Friday, November 19, 2010


My first thought when I read this was that it was a bizarre attempt at reverse psychology, but the more I consider it, the more I think Barbour believes his own nonsense:

Republican Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour may or may not run for president in 2012, but he has an opinion about a possible presidential bid by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

"I hope Mayor Bloomberg won't even consider that," Barbour told CNN. "But if there were a strong third party candidate there's no question in my mind, that candidate would draw votes away from the Republican." He added a third party bid by Bloomberg would be "the best thing that can happen to President Obama." ...

Really? Barbour thinks an unmarried, Jewish, pro-gay, pro-choice, anti-gun, pro-Park51, ant-smoking, anti-trans-fat Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent is going to win Republican votes? Give me a break -- even GOP "moderates" have been dragged too far to the right by thirty years of Reagan/Limbaugh/Gingrich/Fox/tea party propaganda to vote for a guy like Bloomie.

But I'm not sure Barbour believes that. I think he really believes the transparently phony GOP propaganda about how the current crop of Republicans represent the "center-right." Or, more likely, he thinks Bloomberg will take away GOP votes if he, Haley Barbour, is the GOP presidential nominee -- he fears Bloomberg will split the let's-elect-a-fat-cat! vote with him.

I think it would be much more complicated than that. If Barbour or Mitt Romney or some other non-teabagger somehow emerged from a split GOP field with the nomination (much the way John McCain did in 2008), I think there'd almost certainly be a third-party challenger on the right. In fact, I could imagine a five-way race in 2012: Obama, Romney or Barbour, Bloomberg or a Bloomberg-financed sock puppet, a teabagger (not Palin -- running indie is too coach-class for her, but maybe someone like Tancredo or Pence), and (inevitably) Ralph Nader or a Nader wannabe running to Obama's left with a Firedoglake endorsement.

In that case, your guess is as good as mine -- but I still think the vast majorityy of Bloomberg's votes are coming from disaffected non-FDL-reading 2008 Obama supporters.


MEANWHILE: As Steve Kornacki notes, yesterday Barbour was "the subject of a flattering New York Times piece from Matt Bai." When has Barbour ever been the subject of MSM coverage that wasn't flattering? Can we please just make him President of the Beltway and get it over with, so all the journalists and hangers-on there can have the head of state they secretly crave?

No comments: