CNN’s Political Ticker has the scoop that Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour has decided not to run for president in 2012. This is a bit surprising as he seemed to be well on his way to launching a serious bid. Now, all of a sudden, he’s decided he’s out.

“I will not be a candidate for president next year,” Barbour said in a statement. “This has been a difficult, personal decision, and I am very grateful to my family for their total support of my going forward, had that been what I decided.”

I spoke to Barbour myself at CPAC this year and asked the hard question: how can a white southerner beat the first black president?

Obviously I wasn’t the one that chased him from the race (a little levity there), but that is a seminal question. Yes, the GOP has a southern lock these days, but just getting the south — along with the rest of the GOP across the fruited plain — wouldn’t have been enough to win the election. He’d have had to get independents. Could he have done that against Obama? We’ll never know now, of course.

Barbour is legendary for his fundraising capacity, so that would not likely have been a problem. But who can’t imagine how much of a field day the hatemongers on the left would have had if an old, over weight, white guy with a southern drawl would have run for president against the first black president!

The fact is, if Barbour had run the left and the Old Media would have made this a “race” race and not a political race. Any policy idea or subject Barbour would have raised would have been turned into nothing short of a statement from the KKK.

Now speculation is high that Indiana’s Mitch Daniels is much closer to running because not long ago Daniels said he would refuse to run if Barbour ran.

So, one down. Now if we can get rid of Trump that’ll be two down.