Haley Barbour. The governor of Mississippi has been a greatly underestimated force. He was a Washington lobbyist who learned early how to ameliorate hard feelings and get things done. He took that skill to the Republican National committee and was by all odds its most effective chairman since Mark Hanna, contributing powerfully to the GOP takeover of Congress in 1994. As governor he has been among the nation’s best, mobilizing the state early so that when Katrina hit the resources were already there. Again with the Gulf oil spill, he was calm, magnetic—better so than Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, too gaunt, looking like an advance man for a famine. . Barbour’s a dark horse candidate but a very skilled one. Probably his only electoral disadvantage is a broad Mississippi accent.