Barbour: Purity Loses In Politics

June 17th, 2011 at 3:35 pm | 5 Comments |

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The New York Times reports:

A presidential hopeful no more, Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi reprised his role as an elder statesman of the Republican Partyand urged activists here Friday not to obsess over finding a perfect candidate, but focus on rallying around a contender who can defeat President Obama.

“We’re not going to have a perfect candidate. There’s only been one perfect person who has ever walked on this earth,” Mr. Barbour said. He added, “But don’t get hung up on purity. In politics, purity is a loser.”

In a speech to the Republican Leadership Conference, Mr. Barbour renewed a call that he has repeatedly made to party activists as they begin sizing up their presidential field. He did not mention specific candidates, but declared: “We’re going to nominate a candidate who is going to be 10 times better than Obama.”

He warned Republican leaders about the danger of splintering the party during the presidential campaign, saying: “If you split the conservative vote, that is the best thing for the left.”

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5 Comments so far ↓

  • busboy33

    Isn’t that sort of the basis of politics? The art of the compromise? Negotiating amongst various groups and interests?

    Kind of sad that Barbour has to actually point that out to the RW base.

    • Chris Balsz

      Nobody sells cars by lecturing auto buyers that they need the maturity to avoid a delusion of purity, and there’s no such thing as a perfect car, and you’ve got to trade off things like storage space and gas mileage, and resale value and initial cost, and cost of maintenance, and it’s just a question of what you’re willing to sacrifice, that will help you avoid the real evil of not having a car.

      That’s not selling a car, that’s talking to hear yourself.

      • busboy33

        All true . . . but this isn’t car-shopping. This is electing the President of the United States.

        I don’t apply the same criteria to choosing a doctor that I use when deciding what soda to buy.

        • baw1064

          More to the point, you and I can choose different sodas, or different doctors. But “we only have one President at a time,” so a party that wants to win needs to come up with a candidate who doesn’t turn off more than 50% of voters. The more purity tests the Republican vociferously impose, the more of the electorate will disagree with at least one of them.

  • Sidfinkel

    One reason why Barbour is not a candidate any more is friends like Mike Huckabee

    http://dismalpoliticaleconomist.blogspot.com/2011/06/mike-huckabee-thinks-dr-martin-luther.html

    Really!