What is becoming abundantly clear is that Mississippi's Governor, Haley Barbour, will give serious consideration to becoming a Republican candidate for President in 2012. This is as it should be for several reasons. Haley's past record of achievement and service to his Party have been spectacularly successful. Over the years, he took two relatively low-profile jobs, Chairman of the Republican Nation Committee and Chairman of the Republican Governors' Association, and through strong leadership transformed them into highly effective influential positions within the Party. As Chairman of the RNC and later as Chairman of the RGA, he has significantly and single handedly contributed to the growth and success of the Republican Party across this nation.
As Chairman of the Republican National Committee in the 1990s, he worked with Newt Gingrich and other Republican Congressional leaders to implement their now-famous "Contract for America", which directly led to the first Republican takeover of the House of Representatives since World War II. Likewise, as Chairman of the Republican Governors' Association, he took a position, previously with little influence, and has made the RGA into the premier fundraiser and strategist for the Party nationally, as we approach the crucial Congressional elections on November 2.
As Governor of Mississippi, it is conceded by supporters and detractors alike that Haley has performed brilliantly and successfully, resisted tax increases in state government, and fought for a balanced budget, while effectively pushing for economic development and work force training, as well as for increased spending in key areas like education. He deservedly received national praise during the Hurricane Katrina disaster, and his crisis leadership skills as Governor were favorably contrasted with the job performance of the hapless Democratic Governor of Louisiana, who appeared ineffective and overwhelmed by events during the disaster that descended upon the people of Mississippi and Louisiana in 2005.
However, despite all of Haley's successes over the years, there is another compelling reason why he should become a Presidential candidate: that is because, unlike many of his Republican colleagues, he speaks clearly (although with a southern accent), authoritatively, and with credibility on issues of national importance during a time when most Americans are searching for answers. They want to know (1) how to solve America's economic problems; (2) how to protect the homeland; and, (3) indeed, how to protect the American way of life after the recent economic meltdown and the imposition of Obamacare and other socialistic measures thrust upon us by the President, Nancy Pelosi, and the Democrats.
My best guess is that when Americans go to the polls in the November, 2010, Congressional elections, all three of these issues will be on the minds of the voters, with an emphasis on issues (1) and (3). I also believe that when the voters go to the polls in 2012 to elect a President, these same issues will be on their minds, but with an emphasis on issue (2).
When the time comes in 2012 to determine who can best protect the homeland, I believe Americans will be looking for (as Haley puts it) the "anti-Obama" - someone, like Haley Barbour, who will put American first.