• Haley Barbour,  President 2012

    President 2012: Let’s Get this Done

    Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour

    And, this is why I am fully prepared to support former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney as the Republican nominee for President, although he is not as conservative a candidate I would like to see.

    It is imperative for the well-being of the United States that the GOP nominee replace President Obama in January 2013.

  • Haley Barbour,  Mitch Daniels,  President 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    Republican Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour has withdrawn from an exploratory campaign for the Presidency.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…..

  • Haley Barbour,  Michele Bachmann,  Mike Huckabee,  President 2012

    President 2012: Barbour and Huckabee Sitting in a Tree….K I S S I N G?

    GOP Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee

    Politico has a story this morning about Mike Huckabee and Haley Barbour getting together in Mississippi for some type of meeting – implying it is about the 2012 Presidential race.

    Mike Huckabee hasn’t publicly declared whether he’ll run for president, but one likely Republican hopeful is already moving to woo the former Arkansas governor.

    Representatives of Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour have been trying to set up a time with Huckabee aides for the two Southern governors and longtime friends to meet, POLITICO has learned.

    Both were in Mississippi on Monday, but aides to both Republicans were cagey and declined to confirm whether the pair sat down together.

    It’s a delicate topic for the two prospective candidates. Barbour wants to be respectful of Huckabee’s decision-making process and not be seen as pressuring the 2008 winner of the Iowa caucuses. And Huckabee, despite doing little of what he himself has said would be necessary to mount a campaign, wants to keep the possibility of running open and isn’t quite ready to play kingmaker.

    But for all their aides’ coyness, the two principals have been openly flirting with one another in recent weeks.

    Well, there is every indication that Mike Huckabee will NOT be a candidate for the Presidency in 2012 for various reasons and that Haley Barbour WILL be. With those facts out of the way, then why wouldn’t Barbour a southern governor try to solicit the support of Huckabee.

    But, why the leak?

    Does Mitt Romney feel threatened? (as he should, particularly with regards to Iowa and South Carolina)

    Or, is Barbour, a shrewd political operative, trying to force Huckabee out and out quickly?

    Could be either or both – but it won’t make any difference because Haley Barbour is going nowhere with Michele Bachmann in the race. She will win Iowa, Romney wins New Hampshire and unless Huckabee, Christie or Daniels runs, Romney will probably be the Bob Dole of 2012, losing to Obama by 6 points.

  • Chris Christie,  Haley Barbour,  Jon Huntsman,  Mitch Daniels,  Mitt Romney,  President 2012,  Tim Pawlenty

    President 2012: Republicans Looking for the Anti-Romney Presidential Candidate?

    Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at the Values Voter Summit on Sept. 17, 2010, in Washington

    Such astute punditry from the Los Angeles Times this morning – NOT.

    Isn’t it obvious?

    1. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels
    2. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour
    3. Former Utah Gov. and departing ambassador to China Jon Huntsman
    4. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
    5. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty
  • Barack Obama,  Chris Christie,  Haley Barbour,  Jon Huntsman,  Mike Huckabee,  Mitch Daniels,  Mitt Romney,  President 2012,  Tim Pawlenty

    President 2012: The GOP Weirdness Factor – OUT Goes Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich

    Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee

    Goerge Will DISSES both Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich this morning.

    If pessimism isn’t creeping into Republicans’ thinking about their 2012 presi dential prospects, that is another rea son for pessimism. This is because it indicates they do not understand that sensible Americans, who pay scant attention to presidential politics at this point in the electoral cycle, must nevertheless be detecting vibrations of weirdness emanating from people associated with the party.

    The most recent vibrator is Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, who won the 2008 GOP Iowa caucuses and reached that year’s national convention with more delegates than Mitt Romney and might run again. Huckabee was asked by Steve Malzberg, a talk-radio host, this:

    “Don’t you think it’s fair also to ask [Barack Obama] . . . how come we don’t have a health record, we don’t have a college record, we don’t have a birth cer — why, Mr. Obama, did you spend millions of dollars in courts all over this country to defend against having to present a birth certificate. It’s one thing to say, ‘I’ve — you’ve seen it. Goodbye.’ But why go to court and send lawyers to defend against having to show it? Don’t you think we deserve to know more about this man?”

