The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Another Campaign Just Wasn’t Meant to Hucka-Bee


Bits and pieces from the first Morning Jolt of the week…

It Was Not Meant to Hucka-Bee

His heart wasn’t in it. And so the rest of him stayed out.

Politico summarizes, “Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said on Sunday he “would have made a fine president,” but added that he “was at peace” with his decision not to run for the White House in 2012. Huckabee also told Chris Wallace of “Fox News Sunday” that he wasn’t yet prepared to endorse any of the other GOP candidates. “It really came down for me to a very personal, a very intimate, and as I explained last night, a spiritual decision,” Huckabee said during an appearance on Fox, where he has his own show. “You look at the political possibilities – frankly I don’t know that I’ll have a better chance, but I don’t rule anything out for the long-term future,” he said. “But I just somehow believed deep within me that it wasn’t the right time, it wasn’t meant to be.” Huckabee, a Christian conservative, announced on his show Saturday night that he would not seek the Republican presidential nomination, as he did in 2008. He had been doing well in the polls in Iowa and other early GOP contest states.”

Back in March, I noted that Huckabee was already booked for a cruise with Christian music groups in June.  I observed, “Obviously, at NR we heartily support political figures going on cruises. (Say, did you know about our post-election cruise?) There’s plenty of time between June and August 13 for campaigning in Iowa. Of course, as the previous winner of the Iowa caucuses, Huckabee would be expected to perform pretty well at Ames no matter how much time he spent in the state. But some of Huckabee’s comments have suggested he’s not eager to jump back into the fray in 2012, noting that he can’t afford to start early and would be giving up quite a few lucrative opportunities by running. And if your heart wasn’t really in another presidential campaign, wouldn’t you still be booking events in the summer of 2011?”

I guess missing Huckabee at the NRA Convention turned out to be not that big a deal after all, huh?

David Brody sees at least one, possibly two big winners: “[Tim ]Pawlenty is jumping for joy now that Huckabee is not in. If Huckabee had gotten in, he would have been the GOP frontrunner and many Evangelicals around the country would have moved directly into the Huckabee column. With Huckabee now in the Fox News studio rather than in Iowa and other states, the take here at The Brody File is that Tim Pawlenty has a real chance to pick up a lot of those Huckabee supporters. Pawlenty is an Evangelical (though a lot of people don’t know his story) and he has a common regular guy persona just like Huckabee. That combination will be attractive but it will be up to Pawlenty to bring them into his base without pandering. Evangelicals can smell pander. Michele Bachmann also has an opportunity here. If she decides to get in, she becomes even more potent in Iowa if she can pull some of those Huckabee votes into her column. With her ability to raise money, the Evangelical Bachmann is strengthened by Huckabee’s exit.”

ADDENDA: Another Illinois Democrat does her state proud: “After viewing photos of a dead Osama bin Laden, U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky said there’s ‘no question’ in her mind that they should not be released to the general public because of their graphic nature. ‘These are pictures of a violent crime scene. This is a dead person. A dead Osama bin Laden,’ she said.”

A crime scene? What crime would that be, and who should be charged?

Tags: Mike Huckabee


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