Bachmann Needs to the Pull the Knife Out of Palin’s Back

Bookmark and Share   After hiring controversial veteran Republican strategist Ed Rollins, it is expected that Minnesota Congresswoman and Congressional TEA Party Caucus Chair Michele Bachmann, will at any time announce her candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination. If she does run, while Bachmann could very well prove to be formidable in early nominating contests like Iowa and South Carolina, her plight to become the Republican presidential nominee will be far from easy. Now, thanks to her new loose cannon political operative, Ed Rollins, that plight has just gotten much harder.

On a radio show hosted by Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade, Rollins took the opportunity to trash Sarah Palin.

In addition to claiming “Sarah has not been serious over the last couple of years,” Rollins stated “She [Palin] got the Vice Presidential thing handed to her, she didn’t go to work in the sense of trying to gain more substance, she gave up her governorship.”

Rollins who was up until recently an operative for Mike Huckabee, claimed that now that Mike Huckabee’s not in the race, in terms of the Republican running for President, Bachmann is “probably the best communicator” He also added “Michele Bachmann and others worked hard, she has been a leader of the Tea Party which is a very important element here, she has been an attorney, she has done important things with family values.”

And Sarah Palin hasn’t?

At 68, perhaps Rollins is losing what good judgment he has left. His claim that Palin “has not been serious” is not only an utterly ludicrous charge, it is a very politically dumb and strategically damaging statement for him to make. Millions ….. “millions”… of Americans take Sarah Palin quite seriously and they take her efforts to elect limited government, family values oriented, fiscal conservatives who have an appreciation for the U.S. Constitution, very seriously.

As for the charge that Palin can’t be taken seriously because she was, as he argues, simply handed the vice presidential

Ed Rollins

nomination in 2008 and then gave up her governorship, perhaps Rollins memory is slipping. I guess he forgets all the legitimate reasons why Palin was picked to run for Vice President. Some of those reasons include her willingness to oppose and defeat a popular sitting Governor from her own Party after rooting out corruption and standing up for justice. Another reason includes her defense and promotion of family values and her ability to govern as a Mayor and a Governor in a way that was fiscally responsible and legislatively efficient.

As for her giving up the governorship, Rollins should really avoid using the propaganda of liberals to promote one conservative and denounce another. As unbelievable as it may seem to Rollins, Palin is not your average politician. She brings to her politics a level of sincerity that is rarely seen in the D.C. beltway that Ed Rollins is familiar with. And it is that sincerity which forced Palin to decide that stepping down was the best thing for the state of Alaska because it would have allowed her very capable Lieutenant Governor to continue the business of the state, unhindered by the ridiculous number of expensive, time consuming, frivolous lawsuits that liberals were relentlessly attacking Palin with.

Ever since she was nominated for Vice President and delivered some energy to the lackluster campaign of John McCain, the left lost all self control and could not give up on trying to tear Palin apart. She embodies everything the left fears in a conservative. And so they undertook an assault on Palin that she believed was not in the best interest of the people Alaska. So instead, she allowed Sean Parnell, the Lieutenant Governor, to take the reigns of power and run with the agenda she set, but to do so unincumbered by the liberal effort to take Palin down. Palin could have easily thought of what might have been best for her personal political career. But she didn’t. Instead she put the people first. And when it was all said and done, what new responsibility did Palin undertake? She set out on a mission to help insure that in 2010, true conservatives got elected to positions as Senator, Congressmen and Governors.

Rollins may not want to see it that way. But it is obvious that he doesn’t want to see the truth. The truth makes Sarah Palin the greatest threat to Michele Bachmann’s popularity and success that there is.  So instead Rollins resorts to trash talk.

But that’s Ed Rollins. For as good as he once was….and he was good, Rollins has also shown a penchant for putting his foot in his mouth.

In 1993, after working on the upset victory of Christine Todd Whitman over New Jersey Governor Jim Florio, Rollins deposited himself right into in the middle of a scandal that involved political campaign payoffs to New Jersey ministers. He told Time Magazine

“We went into black churches and we basically said to ministers who had endorsed Florio, ‘Do you have a special project?’ And they said, ‘We’ve already endorsed Florio.’ We said, ‘That’s fine, don’t get up on the Sunday pulpit and preach. We know you’ve endorsed him, but don’t get up there and say it’s your moral obligation that you go on Tuesday to vote for Jim Florio.'”

He later tried to backtrack by claiming his original statement was an exaggeration.

This latest gaffe, only enforces the perception that Rollins is losing it.  For someone who was hired to promote Bachmann, in just a few moments of air time, he has hurt her far more than he has helped.  One need to go no further than Michele’s Facebook page to see evidence of that.

In just a matter of hours since Rollins comments came out, hundreds of Face book “Fans” have begun to turn on the Congresswoman. For instance there was this from Allen Pishotta:

“Why have you stabbed Sarah Palin in the back after all she did for you last year? Why have you forsaken the Tea Party Movement in order to become a “stalking horse” for Mitt Romney and yes we all know that you are working for the RINO Romney campaign so it is no secret. What was the political bribe needed to become a “Judas” and sell …conservatives out? I once heavily supported you now I will never give you another dime after this. You nickname is now Michele “Backstabbing” Bachmann because that is what you did.”

