Mississippi governor Haley Barbour issued a statement this afternoon announcing that he will not seek the 2012 Republican presidential nomination:
A candidate for president today is embracing a ten-year commitment to an all-consuming effort, to the virtual exclusion of all else. His (or her) supporters expect and deserve no less than absolute fire in the belly from their candidate. I cannot offer that with certainty, and total certainty is required.his decision means I will continue my job as Governor Mississippi, my role in the Republican Governors Association and my efforts to elect a new Republican president in 2012, as the stakes for the nation require that effort to be successful.
Barbour's decision might help Indiana governor Mitch Daniels decide to jump into the race. Daniels and Barbour are good friends, and Daniels has said in the past that he'd be less likely to run if Barbour did.
The Washington Post reports today that Daniels remains conflicted about running:
As the time draws nearer, those who know him best see the tension rising as he weighs the political challenges and family trade-offs. “There’s a fight going on inside him that’s pretty rare,” said one adviser who asked not to be identified, in order to speak candidly.
Asked where he was in his thinking, Daniels replied with a laugh, “Oh, muddled.” Then he turned serious: “I don’t want to leave a misimpression. If we get in, we will go all out, and we know a little about how to do that. So reluctance or hesitation about running doesn’t mean we would be a reluctant candidate if we got there.”