Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour is at the statehouse at this hour, making the rounds as they say. He’s met with Iowa’s Republican state auditor, secretary of state and governor, as well as several House Republicans. After a visit with Governor Branstad, Barbour chatted with the media about his timeline for a decision on running for president.
“There’s a lot that enters into it,” Barbour said. “I have been political director of the White House under Ronald Reagan and I understand what I’m getting into. I’m 63 years old and this is a 10 year commitment if you run and get elected, you’re commiting yourself for reelection and so you’ve got to be prepared for a 10 year commitment and that’s the majority of the rest of my productive life and you have to decide am I willing to take on the most consuming job in the world, which the presidency is, and I have to see if I have the fire in the belly and the willingness, to the exclusion of all other things, to take that on.”
Barbour said he won’t make a decision until April “once the legislature’s finished and we’ve got my budget is adopted. I don’t believe in running for the next job until I finish the job I’ve got and that’s why my timing is April.”
I asked: What in your resume screams president?
Barbour said: “You know, governor is the job in the United States and in the world that is the closest job to being president.” Barbour expressed a willingness to deal with reducing “entitlement” spending, and he specifically mentioned farm subsidies and defense spending as part of that.
UPDATE — listen to the 7 and a half minute exchange with reporters HaleyBarbour
UPDATE: read the Radio Iowa story with more details of Barbour’s day.