Jim Herring Blog, Haley Barbour for President?

What is becoming abundantly clear is that Mississippi’s Governor, Haley Barbour, will give serious consideration to becoming a Republican candidate for President in 2012. This is as it should be for several reasons. Haley’s past record of achievement and service to his Party have been spectacularly successful. Over the years, he took two relatively low-profile jobs, Chairman of the Republican Nation Committee and Chairman of the Republican Governors’ Association, and through strong leadership transformed them into highly effective influential positions within the Party. As Chairman of the RNC and later as Chairman of the RGA, he has significantly and single handedly contributed to the growth and success of the Republican Party across this nation.

As Chairman of the Republican National Committee in the 1990s, he worked with Newt Gingrich and other Republican Congressional leaders to implement their now-famous “Contract for America”, which directly led to the first Republican takeover of the House of Representatives since World War II. Likewise, as Chairman of the Republican Governors’ Association, he took a position, previously with little influence, and has mad the RGA into the premier fundraiser and strategist for the Party nationally, as we approach the crucial Congressional elections on November 2.

As Governor of Mississippi, it is conceded by supporters and detractors alike that Haley has performed brilliantly and successfully, resisted tax increases in state government, and fought for a balanced budget, while effectively pushing for economic development and work force training, as well as for increased spending in key areas like education. He deservedly received national praise during the Hurricane Katrina disaster, and his crisis leadership skills as Governor were favorably contrasted with the job performance of the hapless Democratic Governor of Louisiana, who appeared ineffective and overwhelmed by events during the disaster that descended upon the people of Mississippi and Louisiana in 2005.