Politico – Haley Barbour to S.C. Wednesday to discuss running in 2012

Mississippi Gov Haley Barbour will visit the Republican-heavy Upstate of South Carolina Wednesday for two private events with local GOP officials to discuss a potential presidential run, POLITICO has learned.

Barbour will meet with Republicans first in Greenville and then in Spartanburg.

The closed-door gatherings will include party leaders and current and former elected officials, according to a South Carolina source familiar with the events.

Barbour’s trip to the first-in-the-South Palmetto State illustrates his increasing seriousness about a presidential bid. His appearance in the two Upstate cities comes just a few weeks after he appeared in Columbia for the inauguration of Gov. Nikki Haley. The Mississippian hosted a reception for legislators at that time, but this foray marks one of the first times he’s meeting with local activists explicitly about a presidential bid.