Glen Johnson/Globe Staff
MANCHESTER, N.H. Who knew?
Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour claimed a New England connection this morning as he confessed to being a Boston Red Sox fan on the strength of his longtime friendship with a former team catcher.
Stopping by a frequent political haunt, the Chez Vachon on the west side of Manchester, Barbour told a table that included Mayor Ted Gatsas that he played on a two-time state high school championship team with future Red Sox player Jerry Moses.
He said that cemented his bond with the team as Moses moved onto the team.
"We had always been Red Sox fans, Ted Williams," Barbour said.
His trip around the restaurant generated a kaleidoscope of questions on health care, government spending, and his background.
At one table, Barbour sat down and had tea "I'm just not old enough to drink coffee" and talked gun with a group of hunters.
"My wife likes to hunt," Barbour said of his wife of nearly 40 years, Marsha. "One thing we can do together."
Elsewhere, Barbour complained that the Obama administration "demonizes" its opponents, even when they offer respectful disagreements. And he disputed parallels to the mid-1990s, when the GOP surged to control Congress but then lost the 1996 presidential election when Democratic President Bill Clinton recovered.
In a jab at prospective rival Newt Gingrich, a Republican who was House speaker at the time, Gingrich said the GOP didn't make clear to voters it didn't have control of the government then, though "some Republicans helped them think that."
Today, the GOP controls only "one-half of one-third" of government, said Barbour said.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.