At The Washington Post, Chris Cillizza notes some top-notch Barbour hires but adds a caution:
That Barbour is excelling at the inside game is not terribly surprising, given that he has spent decades cultivating relationships among elected officials and high-level operatives. Essentially everyone in GOP circles knows and like Barbour.
To win the presidential nomination, however, Barbour has to not only prove himself among insiders, which he is well on his way to doing, but also among average voters who know nothing of the inside game. Barbour has struggled far more in that latter category, finding himself caught in a series of negative headlines regarding race.
Staying on message — a message that early signs indicate will focus on his understanding of how to turn the economy around — is critical for Barbour. Without that, visits to early states and victories in the fight for staff talent will be quickly forgotten.