Ohio’s John Kasich Backs Haley Barbour for President

Bookmark and Share Although Republican presidential polls have not been kind to Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, the people who appreciate Barbours efforts on their behalf are. After raising and spending more than $50 million to elect GOP candidates to statehouses as Chairman of the Republican Governors Association the first of one those newly elected Governors has come out and endorsed Haley Barbour for President.

Ohio Governor John Kasich recently stated I will be for Haley if he runs because he’s been so helpful to me,”.

Kasich is one of the 17 newly elected or reelected Republicans whose races Barbour targeted and played a big role in their victories. Some of those Barbour backed victories included the ousting Democrat Governors in Iowa, while wresting away open seats currently held by Democrats in Michigan, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Wyoming; and successfully defending Republican seats in Arizona, South Carolina, Florida and Texas. But Ohio was probably the sweetest victories of all. Not only did the G.O.P. defeat incumbent Ted Strickland, they replaced him with what is a true deficit hawk in John Kasich. Kasich also happens to be one of White House 2012s rising stars. But most important of all is the value of Ohio itself.

Ohio is one of the most important states in the general election and no Republican has won the presidency without carrying Ohio since Abraham Lincoln was elected in1860.

Prior to Lincoln, three Republican candidates carried Ohio, but they lost the national election. Those candidates were John C. Fremont in 1856; James G. Blaine in 1884, and Benjamin Harrison in1892.

In the last century, only two Democrats, Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944 and John F. Kennedy in 1960 won the presidency while losing Ohio.

In the presidential nominating contests, Ohios late date on the primary calendar makes it less pivotal and while this year, Ohios primary may not be held until March, it does carry 66, winner-take-all delegates, delegates that, if Haley Barbour makes it that far, could make or break his race for the presidential nomination. Which is why having the states Governor in your corner and putting the states party organizational effort behind you, could prove invaluable.

The Kasich endorsement is just one of the many examples of state and Party leaders who will throw their weight behind Barbour because of, as Kasich put it, how helpful Barbour has been to them. Governor Barbour has been racking up such chits ever since he was Chairman of the Republican National Committee during the Republican Revolution of 1994, when Barbour was credited with providing the margin of victory for Republicans on many different levels.

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Where’s the Leadership?

Bookmark and ShareThere is little point even getting into the way many of us feel about the way the government funding situation was handled. Suffice it to say that only those who make their living fawning over the party leadership and never have an opinion until they are given one are happy with how things turned out. Everyone else is disappointed either because they feel the process made the party look bad or because after all that fuss we didn’t really get anything. Put all those feeling aside for the moment and ask yourself, “Did the Presidential hopefuls demonstrate leadership over this?”

With the exception of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, the Republican Presidential hopefuls all managed to avoid those press cameras in front of which they are usually jumping before the situation was basically resolved. Then a handful came back out of hiding to provide comments. Gingrich and Barbour tried to neither endorse nor condemn the deals by just saying we have a long way more to go. Huckabee basically parroted what Obama had been saying all along, i.e. the Republican proposals were too extreme and compromise was necessary and appropriate. Is this the field that will inspire us to victory in 2012?

It feels like a sick joke to have to always bring up Ronald Reagan not as a lesson to the Democrats, but as a reminder to the Republicans. How could people who profess such adoration of Reagan and conservative values so consistently turn their backs on both? Did Reagan go missing when major issues were being decided before 1980? No. We all know that. We all know that he went out and spoke for his conservative vision and principles without deviation for years without ever censoring himself for fear that he might be on the wrong side of something. He stood up for conservatism even when the country was lurching to the left and his views were not ‘what the voter wanted to hear’.

It was that dedication to principles he knew were right, even if they were not polling well, that inspired more than a generation of conservatives and shifted the country. There was the leadership. He didn’t shift his views or statements to fit the public sentiment. He shifted the public sentiment to his views by his statements. That is the kind of leadership we all want from a President and from those candidates who seek that office. Regardless of which way you may lean in your views, there is no denying that most of those who seek to be our Presidential nominee are not demonstrating that level of leadership.

Some apologists will argue that it is too early to begin campaigning for 2012 or that having the candidates go out and lead would undermine the position of Boehner in House. That is all nonsense. The candidates are more than happy to campaign for 2012 right now when all it involves is jumping on the bandwagon of whatever is popular. A show of leadership and strength from Presidential candidates would only help Boehner by deflecting some of the heat the Democrats are directly entirely at him and energizing the people to stand by the goals they voted for in 2010.

