Mike Huckabee Bows Out Of 2012 Race: “The Factors Say Go, But My Heart Says No.”

We won't have Mike Huckabee to kick around in 2012.

At the end of his weekend Fox News Channel show, Mike Huckabee announced that he will not be a candidate for President in 2012.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) announced Saturday that he won’t run for president in 2012, removing a strong contender from the field and underscoring the volatility and wide-open nature of the Republican nominating contest.

“My answer is clear and firm. I will not seek the Republican nomination for president,” Huckabee said Saturday evening.

The decision isn’t entirely unexpected. Huckabee has a lucrative contract with Fox News, which has enabled the Baptist minister who grew up poor to build a Florida mansion. He acknowledged several times during his recent book tour that financial considerations could keep him from running, noting that “If I run, I walk away from a pretty good income.”

The odd thing about the announcement (and yes, sadly, I did watch it) is that after it was over, Fox News broadcast a “Breaking News” segment that was basically Donald Trump talking about Huckabee not running. There have been several reports that Huckabee and Trump have gotten close in recent weeks, so who knows what this means.

Obviously, this has some serious implications for the 2012 race, and Nate Silver had a piece earlier today examining who benefits if Huckabee didn’t run:

If we add up the points across all six categories, the clubhouse leader, with 4.5 points, is Herman Cain of Georgia, the radio talk show host and entrepreneur who is beginning to get more attention lately. He’s the most Huckabee-like of the other Republican candidates. Closely behind him, with 4 points each, are Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, and Michele Bachmann. Mr. Pawlenty, Mr. Santorum and (somewhat to my surprise) Mr. Paul also score reasonably well.

On another note, this seems to me to be the first time since 1992 when Mario Cuomo bowed out of the Democratic race when a candidate who was arguably a frontrunner for a Presidential nomination decided not to run at all.

Update: Here’s the video of Huckabee’s announcement via Mediaite’s Tommy Christopher:
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And here’s a shorter clip that includes that odd Trump appearance I talked about:

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Scott O. says:

    Clearly God wants Obama to be reelected.

  2. TG Chicago says:

    On another note, this seems to me to be the first time since 1992 when Mario Cuomo bowed out of the Democratic race when a candidate who was arguably a frontrunner for a Presidential nomination decided not to run at all.

    Perhaps Colin Powell.

  3. Perhaps Powell but, honestly, I never really thought he was going to run anyway.

  4. G.A.Phillips says:

    Clearly God wants Obama to be reelected.

    Yup, I’m sure he has a soft spot for abortionists who mock the Bible and go on and on about how we can work together to save ourselves.

  5. Huckabee said that his decision was based on what he heard from God, or maybe it was last week’s burrito.

  6. Loviatar says:

    The Republicans are going to nominate Herman Cain.

    Unless a significant negative factor occurs sometime over the next 18mths Obama will be reelected. The economy and job outlook while not overwhelming is doing enough so most people will give Obama a wash on that aspect. Osama’s death, the Republican’s parties death wish since they gained power in the lower house (social conservative bills all day, all the time, no serious efforts to reduce the deficit, no jobs bill, the attack on Medicare and other social programs, debt ceiling hostage, etc.) will bring in true Independents and the disaffected Democrats and Democratic leaning Independents will come home as the election comes nearer.

    Therefore the Republicans get to nominate a sacrificial lamb in 2012. Why not have it be a black man so they can play the “I’m not a racist some of my closest friends are black” card. They did it when Obama first got elected by nominating Michael Steele RNC Chairman, someone who was a wildcard and unqualified for the position in every way but one, guess which one.

    For those who say I’m playing the race card, tell me there aren’t enough cynics among the Republican power elite to think this way and actually try to implement this strategy. Cain hits all the conservative points, plus he is comfortable in front of a microphone and he doesn’t give off the scary crazy black man vibe like Alan Keyes.

    The smart Republicans are targeting 2016, they may get their name out there with a headfake run in 2012 (Huntsman) so people will get to know them, but 2016 is when there will be no clear Democratic choice and the American public may be tired of a Democratic Administration – change for changes sake (i.e. Bush 2000).

