Washington Post ranks Barbour 2nd … again

Out of power everywhere they look, Republicans are in the midst of, what they call in sports, a rebuilding year.

The first building block of any rebuilding is an infusion of new talent — young, fresh faces who bubble up through the ranks to emerge on the national stage.

“You become a top-down party when you’ve had the White House for a long time,” said Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) recently. “That has happened to us.”

So, who are the new faces to watch over the next few years as Republicans rebuild? Our Line of the ten most influential voices in the party is below.

2. Haley Barbour: Barbour has two great gifts that keep him ranked so high on the Line. First, he is beloved by almost everyone within the Republican party and regarded broadly as one of the leading strategic minds the GOP possesses. Second, as one of the creators of modern lobbying in Washington, Barbour knows he can’t run for president — a stance that makes him the perfect neutral arbiter in the near term and kingmaker in advance of 2012. (Previous ranking: 2)

Washington Post 4/18/9