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The Boss Hogg Oppo Research Project Begins

In response to my latest item expressing bewilderment that Haley Barbour is considered a plausible Republican presidential candidate, a reader sends along this Newsweek profile from January:

The Republican governor of Mississippi keeps a large portrait of the University Greys, the Confederate rifle company that suffered 100 percent casualties at Gettysburg, on a wall not far from a Stars and Bars Confederate flag signed by Jefferson Davis. Then there's the man himself. Rather than walking across the street from his office to the state capitol, he rides a hundred or so yards in the back seat of a large SUV, air conditioning on full blast.

A Confederate battle flag signed by Jefferson Davis? Seriously? I'm not sure what the Democratic equivalent of this would be. Maybe a Soviet flag signed by Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

There's also this bit from Barbour's 1982 Senate run:

In 1982, he was presented with an unexpected opportunity to run as the Republican candidate against the state's esteemed Democratic senator John Stennis. Stennis was a Mississippi institution but also an octogenarian: "a senator for the '80s, not a senator in his 80s" was Barbour's unofficial motto. The young candidate's inexperience showed, sometimes painfully. Barbour was embarrassed by an aide's nasty remarks about "coons" at campaign rallies. But in reprimanding the aide, he only made things worse. As The New York Times recounted it, Barbour warned the aide that if he "persisted in racist remarks, he would be reincarnated as a watermelon and placed at the mercy of blacks."

Again, I simply can't imagine the Republicans being crazy enough to nominate this man. If they're going to nominate a terrible nominee, they might as well go with one they really love, like Sarah Palin. But Obama-Barbour would be a hell of a thing to watch, wouldn't it?