Candidate #2, Former Arkansas Gov Mike Huckabee: Republican Presidential Hopefuls (pt 3)

 Jason Tolbert in his article “Huckabee’s painful presidential tease,” (Arkansas News Bureau, March 13, 2011) notes:

The last few weeks former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has been all over the news. Of course, the sudden burst of media corresponds to the release of his latest book. But a former governor of a rural state does not get a lot of press for a book release without something more enticing.

Thus, we are subjected to a long and painful tease, hinting that he might run for president again in 2012. In one interview with CBS and pushed out by his political action committee, he said he “very well may” run again. In a media availability at the National Press Club, he said running for president is “very much an option that he is considering” and that he is “seriously and genuinely contemplating it.”

I could list all the quotes but you get the idea. Of course, he is very careful not to go too far, which he admits is motivated by the fact that if he does, he has to give up his multi-million dollar contract with Fox News for his weekly cable talk show as well as his daily radio broadcast with Citadel Media. Just last week, Fox suspended their contracts with both Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum as they are “serious concerning” running for president.

In this respect, Huckabee is stuck between the proverbial rock and hard place. But this delicate dance between hinting at a presidential run while maintaining his media empire is becoming increasingly painful to watch.

Max Brantley thinks Huckabee will run. In his post, “Huckabee edges towards race,” (Arkansas Times Blog, March 15, 2011), Brantley notes:

I think Mike Huckabee is going to run for president, but I think he’s going to finesse the decision as long as possible to hang onto the money he makes as a non-candidate with his radio show (now on 560 stations) and his show on Fox News, which recently booted two commentators who’ve made not much more presidential noise than Huckabee.

Polls continue to show him a Republican front-runner (albeit in a weak field.)

He leaks that he’s “50-50” on the race.

The director of his PAC is in South Carolina, courting politicos.

He’s found you can say just about anything about Obama and get away with it, while firing up the base.

Much as he likes money, he probably suspects there’s a REAL pot of gold at the end of a presidential rainbow, not to mention all those limos, jets, gifts and perks he loves so much.

Wonder if the campaign HQ will be in his putative home state of Florida? It sure is remarkable how often he and Janet are seen around Arkansas. Does DF&A monitor that sort of thing when people live here but claim residency elsewhere to avoid income taxes.

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I think that Huckabee will run, but will put it off in order to make more money. The funny thing about Brantley’s last sentence is that liberals just can’t have it both ways. They praise Dale Bumpers for raising the state income tax to 7% and they get made when wealthy Arkansans leave the state for places like Texas, Tennessee and Florida that do not have a state income tax.

Who knows if Huckabee will win in Iowa again?

Mike Huckabee
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