Haley Barbour will be in Illinois Monday for a fundraiser hosted by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.
Delivering a noontime speech entitled "The Need for Economic Growth and Job Creation," Barbour is expected to tout his economic credentials, which recently received high marks from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
It will cost an individual $150 to attend the Chicago luncheon and $1500 to reserve a table of ten. A question and answer session is scheduled to follow Barbour's presentation.
From Illinois, Barbour hopscotches to Iowa where, on Tuesday, he will be delivering a speech to state Republicans. This will be followed by an address to the California GOP convention Saturday; not to mention his commitment to attend the March 26 forum hosted by Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King's Conservative Principles PAC, where as Fox News' Chris Stirewalt notes, there's no pretext for being there other than running for president. All this highlights an emerging pattern for the Mississippi governor, who has been venturing out of his state to increase his national profile and drum up his expected 2012 candidacy.
With no apparent frontrunners in the Republican pool of presidential contenders, Jonathan Blessing, Deputy Executive Director of the Illinois Republican Party, said he will be keeping an eye on Barbour's visit to the state on March 14.
"Haley Barbour has always been known to be good on economic issues in Mississippi, especially after Hurricane Katrina," said Blessing, who added, "He has always been one that has crossed party lines. He has always dealt with Democratic legislature down there to get what's right."