Haley Barbour Opts Out

I will not be covering Libya or Syria today. Arab dictators murdering their own people is not news.

Barack Obama will issue strong words backed up by nothing. Hillary Clinton will blather and use the word “tough” many times. Just because her glare scares her husband and most American men does not mean dictators who shoot uppity women like her for speaking would be impressed.

Once the United Nations finally debates on a course of inaction to fail to take, Paul Krugman can explain why Barack Obama is God and Republicans are evil.

I’m bored.

Until real leadership exists in the White House, Bashar Assad and Khadafi Duck will run wild.

I have done several profiles on some of the candidates. Tim Pawlenty, Haley Barbour, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Donald Trump, and Herman Cain have all been spotlighted. I have not gotten to Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, or Newt Gingrich because I wrote those profiles in 2007. Only minor updating is required, and will be offered shortly. John Bolton will get his due, and Mike Huckabee and Mitch Daniels may as well.

As for why I did not cover Gary Johnson, Buddy Roemer, Ron Paul, or John Huntsman, it is because they are Gary Johnson, Buddy Roemer, Ron Paul, and John Huntsman. I mentioned them both just now twice. That is good enough. At some point I have to draw the line and require viability and popular support to play a role.

Ron Paul supporters have passionate, narrow support. They confuse yelling loudly with popularity.

The main point I want to make today is that I am always wrong.

I was sure that Haley Barbour was running. He was going to be my choice assuming Rudy Giuliani did not run.

Now I truly am a man without a candidate. Haley announced yesterday that he is out.

Yet the only thing more disappointing than my preferred candidate opting out is not knowing why.

The temptation when a candidate decides not to run or ends a career is to think the worst. This is unfair to candidates in general. Let’s not assume that Haley Barbour enjoys hookers or is mired in corruption. His name has never been associated with allegations of any serious impropriety.

The issue cannot be financial. Mr. Barbour is the best fundraiser in the entire Republican Party. He would raise money with ease. Politicians all over the country owe him chits.

It cannot be an issue of viability. Regardless of whether one agrees with Mr. Barbour on issues, he would have been a serious candidate. Many candidates from Donald Trump to Sarah Palin have fervent defenders and equally fervent detractors. Mr. Barbour does not have anybody looking at him and denying his legitimacy as a candidate.

The issue cannot be one of qualifications. He has been a successful Governor of Mississippi. He shined during Hurricane Katrina. He was one of the best heads of the Republican National Committee and the Republican Governor’s Association in the history of both of those organizations.

He claimed that he did not have the fire in the belly. Various candidates from Rudy Giuliani to Fred Thompson did not have the burning passion. Mitt Romney has spent every waking minute since his 2008 loss laying the groundwork for another run. Romney wants it bad. Maybe Barbour truly does not.

Whatever his reasons, today is a day for this conservative to lament. The presidential race lost a true conservative that was constantly preaching big tent inclusiveness of moderate Republicans.

Mr. Barbour could have been very formidable in Iowa. New Hampshire would have been tougher, but South Carolina would have been friendly territory. The Super Tuesday states are mostly Southern. Barbour could have won.

Maybe Mr. Barbour was afraid that he would have been demonized the way the left demagogued Judge Charles Pickering and Trent Lott. White Mississippi conservatives make for inviting targets.

I bet a race between Barbour and Obama would have been good for America because it would have dealt with the race issue front and center and then properly removed it. It would have been a real debate between a doctrinaire liberal and a Reagan conservative.

Regardless of who does run, the GOP race has lost a heavyweight. The first GOP debate will be in South Carolina on May 5th. Mr. Barbour will not be participating.

Farewell, Mr. Barbour.


One Response to “Haley Barbour Opts Out”

  1. “Let’s not assume that Haley Barbour enjoys hookers or is mired in corruption. His name has never been associated with allegations of any serious impropriety.”

    Well, that depends on who you ask and what they think is a “serious impropriety.” His lobbying background certainly would not have played well with many.

    “The issue cannot be financial.”

    Actually, it obvisouly could be. Barbour knows all about raising campaign money. If he felt he couldn’t raise enough, then that would explain his decision right there.

    “It cannot be an issue of viability.”

    Sure it could be. Haley’s Boss Hogg disposition would have played terribly outside the South.

    “The issue cannot be one of qualifications.”

    Right. Theoretically, he’s qualifications are fine.

    “He claimed that he did not have the fire in the belly.”

    Well, he isn’t getting any younger. The campaign alone adds a decade to your age, let alone actually being president!

    My guess is that he just doesn’t have the physical energy to do it.


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