In This Corner…Haley Barbour

2012 Contender Series: Haley Barbour

(Editor’s Note: Haley Barbour officially dropped from contention on April 26th, 2011)

Haley Reeves Barbour is currently serving as the Governor of Mississippi. He is also serving as the Chairman of the Republican Governors Association. He has previously served as the Chairman of the Republican National Committee during the Clinton administration from 1993 to 1997. He is term limited and cannot run for Governor again in 2011 and as such is considering an upward political move. He has a political career that spans four decades and is considered a serious contender for the 2012 Presidential race. His political recognition is rising but polls have him as only pulling in 1% to 2% as a primary challenger. It’s likely that will change as the 2012 race draws near.

Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS)

Born and raised in Yazoo City, Mississippi in 1947, Barbour attended the University of Mississippi where he received his J.D. He subsequently went to work at his father’s law firm. It didn’t take him long to get into politics. While in college he worked for a semester in the Nixon campaign in 1968.  Later he worked for Gerald Ford’s campaign in 1976 and then Texas Governor John Connally‘s Presidential run in 1980.

Barbour ran for U.S. Senate in 1982 but could not unseat the incumbent Democrat, John Stennis. He spent the rest of the eighties working as an aide to the Reagan administration followed by campaigning for George H. W. Bush in 1988.

In the early nineties Barbour began the phase of his career as a lobbyist when he formed the Barbour Griffith & Rogers group. BGR would become one of the biggest lobbying groups for the tobacco industry in Washington, D.C. It was during this period that he became the RNC chairman and while he was chair, Republicans managed to gain control of both houses for the first time in decades. Barbour was quietly building a powerful political résumé. Barbour himself is quick to point out that he possesses a perfect “trifecta” of lawyer, lobbyist, and politician as his professional bona fides.

Barbour did receive a great deal of positive press after Hurricane Katrina when he emerged as a boots-on-the-ground problem solver for the region. Katrina had devastated Mississippi’s coast and their billion dollar casino industry. He responded well to the catastrophe and for many outside of Mississippi he became a known factor just as Rudy Guiliani had after 9/11.

Barbour also managed to balance Mississippi’s budget, though he did it in typical Republican fashion by slashing social services such as Medicaid and education. There has been a long standing joke in Alabama whenever someone is critical of that state’s low rankings on education. The response is generally, ‘well could be worse; we could be Mississippi’.

There are many critics who think Barbour; or any southern candidate for that matter, is problematic. Some say, Barbour is a regional shoe-in, winning a region that is already a given, yet he is unable to translate that into other key states like New Hampshire or California. Some say the down-homey schtick isn’t playing well outside of the south. And there have been some misjudgments of late that illustrate the conflict between the down-homey and the needs of the rest of the nation.

Barbour has made statements that are being viewed at best as insensitive and at worst racist. His commentary has been known to gloss over the racial strife that occurred in Mississippi in the sixties. It’s possible he will not be able to transcend these statements and they may become a liability to the Republican party. It will likely haunt him through any Presidential campaign.

My best guess; he has the political creds, but lacks the empathy and legitimacy to overcome a Romney.


About Mr. Universe

Mr. Universe is a musician/songwriter and an ex-patriot of the south. He currently lives and teaches at a University in the Pacific Northwest. He is a long distance hiker who has hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. He is also an author and woodworker. An outspoken political voice, he takes a decidedly liberal stance in politics.
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94 Responses to In This Corner…Haley Barbour

  1. Bart DePalma says:

    You missed Haley’s top resume item. While Dem LA making a complete hash out of the Katrina prep and recovery, Barbour was running a textbook government disaster reaction operation.

    Barbour’s least attractive resume item – party insider – is somewhat offset by his deep fried demeanor. It is hard to picture Haley as a blow-dried ruling class metrosexual.

    Conservatives should find very little ideological difference with Barbour.

    Finally, only Romney can rival Barbour as a fundraiser, so money should not be a problem.

    Interesting candidate.

  2. Bartbuster says:

    You missed Haley’s top resume item. While Dem LA making a complete hash out of the Katrina prep and recovery, Barbour was running a textbook government disaster reaction operation.

    The fact that Cheney/Bush screwed the pooch in epic proportions during Katrina probably means that no GOP candidate will ever want to mention their role in that disaster.

  3. Brian says:

    While Barbour might not be depicted as a “blow-dried ruling class metrosexual”, it’s not hard to see him as one of the “good ol’ boys”. Personally, I don’t see that as much better.

    Being a tobacco lobbyist would be enough to submerge him, regardless of all the other stuff. Hell, having been a lobbyist in and of itself might be enough.

  4. Mainer says:

    I can see the campaign adds now…….Boss Hog for president.

    I so want the country to emulate the societal success of Mississippi. N O T………

    I’ve met him and he is affable, but he is every thing most people out of the deep soouth don’t want in a president. Having the brains to get out of the way of first responders while admirable isn’t enough to build a campaign on.

  5. Mule Rider says:

    “I so want the country to emulate the societal success of Mississippi.”

    We think along the same lines, Mainer, as I too think that he’s an easy target for negative ads showing Mississippi’s usually last or near-last rankings when it comes to education, obesity, etc.

