During recent debate in the Mississippi House about whether to increase the tax on cigarettes or levy a hospital patient tax to fund the $90 million deficit in the Division of Medicaid, Rep. Steve Holland, D-Plantersville, warned his Republican colleagues that Gov. Haley Barbour will not be running for office again in 2011, but they would.
The reference was obvious – think twice before voting against a cigarette tax increase, which Barbour opposes, and for a patient tax, which Barbour supports.
It would be them, not Barbour, who would have to defend on the campaign trail what many, including the governor’s own advisory commission, say would be an increase in the cost of health care by levying the hospital patient tax.
It is true that Barbour will not be campaigning for himself.
But make no mistake about it – Barbour’s days campaigning are far from over.
After all, Barbour has been campaigning most of his adult life – either as a super Republican operative on the state and federal level or as a candidate himself. Barbour, former chair of the Republican National Committee, is considered one of the nation’s top political strategists.