BILOXI, Miss (Reuters) - The wife of Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, a possible contender for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, said in an interview that a bid for the presidency by her husband “horrifies me.”
Speaking to the ABC television affiliate in Biloxi, Mississippi, Marsha Barbour admitted that the task of a presidential run would be “overwhelming” and is something she may not be quite ready for.
“It’s been a lot to be first lady of the state of Mississippi and this would be 50 times bigger,” she said in the interview aired on Friday by WLOX. “It’s a huge sacrifice for a family to make.”
Marsha Barbour said that she is wary of a 10-year commitment that comes with a presidential run — a long campaign and two terms in office — during “the last part of our productive lives.” Haley Barbour is 63.
She said that she was doing plenty of praying on the matter and would ultimately support her husband despite her hesitation.
Marsha and Haley were high school sweethearts and married in 1971. As First Lady of the state, she dedicated herself to relief efforts along the Mississippi Gulf Coast after the 2005 Hurricane Katrina.
She spent seventy of the first ninety days after the storm on the Coast delivering emergency supplies, helping coordinate FEMA activities with those of the state and assisting people in returning to their homes. She served as Haley’s eyes and ears and became the face of the state’s disaster assistance, which was widely viewed as more organized and effective than neighboring Louisiana.
The Barbours have two adult sons, Sterling and Reeves, and four grandchildren.
Barbour has said he will announce if he is in or out of the race for president by the end of April.
Reporting by Leigh Coleman; Editing by Greg McCune