The Pomposity of the New York Times’ Nate Silver

Bookmark and Share Wow. I believe pompous arrogance would be the most fitting way to characterize Nate. Silvers recent analysis entitled On The Largely Irrelevant News About Haley Barbour Not Running for President.

First of all, for Mr. Silver to characterize Haley Barbours decision not to run for the Republican presidential nomination as irrelevant, is mind numbingly ignorant. The Barbour decision is one of the most important decisions to have been made regarding the 2012 presidential election to date. As noted in White House 2012, Governor Barbours decision not to run, has freed up many supporters and much money. Furthermore; whether Silver wants to deny it or not, that decisions has increased the chances that one of the top tier Republican presidential contenders, Governor Mitch Daniels, will run. This is far from irrelevant.

But beyond this, Mr. Silver takes it upon himself to bestow great credit to himself for never having given much thought or ink to the possibility of a Haley Barbour presidential candidacy. This is not something which I believe he deserves either personal or public credit for. Perhaps part of the reason as to why Silver did not take the potential candidacy of Governor Haley Barbour seriously was because he is utterly blind to the art of political campaigning and its powerful ability to overcome some negative perceptions, and to accentuate positive ones. Perhaps another reason is because Mr. Silvers liberal biases do not allow his mind to be as open as he would have us believe.

Haley Barbour is conservative, a point that I am sure did not go unnoticed by the New York Times Nate Silver. And it is that point which more than likely accounted for his tendency to not take Barbours potential candidacy seriously.

The fact of the matter is that for Mr. Silver to give himself a Super Bowl ring for Monday morning quarterbacking a game that has not yet even begun, is a bit silly. For him to imply thepossesion ofsome greater political instinct or knowledge than others, including Jonathon Martin of Politic, simply because he had not given much ink to the possibility of a Barbour presidential candidacy, is utterly ridiculous.

Two days prior to Governor Barbours announcement, I made my own assessment here in White House 2012 and in it I questioned the certainty of a Barbour presidential campaign. The accuracy of that post did not give me license to arrogantly discount the opinions of others and claim or imply that I have shrewder political instincts than George Will, Charles Krauthammer or Jonathon Martin.

The truth is that Mr. Silver may not have wanted to advertise the possibilities that existed within a Barbour candidacy, but that didnt make him any more correct than those who refused to deny those possibilities. While Barbour had several obvious handicaps, most of which White House 2012 acknowledged, he also had the capacity to rise above them. His fundraising ability is almost unmatched, his organization reach and ability was endless, and his record, policies and vision were more than powerful enough to build a credible candidacy on. But Mr. Silver claims he never believed so, so he deserves credit.

Credit for what? Denying the potential that existed? I dont think so.

Although I tend to believe that Haley Barbour and his family, decided against a run for President because of the obstacles, I do not believe the decision was reached because they concluded that they could not overcome the obstacles. I believe they decided not to run because they did not know exactly how committed they were to insuring that they overcame those obstacles. It is that uncertainty of commitment that Haley Barbour cited as the reason for deciding not to run. Yet in his analysis, Nate Silver suggests that his colleagues would be best advised to not take what those they write about so literally. I suggest that Mr. Silver listen to what those he writes about have to say and instead of automatically discounting the truth in what they say, perhaps he should first be open to thepossibility of thetruth.

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Expect Mitch Daniels to Run for President

Bookmark and Share Like the countdown to a space shuttle liftoff, the month of April has been ticking down to the launch or aborted missions of several different Republican presidential candidacies. The most notable are Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, and soon to be former Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, Jr.. Both Daniels and Barbour have promised to make their decision some time by the end of April. Gingrich has recently suggested a similar timeline and Jon Huntsman who cant legally make an announcement while still serving as an Ambassador is likely to make his intentions known shortly after his April 30th resignation takes effect.

I predict that at least three of these men will be declaring their candidacy.

While that is not a bold prediction insofar as Gingrich and Huntsman go, it is a bit of a stretch to be so definitive about Barbour and even more so concerning Mitch Daniels.

As for Huntsman and Gingrich, the secret is out. Gingrich has done little to keep his intentions hush and as soon as Huntsman announced that he was resigning from his post as the nations chief envoy to China, we all pretty much knew that he was going to act on his already stated intention to look at a run for president in 2012. In the case of Barbour, his intentions have been quite clear, but so have his hurdles to a successful run for both the Republican presidential nomination and the presidency itself. His history as a very successful lobbyist, the oozing of some unfair Southern stereotypes, combined with a few early verbal gaffes on race, and his reputation as the ultimate political insider, pose the potential Barbour campaign with some obvious questions that they have had to figure whether or not they can overcome.

