Washington (CNN) – Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour will return to South Carolina on Wednesday for a pair of closed-door meetings with influential Republicans, another sign that he is leaning toward seeking the GOP presidential nomination in 2012.
A source close to the governor and several South Carolina Republicans confirmed the visit, which was reported by Politico on Monday night.
Barbour is convening two separate meetings in the GOP-heavy territories of Greenville and Spartanburg beginning Wednesday morning.
Barbour will be meeting with activists and potential donors, according to one South Carolina source familiar with meeting. The sessions come on the heels of on an earlier closed-door confab that Barbour convened with GOP state legislators in Columbia – a meeting first reported by CNN – following his appearance at Gov. Nikki Haley's inauguration earlier this month.
The meetings are being arranged by Republican public affairs strategist Chip Felkel. Longtime GOP consultant and lobbyist Warren Tompkins, a friend of Barbour's who worked for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney during the last presidential race, is also said to be making phone calls on Barbour's behalf.
Associates of Tompkins stressed that the veteran strategist has no formal role in organizing the meetings and, like many free agent Republican consultants, is simply a longtime friend of Barbour's. Tompkins was one of many uncommitted South Carolina Republican heavyweights, including former Attorney General Henry McMaster and former House Speaker David Wilkins, seen at Barbour's last meeting in Columbia.
Prior to his cameo at Haley's inaugural, Barbour's last public appearance in the South Carolina, one of the first four early caucus and primary states, was in March of last year, when he keynoted an event for the Spartanburg County Republican Party.
UPDATE: Barbour's meeting in Spartanburg, the second of the day, will be hosted by South Carolina GOP Chairwoman Karen Floyd, a GOP source told CNN.
Floyd will introduce Barbour to a group of Republican activists and donors at her downtown Spartanburg office.
This story was updated at 12:40 p.m. EST
– CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report
Can't these pols simply stay in their home states and do the job their voters sent them to the state capital to do?
With his history I doubt he will be endorsed. Except for the Limbaugh crowd. They would approve of him.
Is he that delusional to believe he has a chance at becoming Prez? Aside from Bubba being a fat, corrupt, good ole boy with a long history of working for whoever's paying the most money and a twang that grates on most people's ears, I think ultimately the voters and the media will take a long hard look at Mississippi and how things have been run to the ground by years of conservative leadership and reject it for the rest of the country.
You won't win Barbour.
This guy needs to seriously consider more salads.
If I were a GOPer (I'm not) I would pick Barbour over Pawlenty ... Barbour would at least have the luxury of not having to return to the same State 10 times before folks finally remember who he is, and why he is visiting ... (again).
The last thing I want to see in the White House is another Southern white man with an attitude trying to shove his religious, anti abortion, right wing extremist beliefs down my throat.
Why would he even consider running for President except for his ego?!?!?! He would turn our country into a Mississippi!!!!!!
If all these acting Gov. would only focus on the states they are suppose to be running.
The Dukes of Hazard Boss Hog governor is back in Confederate South Carolina where he is amongst his brethren. I hope he seriously isn;t considering running for POTUS after some of his recent controversial remarks.
Where were you Haley and the rest of the GOP while our President and the Democrats rolled up their sleeves to save this country from a depression. They were all out protesting and campaigning for themselves and did nothing to help all Americans and hoped the President and the country failed. Barbour, Republicans and tea baggers are unfit to serve any public office because they have proven in hard times we do nothing but complain about whose wrong and what's wrong without taking any responsibility to help. They don't deserve to be in public office and certainly not leaders of our country.
another idiotic thug from GOP group....Grand Old Pigs...????
Three words: Citizens Councils apologist. This clueless bigot has no place in contemporary politics, let alone in the Oval Office.
So, here we have the Governor of the state with the worst ranking in the country on: median family income; the nest egg index; people who have completed high school, and second to last in personal income; students above 4th grade math.
Maybe he should stay home and take care of Mississippi's problems.......
If Cooter really has a shot, it's a sign of the Apocolypse.