The Hill – Barbour makes his national debut, Part II

After raising $250,000, according to figures provided by the campaign, Barbour retreated to his old haunts in Washington for a lavish dinner at the steakhouse he and his former lobbying partner founded.

There, Barbour wined and dined half a dozen top Republican operatives, including former White House political director Sara Taylor; Scott Reed, who managed Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign; GOP money man Ed Rogers; and anti-tax crusaders Grover Norquist and Steve Moore.

Barbour is widely viewed as one of the smartest elected operators in the GOP. A former chairman of the Republican National Committee given significant credit for the party’s wins in 1993 and 1994, Barbour has spent the last several years talking up the importance of GOP governors, who led the party’s resurgence a decade and a half ago.

Even if he did take the plunge, Barbour is pragmatic enough to realize the hurdles he would face. At a recent breakfast with reporters sponsored by The Christian Science Monitor, Barbour joked that he had hit the trifecta of unpopular jobs: He’s a lawyer, he’s a politician and he’s a lobbyist.

But maybe Barbour will take a shot at the White House anyway. After all, our spy at Monday’s dinner noted: “Everybody there was somebody who helps elect people.”

The Hill
6/25/9