    Huckabee should have replied, “I’ve seen paranoia. Goodbye.” Instead, he said:

    “I would love to know more. What I know is troubling enough. And one thing that I do know is his having grown up in Kenya . . .”

    And, then Gingrich:

    Republicans should understand that when self-described conservatives like Malzberg voice question-rants like the one above and Republicans don’t recoil from them, the conservative party is indirectly injured — as it is directly when Newt Gingrich, who seems to be theatrically tiptoeing toward a presidential candidacy, speculates about Obama’s having a “Kenyan, anti-colonial” mentality.

    An article containing what Gingrich calls a “stunning insight” is “the most profound insight I have read in the last six years about Barack Obama.” Gingrich begins with a faux question: “What if he is so outside our comprehension” that he can be understood “only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial, behavior?” Then Gingrich says this isn’t just a question; it’s “the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior.”

    To the notion that Obama has a “Kenyan, anti-colonial,” worldview, the sensible response is: If only. Obama’s natural habitat is as American as the nearest faculty club; he is a distillation of America’s academic mentality; he is as American as the other professor-president, Woodrow Wilson. A question for former history professor Gingrich: Why implicate Kenya?

    Granted the references to Kenya and Obama’s birth certificate are just weird bu these two fellows have other baggage problems and I have never considered them serious Presidential candidates.

    So, who are Will’s favorites for 2012?

    1. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels
    2. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour
    3. Former Utah Gov. and departing ambassador to China Jon Huntsman
    4. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney
    5. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty

    Agreed, except I would add New Jersey governor Chris Christie as a 6th.

    Who do I think could beat President Obama?

    At this point, I would say Mitch Daniels and Chris Christie. The others will be trounced but will do NO harm to protect GOP gains in the House and the 2012 take over of the Senate.

  • Haley Barbour,  Mitch Daniels,  Mitt Romney,  Sarah Palin

    GOP Insiders: Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels LESS Likely to Run for President

    Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., left, and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels speak about Indiana’s fiscal health as the two meet in the governor’s office at the Statehouse in Indianapolis, Monday, Jan. 10, 2011

    But, why did Daniels invite political operatives and fundraising folks to Indianapolis?

    GOP insiders say Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is appearing LESS likely to run for president, based in part on a slowing in the parade of fundraisers and policy gurus to Indianapolis. One prediction: Daniels will endorse his friend Haley Barbour, who shows every sign of RAMPING UP, including meeting with potential consultants and staff.

    –But Daniels will keep us guessing. Gridiron Club President Susan Page e-mails members: “The Republican speaker for the Gridiron Dinner [on March 12] will be … Daniels, [who] has been a guest of the Gridiron since his days as White House political director for President Reagan … Gov. Daniels has both a long political resume and a wry sense of humor. Republican Skit Producer Clark Hoyt and deputy Robin Sproul are now in the market for songs about Indiana (On the Banks of the Wabash Far Away?) and/or rhymes with Mitch Daniels (Stitched sandals? Rich spaniels?). As a native Kansan, I’m proud that our dinner will have a certain Midwestern cast. Former Kansas governor and current HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius already has been announced as our Democratic speaker, not to mention the former Illinois senator [POTUS!] who will close the evening. However, Menu Chairman (and native Missourian) Kathy Lewis has vetoed my proposal that we honor that heritage by serving lime jello with shredded carrots suspended in it as our salad course.”

    Mitch Daniels will have to start fundraising soon to fight off Mitt Romney’s self-funding, if he has any interest in running. He cannot afford to wait, like Sarah Palin.

    But, running for Vice President will not entail too much more additional effort.

    As far as Haley Barbour goes, forget about it. Barbour will not gain any traction for President or Vice President.