The Sun Herald, 3/13/8

Black Mississippians’ enthusiasm propelled Sen. Barack Obama to a strong win in the state’s presidential primary this week.

Now, a black state official who supported Obama’s white opponent says he hopes Democrats can maintain a similar level of energy for the Nov. 4 general election, regardless of their own background and regardless of which candidate eventually becomes the party’s nominee.

Gov. Haley Barbour, who chaired the Republican National Committee from 1993-97, predicted recently that GOP presidential nominee Arizona Sen. John McCain will fare well against either Clinton or Obama.

Barbour said Clinton’s negatives “are quite obvious.” He said polls show “a very large percentage if not a majority of Americans say they don’t want her as president.”

“But Sen. Obama has the most liberal voting record in the United States Senate. That means he’s to the left of Hillary Clinton, he’s to the left of Teddy Kennedy, he’s to the left of Bernie Sanders, who runs for senator as Socialist. I mean, he’s to the left of the Socialists,” Barbour said. “While he’s charismatic, a very attractive candidate, he’s got a record and the record is very out of sync with the views of the majority of Americans, much less the majority of Mississippians.”