It was a simple question. 'Could you talk about the rumor Governor Barbour might be your running mate?'
The response from Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour was laughter. The answer was simple as well, for now.
"I'm on hurricane duty," said Barbour.
With still 14 months before a new president is elected there's no need to rush. Giuliani still has to win the Republican nomination. But come February of 2008, Barbour might have to think about his answer.
The former chief of staff for the late Gov, Kirk Fordice, Andy Taggert, said he believes Barbour is a smart choice.
"He brings conservative credentials to the table," said Taggert. "He's from the deep south; he's been elected governor which is a key executive branch role. Plus, he's just got extraordinary national political bona fide ease and credibility."
Plus, the two men led their constituency through arguably the worst terrorist act and the worst natural disaster in U.S. history. It would seem like a strong ticket.
But the question then becomes, does Haley Barbour accept a Republican nominee's invitation to become his running mate?
Taggert says he thinks Barbour wants to finish the state's recovery from Hurricane Katrina, and wants to see the coast completely back from that devastation.
"He scored some unbelievable successes over the course of the last couple of years, but I think he would tell you there are still some in the offing that he would want to be a part of helping to close the loop on," Taggert said.
It will be early 2008 before we know for sure. But Taggert said he believes Barbour could make up for some of Giuliani's potential weaknesses with southern voters.
If Barbour is not added to a presidential ticket in 2008, he still could be a consideration for a cabinet seat or as a candidate in future presidential elections.