Taking a stand on principles is a risk. It could mean losing in 2012. But, if all we’re going to get to see from candidates is Obamaesque hiding out until things fall one direction and then jumping out to either claim responsibility or issue blame, then how are we to know who should lead us in 2012? Moreover, if that is what our candidates propose to do, are any of them worthy to lead us in 2012? It may sound harsh, but it must be said. Our nominee in 2012 needs to be a leader who can champion our values, not a politician who answers questions by saying nothing and avoids situations because they have risk.

We need to look beyond the image candidates cultivate and even beyond their records to see if they are leaders or simply followers who got lucky by being in the right places at the right times. Some of those running may not really share our values, but have been riding on the coat tails of conservative State legislatures. Their silence on issues on the national stage is a sign of their ideological emptiness. On the other hand, others have previously shown great leadership at the State level, but for some reason are gun shy on the national stage. To them go these words: step up. We have seen too many great conservative leaders fumble primaries by hiding what we admired about them under the cloak of campaign mundanity. We are looking for leaders who will champion conservative values, not facilitators to negotiate good with bad to give us less bad.

Despite all the bad that can be said about the Democrat leadership, the one thing that can’t be said is that they are spineless. They knowingly sacrificed an election to force through their agenda. You can’t negotiate with people who are willing to torpedo their own power in order to accomplish an agenda. That’s like trying to talk down a kamikaze. They have raised the stakes and shown they are willing to pay any price to gain their objectives. We need leaders who recognize that shift and adjust tactics and strategy to address it. So far such leadership has been conspicuously absent with but few exceptions. We need better.

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In South Carolina, Santorum Wins. Barbour Loses

Bookmark and Share Republicans in Greenville, South Carolina held their county convention this weekend and addressing the more than 500 attendees were Newt Gingrich, Haley Barbour and Rick Santorum.

Not long after each of the three potential Republican presidential contenders spoke, 413 of those in attendance at the convention voted in a straw poll that produced a big win for former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. Santorum won 31 % of the vote and coming in second, far behind him, was Newt Gingrich with 14%.

Santorum impressed the GOP activists in attendance with a bombastic speech that touched upon the most important issues of the day. H, ,along with Gingrich and Barbour, praised House Republicans for their handling of the budget negotiations and credited them with getting Democrats to cave and give in to some of the biggest budget cuts in history. But Santorum also roused the crowd with his anti-Obamacare points. He received some of the loudest applause when he spoke of his own healthcare plan which he calls You Care. As Santorum tells it, it is called You Care because you know how to care for yourself better than the government.

Between his good performance and 13 previous visits to South Carolina, more than any other potential presidential rival, Santorum still did surprising well, especially given his lead which was more than double that of the second place finisher.

While Santorum won big, and Newt Gingrich faired decently in the straw poll, Haley Barbour, the third soon to be presidential candidate to address the convention, lost and he lost big. Barbour has been focusing much of his efforts on the G.O.P. establishment leadership in both South Carolina and Florida. He has made numerous trips to both states and is constantly talking to legislative and Party leaders in both states. Yet in the straw poll he pulled a mere 5% of the vote, tying for 6th place with Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul. The only major name who had a more disappointing total was Sarah Palin who received 4%.

Part of the reason for Barbours loss, despite being there to personally address the straw poll voters, is his lackluster oratory skills. While what Barbour says is popular with the G.O.P. base, how he says is uninspiring and as a result, so are his vote totals.

Common thinking is that Haley Barbour actually has a better chance of becoming the Republican presidential nominee than does Rick Santorum. Barbour has solid roots within the establishment and among Party leadership and numerous Republican Governors. He also has a fundraising network unmatched by anyone, including President Obama. Barbour also has a direct line to some of the top talent in politics. All that is in addition to his own superior political strategic skills. But unless Barbour can begin addressing voters in a way that crerates some visuals and inspiration, all his potential will be wasted. Barbour is in desperate need of skilled wordsmiths, people who can phrase the great thoughts that Barbour has in a way that makes people jump to their feet and in a way that can communicate his message to other regions of the country in a way that makes them forget the Southern drawl that dominates his bland message.

