By Wally Northway
Seems folks around the nation and world are listening to everything Gov. Haley Barbour says these days as they wait to hear whether or not he will run for President.
However, it may be what Barbour is not saying that is of equal import to Mississippians.
So far, Barbour has not even hinted as to what candidate he might endorse for Mississippi’s next governor. Maybe it’s just too early – perhaps he never will publicly throw his weight behind any candidate.
But even if he does not stand at a podium and make a formal endorsement, it holds that Barbour will have a say, and a big one at that, because it is Barbour that holds the purse strings.
Over his two terms as governor, Barbour has managed to rake in about every cent earmarked for Mississippi Republicans from national political groups. Now that he is leaving, one has to assume that all of these groups will be asking Barbour to whom they should write the next check.
There appears to be a log jam among the Republican candidates for governor. Their platforms are all but identical, and all profess to be the biggest Barbour fans. In short, it would be hard to squeeze a credit card between them.
A simple behind-the-scenes nod from Barbour when it comes to campaign financing could easily determine the outcome.
Money talks. Will Barbour?