  6. mclever says:

    @Mainer “Boss Hog for President” LOL

    I agree with you and Mule. Mississippi’s pathetic standings on almost every socio-economic scale will be easy targets in campaign ads against him. Education, poverty, obesity, etc. “Under my tenure, Mississippi went all the way from 50th to 49th! Yeehaw!”

    Frankly, Haley Barbour seems like an affable, good ole boy who plays well in the Deep South. He’s the consummate smooth-talking insider, deal-maker, smarmy baby-kisser. But that act wears thin real fast up in the Rust Belt which seems to be the meat grinder for candidates these days. People in the midwest and northeast want results: jobs, infrastructure, education, etc. And out west, even the conservatives care about the environment and being healthy, so that tobacco lobby stint is like a big ole scorch mark on his resume. Sure, he’s a great fundraiser, but fundraising alone doesn’t win the campaign if people won’t vote for you.

    I think he’s toast in Iowa and New Hampshire before his campaign even gets cooking.

  7. Mainer says:

    In all reality there is no way to the presidency for the man. But that is not where we should be looking for his involvement. While the man might not be able to be king it does not mean he can not be a king maker. Barbour might have aspirations but he is also a realist. He may take a stab and realize if he already doesn’t realize that he is not going to be it. But if he is not up to his waist with Republican govenor issues by then where will he throw his support?

    My bet is to one of the govenor crowd. Are there any legs to the draft Jeb Bush movement?

  8. Brian says:

    @Mainer,

    While I agree, he would throw his support behind a governor, I don’t think it’d be Bush. Too many people would argue against a Bush dynasty and the last Bush presidency is still in many people’s mind. He’d spend half the election separating himself from his brother. Chair of the RGA would definitely put him in kingmaker status though.

    He might support someone like Christie though.

  9. mclever says:

    I think the “draft Jeb” movement might have better luck in about 4 years. Given the fickle, short-term memory of the electorate, that’s about enough time for everyone to forget George. Even now, I think Jeb could make a very good “I’m not my brother” campaign out of it if he really wanted to. I’m just not convinced he wants it that badly.

    I think Mainer makes a good point about looking for Barbour to be doing some string-pulling rather than taking the big seat himself. He may launch himself into the early primaries, but I think he’ll get sunk by Iowa/New Hampshire pragmatics and find himself in the role of potential “kingmaker” instead. Whoever he throws his weight behind will find the road paved for them through the deep south. In that regard, it could be a good move for Romney to start kissing Barbour’s butt, seeing as the south is probably his weakest zone. If Mitt could get Barbour’s deep-south machine working for him, then I’d hand him the nomination now.

  10. Bart DePalma says:

    Unless the GOP nominates an extraordinarily bad Bob Dole type candidate and/or we get a third party Perot-like candidate from the center-right, 2012 is really a referendum on Obama.

    The question is whether voters will cast their ballots based upon their approval of Obama as a person or their super-majority disapproval of his policies.

    Political analysts are beginning to pick up on the chasm between the roughly 47% general approval of Obama among adults and the minority approval of his policies.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2011/02/09/what_obamas_approval_rating_says_about_2012_108818.html

    The new Gallup issue polling demonstrates this dichotomy. Americans generally approve of Obama by a 47% to 44%.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/113980/Gallup-Daily-Obama-Job-Approval.aspx

    However, these same adults heavily disapprove of Obama’s policies concerning the deficit (68%), economy (60%), healthcare (56%) and taxes (54%).

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/146021/Obama-Approval-Rating-Deficit-Sinks-New-Low.aspx?utm_source=alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=syndication&utm_content=morelink&utm_term=Politics%20-%20Presidential%20Job%20Approval

    Americans apparently no longer believe Obama’s spin that spending more money will balance the budget, “investing” taxpayer money will grow the economy or the whopper on Bill O’Reilly that he never once raised taxes.

    More importantly, the more conservative cohort of likely voters give Obama even less credence.

    Does anyone here honeslty think that Obama can win in 2012 on likeability alone without gaining at least plurality approval on pocketbook issues?

  11. Bartbuster says:

    Unless the GOP nominates an extraordinarily bad Bob Dole type candidate

    AKA the only people they have available.

  12. mclever says:

    Bart,

    I think it’s too early to be parsing opinion polls into re-election chances. Bush Sr. and Reagan both serve as stark examples of how divergent opinion polls this far ahead of the election are in comparison to actual election outcomes. Approval polls at this point are virtually meaningless.

    Of course the election will be at least partially a referendum on Obama, but people tend to vote based on their pocketbooks. If economic numbers are up and unemployment is down (or if Republicans are seen as the obstructionists to job creation), then Obama will stand a good chance of being re-elected as long as his approval is above 45% in the summer. (See Nate’s research regarding the correlation between approval and election.)

    But the election will also be a choice between candidates. Voters are accustomed to the “lesser of two evils” choice, and if the Republicans put up someone particularly abhorrent to moderates, then voters are more inclined to go with the “devil-you-know” rather than risking it on a new guy who looks worse.

    Incumbency has its advantages, even with moderate-to-low approval ratings.

