Wednesday, January 14, 2004


I found this at Free Republic. It's a column from The Yazoo Herald in Mississippi. It almost leaves me speechless:

Possibility: Barbour for president in '08

...Haley Barbour was sworn in Tuesday as Mississippi’s 63rd governor, but it’s the possibility of a much grander inauguration that motivated the Yazoo City resident’s re-entry into electoral politics after two decades as a successful lobbyist and Republican power broker.

Haley for President.

In 2008.

No joke.

Three prominent Mississippi Republicans, none of whom claimed first-hand knowledge of Barbour’s presidential plans, told this columnist that all signs point to a Barbour run to succeed a term-limited President Bush, who is heavily favored to win re-election this year....

There was the nagging question two years ago, when Barbour’s name first surfaced as a possible gubernatorial contender, of why he would leave the prestige and wealth of a multimillion-dollar Washington lobbying firm that he built from scratch, divest himself of its substantial profits, and take a job in Mississippi that pays less than $200,000 a year....

If Barbour indeed has presidential ambitions, he needed an elected platform from which to make the jump....

Just imagine: a president and a lobbyist all rolled up in one!

In 1997, Barbour completed his term as party chairman and returned to the lobbying trade. Immediately, many of the R.N.C.'s biggest corporate donors signed on with his firm. Added to [its] client list ... were the five major tobacco companies (which gave the Republican Party a reported $22 million between 1996 and 2001), airlines, drug companies and defense contractors. Most lobbying firms in Washington have a bipartisan roster of employees, but B.G.&R. insists on a Republican staff, right down to the receptionists. The advice the firm often gives its corporate clients includes this: Open a Washington office and supply those in-house lobbyists with plump checks for the politicians you want something from.

Those checks can be handed off in person at B.G.&R [Barbour Griffith & Rogers Inc.]....

--Nicholas Dawidoff, "Mr. Washington Goes to Mississippi," New York Times Magazine, 10/19/03

The Yazoo City Herald column says, admiringly,

Imagine how much he could raise on the national level.


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