Report card on Governor Nixon
Nixon is near the end of his eight years as governor, and from my distant perspective, I rate his performance as slightly above average. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give him a six. If he had more charisma, he could be a seven, and if he had better speaking skills, he could be an eight. Indeed, if he had had a friendlier legislature to work with, he could have been knocking on nine's door.
Overall, I think he did pretty well with what he had. And honestly his lack of charisma, his struggle to speak off the cuff and the abundance of Republicans in his legislatures are not his fault. (Charisma and speaking ability aren't everything. Our president has a lot of both but would struggle to get an average rating.)
Governor Nixon blocked right-to-work legislation, but could not prevent laws requiring a photo ID to vote and allowing concealed guns to be carried without a permit, nor could he get Medicaid expansion approved. Many think public education is under funded and most agree that transportation and the public defenders office need more money. Other big issues that went unanswered include race relations and ethics reform, but it's not fair to blame inaction only on Nixon when Republicans controlled the legislature.
Overall, Nixon kept us in the black and was a competent governor. I believe he should be proud of his record.
Gary L. Gaines, Cape Girardeau