In an attempt to do so, Barbour has been lighting up switchboards from California, to Florida and South Carolina, as he tests the waters. He has even politely suggested that potential supporters hold their powder, and their money, until he makes a decision. Given the extent of Barbours effort so far, I tend to believe that he has the fire in the belly that gives one presidential fever, a fever that has to be fed in order for it break. So I expect that hemaysoonannopunce the creation of his presidential exploratory committee. This will be for two purposes. One is to confirm both how much fire really is in his belly and how amenable his wife is to the idea, and two, to see that if it is at all possible for the fire in his belly to be quite enough to win the White House. As for Mitch Daniels, I am going completely out a very shaky limb when I say that he will be running.

Accept for the talk of others, Mitch Daniels has done little if anything to appear like a potential Republican presidential candidate. And while he has taken advantage of a few high-profile speaking engagements, such events are in many ways only natural for a highly successful, two term governor. At the same time, it has been no secret that like Haley Barbours wife, Mitch Daniels wife Cheri is not thrilled by the prospects of having to endure an invasive and inevitably harsh presidential campaign. So there is really very little to support my conclusion that Mitch Daniels will run.

Except for three things.

The lovely Mrs. Cheri Daniels

First is Cheri Daniels. While she is not a fan of the spotlight and is not excited about the possibility of having to join her husband on the presidential campaign trail, in this, Daniels last year as Governor of Indiana, Cheri has agreed to be the main speaker at a Republican State Party dinner. That is not exactly the sign of a spouse preparing to fade in to the obscurity of private life. It sounds to me more like an introduction of both her to the people, and of Cheri to the spotlight.

Another event having me lean more towards a Daniels run, than against it, is the timing of a major speech on education that the Governor is slated to give in Washington, D.C. at the American Institute. This event is five days after the Indiana state legislative session is scheduled to conclude. Daniels has promised to announce his decision regarding the presidency when that sessionis over. It is here that I do not expect Daniels to announce that he is running, but rather the start of either his exploratory committee or the very soon date to come when he will make a similar announcement.

The final reason I have for believing that Mitch Daniels is in fact running for President has to do with his dragging the question out. Mitch Daniels is an understated man. He is not about the drama. He is a nuts and bolts guy and he had nothing to gain by dragging out the possibility of a presidential candidacy. His whole reason for not announcing his interest in running was due to state politics. Daniels did not want the left to accuse the him of advancing policies that were good for his presidential aspirations but bad for the state. And if Governor Daniels would have been able to get rid of that suspicion altogether by announcing that he was not running for President, he would have done that long ago.

There are of course some caveats.

I do not yet sense that Mitch Daniels has the same fire in the belly that his longtime close friend Haley Barbour does. For that reason, I am suspicious of there beingsome friendly teamwork going here. As I described in a previous White House 2012 post entitled Is a Barbour/Daniels Ticket in the Works? , Daniels could become a candidate in order to help divide the vote outside of the South, between himself, Tim Pawlenty, and Mitt Romney. This split would allow Barbour to fare better outside of the South where he does not do so well. It would also help keep Mitt Romney from racking up big numbers. In that scenario, Daniels would eventually drop out of the race and try to swing his delegates over to Haley Barbour.

This may sound too Machiavellian to some but this is the big time. It is politics at the highest level and few know how to play politics better than the ultimate political insider, Haley Barbour. That combined with a well established, longstanding friendship between Barbour, Daniels and their families, makes this not quite as far-fetched as some might be inclined to think.

I for one hope that isnt the case. As someone who in 2008, supported Mitt Romney for President, was a part of the Draft Sarah Palin for Vice President movement, and is currently torn between them Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels and Newt Gingrich, I am looking forward to a genuine battle for my support. I am hoping for a contest that will force the eventual nominee to have to truly earn the nomination and allow us to discover who truly represents our conservative values best, can advance them the most, and is most capable of applying them to the practical application of government. I believe all of the above mentioned names are candidates who can do that. The question is, which one can do all three the best? It is my deepest wish to find that out through a well fought contest, that publicly tests all these skills among all the candidates.

But before that process begins, I expect this final week in April to be slow, in the sense of it being a slow build up to a very busy May.

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Haley Barbour Finally Wins a Straw Poll

Bookmark and Share Iowa, New Hampshire, California, Washington, Oregon, New Jersey and countless other local county and statewide straw polls have been held and in them Haley Barbour has found himself in the back of the pack with numbers in the lower single digits. But Barbour has hardly been to many of the places where these straw polls were held. Except in South, where Barbours strength should be. There, the Mississippi Governor has blitzkrieged Florida and South Carolina with visits and phone calls to state legislative and Party leaders.

