WAPO compares Perry’s race issues to Barbour’s

As with Perry, there was a time when folks were clamoring for Gov. Haley Barbour (R-Miss.) to get into the race for the GOP presidential nomination. He’s a powerhouse fundraiser who thrilled both the conservative and establishment wings of the Republican Party. But Barbour had a problem. A race problem. So much so that The Post’s Karen Tumulty reported last March that “Barbour .?.?. is considering giving a major speech on the subject. The likely venue: a 50th anniversary reunion of the Freedom Riders, set for late May in Jackson.”

Barbour scrubbed the presidential run. And one of the reasons could be that he couldn’t find a persuasive way to discuss race, the civil rights era and his place in it. Before he pulled the plug on his Oval Office ambitions, GQ asked a longtime friend of the governor’s if Barbour could pull off such a do-or-die high-wire act. “I wish I knew, I wish I knew,” he said. “I don’t know. He’s smart enough to know, and if there’s a way to figure it out he will..?.?. But if he hasn’t figured out how you overcome it, or pretty well minimize it, in my opinion he won’t run.”

Washington Post
10/6/11