Haley Barbour and the rest of the hilarious GOP 2012 contenders

The list of Republicans with a shot at the presidential nomination grows more ridiculous by the day

Published August 19, 2010 10:20PM (EDT)

Mississippi governor and Republican Governors Association head Haley Barbour is, we learned today, most important and powerful Republican in politics. He was the lucky recipient of News Corp's unprecedented million dollar donation. (It helps that, thanks to the fact that the RGA is a 527 and not a federal PAC, it can legally receive unlimited sums from individuals and corporations.) But Barbour is also a serious 2012 candidate, which is, you know, fantastic news for Democrats.

Michael Tomasky sees a path to the nomination for Barbour.

Meanwhile, forgotten loser ex-Senator Rick Santorum is acting like people are begging him to run for president. The man who will almost certainly actually win the nomination is reviled robot Mormon Mitt Romney. Sarah Palin's the next most likely candidate. Not to get too preemptively celebratory, but this must've been how the GOP felt in like 2002 when Democrats were considering Dick Gephardt, Tom Daschle, and John Kerry. Except none of those people are anywhere near as ridiculous as Haley Barbour.

I can't believe people are seriously talking up a corrupt, corpulent tobacco lobbyist's chances at winning the presidency. But we did recently elect our first anti-American Muslim president, so I guess anything's possible.

By Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at apareene@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @pareene

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2012 Elections Haley Barbour Mitt Romney Republican Party Rick Santorum War Room