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May 13, 2011

Huckabee: I'll Be Announcing My Presidential Plans (or Lack Thereof) on My Show on Saturday

NYT link.

Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, will announce on Saturday whether he will run for president, the producer of his show on the Fox News Channel said Friday.

“Governor Huckabee will announce tomorrow night on his program whether or not he intends to explore a presidential bid,” Woody Fraser, the executive producer of “Huckabee” said in a statement. “He has not told anyone at FOX News Channel his decision.”

I am anti-wishcasting. I see a lot of commenters who I usually agree with about stuff suggesting that he won't be running. I worry that's a wishcasting thing.

I don't really want Huckabee to run, but let's look at the facts:

1. He ran before, so he wants this.

2. He's ahead in most of the polls. He even polls well-ish with independents.

3. He's one of the guys who does the best in a head-to-head against Obama.

4. No one is emerging as a catch-some-fire candidate to threaten his position.

5. They love him in early-caucus Iowa.

Now, given that, why are people thinking he's not running? I sure would.

There are a couple of reasons offered. The first is that he's doing swell on TV with money, and I don't think he comes from money at all, so that's got to be a pretty neat thing for him.

But I don't think that's a great reason to not run. Presumably, if he ran and lost, he'd get that old job back. And if he won-- well, $400,000 a year and a sweet, rent-free house is a pretty good deal. Plus, free air fare for four years, on a plane that's almost neater than the house.

At Hot Air's update, Ed Rollins says he's not running, just based on his lack of making affirmative moves to run.

[S]everal member of the inner circle said Friday that they had no knowledge of what Mr. Huckabee planned to announce, and were dumbfounded that he had kept his own would-be campaign in the dark. Mr. Huckabee has already seen most of his main operatives in Iowa and New Hampshire gobbled up by competing campaigns.

True, true, but he might have been thinking he wasn't going to run, thus allowing this to happen.

But now? Romney looks like a paper tiger, the establishment's hope, Tim Pawlenty, isn't catching on (yet), the other establishment hope has baggage of his own making (social truce), etc.

Why wouldn't he run? As Ed Rollins admits, Huck has the "clearest" path to the nomination. Exactly. It's not tricky at all. He's ahead, they like him in Iowa, he has committed supporters, he's liked by the religious base -- you don't have to postulate any tricky twist in events to see a win here.

Even though I don't like Huck -- as I've said, anybody but Obama who can win. And Huck, maybe, could win, so he passes that test.

Here's one reason I think he can't win. His negatives are famously not all that high, including with independents. This is taken by many to be a hidden strength of the Huckster.

I don't take it that way. At all. I take it as what it is -- the media never really attacked Huck because he was always a longshot. Instead, they gave Huck a pass because they never saw him as a major threat to their Awesome Boyfriend and they enjoyed his torturing of Mitt Romney (who they did see as a threat).

Now, bet your bottom dollar that if Huck gets in, and of course becomes the early favorite, this will change extremely quickly.

Will his positive/negative rating hold up when the media starts taking Huck seriously, and therefore begins treating him awfully?

I don't think so.

But, that said, on paper, he could, maybe, beat Obama, and so, for now, sure, I'm inclined favorably towards him.*

But he's another of our potential candidates who simply is not strong. We have a few bad candidates, ten meh ones, and no strong ones.

* This doesn't mean I really like him; I still have problems. But where once I had thought he was someone I just couldn't support, I have shed that. Sure, I will support him -- over Obama.

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posted by Ace at 03:29 PM

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