  13. Bart DePalma says:

    Mclever:

    I agree that any polling before 120 days out from the election is merely a passing snapshot in time. Also, the economy could dramatically improve ala 1983-1984 (but the likelihood of this happening is on par with pigs flying).

    My observations are not meant to predict the outcome of the 2012 election 20 months out. Rather, I suggest that we need to keep an eye on the approval of Obama policies and the unemployment rate.

    Sean Trende noted in the link above what I pointed out before the 2010 election – the massive disapproval of Obama policies rather than his plurality general approval drove voters in 2010. I see no reason why this will not be the case in 2012 and do not see how any President can survive supermajority disapproval numbers for pocketbook issues.

    Can Obama’s policy numbers improve? They can if Obama either changes policies to those approved by Americans ala Clinton or his present policies are seen to succeed.

    Obama has made it clear that there will be no “era of big government is over” or welfare reform changes in policy. Apart from some spin, Obama will run proudly on his record. A conservative could ask for nothing more.

    Thus, Obama is relying upon the economy to bail him out. However, neither the government nor private economists are predicting recovery level growth (5% plus GDP growth and 500,000 average new jobs per month) nevertheless a 1983-1984 level boom. The only way unemployment dips below 8% by 2012 is if another few million unemployed stop looking for work and are no longer counted. In 2010, we created less jobs than needed to absorb new workers. The drop from 9.8% to 9.0% unemployment rate is due to discouraged workers giving up on finding works and dropping out of the BLS labor pool. Our labor participation rate is the lowest since the depths of the Carter recession in 1982. How does any President apart from FDR win reelection with that kind of economy? Obama is no FDR.

  14. shortchain says:

    There are few things I am less interested in than a run for President by Boss Hog Barbour. One of those things is hearing Bart blather about Obama’s chances for re-election.

    A) Bart’s entire shtick in this regard is nothing but an extended illustration of the “egocentric fallacy” (like much of what he writes).
    B) Since the course of the election next year will depend on the economy next year, and since nobody is going to predict, with any level of confidence what that is, the discussion at this time is pointless.

    If Barbour is so uninteresting that it becomes necessary for a person who would nominally be one of his supporters to discuss the incumbent this far in advance of the election, then I have to say — he’s obviously not going anywhere. I deduce that most of the GOP finds Barbour about as compelling as I do.

    I’m personally betting on another Romney campaign. The GOP loves beating its dead horses. Prefers them, in fact, to dark horses, except for the VP slot. Dark horses have to bathe first in a bucket of warm spit — it is, after all, how we got Nixon and HGW Bush, as well as the Amazin’ Palin.

  15. dcpetterson says:

    This thread is about Haley Barbour. What I like most about Barbour is that if he gets the GOP nomination, Obama wins in a landslide of biblical proportions.

    But I don’t see Barbour getting the nomination. Yet I also don’t see any likely Republican candidate who doesn’t have issues at least as major. That Barbour is even seriously considered by some shows just how shallow the bench is.

  16. Mule Rider says:

    “Obama wins in a landslide of biblical proportions.”

    While I don’t necessarily agree this would be the case if Obama were paired against Barbour, I’d be interested to know if you think there are any conservative/Republican candidates out there that wouldn’t lose in a “landslide of biblical proportions” if they won the nomination. If so, who are they?

  17. Mule Rider says:

    “That Barbour is even seriously considered by some shows just how shallow the bench is.”

    Yeah, and that’s a deep bench on the Dem side once you get past Obama. /sarcasm

    Seriously, what’s ahead for 2016? About the most formidable candidate I keep hearing is Hillary redux. The Dem pool beyond Obama is the very definition of shallow, and that’s to say nothing of the man himself.

  18. Brian says:

    “Seriously, what’s ahead for 2016?”

    Chuck Schumer is the first person who comes to my mind. He has a history of reaching across the aisle and is pretty well respected by both sides as far as I know. Being from NY, I have grown up as a fan of this man as well.

    But Democrats are more likely to nominate someone we wouldn’t suggest this far out. Who would’ve thought of Obama in 2003 or Clinton in 1987? Republicans tend to stick with known candidates and thus, have a shorter list. Personally, I would say this eliminates Barbour, Thune, Daniels, etc as getting the nomination this cycle.

  19. Bart DePalma says:

    dcpetterson says: What I like most about Barbour is that if he gets the GOP nomination, Obama wins in a landslide of biblical proportions…That Barbour is even seriously considered by some shows just how shallow the bench is.

    In 2012, Barbour will still have more successful executive experience than Obama. Have you seen the polling finding a majority of adults (not likely voters) consider Obama’s presidency a failure? Running commercials with Barbour leading the Katrina recovery effort juxtaposed next to the Obama dithering with the Gulf oil spill would be a political campaign’s dream.

    Unless Obama has at least plurality approval of his handling of pocketbook issues and and recovery level labor participation numbers, the GOP could run a dog catcher and have a better than average chance of winning in 2012. 2012 will be an referendum on Obama.

  20. drfunguy says:

    “This thread is about Harry Barbour…”
    hmm, sounds like a joke in search of a punchline:
    Did you hear about the [ethnicity to slur] Hairy Barber who couldn’t even cut his own hair?