The final results of the Greenville Straw Poll were as follows:

  • Santorum – 31%
  • Gingrich – 14%
  • Bachmann – 7%
  • Trump- 7%
  • Romney- 6%
  • Christie- 6%
  • Barbour – 5%
  • Ron Paul- 5%
  • Huckabee – 5%
  • Palin- 4%
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Barbour Plans a Southern Strategy

Bookmark and Share Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour has again trekked to Florida where he has visited State Senate and House leaders. He was escorted by Sally Bradshaw, a well known, top advisor of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. During his trip he told reporters, I’ll be in or out by the end of April, but I won’t make a decision until the end of April.”

On Thursday the Mississippi state legislative season ended and so now Governor Barbour, is free to dedicate more time than he already has on the campaign trail a trail which has so far been pretty extensive. Having already hit California, Nevada, Illlinois, Georgia,and Iowa, Barbour has spent a considerably disproportionate amount of time and effort in South Carolina and Florida. In May he is scheduled to make his first appearance in New Hampshire. So while it would seem that Barbour will certainly not be ignoring the first two contests in Iowa and New Hampshire, he is apparently relying on a Southern strategy to propel him the rest of the way through the Republican presidential nominating contest.

While it is still unknown exactly how competitive Governor Barbour will be in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, it is a pretty sure bet that he will quite completive in the two primaries that followSouth Carolina and Florida and that is exactly where it would seem Barbour staked his campaign. Barbour has been concentrating on lobbying lawmakers in both states with personal visits and phone calls, and state and county Party appearances and speeches, since at least October of 2010.

Unless Governor Barbour finds a particular roadblock in South Carolina and Florida expect his decision at the end of the month to be in the affirmative.

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Barbour’s Presidential Campaign is Clear for Takeoff

Bookmark and Share After two weeks of rancorous debate that had Governor Haley Barbour and State Senate Republicans saying that State House members wanted to spend too much money, and they saying Republicans and the Governor were undercutting education and accusing the Governor of being out of state too much, Mississippi’s state legislature finally passed a state budget in what was called a “low-key” legislative session.

Along with passage of the $5.5 billion state budget, the legislature also approved $38 millions in bonds for one of Barbour’s top priorities of his last year in office, the construction of a civil rights museum.

The establishment of a Mississippi civil rights museum has been in the works for some time now, but problems with obtaining the property to build it in and a finding a proper location have derailed the project. But at the beginning of the year, Governor Barbour made clear in his state of the state address, that those problems were resolved and that finally seeing the civil rights museum come to fruition was an item that he wanted made a priority on the legislative agenda.

Passage of the bonds needed to build the civil rights museum, give Barbour the talking point that he wanted to bring to the presidential campaign. He desperately needed something that could boost his sagging image on the issue of civil rights and race relations. But it is the passage of the budget that now marks the final hurdle to a Haley Barbour presidential campaign. With that out of the way, Barbour will now have more time to crisscross the country and make up his mind on whether or not he will run.

Expect a decision from Barbour to create a presidential exploratory committee within the next 2 to 4 weeks.

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Marsha Barbour Reluctant About Haley’s Running For President

Bookmark and Share While making ones own mind up about running President is an enormously burdensome decision, it only becomes increasinglly tougher for a person who is in an committed relationship and whose spouse must also be a part of the decision. If ones spouse is not open to the idea of a run for President, it is nealry impossible for their partner to embark on such a venture.

Such is the case with Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour.

In an interview with WLOX in Mississippi, Governor Barbour’s wife Marsha says that the prospect of her husband running for President “horrifies” her.

Mississippi’s First Lady understands the invasive, and greuling path that the road to the White House and foir these reasons, she is justifiably reluctant and she makes it cleare that if Halley is not passionate about it, theres no reason for him to run.

Marsha’s good friend, the Fisrt Lady of Indiana has had similiar sentiments about the prospects of her husband, Governor Mitch Daniels ruinning for President. The Daniels and the barbours are close friends who go back to the Reagan days and have often vacationed together.

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Haley Barbour Reschedules His First Campaign Swing in New Hampshire

Bookmark and Share After scuttling his first schedule swing through New Hampshire because of difficulty with budget negotiations in his state, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour has rescheduled his New Hampshire trip for April 13th and 14th.

In this clip from New Hampshires WMUR News Barbour discusses the importance of such importance campaigning especially among Granite State voters.

As noted in this clip, Governor Barbour is expected to make a decision on a run for President by the end of this month.

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