Huckabee to 2012: No Thanks

Huckabee to 2012: No Thanks


In my opinion, Huckabee was Obama’s biggest threat in 2012 given his personal appeal and ideas like the Fair Tax, which could be an easy populist sell in difficult times.

From Fox News:

“All the factors say go, but my heart says no,” Huckabee, who was considered the GOP frontrunner in several national polls, said on his Fox News Channel show. […]

“The past few months have been times of deep personal reflection,” Huckabee said. “Even though I wasn’t actively establishing a campaign organization or seeking financial support to run again, polls have consistently put me at or near the top to be the Republican nominee.”

“But I know that under the best of circumstances, being President is a job that takes one to the limit of his or her human capacity,” he continued. “I can’t know or predict the future, but I know for now my answer is clear and firm: I will not seek the Republican nomination for President this year.”

Here’s the video…

Another reason for this? Huckabee is a VERY smart guy and sees that it’ll be really hard to beat Obama in 2012 given how disorganized the GOP is right now when it comes to the POTUS run. So…why not let Romney run, try to explain his healthcare decisions in Massachusetts and then fail? That takes out his biggest rival. Meanwhile, he has his TV show, continues to spread the gospel of Huckabee and build his base.

Then, in 2016, when there’s no clear Dem frontrunner (certainly not Joe Biden) you can bet Huckabee will be throwing his hat in the ring. I can almost guarantee it.

What are your thoughts?

  • kranky kritter

    Huckabee’s nationwide upside potential topped out in the low 40s IMO, even under the best-case scenario of hard times matching up with populism. Yesterday I was going to predict he’d give the old “I can do more to advance our conservative cause by keeping my cushy current gig” schtick, but didn’t bother.

    I am sticking with “Pawlenty or a governor to be named later.” Huntsman could be the guy, but he has to manage his image as he becomes known, and that’s a challenging wave to surf. It’s tempting as time passes to award Romney “frontrunner by default” status, but his support is extremely tepid, so I still don’t see it. I don’t give any of the other names mentioned much of a chance except maybe Daniels. Palin and Trump are side shows. Ron Paul’s upside is somewhat less than Huckabee’s. I have a hard time envisioning Gingrich catching fire, but it would be a mistake to underestimate him because he is so smart and so crafty. When he begins speaking out prominently, expect his message to be well-honed, on point, popular, and more sensible than most expected.

  • mdgeorge

    Then, in 2016, when there’s no clear Dem frontrunner (certainly not Joe Biden)

    I figured it would be Clinton.

  • Nick Benjamin

    The GOP problem in 2012 will not be it’s disorganization. It’ll certainly be better off in terms of organization then it was in 2008.

    The problem is gonna be that Obama’s got a pretty solid record, and it doesn’t look like a massive disaster’s gonna strike. One political scientist, for example, figured out that a President’s party would win (or lose) the popular vote based on 13 keys. Most of the keys are based on Presidential performance, not political crap, and they’re designed so it’s hard to argue which side deserves a key.

    So far five of the keys have been decided. Obama’s got four (he’s charismatic, he’s got a foreign policy success, he’s radically changed domestic policy, and he’s incumbent), whereas the GOP’s only got one (they gained seats in the House). If the economy stays out of recession, there’re no major riots, no scandals that cause people to question Obama’s personal judgement, liberals stay content enough to not challenge Obama, etc. it’ll be virtually impossible for a GOP candidate to win the popular vote, which means it’ll be virtually impossible for the GOP to win the White House.

    I doubt Huck looked at the Keys before he made his decision, but I also doubt any savvy political operator thinks taking out an Osama-slaying, healthcare reforming, charismatic guy like Obama is gonna be easy.

    Why spend years losing a Presidential election when you could spend years being a prominent commentator?

    As for predictions on the GOP winner in 2012, I don’t have enough information to make any. It’s virtually impossible to predict the dynamics of a multi-candidate race like this before it happens. For example in 2008 the Conventional Wisdom was Hillary wouldn’t be able to connect with white working-class voters, but she’d do great with black voters because Bill was the “first black president.”

  • Maria

    I agree that 2016 might be the wise choice and even though he is a smart man, I do think that greed for power can sometimes fog your vision. Since I can only guess, my guess is that he’ll have a go at it for 2012 in one way or another but that he’ll find an excuse to back down if/when he smells that he’ll make nothing of it.


  • gerryf

    I really want to like Huckabee, but he is such a two-faced politician. Talk to someone like John Stewert on the left and he seems like a conservative, but reasonable Republican that the middle could get behind under the right circumstances, but listen to his Fox show and you get some real rightwing scare the crap out of the middle.

    The GOP race is over. I thought this relatively weak field would result in someone coming out of right field, but I am now convinced this is Mitt Romney’s race to lose.

    There will not be any white knight riding in to save the GOP from itself, and the right will not get passionate about Romney to make a difference.