Is Haley Barbour’s Presidential Run All But Guaranteed?

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour.Flickr/politicalactivitylaw.com

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In the past few weeks, Haley Barbour has been snapping up top GOP political strategists for his likely presidential campaign. Barbour hired former Republican National Committee communications guru Jim Dyke to work for his political action committee, Haley PAC, perhaps drawing on Dyke’s experience at the powerhouse outside spending group American Crossroads.

Barbour’s latest hire to his PAC is Sally Bradshaw, a Florida politico who has advised former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and worked on Mitt Romney’s failed presidential campaign in 2008. Despite her ties to Romney, who’s still considered a frontrunner in the 2012 race, Bradshaw told the Miami Herald that Barbour “is the right fit for me.”

Here’s more from the Herald:

Barbour has said he won’t announce his White House intentions until April, after the Mississippi legislature ends it session. He ruffled feathers last week when he suggested to a conservative audience in Iowa that the U.S. should consider cuts to the defense budget in an effort to streamline government spending…

Bradshaw said that kind of candor is what attracts her to Barbour. “We need a president who is not afraid to be bold,” she said. “Haley is not afraid of speaking his mind.”

Bradshaw has worked for the Mississippi native once before, in the mid-1980s, when she was a Washington intern for Barbour when he was President Reagan’s political director.

By hiring Bradshaw, a veteran strategist in Florida, Barbour is all but signaling that he’s going to run in 2012. On Tuesday, he travels to Nevada, another battleground primary in the presidential race, to meet with Republican Governor Brian Sandoval and some state legislators. Put simply, Barbour is quietly amassing support in crucial states—Florida, Nevada—and laying the groundwork for a strong presidential bid. He may not officially be in the race, but it’s only a matter of time before he puts his name in the hat.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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