Barbour parties with bloggers at conservative DC confab
Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour huddled Friday night with fifty conservative bloggers at a Washington, DC hotel, the latest indicator the term-limited governor is eyeing a possible campaign for the White House.
“I appreciate the difference that you’ve made for giving conservatives a voice; it wasn’t that many years ago when it was hard for conservatives to find information from people that have a similar perspective, so what you do matters,” Barbour told the crowd, which included bloggers from prominent sites RedState, HotAir, Townhall, Politics Daily, and the Daily Caller and Andrew Breitbart’s cluster of conservative sites. “The bar is open, the company’s good, the air conditioning could stand a little help,” joked Barbour, referring to the slightly sweaty conditions in the filled-to-capacity room.
For Barbour, who is slated to address the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Saturday, it has been a busy week. The Governor returned Thursday from a week-long trip to Israel for a security conference wherein he progressed support for sustained US aid dollars to the Jewish state and called Iran the greatest threat to global security.
But his schedule promises to grow busier still, with his recent successful stint as chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association (RGA) igniting speculation over a potential presidential bid.
Though a veteran political hand, the blogger reception was a coming out party of sorts for Barbour. “CPAC represents a unique opportunity for Governor Barbour to establish critical relations with those bloggers — both eminent and emerging — outside Mississippi and the Beltway-New York bubble,” Henry Barbour, the Governor’s nephew and close advisor, told NH Journal.
The confab comes amid a concerted effort by Barbour’s team to keep GOP rainmakers’ “powder dry,” as one donor recently told the Wall Street Journal.
Last month, the Mississippian held a pair of closed-door meetings with influential Republican operatives and donors in the first-in-the-South primary state of South Carolina. He ventured further south, to Florida, days later to keynote an address to a Sunshine State civic organization.
NH Journal asked Barbour when he might make an appearance in the Granite State; he quipped, “When it’s warmer.” In seriousness, he mentioned the several trips he made to the area to stump for Republican Gubernatorial candidate John Stephen in his capacity as Chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association, and said that he hasn’t firmly scheduled a trip as he is still deciding whether he will run.
Of the party, Conor Rogers, a blogger for conservative site Politicizer, wrote: “Somehow, it looks like Haley Barbour managed to fit more people into a breakout room than Rick Santorum fit into a ballroom.”