Commercial Appeal columnist on Barbour – “I’m genuinely saddened by his decision”

Wouldn’t you know it? The first casualty of the 2012 presidential campaign is the guy in our own backyard.

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour told the nation last week he will not run for president next year. And for once, the cliché he used in bowing out is true.

“This has been a difficult, personal decision,” Barbour’s five-paragraph statement said. “A candidate for president today is embracing a 10-year commitment to an all-consuming effort… His (or her) supporters expect and deserve no less than absolute fire in the belly from their candidate. I cannot offer that with certainty.”

With that, Barbour’s long-shot candidacy for the White House was over. And believe it or not, I’m genuinely saddened by his decision. For one thing, a Barbour presidential campaign would have been an interesting one to observe.

Commercial Appeal