Haley Barbour: Next President will Have to be a Lobbyist

The Mississippi governor, in his Southern drawl, describes himself as a "fat redneck" - and he also happens to be one of the most respected strategists in his party. The head of the Republican Governors Association and a former Republican National committee chairman, Barbour has perhaps unsurpassed connections in Washington, which would help with fundraising. Unlike Bobby Jindal, the former tobacco lobbyist largely played down the impact of the Gulf oil spill. More Coverage on Haley Barbour
AP Photo/Nicole LaCour Young
AP Photo/Nicole LaCour Young

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour in a recent interview speculated over the possibility of running for president and explained how he could turn one of his possible political liabilities -- his past career as a tobacco lobbyist -- into an advantage.

"I was a lobbyist and a pretty damned good one," Barbour said in an interview with the Hoover Institution, as highlighted by the blog GOP 12. "And I will tell you this -- the next president of the United States on January 21, 2013 - - is going to start lobbying."

Barbour expounded on his logic: "He's going to be lobbying Congress, he's going to be lobbying other countries. He's going to be lobbying the business community. He's going to be lobbying the labor unions, the governors, because that's what presidents do, and I feel like it's an advantage for me to have the chance to do that."

The Mississippi governor also serves as the head of the Republican Governors Association, formerly served as chair of the Republican National Committee and is considered an important strategic thinker within the party. He is often named as a potential GOP 2012 presidential candidate.

In his interview with the Hoover Institution, Barbour also addressed the fact that his profile as a white, Southerner would stand in stark contrast to President Obama.

"As far as southern accents and Mississippi, this country may be looking for the anti-Obama in 2012. Don't know. Could be," he said. "I'm sure Jimmy Carter from Georgia and Bill Clinton from Arkansas had to ask that same question, and I can tell you -- I suspect -- they didn't know what the answer was when they decided to run for president."

Barbour said he would consider the possibility of a presidential bid more seriously after this November's midterm elections.