  21. dcpetterson says:

    Brian noted:
    But Democrats are more likely to nominate someone we wouldn’t suggest this far out. Who would’ve thought of Obama in 2003 or Clinton in 1987?

    Excellent point. Yes, Republicans tend to go with known quantities, the person “next in line.” Democrats tend to look for the best person available at the moment, regardless of whether they were considered a superstar five years before.

    So I’d expect Romney or Palin to get the nod in 2012 — Romney if the Republicans are serious about trying to win the election, Palin if they are just throwing up a sacrifice and want to embarrass the Tea Party.

    But there are a few other interesting possibilities which will be considered in the future “In This Corner …” Barbour is interesting to me mostly because he seems like he wants it, and is likely to enlarge the field for the first couple of rounds of discussion about the Republicans. As to who the Republicans will nominate in 2016, that will likely be whoever comes in second in 2012. If Barbour can make a good showing among the party faithful, he’s a possibility then.

  22. Bartbuster says:

    In 2012, Barbour will still have more successful executive experience than Obama.

    Blankshot, Barbour is the leader of American Somalia. I’m not sure how many Americans are going to see that as “success”.

  23. mclever says:

    @ Mule

    Re: “[Do you] think there are any conservative/Republican candidates out there that wouldn’t lose in a “landslide of biblical proportions” if they won the nomination. If so, who are they?”

    Assuming that the economy fair-to-middling and Obama’s approval numbers are hovering around 45-48%… (Better economy or better approval numbers, and the incumbent probably wins regardless of the opposition candidate.)

    Mitt Romney is one, except for that Mormon issue that may cause problems with his own base. He could mount a decent challenge and siphon off some moderates from the Dems. Thune and Daniels also might have a chance, depending how they play their respective cards. Daniels had good “moderate” bona fides compared to most of the Republican field, and Thune can argue that he knows how to “work with both sides of the aisle to get things done.” These both could have cross-over appeal. I can’t think of anyone else who’s a likely candidate, though there are other reasonable Republicans who might stand a chance if they chose to run.

    The problem with any other Republican joining the field at this point is what Brian noted, that Republicans tend to go with a “known” as their nominee. Someone whose “turn” it is. From my perspective, that makes Romney, Huckabee, Gingrich as the most likely trio (assuming that Palin gets bounced by party insiders). Daniels, Pawlenty, Thune, Huntsman, etc. are more likely to be setting the stage for 2016 by getting their names out there now. If they get big enough showings, then they can make the case that 2016 is their “turn.”

  24. mclever says:

    @Brian

    But Democrats are more likely to nominate someone we wouldn’t suggest this far out. Who would’ve thought of Obama in 2003 or Clinton in 1987? Republicans tend to stick with known candidates and thus, have a shorter list. Personally, I would say this eliminates Barbour, Thune, Daniels, etc as getting the nomination this cycle.

    I completely agree. You’ve nailed the difference party nomination dynamics quite succinctly.

    In 2014, Dems will find some fresh-faced kid to hang their hat on, most likely someone relatively unknown outside of a few political circles. While Republicans will most likely rally behind one of the top-three failed nominees from 2012.

  25. Bart DePalma says:

    Jim Webb decided that he could not win reelection in 2012 weighted down with his votes for Obama policies and announced he will not run next year. Thankfully, Obama does not consider his policies a problem and will run for reelection.

  26. dcpetterson says:

    Bart:
    Jim Webb decided that he could not win reelection in 2012 weighted down with his votes for Obama policies

    Have you any evidence at all that this was his reason, apart from your fevered imagination?

    The man just didn’t like politics. Can’t say I blame him. It’s a dirty business, especially with the number of liars and character assassins out there.
    http://wmal.com/Article.asp?id=2105739

  27. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: Jim Webb decided that he could not win reelection in 2012 weighted down with his votes for Obama policies

    Have you any evidence at all that this was his reason, apart from your fevered imagination?

    You mean apart from the 2010 bloodbath in VA for House Dems who voted for Obama policies? However, if you want to believe that Webb joined the growing list of Dem retirements because politics was too tough for the ex-Marine, who am I to interrupt your day dream.

  28. shortchain says:

    I’m also wondering, DC, how anyone can interpret Webb’s choice as “not being able to win”. Given his obvious — and often-expressed — dissatisfaction with the way Congress works, the obvious reason he decided not to run was that he didn’t want to be in the Senate anymore — although, Bart, perhaps, if you are feeling uncharitable, we’ll grant also that, with his history, he probably didn’t feel like putting up with the foibles of his caucus.

    Wait — did I actually say to Bart “if you are feeling uncharitable”? ::chuckle::

  29. Bartbuster says:

    Blankshot, “not enjoying” is not the same as “too tough”.

  30. Bart DePalma says:

    As between Ben Nelson and Claire McCaskill, who do you Dems think is more likely to be the next Dem Senator to announce his or her retirement because politics is no fun anymore?

  31. shortchain says:

    Bart,

    I think whoever it is won’t be Haley Barbour. Barbour has gotten rich off politics, lobbying, more politics, and I’m betting, his current “candidacy” is just a way to buff up his resume in preparation for …wait for it…more lobbying.

