I've been reading all the flap about Barbour's recent comments in the cover story of a conservative mag and I've been having a hard time not yawning, even as his backtracking explanations raises the level of the noise as holes are blown in those as well. I understand that people outside of Mississippi don't know that much about Haley other than the national media hype about him being a leader in the Republican Party (which is a case of the truth, but not the whole truth - not by a long shot). Still, it's such old news here, I've gotten a bit inured to his public mouth hinting at his private mind.
Considering the body of work that is lying there ripe for the plucking, Haley doesn't have a spit in hell chance of winning, IF he could get the nomination, and I doubt he'll even try (and I see the national media will finally trip over his old watermelon zinger considering the blog traffic it's getting).
Damage control is already percolating from the rightwing blogs in this state, with the over-the-top uber-rightie in top dog-chasing-his-tail mode, even as the top rightie blog here takes a somewhat more moderate approach. I suppose, with all the barking from Majority in Mississippi, Alan Lange and cohorts at Y'all Politics can relax a little and let them chase the fox.
They're all linking to the 2004 speech in the Neshoba Democrat (which has also put up a defense linking to that same speech from 2004 when he bulled his way into the 40th Anniversary ceremonies honoring Goodman, Chaney and Schwerner).
I've been told Barbour was not invited, but I suppose he felt he had to provide himself some cover, and talk is the cheapest currency available. I don't know what the other folks on the stage with him thought (deserving folks like John Lewis, Andrew Goodman's mother, Carolyn, and Dick Molpus; and other questionables like the ever smarmy, but not yet outed, Chip Pickering), but there was a buzz in the audience, and none of it was "Wow, ain't I glad to see HIM". I was there, and I doubt anyone but Barbour and Pickering were impressed all his fine words, but they're there for the record, and he was smart to do it (totally hypocritical, but totally politically wise).
Just an aside - I bet Prince (the editor of the Neshoba Democrat) just chokes on that word after Neshoba, unless he has a sense of humor and finds the irony enjoyable, considering the flip-flop in the national parties since civil war times. One thing is for sure, in spite of his participation in reconciliation efforts, Prince is no Stanley Dearman, but I give him props for participating, even while feeling some reservations about his motivations.
I don't believe that Haley is going to make a serious run for the presidency, although he might believe the attention of a short sortie will be good for whatever else he wants to do (wonder if he misses all that lobbying money?). Maybe he wants to be the head of the Republican Party again . . . who knows, he was such a good money-raiser, the old flap about so much of it being Chinese money will have died down by now.
Whatever Haley thinks he can get, he'll probably get; he's a wily political manipulator, and whatever you see on the surface isn't likely to be what's underneath. If he wanted to make a run, he probably has the money backing him, but I'll be surprised if that's what he is ultimately aiming at.
I'll just be glad to get him out of Mississippi's hair when his last term runs out at the end of the upcoming year. I'd like to pull a Rip Van Winkle til then.
Update: There's a great coverage and commentary about this whole brouhaha over at the NMSCommentator blog, in several (nearly consecutive) posts, interesting opinions. Someone there brought up the possibility that he may be aiming for the senate, and that's such an obvious possibility, I can't believe it didn't occur to me (should Thad Cochran retire, which, considering his age and other factors, is a distinct possibility).