  7. G.A.Phillips says:

    Huckabee said that his decision was based on what he heard from God, or maybe it was last week’s burrito.

    What? it sounded like he said that he was trying to make you happy and that he felt he could help in different ways concerning the leadership of this country after much Prayer and immersion in the Word.

  8. G.A.Phillips says:

    Cain hits all the conservative points, plus he is comfortable in front of a microphone and he doesn’t give off the scary crazy black man vibe like Alan Keyes.

    lol, what? Harry!!!! You better come deal with this!!!

  9. michael reynolds says:

    The GOP has got trouble. Not because this buffoon is out. But because it’s T-Paw, Daniels and Romney (and Huntsman as the back-up Mormon.) These are not rock stars. There’s not an interesting or original or dynamic or even particularly likable candidate. If I was GOP I’d hope for Huntsman.

    What you guys need is a woman candidate. I don’t mean Palin or Bachman, but someone of genuine accomplishment. Kay Bailey H might have worked except she lost to that ninny Perry in Texas.

    Or Jeb, of course, if his last name wasn’t Bush.

    Very weak bench.

  10. Loviatar says:

    G. A. P,

    Cain’s greatest hits:

    1) Social Conservative

    2) anti-Muslim

    3) Successful former businessman

    4) Independently wealthy

    5) evangelical Protestant (Baptist)

    6) Southerner (Georgia)

    7) Outsider persona (not of or from DC)

    8) Radio talk show host

    9) very active in Iowa

    Most of the points I got from the Nate Silver link that Doug posted above.

    What’s not to love from a Republican party standpoint with the extra bonus point of him being black, that way they also get to play the “I’m not a racist some of my closest friends are black” card.

    As far as the Alan Keyes comment; have you heard him speak, the man is several cards short of a full deck. I mean he is useful in a lets roll him out when we want to attack black people and not come off as racist, but even that doesn’t hide the fact that he is one scary black man.

  11. ponce says:

    Not to mention it’s about time America had its first pizza executive president.

  12. Ernieyeball says:

    Is it just me or have we all forgotten about Huck’s plan to reeducate the masses in a virtual Gulag?
    Apparently he couldn’t find the American version of Pol Pot for Secretary of Education.

    http://blogs.alternet.org/speakeasy/2011/03/30/mike-huckabee-says-he-wants-americans-to-be-indoctrinated-at-gunpoint/

  13. Loviatar says:

    MR,

    I too would have loved to have seen the Republicans come up with a viable woman candidate, but they’re stuck in the 70’s 80’s tokenism mentality. Your opponent does something – Obama – so you have you do something similar in response – Michael Steele. Not because the person is actually qualified but because this person ticks that box that just happens to need to be ticked at the time.

    KBH would have been a interesting choice, strongly conservative, someone that I would have never voted for but someone who I also would never question her qualifications. Unlike the bobbsey twins (Palin and Bachmann).

    I disagree with you on Huntsman, I think come 2016 the GOPs anti-Mormonism will fall by the wayside as they strive to win the presidency. He also hits most of the points I identified above with one major difference, He has governed, so he knows what it means to have that responsibility and what it takes to be successful as a leader – ability to compromise when needed (i.e. moderate stance on social issues, accepting of raising taxes and an understanding of the governments social responsibility)

  14. Rock says:

    Perhaps Powell but, honestly, I never really thought he was going to run anyway.

    Colin wants to be anointed president- or appointed or promoted to the job. Events have shown him to be simply another RINO. He missed his best chance to be president several years ago.

  15. G.A.Phillips says:

    Not to mention it’s about time America had its first pizza executive president.

    🙂 Who don’t love pizza? Hmm, wait, ah…Heehee…I guess some people can love them even when they have no meat, cheese and crust made out soybean.

