Charles, as much as I don’t want to have to listen to Huckabee’s populist talking points again for 2012, I think he might run for President. Chris Cillizza weighs the evidence in a recent column. Here is why he thinks he might:
* Huckabee will make six — yes, six! — stops in Iowa and five stops in South Carolina to promote his new book “A Simple Government”. That’s a LOT of cities in two states critical to the presidential nominating fight.
* Every national poll we’ve seen puts Huckabee either first, second or third. And, in Iowa — where he won in 2008 — he appears to be even stronger.
* Huckabee’s team has made a habit of fighting back against suggestions that he won’t run. “In my conversations with him he certainly has not made up his mind and to the best of my knowledge no one else could tell you any differently,” Huckabee adviser Ed Rollins told The Fix. Why waste the energy unless Huckabee is seriously considering the race?
Chris also explains the “won’t run” evidence:
* Politico’s Jonathan Martin reported that Huckabee’s 2008 campaign manager, Chip Saltsman, was taking a job as chief of staff to freshman Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.). (Saltsman suggested he had an agreement with Fleischmann that would allow him to help Huckabee if the former governor ran for president.)
*Huckabee announced Thursday via email that he would headline a Christian-themed Alaskan cruise in June.
* The $3 million home he is building in Florida. The governor would be giving up all his media deals if he runs and, unlike other candidates, wouldn’t have steady income or a job to fall back on in case he loses. (A job helps when you’ve got a mortgage on a $3 million house.)
I think it’s anyone’s guess whether or not Huckabee will throw his hat in the ring. But I bet it would be hard for him to pass up the chance to be President, no matter how much we wish otherwise.