Opinion Brief

Haley Barbour in 2012?

Former RNC chair and Mississippi governor Haley Barbour is mulling a run for president. Does he have a chance?

Haley Barbour, the governor of Mississippi and one-time chair of the Republican National Committee, is considering running for president in 2012, according to various reports. The popular Southerner has a long history as a Republican operative and elected official, from his days working as a strategist on Gerald Ford's presidential campaign in 1976 to his current chairmanship of the Republican Governors Association. Would he stand a chance against President Obama in 2012? (Watch highlights from Haley Barbour's recent speech at the SRLC)

He has the charm, wealth, and popularity to do it: Haley Barbour has plenty going for him, "Southern drawl and all," says Molly Parker in the Jackson, Miss., Clarion Ledger. He's a "growing presence on national TV talk shows," a "favorite at GOP events," and, as one Republican strategist put it, a "fundraising powerhouse who can 'charm the wallet out of a drunken Scotchman.'" He'd be a serious contender in 2012."Barbour takes GOP center stage"

Barbour could get nominated, but not elected: Haley Barbour would have a "formidable" chance of winning the GOP primary, says Jonathan Martin in Politico. But his "vulnerabilities" would have "Democratic oppo researchers salivating." Not only is he a "former corporate lobbyist with a roster of controversial clients," he "looks and sounds" like a Southern stereotype — a characteristic that will only be heightened by comparison with Obama."Barbour, advisers privately mull 2012 run"

Barbour's not an option... but who is? The Republicans will never nominate a "former big-time professional lobbyist" who "sounds like Foghorn Leghorn," says Ed Kilgore in Salon. But the party's other options aren't great either. Mitt Romney's health-care position hurts him, Mike Huckabee is "viscerally disliked," and Sarah Palin "can't win a general election in any political environment." Even if the GOP cleans up in the polls in November, there's still a hole where a presidential candidate should be.  "The Republicans' 2012 problem"

Recommended

White House now looking to 'engage' with China's Xi Jinping
President Biden with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
let's meet

White House now looking to 'engage' with China's Xi Jinping

Mitch McConnell shuts down hope for Joe Manchin's voting rights compromise
Mitch McConnell.
Foiled again

Mitch McConnell shuts down hope for Joe Manchin's voting rights compromise

Why conservatives shouldn't oppose Juneteenth
The passage of the Juneteenth holiday.
Talking Points

Why conservatives shouldn't oppose Juneteenth

Fox reportedly presented GOP activists as concerned parents
Fox News
our next guest...

Fox reportedly presented GOP activists as concerned parents

Most Popular

Bernie Sanders wants to know if cannabis reporter is 'stoned' right now
Bernie Sanders.
Sounds dope

Bernie Sanders wants to know if cannabis reporter is 'stoned' right now

Late night hosts pan Marjorie Taylor Greene's Holocaust apology
Trevor Noah
Last Night on Late Night

Late night hosts pan Marjorie Taylor Greene's Holocaust apology

Trump's team tried hard, failed to prove Wuhan lab-leak theory
Wuhan Institute of Virology
no smoking gun

Trump's team tried hard, failed to prove Wuhan lab-leak theory