JACKSON, Miss. – Gov. Haley Barbour (search) took his oath of office just before noon Tuesday and for a few seconds, he appeared to fight back tears.
Then, as Air Force jets roared overhead and a National Guard (search) band played a jaunty version of the state song, the Republican kissed his wife, Marsha, and waved to the crowd.
He used his 14-minute inaugural address to call for unity and to pledge strong job-creation efforts in a state that has struggledas the state's 63rd governor spoke from a podium draped with red, white and blue bunting.
Four of Barbour's predecessors watched from the stands, including the man he unseated, Democrat Ronnie Musgrove (search).
"I envision a Mississippi of growth, hope and prosperity, a state that not only produces more and better-paying jobs for our working people, but a home -- a home that raises up the prospects of all our people and elevates our respect for all our people," Barbour said.
"I not only envision Mississippi in new, larger dimensions; I expect it," he said. "And I urge you to raise your expectations for our state and our people."
Barbour, a Yazoo City native, made a name for himself in Republican politics over the past two decades before launching his bid for the governorship last year. He was a political adviser to President Reagan in the 1980s and Republican National Committee chairman from 1993 to 1997, helping engineer the GOP takeover of the U.S. House and Senate in 1994.
He also was a Washington lobbyist whose firm represented big-name clients such as Microsoft and Lockheed Martin.
Barbour defeated Musgrove in the Nov. 4 general election after running the most expensive governor's campaign in state history.
Among those who traveled to Jackson for the inauguration Tuesday was Holmes Petty of Clarksdale, one of Barbour's Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity brothers at the University of Mississippi in the late 1960s.
"He was a very successful lobbyist in Washington. He's going to be a great lobbyist for Mississippi," Pettey said.
Other inauguration day events included a prayer breakfast, a reception for foreign dignitaries, a parade, an open house at the Governor's Mansion and a ball.
Barbour is Mississippi's second Republican governor since Reconstruction. The GOP's Kirk Fordice, a former Vicksburg construction executive, served from 1992 to 2000.
Asked after the inauguration if he had any advice for Barbour, Democratic former Gov. Ray Mabus said: "Do right by everybody."
During the prayer breakfast, Barbour said he would represent all Mississippians, even those who supported Musgrove.
"We can't do better unless we all do better together," Barbour said. "We can't leave out anybody. We can't leave out any part of the state. We can't leave out any group of people because of their race or their religion or their ethnicity or their politics."
Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (search), an ordained Baptist minister, asked Mississippians to pray for their new governor.
"You need to pray even more fervently that he will be able to walk day by day with God's grace and your support," Huckabee said.