  32. Bart DePalma says:

    SC:

    No one really knows who the GOP will nominate in 2012. Because they smell electoral blood in the water, the number of viable GOP candidates who jump in the race may reach a new record. Here are some things to look for:

    1) Governors are the favorites. The GOP prefers folks with executive experience to run for President and anyone from DC is suspect.

    2) If the Tea Party opposes the candidate, they are through. I suspect that Tea Party folks will initially split 2-3 ways until the field clarifies, but anyone without Tea Party support cannot gain a majority of votes in a GOP primary.

    2a) The Romneycare Factor: Under a first-in-line nominating philosophy and based on money, Romney would appear to be an early front runner. However, I am having a very hard time seeing the architect of Romneycare winning the Tea Party vote.

    3) Because the Tea Party is so anti-establshment, I suspect that the GOP may depart from its first-in-line nominating philosophy. We could have a more Dem style race where a relative unknown may take off if they can harness the Tea Party vote.

  33. Bart DePalma says:

    Charlie Cook took a look today at the effect of the economy on Obama’s chances in 2012.

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/columns/off-to-the-races/indications-for-2012-20110207

    Cook puts the bar awfully low, arguing that Obama could win reelection with an unemployment rate north of 8%. If so, he would be the first since FDR.

  34. Mr. Universe says:

    Barbour will still have more successful executive experience than Obama

    Oh? So Barbour has been President of the United States and a US Senator before? Oh wait, he lost that contest.

    (brushes hands together)

    End of that argument.

  35. Bartbuster says:

    Sweet Jesus, please let the teabaggers select the GOP candidate.

  36. Brian says:

    Mississippi is not something I would hold as an example of “successful executive experience.” Worst state for median family income, % of population who have completed high school, best states to live. 2nd worst for personal health, education, personal income.

    Best state for lynchings, obesity, child death, people below poverty, and so much more, virtually none of which is positive. (http://www.statemaster.com/state/ms/Bottom-Rankings)

    How does that translate into “successful executive experience”?

  37. Mr. Universe says:

    Governors are the favorites. The GOP prefers folks with executive experience to run for President and anyone from DC is suspect.

    Of the past ten Republican nominees for President only two (2) were former Governors.

    (brushes hands together) And done with that argument, too.

  38. Bart DePalma says:

    Brian:

    It is unfair to blame Barbour for the poor life choices of Mississippi Dems.

  39. Bart DePalma says:

    Mr. U:

    I stand corrected. I was thinking about the successful nominees.

  40. Mr. Universe says:

    Of the past 10 Republican Vice Presidential Nominees only two (2) were former Governors. One of whom was forced to resign in disgrace. The other, of course, quit in disgrace.

    A little extra salt on the wound there for ya, buddy.

  41. Brian says:

    Interesting… Mississippi’s failures are not the fault of the man running the state, but the US’s failure’s are the fault of the man running the country. Or is it that because Barbour is a Republican, the Democrats’ faults aren’t his? Which would mean that because Obama is a Democrat, the Republicans’ faults aren’t his as well? Or is my logic not convoluted enough?

  42. Realist says:

    Of the total 16 Republican nominees who won the general election, only five had been governors. Perhaps someone needs to stand corrected yet again?

  43. Mr. Universe says:

    And of the successful Republican Presidential nominees of the past century four (4) were Governors, one (1) General, one (1) Secretary of War, one (1) Commerce Secretary, three (3) Senators, and one (1) former CIA director. 4 out of 7. You’re getting warmer.

    (brushes hands together) And another one bites the dust

  44. Brian says:

    You know what? This argument about Mississippi really isn’t contributing much and it’ll just turn into unproductive arguing. I’d like to think both this site and myself are better than that, so you can just ignore my above comment.

  45. Mr. Universe says:

    I could go into how many Democratic Presidential nominees were Governors but that would be piling on, I think.

  46. Realist says:

    OBTW, the state government in Mississippi consists of:
    R Governor
    R Lieutenant Governor
    R Secretary of State
    R Auditor
    R Treasurer
    R Commissioner of Agriculture
    R Commissioner of Insurance
    R US Senator (2)
    R US Representatives (3)
    Evenly split state Senate (not enough to override a veto)
    57/43 state Legislature (not enough to override a veto)
    D Attorney General

    I can see how one might conclude that the Democrats drive the agenda in Mississippi. Not.

  47. Realist says:

    Mr. U,
    I’ll be happy to take that one. Over the same period (Lincoln-to-date), there have been 10 Democrat Presidents. 9 were elected President (Andrew Johnson was not). Of those 9, 5 were governors.

    If you want to include A. Johnson, then it’s 6 of 10.

    Ever feel like you’re shooting fish in a barrel?

  48. Realist says:

    Oh, one other thing…does anyone truly believe that a typical Democrat in the Mississippi state Legislature or Senate would in any way resemble a typical Democrat anywhere outside the South?

  49. Realist says:

    And of the successful Republican Presidential nominees of the past century four (4) were Governors, one (1) General, one (1) Secretary of War, one (1) Commerce Secretary, three (3) Senators, and one (1) former CIA director.

