Barbour drops out, Daniels ascends

As everyone has reported, Barbour has officially announced that he will not be running for president.  To those who have been following Barbours recent string of racial gaffs (such as here and here) this announcement is not that surprising as he probably is not looking forward to getting tarred as a racist during prime time on the second biggest stage in politics.  He would even have more trouble if he could somehow pull off a primary win and struggle to deal with the optics of a southern white male with a history of racial insensitivity running against the nations first African American president. 

Now, this aside, Barbour held a huge advantage over all of the other candidates.  From 2009 until recently, Barbour served as the chairmen to the Republican Governors Association.  During the fiscal year of 2010, the RGA raised over $59 000 000 to spend on GOP causes and candidates in the 2010 cycle.  As the man dolling out this cash to much of the GOP field, Barbour built up a massive stack of IOU’s for fundraising, developing local campaign infustructure, and to help drive up turnout at events.  With him deciding not to throw his hat into the ring all of these IOU’s will go to waste… or will they?

Mitch Daniels, the current governor of Indiana and “the smart one” of the 2012 crop, has a long history with Haley Barbour. They served together in the Reagan administration in their 30’s, and they have been good friends since.  He had previously said that he would not run against Barbour, but with Barbour out of the fight, he seems like he could be ready to step into the fray.  Now, considering the close relationship between these two men, not to mention the public loyalty that has already been demonstrated, who do you think Barbour will throw his support behind in the 2012 nomination fight? With Barbours significant connections behind him, Mitch Daniels has quickly become a formidable candidate, and despite his current low poll numbers, could eventually become one of the serious contenders for the Republican nomination.

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