Who's In, Who's Out?--This has been quite a day of announcements of comings and goings.
Here we go:
Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour won't run for president. I can't say this one surprises me after talking to him when he came to Des Moines in March. Sure, he met with Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, a must-stop for potential Republican presidential candidates. And he's been traveling to other early-voting states like South Carolina and Nevada. But it's this statement in Branstad's office back then that had me wondering ever since. Barbour said, "I’m 63 years old and this is a 10-year commitment if you run and get elected, you’re committing yourself for re-election 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.” (Thanks to the New York Times' Jeff Zeleny for the quote in his article on the visit). The quote struck me as odd for a person who would really decide to run for president. Barbour hadn't really assembled much of an Iowa team either. Matt Gronewald worked for Barbour's Political Action Committee the past 2 weeks, but he was the only Iowan on board. Must be quite a suprise for him, since, according to the Politico's Jonathan Martin, Barbour had already planned an announcement tour, which included a trip to Iowa. Things that make you go hmmm....
Ron Paul Revolution: Paul's fanatics used to yell, "Ron Paul. Revolution!", when he ran 4 years ago. Now it sounds like the revolution returns. Paul is coming to Des Moines Tuesday afternoon to "make an important announcement". Sounds like it's time for the presidential exploratory committee. This would also mean Paul's son, Rand, the freshman U.S. Senator from Kentucky, won't run. The junior Paul told me last month during his visit to Iowa he wouldn't run if his dad did.
Ed Failor, Junior: For Iowans who follow politics, it's Failor's announcement that may have surprised the most people. Failor headed the Iowans for Tax Relief for 16 years, following in the footsteps of his dad, Ed, Senior. Let the speculation begin as to which presidential campaign Failor will now serve.