Huckabee’s former campaign chairman, Ed Rollins, thinks that Mike Huckabee will run again in 2012 — and it’s wrong to assume that former Huckabee staffers joining different campaigns signal a decision to forgo a run.
“There are a lot of very able staff people that are out there. What you can’t create is a good candidate,” Rollins tells National Review Online, adding that the 2008 campaign had been staffed by a “good team.”
“There’s plenty of people out there that have either not been in presidential campaigns, but have run governor’s races or senate races or big congressional races that certainly you could add to the mix,” he observes. “I don’t worry about the team. What I worry about is raising the money and getting the candidate ready to go.”
Rollins confirmed that Huckabee has not asked any of his staffers to wait for his decision before joining another candidate’s campaign. Earlier this year, former Huckabee campaign manager Chip Saltsman became chief of staff for freshman House member Chuck Fleischmann (R., Tenn.), while two former key Iowa staffers, Wes Enos and Eric Woolson, have signed onto Michele Bachmann’s and Tim Pawlenty’s teams respectively.
Rollins also doesn’t see Huckabee’s lucrative Fox News contract as determining his decision. “He [Huckabee] has told me obviously that’s a consideration,” Rollins says, “but he’s said I’ve also never done anything in my life for money. So I think at the end of the day, that’s not a factor to him.”
What is a factor is how well Huckabee thinks he can do in the primary. Although he currently tops the polls, Huckabee doesn’t want another failed presidential bid on his resume.
“If he thinks he can win the nomination for the presidency, then I think he’ll go,” Rollins says.