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Boss Hogg, The Mystery Revealed

Longtime readers know that I've been continually puzzled by the Washington press corps' insistence on treating Haley Barbour as a plausible presidential nominee. The idea of nominating the physical embodiment of the worst stereotypes of the Republican Party strikes me as so baffling I wonder every time I read one of those stories if I'm the only sane man on Earth or if all these reporters have lost their minds.

Lloyd Grove, in a profile of Barbour's cozy relationship with the media, inadvertently furnishes an answer:

The 63-year-old Mississippi governor, who’s considering a 2012 White House run, enjoys the friendliest relations with the Washington media elite of any prospective candidate vying for the Republican nomination. He comes by this enviable position honestly, albeit lubricated by tumblers of good Kentucky bourbon, after toiling for three decades as an adviser to Ronald Reagan’s political operation, as a corporate lobbyist, as a candidate for Senate, as a GOP spin doctor, as a cable television talking head, and as the wildly successful chairman of the Republican National Committee who helped take back the House and Senate in 1994. ...
As a political reporter for The Washington Post back in the mid-1990s, I too fell under Barbour’s spell, growing to appreciate his apparent openness, tactical savvy, self-deprecating charm—and generous supply of Maker’s Mark in his handy RNC liquor cabinet.

Okay! So they're not crazy, they're merely drunk. It does explain it.