Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour speaks in Jackson, Miss. Barbour says he won't be a presidential candidate for 2012. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

Mississippi Republican Gov. Haley Barbour — a long shot Presidential candidate at best — pulled the plug on his campaign for the White House Monday, saying he lacked the “absolute fire in the belly” to seek the office.

 

After making noises about a serious Presidential run, Barbour dropped his surprise announcement while at least one other long shot — twice failed Presidential wannabe Ron Paul — prepared to announce he was forming an “exploratory committee” for a third campaign.

“I will not be a candidate for President next year,” Barbour said in a statement. “I’m just not ready to make a 10-year commitment to an all-consuming effort.”

Barbour’s withdrawal barely puts a dent in a crowded Presidential field as the candidates head into their first debate next week.

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Doug Thompson published his first story and photo at age 11 -- a newspaper article about racism and the Klan in Prince Edward County, VA, in 1958. From that point on, he decided to become a newspaperman and did just that -- reporting news and taking photos full-time at his hometown paper, becoming the youngest full-time reporter at The Roanoke Times in Virginia in 1965 and spent most of the past 55+ years covering news around the country and the globe. After a short sabbatical as a political operative in Washington in the 1980s, he returned to the news profession in 1992. Today, he is a contract reporter/photojournalist for BHMedia and owns Capitol Hill Blue and other news websites.