Yet last week, at a county convention in South Carolina, despite being one of only three potential candidates to personal speak at the event, Barbour again lost their political beauty contest. However; this past Friday night Barbour finally racked up a victory for himself. In a straw poll at a Republican County Convention in Charleston, South Carolina, Haley Barbour placed first with 22% of the vote. Far behind him was Mitt Romney with 12%. In third place with 11 percent was former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who won another straw poll last weekend in socially conservative Greenville County. The rest of the field was as follows; Donald Trump, 10%, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee tied at nine percent, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Godfather Pizza CEO Herman Cain tied at six percent, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty took five percent, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton were in the back of the pack after scraping together only a few scattered votes.

Barbour was the only candidate to speak before those in attendance at the County convention. The Governor addressed the event during a two day swing of the state. While the win does not have any real impact on the shaping Republican presidential race, it does have implications that matter. Barbour has been running a Southern strategy and if his candidacy is to have any legs during the primary and caucus season, South Carolina is a must win for Barbour. It is a prelude to the delegate rich state of Florida which follows South Carolina but precedes the rest of the South, the region that should be strongest for Barbour. The Governor himself has been quoted as saying If I run I am going to run to win South Carolina. To win South Carolina in my opinion means winning the low country.

So winning this particular straw poll was quite a symbolic step in the right direction for Haley Barbour, one of the first steps in that direction, that we have seen yet.

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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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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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Haley Barbour…….Coast to Coast

Bookmark and Share If Haley Barbour isnt running for President, someone ought to tell him because he obviously doesnt know that. The Mississippi Governor happens to be allover the map, going to places that even some of the other major presidential contenders are not traveling to.

This past weekend, Barbour addressed Republicans at the California Republican State Convention. After the 2010 elections which saw a Republican Wave that stopped short of the West Coast, Californias G.O.P. is depressed and divided. Yet its 172 delegates to the Republican National Convention is the largest of any state and they will certainly carry a lot of weight when the winner of that states Republican presidential primary gets a hold of them. Yet aside from John Bolton who is at most, a possible second tier candidate, Haley Barbour was the only other potential candidate to take advantage of the opportunity to address California Republicans.

In his remarks, Barbour slammed Mitt Romney for Obama-care, declared that the ticket to winning the presidency will be insuring that Republicans focus on the economy, and he tried to encourage California Republicans to believe that they can get their message out in elections to come.

Tomorrow Barbour will be heading to Nevada where he will meet with the Silver States Republican Governor, Brian Sandoval (a very likely name in the G.O.P. veepstakes), and other Party and elected officials. Nevada is an important early state. It will hold the fourth nominating contests, and its caucus will be much more important than it has in the past when its results were nonbinding. This time around they are binding and apparently, Haley Barbour thinks he may be able to compete and force Mitt Romney to spend in the state. Romney won Nevada last time around.

But Barbour isnt stopping there. Having already made several trips to the early and important primary states of South Carolina and Florida, the Mississippi Governor will be heading to Iowa by weeks end and in April, when he is slated to make a decision about a run for President official, he willmake his first tripto the all important first in the nation primary state of New Hampshire.

As for Florida, in addition to his heavy working of the phones among key state legislative leaders, Barbour has now snatched up Sally Bradshaw, a top 2008 Romney supporter who is an experienced veteran of Florida politics and top notch strategists. This would mark the second defection from Romneys 2008 campaign, to the 2012 candidacy of one of his potential opponents. Little more than a month ago a veteran Republican activist in New Hampshire, left the Romney camp for former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.

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Haley Barbour Moves Toward a Presidential Run with the Hiring of a Communication Directior

Jim Dyke

Bookmark and Share In an unavoidable signal of a likely presidential campaign being on the horizon for Haley Barbour his political action committee Haleys PAC, has hired a communication director of distinction. Jim Dyke is a resident of the all important primary state of South Carolina and has served as the communication director of the Republican National Committee during the 2004 election cycle. He also serves on the board of Karl The Architect Roves American Crossroads, non-profit political organization dedicated to informing the electorate and electing Republicans who represent individual liberty, limited government, free enterprise and a strong national defense. Dyke is also the president of his own communications firm JDA Frontline

According to Henry Barbour, the treasurer of Haleys PAC; “Haley is delighted to have someone as talented as Jim Dyke joining his team to help us manage the increased national media interest and demand in the governor,” He adds, “Jim’s knowledge and experience will prove invaluable to Haley in the coming few months.”

