Washington (CNN) - Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, one of several Republicans thought to be considering a White House bid in 2012, is making another trip to a key early voting state.
Barbour, the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, will visit South Carolina on March 15 to keynote the Spartanburg County GOP's annual President's Day dinner. Spartanburg County GOP Chairwoman LaDonna Ryggs told CNN that the event – which she described as "a very large fundraiser" – was re-scheduled from its original date in February.
Barbour has already made trips in recent months to the presidential proving grounds of Iowa and New Hampshire, but at the time he said those trips were part of his duties as RGA chairman. South Carolina will elect a new governor in November.
One of Barbour's political confidantes said it's understandable the governor's political travels will raise suspicions about a possible 2012 bid, but said Barbour is genuinely focused of winning governor's races this fall.
"It's natural that people will make some assumptions because South Carolina is an early primary state, but if it had been Alabama or Florida or some other state, he would have been just as eager to go," said the person close to Barbour, who was granted anonymity to speak candidly about his thinking. "It is who is he is. He loves going to these things. He calls it political recreation."
Ryggs said she reached out to invite Barbour to the dinner, because he is a strong conservative who "is very popular" in Spartanburg County. "He will be a good draw," she said.
Ryggs added that she has been in touch with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal about appearing in Spartanburg later this year.
She also said she reached out last year to Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels about a visit, but was told that the governor was planning to focus on his home state for the time being. She said Daniels would "definitely be contender" for the Republican nomination if he decided to run.
But Ryggs expressed surprise that more potential presidential candidates haven't made early trips to South Carolina. Possible contenders like Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Mike Pence and Rick Santorum have made recent visits, but the state hasn't seen the same kind of early foot traffic that it did in the two years before the 2008 election.
Ryggs said she was particularly surprised that she never heard back from Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty after reaching out to his staff about a possible South Carolina appearance.
"We want them to start coming to South Carolina," she said. "I was really surprised, because I thought if they were serious about running they would start to branch out by now."
Yes after all a snake/exlobbyist like haley certainly knows how to drum up corporate funds for his fellow felons.
All the crooked republicans go to SC to get their talking points reviewed, and that's all Barbour is – a crooked republican.
Barbour/Palin 2012? Yes! It will be another sweet victory for those of us who really care about our Country. I can only hope that the good ole boy picks the one liner queen to run with him......Please God! Slam dunk.
No southerners will get my vote – especially ones that remind me too much of Boss Hog. They tend to believe in more regressive than progressive politics and policies. This country can't survive marking time or going backwards.
striking resemblance to the Chief GOP Windbag in Charge – Rush Limbarf. Amazing.
Mississippi, the worst in everything State! Fabulous!
Haley Barbour is another neo-con extremist and graduate of the Limbaugh school of narrow-minded politics. The republican party needs to find a respectible, moderately conservative candidate to run for president. This will be a difficult task, since the neo-con "jihadists" have exiled the majority of these common sense people.
The election of another southern Republican will be the worst poosible thing that could happen to this country.
I don't think that Barbour is considering a Presidential run--I don't think that he can win the nomination.
Personally, I would LOVE to see Mitt Romney in 2012 with Scott Brown as his VP running mate.
The Republicans should use the liberal play book right back on them--use the popularity/appeal/charisma of Scott Brown as a political advantage.
In regard to Palin..............
If Palin decides to run as a Republican candidate that is fine.....This right should go to anyone if they want it-no matter what Party.
If the majority wants her-they will vote for her and she will win. If they do not want her-she will not win the nomination.
However, if Palin decides to run as an Independent--she will just prove that she is a hypocrit--and is more concerned about her own political career, rather than being concerned about the country.
If she runs as an Independent-this will just split the vote-and guarantee us 4 more years of Obozo.
Please run, Barbour! Anyone but Palin.
2012–The Year of the Neanderthal ?
the best we can do is Haley Barbour? God help us.
Do Republicans think these candidates can beat our President?
They are like first graders compared to him. Sarah Palin is a good example. She needs to listen to Grammar Girl. Her grammar is terrible.
good grief, Not Haley Barbour, Not another warmed over old guard right wing southerner. The country wont elect him.
What we need is a nice, young, vital, midwesterner or northeasterner who can carry the mainstream, the moderate, the independent bread and butter, jobs and security voter. Not some warmed over wanna be with an accent like a mouth full of mashed taters.
just what we need, another fat, WHITE, old racist angry fart trying to run for President and think of only his party, and forget about democrats..and dumb independents who are usually brain washed into voting for idiots like this!
Seriously ! This will try and gring slavery back all over again . Why do people think that this is a white Amercan world. We do have other ethnicity in this world. This looks like , he took of his white sheet and step in front of the camera .
Well, if Haley Barbour does for the U.S. what he's done for Mississippi, then we'll be last in everything.
I don't know how people can be so blind. All of these conservative republican governors have states that are in the tank. But, of course, I forget. It's President Obama's fault!
The GOP seems to have an endless supply of fat, old, rich white men like this guy. I can't even tell them apart any more. I secretly suspect that these Randroids are cloned from old Nixon toenail clippings in the hidden underground laboratory of the RNC. Have a nice day!
We wanted Change but got Status Quo.
We wanted Truth but got lies and closed door politics.
RNC sharks are circling – they smell blood in the water.
Barbour doing a good job cutting spending in Mississippi. More likely a VP type. to balance a moderate presidential candidate. Either way we have Obummer on the run...keep up the pressure and we can destroy him.
I can't wait. This guy has more skeletons in his closet than a grade B horror movie. The press will tear him apart. Of course he may try to buy them off. That has always worked in the past for him
Another backer of Bush. God help us.
Do you think he my run in to that lying Al Gore out there on the hustings? I notice how CNN has been letting the libertards get all of their hateful, deceitful comments in today. Lets all hope the keep deluding themselves about the subjects they know nothing about and keep smoking that dope.
Just what we need in this country. The governor of the poorest state in our country running America. Politics just gets worse and worse in this country.