state that is still waiting for implementation of a background check law that voters overwhelming approved in 2016.
Perhaps he will address these issues in more detail – or at all – in his State of the State speech on January 16.