Predicting the 2012 GOP Presidential Ticket

Barbour was first elected Mississippi governor in 2003 with 53% of the vote. He was re-elected in 2007 with 58% of the vote. Quite a feat considering he presided over a state where 47 out of 82 counties were declared Katrina disaster areas.

Barbour’s Katrina leadership has been compared to the 9/11 leadership of Rudy Giuliani, propelling a little known Southern governor into the national spotlight.

His second term ends in 2011, and he is term limited. Nice timing for a 2012 run.

Haley Barbour will have the organization, money, experience, and political savvy to turn his RGA fiefdom into Barbour 2012. According to Politico, “his logic is simple: When he surveys what most Republicans consider to be a weak field, he sees no reason he couldn’t easily beat them. He is a better strategist and fundraiser than any other candidate currently considering running -- and just as good on television and in debates, his thinking goes.”

Which really means that on November 3 look for Haley Barbour to start being the political equivalent of Hurricane Katrina -- wiping out his opponents with Category 5 wind gusts.

Finally, after the hurricane passes, he will still have a unique advantage: everyone who is anyone in Republican politics on the national or state level already has a friendship or at least a working relationship with Haley Barbour.

If Republican inner circles were a small town, he would be the mayor -- a most powerful mayor who knows exactly how to get what he wants.

In this same Daily Beast article, we called Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels “the man to watch” among the presidential gubernatorial contenders.

Daniels, a popular two-term governor, knows how to painfully balance a budget and create jobs in a Rust Belt state. As a result, he’s had much media buzz speculating on whether he will or won’t run.

The Economist, in a recent profile, headlines that he has “the right stuff” for 2012.

Even though Daniels is not a charismatic media candidate, he has that “every man” ability to connect with voters. In 2008, he was re-elected with 58% of the vote, an 18-point margin, in a traditionally red state that turned Obama-blue.