Former Republican National Committee communications director Jim Dyke has signed on with Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour 's political action committee, a major signing in the below-the-radar fight for staff talent in advance of the 2012 GOP presidential primary fight.
Dyke will serve as a communications adviser to Haley's PAC and is expected to be intimately involved when -- and if -- Barbour decides to run for president.
"Haley is delighted to have someone as talented as Jim Dyke joining his team to help us manage the increased national media interest and demand in the governor," said Henry Barbour who serves as the treasurer of Haley's PAC. "Jim's knowledge and experience will prove invaluable to Haley in the coming few months."
Dyke served as the communications director at the RNC during the 2004 re-election race of President George W. Bush then went into business for himself forming Jim Dyke & Associates in 2005.
Since that time, he's immersed himself in the creation of the outside group effort on the Republican side, serving on the board of American Crossroads and playing a senior role in Resurgent Republic, a conservative-aligned polling effort. He will remain with his company full time, serving Barbour in an advisory capacity.
Dyke also lives in South Carolina, a major advantage given the primacy of the Palmetto State in the early days of the GOP nominating process. (Dyke was one of the Fix's top six free-agents in the hunt for 2012 talent.
Dyke's hiring is the clearest signal yet that Barbour will run for president in 2012. He has said he plans no formal decision until the Mississippi legislature adjourns in April.