Barbour in Iowa City Friday
After a two day swing last week, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is back in state this week, with an appearance at the Johnson County Republicans (we have them here) spaghetti supper in Tiffin. Barbour also got a write up from Chris Cillizza this AM: "Barbour is playing the inside game very aggressively, matching the behind-the-scenes efforts of Romney and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty."
There's a niche for him: he's establishment-acceptable, indeed is probably the establishment's second choice behind Mitt Romney. But he doesn't have the poison pill of Romney's religion.
The elephant in the room is the symbolism. I always figured a certain element of America would go off the deep end over the notion of a black president. I just figured it would happen BEFORE the election, not AFTER. And the good ole boy governor of Mississippi - MISSISSIPPI! - presents the ultimate contrast. Barbour is one of the last of the first generation of Strom Thurmond era southern Republicans. Back in `82, long before Southern realignment was complete, he ran against old school segregationist Democrat John Stennis for the Senate.
I like the symbolism myself: it would send the perfect message the the Republicans are a monochrome regional party. Old, white, male, and Southern, Haley Barbour is the most honest choice Republicans can make.