Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour will rely on the strategist who guided Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to an upset win in New Hampshire in 2000, The Hotline has learned.
Barbour has signed on Mike Dennehy as an adviser, giving him one of the more experienced voices in the Granite State. Dennehy managed McCain's 2000 campaign and served as national political director in the 2008 cycle.
"If Haley Barbour runs for president he¹ll be a formidable candidate as a two-term Governor from Mississippi dealing with national crises like Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill and not being afraid to tackle the tough issues while balancing his state budget by cutting spending, creating efficiencies and holding the line on taxes," Dennehy said. "His charisma, personality and excitement for retail politics will make him an ideal candidate for New Hampshire should he decide to run."
Dennehy is the second big-name hire for Barbour's political action committee, which serves as a presidential campaign in waiting. Earlier this month, Barbour hired South Carolina consultant Jim Dyke to run his communications shop.