Barbour In South Carolina
We hadn’t mentioned this yet but Haley Barbour spent some time in South Carolina this week; a key early state in the primary process. South Carolina is, I believe, traditionally the third primary (or caucus) of the process and is nothing less than make-or-break on the GOP side. George W. Bush won it in 2000, John McCain won it in 2008; and there path to the GOP nomination became a lot clearer at that point. In fact, no Republican in the past 30 years has won the nomination without winning South Carolina.
Media reports from South Carolina basically tell the same story we have heard for months. Barbour said he was “seriously” thinking about running for president, but a decision would wait until April. He admitted this much: “Part of the decision-making process is having the chance to meet old friends and to meet others who are involved in our party.”
Barbour also told the influential Republicans that he met with that any run would be a serious effort on his part. Which is generally how Barbour does things.
And while my knowledge of South Carolina politics is elementary, the area of the state he chose to visit was interesting: Greenville and Spartanburg (or what’s generally known as upstate). This is the part of the state where Mike Huckabee (who finished second to McCain in 08) was his strongest. McCain was strongest in the low country region (based around Charleston bordering the Atlantic Ocean). Of course, I could be reading more into that than is actually there.