The move and its timing demonstrates Governor Barbours desire to kick Haleys PAC in to high gear presumably for the purpose of promoting his own eventual presidential candidacy. For Barbour fans, this is good news. For his potential rivals, not so much though.

Barbours candidacy combined with his fund raising prowess, his deep organizational connections within the GOP on the state and national levels, and his relationship with numerous governors whom he helped get elected during his time as Chairman of the Republican Governors Association, will lock up many of the organizational and financial resources that rivals would like to tap in to.

Now, with the hiring of Jim Dyke, Barbour is beginning to suck up some of the talent that his fellow competitors for the Republican presidential nomination will need.

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Haley Barbour Seeks Endorsements Before He Announces His Presidential Bid

Bookmark and Share White House 2012 has confirmed that Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour continues to work the phones in an attempt to gauge and consolidate support for a run for President. According to several sources in South Carolina and Florida the Governor has recently been calling senior state legislators and asking for their endorsement.

For many months now, unlike potential opponents such as Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum, has been running a relatively stealth campaign which just beneath the radar has been quietly courting the Party establishment. The strategy is a wise one for Barbour. His greatest early strength lies within the Party establishment apparatus. As a highly successful former RNC and Republican Governors Association Chairman Barbour has been a powerful part and force in building that apparatus who is owed many favors and whose political influence and connections are of great value to office holders who intend on seeking reelection to current offices or election to higher office.

Barbour has done much to exploit his insider experience especially in early primary and caucus states like South Carolina and delegate rich states like Florida. Last year when the Florida G.O.P. lost a keynote speaker for their G.O.P. state dinner because their Republican Governor Charlie Crist bolted and became an Independent as posted here in White House 2012, Barbour undoubtedly used his clout as the then Chairman of the Republican Governors Association, and he was quickly imported from Mississippi to replace Crist as the main speaker to address Florida Republicans.

Barbours early strategy seems to be relying on a big bang strategy that would have him strong or winning in 2 of the 4 early Primary and caucus states South Carolina and Florida, one of the largest delegations that any state sends to the national convention. If Barbour can position himself well in these states, this will catapult him in to a solid top tier position that will doom the candidacies of others while giving him enough of the national spotlight and enough breath, to take his campaign in to the next few rounds. Part of this strategy relies on consolidating the Republican organizational support that local legislators could swing behind Barbour during the contests in their states. Organization is half the battle in primary and caucus operations and these legislators that Barbour has been callling have strong local Republican organizations.

But in working the phones Barbour has not just been trying to pin down some endorsements.

Where he has been unable to get a solid commitment, he has successfully persuaded those who are on the fence, not to endorse or give financial donations to other candidates too early. Barbour has suggested to these people that if he runs, he will win and they dont want their eggs in the wrong basket.

In the end, there is no doubt that Barbour is prepared to run for President. The only questions that exist are whether or not Barbour is encouraged by the consolidation of support that his phone work has gotten him to make a run official and, if he has enough of the establishment behind him, will Barbour be able to appeal to critical Republican voting blocs well enough to make the organizational support effective?

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Haley Barbour Reverses Course on “General-Gate” Plate Issue

Bookmark and ShareAs previously addressed in a post here, Governor Haley Barbour was not looking very presidential when he reportedly supported a proposal for Mississippi license that commemorated Confederate war generals. Among those would have been Bedford Forrest a native of Tennessee, who orchestrated the massacre of blacks at Fort Pillow in Tennessee, was a known slave trader, and connected to the early origins of the Klu Klux Klan.

At the time we suggested that if Haley Barbour was running for President, his support of this proposal was a sign that he was being ill-advised. When the NAACP approached the Governor objecting this proposal, he initially told them that he does not go around objecting to people.

Now Governor Barbour has reversed course and told the Associated Press;

The bureaucracy denied it, the legislature won’t pass it and if the legislature passes it, it won’t become law because I won’t sign it.”

It is early enough in the game to eventually write this incident off as a forgotten brouhaha but the problem is becoming that will there be too many brouhahas over the issue of race for them to be collectively written off and not play a role in a potential campaign. By my account this is the Governor’s third recent strike on racial sensitivities. He’s not out but he is on the roped but on this issues, right now he’s on the ropes.

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Can the Confederacy Beat Haley Barbour’s Chances of Winning the White House

Bookmark and Share A piece in the Hattiesburg American Daily News in Mississippi writes; “If Gov. Haley Barbour is truly considering running for president in 2012, we think he’s getting some really bad advice.”

They go on to credit him with battles with the state legislature to keep the state budget out of the red, his leadership during Katrina and even go as far as calling him one of the smartest political tacticians we have ever come across.

