Miss. Gov Tests Waters for 2012

Connections, experience serve Haley Barbour well
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 24, 2009 9:36 AM CDT
President George W. Bush, accompanied by Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, left, meets with community leaders in Gulfport, Miss., to get an update on rebuilding in the Gulf Coast in 2008.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, FILE)
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(Newser) – Another face to watch for 2012: Haley Barbour. The Mississippi governor is traveling the country this week, appearing at Republican fundraisers and conferences in what many see as a warm-up for a 2012 run, CQ Politics reports. A Republican consultant says Barbour, 61, has a good shot in a year with “no frontrunner.”

The consultant praised Barbour's “record as governor, his conservatism, his ability to articulate a Reaganesque vision," adding, "He’s not tarred with the Bush brush at all.” Barbour hasn’t said whether he’ll run, but his long experience and connections in party politics give him a good shot—and he's saying the right things: “Any Republican who’s not focused on 2009 and 2010 doesn’t have his eye on the ball.”