shock – it brought to venerable Mississippi political columnist Bill Minor, this newspaper has indeed defended Gov. Haley Barbour’s frequent absences from the state while fulfilling his duties as chairman of the Republican Governors Association.
The Associated Press documented that Barbour was out of state all or part of 193 days in the past 15 months. Democratic critics have flayed Barbour for his absences. Democratic House Education Committee chairman Rep. Cecil Brown of Jackson told the AP: “It’s like trying to deal with ‘Where’s Waldo?’ You just don’t know where he is or how to get in touch with him.”
Yet many of those same Democratic critics of Barbour’s political travels have developed a permanent case of lockjaw over President Obama’s extensive political travels in support of Democratic contenders in the midterm elections this year.
It’s clear that both the president and the governor can do their jobs effectively away from the office. Digital communications make that much easier and has given elected officials the same ability to take care of business on the road that it’s given to the business community.