And this from Doreen Graney:

“Hey, Michelle, the last time Ed Rollins was part of a winning campaign my oldest son was a newborn baby. Today is his 30th birthday. Hope you’re not paying him much. You won’t be getting any support from me, financial or otherwise.”

Sue Lynn writes:

“Lost my support….Your just another politician…Backstabbing a good friend that helped you get re-elected…So much for that Christian talk you talk about…sure don’t practice it…I will never support you in the future because of your actions to a good friend”

Jolyn Colon demands an apology and states:

“Ed Rollins has a reputation for being a bomb thrower. Did you know that when you hired him? You need to step up personally and 1.) issue an apology to Sarah and 2.) fire this idiot before he steps in it again. Anything else is not good enough.”

And Gary Jackson was particularly mad:

“Michele, Sarah Palin and her millions of supporters have ALWAYS had your back. ALWAYS! Now you go hire one of the biggest scum bags on earth to run your campaign and the first thing he does is trash Sarah Palin.

You realize you have effectively ended any chance you ever had at ever being elected, right?

Good luck winning your House se…at again without any Palinista support and $$$$

What a pathetic loser you are.”

Most offhand comments usually have a short political shelf life. So very often statements like those made by Rollins,  which inspired the type of anymosity seen in the words above, are normally healed by time. But that is not the case here. Unless Michele Bachmann makes some very substantial overtures to Palin  and isnure that not only are Rollins’ remarks are retracted, but that she in no way shares his thinking about Palin, Bachmann will be seriously hurt by this. As Republican red as Palin supporters are, they are also true blue to Palin and quite defensive of her.  After witnessing over two years of endless, unfair, attacks on her and her family, Palin’s supporters have a right to be defensive. And they especially have a right to defend her against one who is suppose to be on their side.

Ed Rollin’s remarks were incredibly stupid, in every way. Politically, he alienated Palin supporters, the very people who could have easily been backers of Bachmann if Palin does not run, and cost Bachmann that potential support .  And there was absolutely no reason for that. Just this past Sunday, when Sarah Palin was asked by Fox News’ Chris Wallace, if there was room for her and Michele Bachmann in the 2012 Republican presidential race, Palin gave Bachmann credit for having stregths of her own that she would bring to the race, and went on to say that Bachmann would be a welcome addition to the race…. “the more the merrier” said Palin.

Unlike Rollins, who claims that Palin is “not serious”, in that answer, Palin proved to be more politically savvy than Rollins, a so called political expert. Well now it is time for Michele Bachmann to show how politically savvy she is. Does she have the ability to correct the wrong done to her by her own political consultant? Short of firing him, Palin supporters may not ever believe so.

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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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Haley Barbour Will Not Be a Candidate for President

Haley Barbour

Barbour Out

Bookmark and Share In what is undoubtedly one of the most important decisions to date that has been made in the evolving Republican presidential nomination contest, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour has today issued a statement announcing that he will not be a candidate for President in 2012. Barbour credits his decision to an uncertainty about the “fire in the belly” that he has for the job of President. He notes that the job requires a ten year committment “to an all-consuming effort, to the virtual exclusion of all else.” He adds that his supporters deserve no less and without complete certainty for such a committment on his, he can not persue it in good conscience. (see complete statement below this post)

The announcement frees up much of the money and support that up to now how his by tied up by the possibility of a Barbour candidacy. As the ultimate political insider, Barbour’s ties to the G.O.P. establishment has helped to keep many from picking sides in the evolving race and fromplacing money behind any of the emerging candidacies.

WhileBarbour’s potential run has done little to keep any wiling Republicansfrom getting in to the race,this announcement will have a profound effect on Mitch Daniels, the popular, term limited Governor of Indiana.

Governors Daniels and Barbour are close personal friends. The two men go way back to the days of the Reagan Administration. With Barbour out, the chances that Daniels is in has increased ten fold.

Daniels has proven himself to be aneffective and exemplary conservative leader but his greatest quality is his prowess with numbers and budgets and conservative economics. He is a budget guru whois the total anti-Obama and a perfect potential Republican nominee. But Daniels has not been eager to declare his own candidacy. Instead he insisted that he is serious considering it and will essentiallymake who is or isn’t running, the determining factor. According to Daniels, if the right leadershipwith the right solutions to the greatest problems facing this nation, do not present themseleves, than he will be inclined to run. With his friend Haley now out of the race and out of the way, Daniels is free to decide that the right leadership has not yet presented itself in the emerging Republican field, and so he will in fact run.

In a recent post, I concluded that even if Haley Barbour runs, Mitch Daniels will too. The fact that Barbour is not running, makes it much more likely that Daniels will. According to Governor Daniels, that decision will come soon after the Indiana concludes its legislative session.

