Early handicap of GOP 2012 Presidential Field: Haley Barbour

As the GOP candidate most in need of a good fat burner, Haley Barbour faces the William Howard Taft/Grover Cleveland dilemma: can a man who is solid on the issues but physically not very camera-friendly (e.g., very overweight) win a modern election in which having the right on-camera look is deemed equally important – if not more important – than experience, command of the issues and did I mention experience.

Barbour has governed Mississippi well, is a solid conservative and has been a party chair and a great leader since the time of Reagan; however, he’s just not that camera-friendly. Should it matter?

Well, no more than it ought to matter that he’d bee the white governor of a Deep South state running against the nation’s first black president; but it would matter, for better or worse.

Barbour is more temperate in his religion than Huckabee, more experienced and more conservative. But electable against Barack Obama? Not at the top of the ticket.

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