Barbour accused of speaking only to those who agree with him

He’s already lost 20 pounds and will lose 20 more by the end of April, Haley Barbour told the New York Times’ Jeff Zeleny on the Mississippi governor’s swing through presidential testing-ground Iowa two weeks ago.

That’s the most definitive evidence so far the 63-year-old Barbour is really, really serious about making a bid for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

Nationally renowned as a Republican strategist, Barbour pictures himself to the nation in rosy terms for management the state’s fiscal affairs and quality of life. Though given high marks as a shrewd political operator, many on the home front contend he lacks compassion for the state’s thousands of poor people

One arch-critic, Democratic Rep. Steve Holland of Plantersville, a 28-year veteran in the Legislature and staunch advocate for health and human services, says Barbour gets “A-plus as a politician but not for the people of whom we have a great many in need of help.”

4/6/11