Mike Huckabee Not Running For President?
Earlier today, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said that he’d be making an “announcement” on tomorrow’s edition of his Fox News Channel show Huckabee and most observers are assuming it will have something to do with his plans for the 2012 election. At least one of his former closer advisers from the 2008 run thinks it means he isn’t running:
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee looks like he’ll give the 2012 White House campaign a pass, says Mr. Huckabee’s top political operative.
Mr. Huckabee has told followers to tune in to his Saturday evening show on Fox News for what he calls a major announcement. But Ed Rollins, who directed his 2008 campaign and has been organizing his 2012 campaign-in-waiting, said he has not been consulted.
“I’ve heard nothing, which indicates to me he’s not running,” Mr. Rollins said in an interview.
As recently as a week ago, Mr. Rollins said, he had been meeting with Mr. Huckabee intensively to go over his chances. A month ago, he said, the former governor was “fully engaged.” Two weeks ago, “he started backing off, but he still wanted to go through, could he raise the money, could he put together the operatives,” Mr. Rollins recalled. All the answers were “yes,” the campaign chief added.
They had assembled a strategy the foresaw him sweeping to victory in Iowa, then focusing on South Carolina, Florida and Texas.
“There was absolutely nothing that I told him that would back him away from doing the race,” Mr. Rollins said. “If he said tomorrow night, ‘I’m running,’ and came to me, I could put together a campaign in week,” he said.
Despite this, Huckabee has sent signals for months that he wasn’t eager to get back into the race, wasn’t eager to get back to fundraising, and was happy doing his FNC show, which is the most popular weekend show on any of the cable news networks.
If Rollins is right and Huckabee doesn’t run, the evangelical bloc that supported him in 2008 will be largely up for grabs, with candidates such as Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, Tim Pawlenty, and, if she enters the race, Michele Bachmann, all vying for their support.