Haley Barbour of Mississippi Bows Out of 2012 Run

Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi announced he would not seek the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

Barbour, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee and a former high powered Washington lobbyist, said in a statement he could not totally commit himself to the "all-consuming effort" required for a White House candidate.

"A candidate for president today is embracing a 10-year commitment to an all-consuming effort, to the virtual exclusion of all else. His (or her) supporters expect and deserve no less than absolute fire in the belly from their candidate. I cannot offer that with certainty, and total certainty is required," he said.

Barbour went on to thank his supporters.

“Hundreds of people have encouraged me to run and offered both to give and raise money for a presidential campaign. Many volunteers have organized events in support of my pursuing the race. Some have dedicated virtually full time to setting up preliminary organizations in critical, early states and to helping plan what has been several months of intensive activity,” he stated.“ I greatly appreciate each and every one of them and all their outstanding efforts. If I have disappointed any of them in this decision, I sincerely regret it."

Though not mention in his statement, his wife, Marsha Barbour, told the ABC television affiliate in Biloxi, Mississippi earlier this month that she found the prospect of a presidential "overwhelming" and that it "horrified" her. "It's been a lot to be first lady of the state of Mississippi and this would be 50 times bigger," she said in the interview aired on April 2 by WLOX in Biloxi. "It's a huge sacrifice for a family to make."

Beyond his wife's hesitancy, Barbour's decision was likely impacted by his lackluster performance. In polling to date among likely GOP voters Barbour placed consistently in the low single digits, though Barbour did win a straw poll of Charleston County (South Carolina) GOP officials just last week. Still despite being well-known in national political circles, Barbour remains largely a name unknown to most Americans.

Barbour's decision to not seek the GOP nomination likely makes the candidacy of Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels increasingly likely. More from Politico.

Haley Barbour Tests the Waters

Ed Gillespie, the former Chairman of the Republican National Committee, calls Haley Barbour a "happy warrior who stands up for conservative principles" while Steve Moore of the Wall Street Journal finds the current Governor of Mississippi "a political-turnaround artist -- the Lee Iacocca of party rebuilding" in crediting Mr. Barbour, also a former RNC chair, as "one of the unsung masterminds of the 1994 Republican revolution." Mr. Moore adds that "if Newt Gingrich was the four-star general, Mr. Barbour was the field marshal." Well, apparently, Mr. Barbour is thinking of adding Commander-in-Chief to his résumé.

Governor Barbour is raising whispers about a potential 2012 run at the Presidency with back-to-back trips to the early presidential voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire to headline fundraisers. The visits are ostensibly part of his duties as incoming chairman of the Republican Governors Association. Both Iowa and New Hampshire also have Governor's races in 2010.

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