    As far as the Alan Keyes comment; have you heard him speak, the man is several cards short of a full deck. I mean he is useful in a lets roll him out when we want to attack black people and not come off as racist, but even that doesn’t hide the fact that he is one scary black man.

    I love Keyes as a debater.

    You can say scary Christian, it don’t matter what color he is.

  16. Loviatar says:

    G.A. P,

    You can say scary Christian, it don’t matter what color he is.

    I think its a little naive of you to say that, unfortunately there still a sizable portion of the population that doesn’t have an issue with the first part of your sentence “scary Christian”, but has a huge issue with what color he is.

    So you know what, scary black man still out ranks scary Christian

  17. michael reynolds says:

    I have a soft spot for Huntsman because I was slightly involved in a documentary called Desert Bayou (I think I have a story by credit or some bullsh*t like that) that followed some displaced Katrina survivors who were relocated to Utah — without being told. We were looking for trouble between the Mormons — and Huntsman in particular — and the displaced. What we ended up finding was that Huntsman was basically a good guy, and the Mormon community behaved rather well.

  18. Loviatar says:

    MR,

    I agree, he has an understanding of the government’s social responsibility.

    Also, I have a typo in my comment at 12:04; I reread and it should lead with – I agree with you on Huntsman…

    I got caught up disagreeing G.A. P and decided to lump you in with him ;>)

  19. NadePaulKuciGravMcKi says:

    Catch the mist catch the myth catch the mystery catch the drift.

    … the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can “throw the rascals out” at any election without leading to any profound or extreme shifts in policy … Quigley

    Ralph Nader Ron Paul Dennis Kucinich Mike Gravel Cynthia McKinney
    Chuck Baldwin Jesse Ventura Cindy Sheehan
    Ross Perot President Carter

  20. I Heart Huckabee’s heart.

    I will take small victories wherever I can find them these days.

  21. […] Mike Huckabee Bows Out Of 2012 Race: “The Factors Say Go, But My Heart Says No.” (outsidethebeltway.com) […]

  22. Rock says:

    Scary Christian?

    Obama is one of those scary Christians isn’t he?

  23. G.A.Phillips says:

    Obama is one of those scary Christians isn’t he?

    Well from what I hear he sat in a church for 20 years and did not learn a thing.

  24. Hey Norm says:

    So Huckabee decided it was more important to pay for his big expensive house than to risk all for an opportunity to control the countries uteruses and slash taxes for the rich? Who’da thunk it?
    The funny thing is that his move does not make the file of so-called Republicans stronger, weaker, more likely to win, or less likely to win…only smaller. And really…will the political world really miss one more guy that believes evolution is a hoax?

  25. Eric Florack says:

    HUckabee is out? Good. NOw if only we can convince Romney to drop out as well.

  26. Wiley Stoner says:

    Doug, it takes a special low kind of person to make the comment you made about Huck and his belief in God. If you had any balls (golf, tennis, foot, base, or basket) you would explain that comment to Ted Nugent after crossing his property line. But you are too cowardly to do that and hide behind this blog. With Huck out, your worst nightmare can come true. Sarah Palin is a rock star who outshines the current America hating President.

  27. […] are already a number of pundits out speculating about what Mike Huckabee’s decision not to run in 2012 means for the GOP race in 2012, and the first question is where the people who were supporting him […]

  28. Hey Norm says:

    Yes Wiley…because we should take anyone who hears voices seriously, even if they believe that voice belongs to god.

  29. TG Chicago says:

    If you had any balls (golf, tennis, foot, base, or basket) you would explain that comment to Ted Nugent after crossing his property line.

    By your reasoning, you are a coward if you are unwilling to go to an extremist madrassah in Yemen and explain that they they’re going to burn in hell if they don’t convert to Christianity. Would you be willing to do that?

  30. An Interested Party says:

    But you are too cowardly to do that and hide behind this blog.

    Oh, much like the person who wrote the above comment…

  31. […] up, since the GOP is still without an interesting or desirable candidate, but I’m happy that Huckabee is out, and I don’t have to spend 2012 listening to him talk about what kind of big government […]