    Hmmm…so we have 6 of 10 that fall into the “anyone from DC” category. Clearly they’re far more suspect than those 4 governors.

    I like fish, but they’re not so tasty after they’ve been shot. Kind of ruins the texture.

  50. Realist says:

    To be fair, I neglected to include the one Democrat Representative in my list above. Mea culpa.

  51. Mainer says:

    I would suggest we revisit this after CPAC this weekend. I’m sure some one will manage to throw themself over board. Lets see DeMint isn’t there because Gays are, Palin isn’t because…….I’m not really not sure but you can plan on some off the wall tweets from the Tundra. Huck is passing because he is on his way back from Israel…he gets home tomorrow AM so he must be planning on some serious jet lag or else sees the whole weekend as a very dangerous set of trap. How ever it plays out it will be interesting to see which candidate steps in it and how deep as most will probably be trying to out conservative the next up.

  52. Mr. Universe says:

    Another infidelity scandal claims a Republican Rep.

    Chris Lee (R-NY) resigns

  53. drfunguy says:

    @Realist
    “does anyone truly believe that a typical Democrat in the Mississippi state Legislature or Senate would in any way resemble a typical Democrat anywhere outside the South?”
    Well, there _is_ Utah. But given its standings in poverty, teen pregnancy, and all of those good fambly values perhaps it is honorary southren. After all there is a Utah’s Dixie.

  54. NotImpressed says:

    I heard a couple of Tea Party bigwigs on the radio tonight (I’m sorry, I was driving, I couldn’t write down their names). Apparently Orin Hatch and Lindsay Graham are likely to be primaried from the far far far right. Please, let Christine O’Donnell win both nominations! (By the way, she’s just formed ChristinePac or something like that.) Could be two Democratic pickups in the Senate.

  55. Bart DePalma says:

    Brian says: Interesting… Mississippi’s failures are not the fault of the man running the state, but the US’s failure’s are the fault of the man running the country.

    If you can name any action of Governor Barbour which have raised the cost of doing business and labor costs similar to those imposed by our current Administration, you are free to point them out.

    Expecting a government – GOP or Dem – to “grow the economy” is the height of foolishness. The best thing a government can do is keep the infrastructure maintained and otherwise avoid making it more difficult for folks to run businesses and hire workers. In short, just get the hell out of the way.

  56. Bart DePalma says:

    Mr. Universe says: Another infidelity scandal claims a Republican Rep. Chris Lee (R-NY) resigns

    The fool did not get a chance to be unfaithful. Did you see what this maroon posted on Craig’s List? LMAO!

  57. Just Sayin' says:

    When Jim Webb went against George Allen in the race for senator, he started the race 30 points behind. He was always the long shot. Gee Bart, that doesn’t sound like a man who is afraid he “might” loose.

  58. Mr. Universe says:

    The fool did not get a chance to be unfaithful. Did you see what this maroon posted on Craig’s List? LMAO!

    I saw it. Hardly anything to resign from congress over; particularly so quickly after it broke. Suspect there’s more dirty laundry to surface.

  59. NotImpressed says:

    It’s interesting, Mr. DePalma. You claim President Obama did not handle the oil leak well. This seems to imply you approve of government intrusion into business, rather than allowing BP to handle it. And now you say all government should do is get out of the way.

    The 2010 election was all about jobs. We haven’t seen any new ones now that the Republicans took over the House. Where are the jobs? Don’t answer, I don’t need your spin.

    You dishonestly said that MSNBC attributed the disappointing jobs numbers to “global cooling,” which they did not do. Now you pretend to read Senator Webb’s mind, and you offer no quotes from him as evidence for your position. In fact, you accuse this former Marine of dishonesty and of not having the courage to stand behind his convictions. Have you no shame? Please don’t answer that, either, my question is rhetorical.

    A question for the other conservatives here. I do not want to believe that Mr. DePalma is representative of American conservativism. Please tell me that you all find him as tiresome as the rest of us do. Please tell me some of you are honest.

  60. parksie555 says:

    Rep nominee for 2012 really doesn’t matter. Obama’s personality, willingness to move to the middle after the midterm shellacking, and the slowly but steadily improving economy will carry 2012 regardless of who the elephants send into the ring.

    Chris Christie will be the next president following Obama’s second term.

    History will grade Obama a solid B, no FDR or Truman. More like a Clinton or LBJ without the messy personal issues of those two.

    You heard it here first 🙂

  61. NotImpressed says:

    parksie, thank you for a reasonable analysis. I guess I was right 🙂

  62. Mainer says:

    Parksie……Christie?????? I think that is at best a maybe. I’m not sure any one from NJ is going to be considered tobe oh well you know American enough. I’m also not sure how his record will stand up by that point. Maybe I guess. I have this odd feeling that it might be some one like Daniels. I didn’t think so even several months ago but now I’m not so sure. I think there are some massive egos out there that either one of them are going to have to get by first.

  63. parksie555 says:

    Mainer, it’s all about charisma in a Presidential election and Christie has it in spades. Given the choice between a ticket to the Super Bowl and a ticket to watch Christie debate Obama, I would take the debate. (Now World Series tickets would be another matter altogether).

