Haley Barbour Seeks Endorsements Before He Announces His Presidential Bid

Bookmark and Share White House 2012 has confirmed that Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour continues to work the phones in an attempt to gauge and consolidate support for a run for President. According to several sources in South Carolina and Florida the Governor has recently been calling senior state legislators and asking for their endorsement.

For many months now, unlike potential opponents such as Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum, has been running a relatively stealth campaign which just beneath the radar has been quietly courting the Party establishment. The strategy is a wise one for Barbour. His greatest early strength lies within the Party establishment apparatus. As a highly successful former RNC and Republican Governors Association Chairman Barbour has been a powerful part and force in building that apparatus who is owed many favors and whose political influence and connections are of great value to office holders who intend on seeking reelection to current offices or election to higher office.

Barbour has done much to exploit his insider experience especially in early primary and caucus states like South Carolina and delegate rich states like Florida. Last year when the Florida G.O.P. lost a keynote speaker for their G.O.P. state dinner because their Republican Governor Charlie Crist bolted and became an Independent as posted here in White House 2012, Barbour undoubtedly used his clout as the then Chairman of the Republican Governors Association, and he was quickly imported from Mississippi to replace Crist as the main speaker to address Florida Republicans.

Barbours early strategy seems to be relying on a big bang strategy that would have him strong or winning in 2 of the 4 early Primary and caucus states South Carolina and Florida, one of the largest delegations that any state sends to the national convention. If Barbour can position himself well in these states, this will catapult him in to a solid top tier position that will doom the candidacies of others while giving him enough of the national spotlight and enough breath, to take his campaign in to the next few rounds. Part of this strategy relies on consolidating the Republican organizational support that local legislators could swing behind Barbour during the contests in their states. Organization is half the battle in primary and caucus operations and these legislators that Barbour has been callling have strong local Republican organizations.

But in working the phones Barbour has not just been trying to pin down some endorsements.

Where he has been unable to get a solid commitment, he has successfully persuaded those who are on the fence, not to endorse or give financial donations to other candidates too early. Barbour has suggested to these people that if he runs, he will win and they dont want their eggs in the wrong basket.

In the end, there is no doubt that Barbour is prepared to run for President. The only questions that exist are whether or not Barbour is encouraged by the consolidation of support that his phone work has gotten him to make a run official and, if he has enough of the establishment behind him, will Barbour be able to appeal to critical Republican voting blocs well enough to make the organizational support effective?

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