They go on to conclude that that is what makes his handling of the super-sensitive proposal of a car tag that recognizes Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest so surprising and disappointing.

The Sons of the Confederate Veterans have proposed that in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the state of Mississippi produce a series of license plates that pay homage to Southern generals. Among those Generals is Nathan Bedford Forrest. Brigadier General Forrest was an uneducated but intelligent manwho became an untrained but naturally superior military tactician who is said to have been praised by allies and enemies alike and with whom both Generals Grant and Sherman feared. But Forrest had his faults, fauts that after having entered the Confederate Army as a Private, after rising to the rank of Brigadier General, he left the Confederate Army as a Private. And from purelyhuman decencyand political points of view, Forrest was disputably an early founder of the Klu Klux Klan.

During the Civil War Forrest was the alleged architect of the slaughter of black prisoners at Fort Pillow, in Tennessee. After the Civil War Forrest apparently lent his name to a group of Democrats that became known as the Klu Klux Klan. But Forrest apparently did not agree with the groups activities and had ordered it disbanded. That order was however disobeyed. But even though Forrest parted ways with the Klan, as a former slave trader who fought for slavery in the Civil War, Forrest could never be held up as a civil rights leader, nor will he be receiving any posthumous awards from the NAACP.

Yet Governor Haley Barbour has neglected to step in and stop his state from issuing a license plates that honor Brig. Gen. Forrest. That may be a good thing among the Sons of the Confederate Veterans but it probably wont go over so well when you are running against the son of a black man who is the President of the United States or when your fellow Republican opponents for the presidential nomination are trying to create doubt about your judgment.

Politically this issue is a lose-lose one for Barbour. If he rejects the request, he can easily be viewed as catering to political correctness. But refusing to take step ands stop the commemorative plate from going through, he is viewed as incentive and possible even as possessing racist tendencies, a charge which he has not nullified with some recent off-the-cuff remarks he has made.

In the final analysis, even though I am not one to normally agree with the lamestream media, I must agree here with the Hattiesburg American News. A better advised Haley Barbour would have found a way around the request for at least this specific commemorative plate. One way may have been for the governor to limit it to Generals from the state of Mississippi. Nathan Bedford Forrest was born, raised and died in Tennessee.

For the record, I do not believe that Governor Barbour is a racist or has racist tendencies.Hisrecord can prove that he is not. Furthermore, as President, Haley Barbour would probably do much regarding race relations in America to overcompensate for charges to the contrary. But the problem is, he is not President yet, and to get there, little things like this must be doused quickly because the political winds of a presidential campaign have a way of whipping a small flame into a large wildfire.

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Governor Haley Barbour accepts Friends of National Service State Leadership Award

Bookmark and Share Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour has accepted his state’s 2010 Voices for National Service State Leadership Award.

Voices for National Service is a diverse coalition of national service programs, state commissions, and individual champions committed to expanding opportunities for Americans of all ages to serve and volunteer that was founded in 2003, in response to major cuts in federal funding that threatened hundreds of AmeriCorps programs.

Annual events organized by the coalition have drawn in new champions and strengthened support for service from federal, state, and local leaders. These events include the Friends of National Service Awards Reception, honoring public and private leaders who have shown extraordinary support for national service, and the National Service Capitol Hill Day, educating the nation’s public leaders in Washington, DC..

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Barbour at CPAC: How Can a White Man From Missisippi Beat the First Black President?

Bookmark and Share Hat tip to Warner Todd Huston at Publius Forum for his one on one interview with Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour at the 2011 CPAC gathering in D.C..

In the interview Governor Barbour says he is seriously considering a run for President, but that he is also equally as serious when he says that he has not yet made the decision. Barbour discusses how many personal family factors as well as political factors must be carefully considered and he expects to reach his decision in April.

The big question asked by Huston in his scoop is“how can a white man from Mississippi beat the first black president?” For Barbour’s answer, since it was Huston who got the chance to ask the question, I will refer you to his site, Publius Forum, and his video for the answer.

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Bookmark and Share On Saturday morning, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour presented CPAC attendees a speech that focussed on out of control government and the related endless spending that comes with it.
Governor Barbour decalred “Never forget, a bigger government, means a smaller economy”.
He reminded us that “our problem is not that we tax too little. It is that we spend too much”,and he called the Obama Administration “the most job stifling administration in American history”.
In the end, the Governor told his audience that that Republicans were lected in 2010 because they want us to “expand freedom, not government” and he warned that ifRepublicans forget that, they “will be defeated as quickly as Democrats and we will deserve it“.
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