On race, after going through Barbour’s mini-scandals—“I just don’t remember it as being that bad”—the former Mississippi governor offers Zeleny this: “If someone had asked me about the racial situation in the segregated South when I was growing up, I would have said that while people at the time didn’t know—this was all they knew—they realized ultimately that it was indefensible.” Perhaps Tumulty quizzed him soon after Zeleny, as Barbour tells her shortly, “The only people who ever asked me about it are reporters.”

If you are going to take a few minutes to read a Haley Barbour profile today—and really, only if you have to—go for the Post’s. Tumulty’s has a little more pizzazz and its teeth are a touch sharper. She tells the story of Barbour’s press secretary resigning after reporters discovered tasteless jokes in daily e-mails he sent to staff, using it as an example of an operation that is “accident-prone.” And Tumulty notes that Barbour spent 175 days of his last year as governor outside of the state.

Or better yet, wait for one of the magazines to take a turn. Or a couple of them.

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Joel Meares is a former CJR assistant editor.