Hattiesburg American – Barbour’s trip OK

Barbour will visit the two states that have early presidential contests in 2012 to attend Republican fundraising events. There has been much speculation that Barbour, who cannot seek a third term as governor, plans a campaign for the White House. Barbour has tried to squelch such talk – but not very aggressively. We haven’t heard him say “I will not run for president.” Even if he did say it, the speculation wouldn’t end.

The Republican Party is in shambles following the 2008 national elections. Various factions have torn the party apart and there is no clear leadership. Barbour, a former national Republican Party chairman and wily political strategist, could be the person that ultimately reunites the party.

Meanwhile, Mississippi’s budget problems persist.