Chris Cilizza reports on the top five Republican 2012 presidential contenders. I was struck by number 4:

4. Haley Barbour: The Mississippi governor is, without a doubt, the most critical behind-the-scenes strategist in the Republican Party at the moment. Barbour's experience as Republican National Committee chairman in the early 1990s is seen as essential to bringing back the party once again. Is Barbour a potential 2012 candidate? Conventional wisdom seems to be moving from "no" to "yes."

Haley Barbour? This Haley Barbour? There are people who think that the solution to the GOP's image problem is to nominate a sleazy, corpulent, cigar-chomping lobbyist from the Deep South? Is Boss Hogg unavailable?

--Jonathan Chait