Haley Barbour Drops Out

Gov. Haley Barbour

He may have, at any given moment in the evening, firewater in his belly.  But by his own admission, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour (R) doesn’t have the required fire in the belly to run for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. 

In a short statement, Governor Barbour announced today that he was dropping out of the race. Most observers had expected him to jump in,

The 63-year-old Barbour said:

“A candidate for president today is embracing a 10-year commitment to an all-consuming effort, to the virtual exclusion of all else. His (or her) supporters expect and deserve no less than absolute fire in the belly from their candidate. I cannot offer that with certainty, and total certainty is required.”

Barbour’s departure from the 2012 GOP presidential campaign clears the road a bit for former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels.  Huckabee’s support among Southern Republicans will likely increase with Barbour’s departure.  Daniels’ ability to raise money from corporate interests not aligned with Mitt Romney will likely increase as well.