As for exactly why Haley Barbour has decided agaisnt his presidential bid,it is not likely that he doesn’t have the “fire in the belly” when it comes to the presidency. Barbour is a political animal who thrives on politics, both the campaining and the legislative and policy back and forth. Part of the decision has more to do with the lack of traction that his potential candidacy has been gaining. Despite aggressive behind the scenes campaigning especially in South Carolina and Forida, the Governor has not been racking up substantial support and his poll numbers have been unable to break the low single digits. As such, Barbour is most likely telling the truth when he calims he is uncertain about just how committed he is to a campaign. For while Barbour certainly has obsatcles in between him and the White House, they are not insurmountable. But Haley Barbour and his family have probably concluded that they may not have the desire to work as hard as it might require to overcome them.

Haley Barbour’s Statement

“I will not be a candidate for president next year. This has been a difficult, personal decision, and I am very grateful to my family for their total support of my going forward, had that been what I decided.

“Hundreds of people have encouraged me to run and offered both to give and raise money for a presidential campaign. Many volunteers have organized events in support of my pursuing the race. Some have dedicated virtually full time to setting up preliminary organizations in critical, early states and to helping plan what has been several months of intensive activity.

“I greatly appreciate each and every one of them and all their outstanding efforts. If I have disappointed any of them in this decision, I sincerely regret it.

“A candidate for president today is embracing a ten-year commitment to an all-consuming effort, to the virtual exclusion of all else. His (or her) supporters expect and deserve no less than absolute fire in the belly from their candidate. I cannot offer that with certainty, and total certainty is required.

“This decision means I will continue my job as Governor of Mississippi, my role in the Republican Governors Association and my efforts to elect a new Republican president in 2012, as the stakes for the nation require that effort to be successful.”

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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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Bookmark and Share On Monday, Sarah Palins website, Sarah PAC, was spruced up and transformed from a rather bland, one page, lackluster site occupying web space, into a multimedia platform with information, news and links. The move is prompting many to believe that Palin is in fact readying for a run for President. The revamped website comes on the heels of what was a battle cry of a speech for commonsense conservatism that she gave in Wisconsin on Saturday. That speech alone, prompted many to change their minds about what they though Sarah would do. But the combination of the two has really upped the speculation about a presidential candidacy.

From the previous lack of coordinated moves that would usually signal one preparing to run for President, I had begun to think that it was slightly more than likely that Sarah Palin was not running for President in 2012. Yet Palins desire to continuously make sure that she stakes a high visibility position on every major issue of the day has me too unsure to place any bets against her running. But with Palin you just never know. I have even thought that she could possibly be working on her own time schedule because she never intends to run in the Republican primaries and caucuses. I have thought that Palin could possibly be preparing to build herself up as the ultimate anti-establishment candidate and run for President as an independent candidate. Maybe even running as a TEA Party candidate. I still dont put it past her to do that, but it is not very likely.

But therein lies the intrigue that is Sarah. You can never quite be sure what Palin is going to do. This is a woman who as Governor, kept her pregnancy a secret until the baby was practically born. This is the same woman who stunned the political world when two years in to her term, she abruptly resigned from the office of Governor of Alaska so that the business of Alaska could proceed without the interference of endless frivolous lawsuits that came with the spotlight she after being nominated for Vice President. And to most people even that was a surprise. So Sarah Palin is full of surprises. She likes it that way. It allows her to make decisions and think them through long before the media pounces. Those surprises also make it possible for Palin to completely own entire news cycles and push all other events off the front page. In many ways she is a PR genius.

Polls currently have Palin in the middle of the pack and tracking shows that her approval ratings have been making a U-Turn in the wrong direction. But one should not assume that such things will deter Palin from running. Those numbers can easily be turned around. And if she sees a field of Republican candidates that does not have an electable prospect who does not say it like it is and doesn’t shares her anti-establishment beliefsand desire for a truly limited government, with less spending and less taxes, than she will run. Sarah will jump in to fill that void. At the moment, with no truly clear favorite in the running, that void is there and so long as it remains, so will the potential for a Sarah Palin presidential candidacy.

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Palin Proves To Be Powerful at Madison TEA Party Rally

Bookmark and Share “Madison, I am so proud to be with you today. Madison, these are the frontlines in the battle for the future of our country! Those were the words used by Sarah Palin as she began a fiery speeech on the steps of the state Capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin for a TEA Party rally that was held on Saturday. Palin’s speech proved that she still has what it takes to fire up the Republican base as well as the anti-establishment, limited government, less spending state rights, Taxed Enough Already movement. Hundreds joined in the type of boisterous cheers for Palin, that are usuallreserved for rock stars or stars of the silver screen. But Palin earnedthose cheers with a speech that struck every nerve of the anti-governemtn, anti-obama,crowd and she do so in a way that makes it impossible to not think of her as a potential candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. (see video below)

As cold as it was in the sleet and snow of the Madison rally, Sarah’s speech heated things up as she spoke of her family of union members and teachers who understand that a pension is a promise that must be kept but that a government must also remain solvent inorder to have the ability to keep that promise.

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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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