    Did you see the YouTube video where Christie completely manhandled the mealy-mouthed teacher’s union rep? It was a tour de force.

    Admittedly he may have to fight some anti-East Coast bias but this guy is no John Kerry.

    Of course a million things can happen between now and then but to me he looks like the rising star among the elephants at this point.

    And he is a fellow UD alum. Just don’t hold Biden against us.

  64. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    parksie,

    Christie’s a no-go. He BADLY handled the snow issue. 60% of the country has a different take than “great charisma” on the teacher thing. Since he puts “family (vacation to FL)” first in front of constituents, a run will never get off the ground. (I can see the saturation ads now: “It’s snowing a serious blizzard. Cars are buried, streets are totally impassable. (With shots of Newark mayor Booker shoveling snow in the split screen) ‘Governor, what are you going to do now?’ And a clip of Christie: “I’m going to Disneyland!!!””

    Jeb

  65. shortchain says:

    Max,

    That argument is only going to fly in blue country. In red country, neglecting the state’s business is the sine qua non of a true right-wing visionary. And stomping on a civil servant is the highest calling possible — it even beats out killing (or at least mortally wounding and leaving to die) wild animals for sport and for fun.

    Christie has legs and a short record, two things a modern Republican needs for popularity. Add the “charisma”, and we’re likely to see some swooning when the time comes. The only thing that could overcome that is a bona fide “war hero”, such as TMCP.

  66. Mainer says:

    I spend a considerable mount of time in the Christie back yard working. I work with groups that are now pretty much determined to reground him. I know he inherited a mess but his ability to handle it now appears to be coming into question even with some of those that helped elect him. I will tell you better afer the first couple of weeks in March and working in Camden NJ.

    No I’m thinking Daniels has his economic house in better order. In all reality whom ever gets the nod still has to get past the lunatic far right fringe to even run. I still say see what happens the next couple of days at CPAC. A true conservative that isn’t an ideolog could be a tough candidate but a program that seems to be built on right, white and uptight is going to be a hard sell. I would think that every time another demographic group gets crapped on will make it that much harder.

  67. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Mainer, did you ever contact Bart on the casus belli subject?

  68. Mainer says:

    No Max I have not. The work thing raised its ugly head and time has been some what short. I still will when things settle down.

    Oh did you see John Kyl is stepping down? Lets see the wisdom in that is that he must be afraid of losing? Isn’t that what we were told was the reason Webb was getting done? Look for a large number of the rational and near rtional ones to bail. Who would want to live and work in that zoo. We are in for some interesting times, very interesting times.

  69. Bart DePalma says:

    Kyl appears to be joining the growing crowd running for President. Is there anyone in the GOP leadership who does not think that Obama is a dead incumbent walking?

  70. Bartbuster says:

    Is there anyone in the GOP leadership who does not think that Obama is a dead incumbent walking?

    If true it’s probably the best news for Obama since he was elected.

  71. Mr. Universe says:

    BD: Jim Webb decided that he could not win reelection in 2012 weighted down with his votes for Obama policies

    Kyl appears to be joining the growing crowd running for President. Is there anyone in the GOP leadership who does not think that Obama is a dead incumbent walking?

    Seriously?!?

    Bart’s cognitive dissonance.

  72. Bart DePalma says:

    U:

    Kyl appears to be running for President, while Webb is running away to the private sector. Actions speak louder…

  73. Mr. Universe says:

    @Funguy, MD

    I just read an article about a real politician named Harry Baals (yes pronounced as you would expect). He is not expected to win because of the name. Perhaps he should change his name to Shwetty Baals. 😀

  74. Bartbuster says:

    He said he plans to use the remainder of his term to work on tough issues without the political pressures associated with re-election, and said he means to form a coalition with other departing senators as a means to do so.

    Baghdad, do you really think that sounds like someone who is running for President?

  75. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Webb is leaving because he can make more money in the private sector. As did Palin.

    At least Webb is completing his full term.

  76. Bart DePalma says:

    Max:

    Private sector?

    :::chuckle:::

    Palin has been running for President since she left office in Alaska, spending a great deal of 2010 raising money and campaigning for GOP candidates when she wasn’t doing speaking engagements, writing political books and doing Sarah Palin’s Alaska – a several hour long bypassing of the Dem press to reintroduce Sarah to the voters.

  77. Bartbuster says:

    a several hour long bypassing of the Dem press to reintroduce Sarah to the voters.

    ;;;;chuckle;;;;;

    Her polling numbers are at an all-time low.

  78. Mr. Universe says:

    Interesting. Kyl tossed his hat in for the VP position.

    Yes, and I am available for the office of King of Pandora.

    Saying that he wouldn’t turn down an offer to run as a vice presidential candidate if a Republican presidential candidate thought he could be of service to the country, though he considered it a long shot, the senator nonetheless said it would be inappropriate to consider other job offers while still a member of Congress.

    “That is the only office I would consider,” he said later of the vice presidency, noting that he wouldn’t want to be a Supreme Court justice. “I would not be a Cabinet secretary taking orders from some young (employee) in the White House.”

