Haley BarbourMitch DanielsPresident 2012

President 2012: Haley Barbour is OUT – Is Mitch Daniels IN?

Governor Haley and Marsha Barbour – Governor Mitch and Cheri Daniels

Republican Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour has withdrawn from an exploratory campaign for the Presidency. His statement is here.
“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.”

Haley Barbour has not been polling particularly well and as a Republican operative of the highest order can read the handwriting on the wall. But, now does this open the path for Barbour’s good personal friend Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels to run?

Daniels has kept his decision close to the vest and will not announce one way or another until the Indiana Legislative session is over. The session ends this Friday. And, as Daniels has said, “It’s time to cut bait.”

So, is this a convenient withdrawal?

Stay tuned…..