Barbour Hires N.H. Operative for 2012

Posted March 16, 2011 at 10:17am

In another sign he is moving toward a run at the presidency, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour has hired one of New Hampshire’s last uncommitted top operatives.

Michael P. Dennehy confirmed Wednesday morning that he will serve as Barbour’s New Hampshire adviser during his “testing the waters” phase. Dennehy served as Sen. John McCain’s New Hampshire campaign manager during the 2000 presidential cycle and the Arizona Senator’s national political director during the 2008 campaign, when McCain was the GOP’s nominee in the general election against President Barack Obama.

“If Haley Barbour runs for president he’ll be a formidable candidate as a two-term governor from Mississippi dealing with national crises like Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill and not being afraid to tackle the tough issues while balancing his state budget by cutting spending, creating efficiencies and holding the line on taxes,” Dennehy said in a brief statement. “His charisma, personality and excitement for retail politics will make him an ideal candidate for New Hampshire should he decide to run.”