    Gosh Bart, he’s almost as smug and delusional as you. You don’t ‘toss’ your hat in the ring for VP. Best of luck, citizen Kyl.

  79. shortchain says:

    That so much of the “leadership” of the GOP is interested in running for President is an indication of the level of delusional narcissism in that group.

  80. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Bart: “:::chuckle:::

    Palin has been running for President since she left office in Alaska, spending a great deal of 2010 raising money and campaigning for GOP candidates when she wasn’t doing speaking engagements, writing political books and doing Sarah Palin’s Alaska – a several hour long bypassing of the Dem press to reintroduce Sarah to the voters.

    With her negatives having climbed to their highest point, and her positives having declined to their lowest point, the fact that commentators from Hume to Krauthammer to Matthews to Will to Todd to Krystal have had NO CONSENSUS that she IN FACT will run for President at this point, IMHO she is doing one of the WORST jobs of running for that office that I have personally seen in 50 years of observation. Even beating out Gary Hart.

    “Run, Sarah, run” Please!!!!!

  81. drfunguy says:

    Mr.U. given the need for a few politicians with a pair, you’d think he’d be a shoe-in. Do you suppose its the hair?
    p.s. I can’t accept the demotion to M.D., as my father-in-law (Ph.D. Engineering) puts it, I am a real doctor (Ph.D.).

  82. Bart DePalma says:

    Max:

    I do not wait for a talking head consensus to render opinions based on the evidence. All the evidence points to a run for President.

    This is not a prediction that I will vote for Palin or that she will win the nomination.

  83. Mainer says:

    Bart of course you will vote for her if given the chance. You would vote for the devil himself before you would vote for a ………..gasp Democrat. Hell Bart she could pick a corpse as a running mate and you wouldn’t notice……give me a break.

  84. Mr. Universe says:

    @Funguy, Ph.D

    My sister might take offense at that. As would her patients. 😉

  85. Mule Rider says:

    “You would vote for the devil himself before you would vote for a ………..gasp Democrat.”

    That might be true for Bart, but I can sure as hell tell you that doesn’ t describe me. In fact, there are several Democrats in “flyover country” that I think are pretty stand-up people. There are a few on the coasts too, but they get fewer and far between in my opinion. Anyway, you can bet your sweet bottom I would vote for a sensible Democrat long before I’d vote for Sarah Palin.

  86. mostlyilurk says:

    Which Republicans have officially announced that they’re running?

  87. Mr. Universe says:

    @Lurk

    Assuming you’re referring to the Senate:

    Announced a run for re-election:

    Hatch (Utah)
    Ensign (Nevada)
    Brown (Mass)
    Lugar (Indiana)

    Ones who have not declared:

    Barrasso (Wyoming)
    Corker (Tennessee)
    Wicker (Miss)
    Snowe (Maine)

    Retiring:

    Kyl (Arizona)
    Hutchison (Texas)

  88. drfunguy says:

    @Mr.U.
    Those MD’s take themselves ‘way too seriously.
    Relax, that’s a joke son.
    😉

  89. drfunguy says:

    p.s. Mr.U.
    Mycology beats urology any day!
    😉

  90. NotImpressed says:

    So, Mr DePalma, you claim that Kyl stepped down in order to run for President. Then you link to an article in which you claim he “throws his hat in the ring” for Vice President. In that article, the very one you linked, he is actually quotes as saying “This is the time to end my public service, in January 2013, and therefore, I will not seek reelection to the U.S. Senate.”

    Your telepathic abilities must be off. You lied about Jim Webb’s reasons for leaving the Senate. You lied about MSNBC and whether they endorsed the idea of “global cooling.” You have now lied, twice, about John Kyl’s ambitions. Is there anything you have told the truth about? I’m actually curious this time. Mostly, I’m curious to see if your answer will itself contain another lie.

  91. dcpetterson says:

    Mr U, it’s interesting that three of the four Republican Senators who have announced plans to seek re-election )Hatch, Brown, Lugar) are almost certain to face a far right primary challenge. Ms. Snowe is likely to also be challenged, if she decides to run. Two other Republican incumbents have said they’re going to retire. This means as many as six currently Republican seats could wind up being open seats for the actual election campaign. And recall this is a presidential year — and, contrary to right wing triumphalism, President Obama is likely to have big coattails, as he did in ’08, when the “unlikely voters” come back to the polls to re-elect him.

  92. mostlyilurk says:

    Thanks, Mr. U. but I was actually asking about Republicans who have announced a presidential run. Bart keeps going on ad nauseum about how Obama is so defeatable, I thought that that loads and loads of Republican candidates must have surely announced by now and I somehow missed it.

  93. Bart DePalma says:

    Gallup issued an instructive poll today examining what issue American adults consider the most important. Our chronic high unemployment was the primary concern of a plurality of 41% of Americans, the highest since the Carter recession. What is more interesting from the viewpoint of Barack Obama’s reelection chances is that Dems are far more concerned about unemployment than either Indis or Republicans.

    This begs the question: Will Dems show up and vote for Obama in 2012 if unemployment is still north of 8%?

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