Gov. Haley Barbour dined with a handful of senior Republican strategists Monday night in Washington, a gathering certain to further stoke talk of the Mississippi Republican’s interest in a 2012 race.
The attendees at the dinner, which was held at the Caucus Room, a steak place that Barbour co-founded along with Democratic lobbyist Tommy Boggs, included former Bush White House political director Sara Taylor, Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist, Club for Growth founder Steve Moore, president of the 2008 Republican National Convention Maria Cino, American Gas Association executive vice president Rick Shelby, former Bob Dole campaign manager Scott Reed and lobbyist Ed Rogers.
The discussion was wide-ranging and touched on 2012 politics but not specifically in relation to the possibility of a Barbour candidacy, according to one attendee.
These sort of “feeling out” meetings are going on for any and all of the GOP candidates seriously considering running for president in 2012. (And, if these conversations haven’t started for some of the field, you can bet they will now.)