In a season when voters revolted against Washington and the establishments of both parties, you wouldn’t expect one of the main beneficiaries of the elections to be a former lobbyist and Republican Party chairman who used to be part-owner of a Washington restaurant called the Caucus Room.
And yet if Haley Barbour, the governor of Mississippi and the outgoing chairman of the Republican Governors Association, wasn’t the party’s biggest winner this election year, then he certainly emerged as one of the most formidable leaders eyeing the presidency in 2012.
Mr. Barbour’s political might was on full display this week at the Hilton Bayside Hotel here, where Republican governors met for the first time since the elections. He strode like a popular small-town mayor through the hotel’s concourses, attracting a steady crush of corporate contributors, political operatives and reporters. In public sessions and private conversations, his fellow governors lavished praise on him.
New York Times