The Haley Barbour and Mike Huckabee Love Fest



imageJonathan Martin had a post up at POLITICO today that indicated that Governor Haley Barbour (R-MS) and Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR) may or may not have met together.

Ok, this is Jonathan Martin so we have to take the story somewhat with a grain of salt since again none of the “aides” interviewed had names…. classic Martin fare.

He does quote some of their recent remarks that make me wonder if Governor Huckabee is considering backing Barbour (or at least is being courted for an endorsement).

Before speaking at a college outside Jackson on Monday, Huckabee showered Barbour with praise, telling reporters that the former Republican National Committee chairman “is maybe the most brilliant political strategist in America today, bar none” and that he’d be “an amazingly strong” White House candidate.

Huckabee also added that should he run and Barbour decide against a bid, he’d covet the Mississippian “and his Rolodex.”

“No one I’d rather have on my side,” Huckabee said, according to the Associated Press.

Ok he’d rather have no one on his side?  Governor Haley “Let the main thing be the main thing” Barbour who seems to believe we need to neglect social issues?  That guy?  I understand he’s a friend, but his strategy thus far I believe will be counterproductive.

Haley has been gushing on Huckabee as well…

“I have a great affection for Mike Huckabee,” Barbour said after explaining how, as chairman of the RNC in 1993, he helped get the Arkansan elected lieutenant governor after Bill Clinton became president. “I also have a great admiration for him, you know I have known him all these years and I’m wondering why he doesn’t have an accent like I do. Do they teach that at seminary, is that where I missed that?

At the end of his remarks, Barbour slipped in another reference to his old friend and neighbor.

“[T]he real thing is what are you going to do to be sure we have a new conservative Republican president in 2012?” asked Barbour. “Whether it is for me, or Mike Huckabee, or anyone else, because I want your children and grandchildren, my children and grandchildren to inherit the same country inherited.”

Martin seems to think that Huckabee’s endorsement of Barbour would be political gold.  It would not hurt, but don’t believe that people will flock to him while Iowans are leery about where he stands on social issues.  Barbour will have to earn social conservatives’ trust.

This back and forth between Barbour and Huckabee could indicate Huckabee’s not running, or it could be two old friends talking.

We’ll see.

Update: Fox News reports that a Huckabee Insider says Barbour isn’t seeking an endorsement.  If the POLITICO article is inaccurate, just add it to Jonathan Martin’s collection.

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  • David J Shedlock

    Have you considered the possibility Huckabee is seeking the endorsement of Barbour? It is not that I think endorsements are very important, I don’t.

    • http://caffeinatedcommunications.net Shane Vander Hart

      I thought about it. That’s not the vibe I’m getting. I think that endorsement could be toxic in Iowa… His fundraising contacts though… That could be huge. One of the things Huckabee told me last week is that fundraising would be a factor. Huck PAC fundraising totals haven’t knocked my socks off.

      • David Shedlock

        A. Is Iowa the only place in the world that matters?
        B. Is there a single Pro-life voter who will questions Huckabee’s intentions on social issues if Haley Barbour endorses him?
        C. If Huckabee wins Iowa, South Carolina and Florida, fundraising won’t be a problem. Only the latter will require some money, but it is do-able.

      • http://caffeinatedcommunications.net Shane Vander Hart

        A. Yes… I can’t believe you’d question that ;)
        B. People are weird about endorsements, so I don’t know how people will respond for sure and neither do you.
        C. You are making a huge assumption, but I would agree that he wouldn’t struggle as much as last time IF he wins those states.

      • David Shedlock

        A. Skeptic
        B. Cynic
        C. Cleric (I couldn’t think of any other good nouns that ended in “ic”).

      • David Shedlock

        A. Is Iowa the only place in the world that matters?
        B. Is there a single Pro-life voter who will questions Huckabee’s intentions on social issues if Haley Barbour endorses him?
        C. If Huckabee wins Iowa, South Carolina and Florida, fundraising won’t be a problem. Only the latter will require some money, but it is do-able.

  • Lynn

    I’ve been a Huckabee supporter for a long time and have always been impressed at how quickly and sincerely he speaks about others – particularly those who may be viewed as competitors. This man is a true leader seeking to elevate the political discussion to the point where there is genuine respect by all involved. Let’s hope he has some success.