First Read: GOP 2012 Presidential Field Rundown

BARBOUR: The Jackson Clarion Ledger writes that Haley Barbour quit the presidential race when things were going his way: “Even more a factor in 2012 is that fact that tea party voters and other non-establishment Republicans will give GOP contenders like U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann and others a look during the primaries. But at the end of the day, winning the Republican nomination is about winning the support of establishment Republicans who still control the delegates who will comprise the 2012 Republican National Convention. That arena is Haley Barbour’s arena.”

Republican strategist Ford O’Connell predicts that Republican presidential hopefuls’ seeking of Haley Barbour’s endorsement will resemble “Chris Christie-like courting,” according to The Hill.“Noting the litany of likely presidential candidates who have gone out of their way to meet with the New Jersey governor in the hopes of winning his backing, O’Connell argued the Mississippi governor is now ‘the most important Republican not running for president.’”


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