Banking with Barbour
I’ve written on many occasions about the fact that much of the chatter surrounding the 2012 invisible primary involves a number of Republican presidential hopefuls who ultimately have little chance of actually being their party's nominee. Increasingly prominent among those names is Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour. I have previously predicted that despite the frequent media buzz surrounding his latest political moves, Barbour is just not likely to ever be the Republican presidential nominee. A new Politico article, which dubs Barbour The Most Powerful Republican in Politics, aptly describes the problem he faces:
A portly Southern conservative who represented tobacco firms and made millions building a lobbying firm isn’t the ideal profile for a Republican nominee in this or any political environment.
But the article’s larger point is that Barbour is a tremendously powerful political operative (and prodigious fundraiser), who controls a big bankroll of midterm election cash as head of the Republican Governors Association. At this point in the presidential election cycle, this is actually one of the most interesting aspects of the invisible primary. That is watching Republican political elites like Barbour, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, all of whom may ultimately take a pass on running for president in 2012, nonetheless compete to wield political influence in the upcoming nomination battle.

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