Huckabee Won’t Run in 2012

May 14th, 2011 at 9:20 pm | 18 Comments |

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The New York Times reports

In what many took as just the latest sign that he won’t run again, Huckabee announced a new venture earlier this week — educational, animated DVDs to teach history to kids, a project he’s hawking Friday night on “The O’Reilly Factor.”

He has also come under increasing pressure from “Fox News” to make a decision about his plans. He strenuously denied, as did Fox, the threat of an imposed deadline to make a decision or else face a contract suspension, but Rollins and others said network executives had made clear they wanted to know his plans soon.

It wasn’t immediately clear how Fox would feel about Huckabee making any kind of affirmative declaration about running using the network’s programming. A spokeswoman didn’t address the issue when asked to comment.

But it seemed unlikely he’d risk angering the network by doing an actual announcement there, even if that’s what he had in mind.

Regardless, most aides and advisers said they didn’t think he would run. Huckabee has repeatedly said that he’d need to raise more money should he run again, but he’s done little to build an infrastructure.

Instead, he’s spent most of his time on his TV show, radio program, cranking out a steady stream of books and giving paid speeches. Huckabee and his wife, Janet, are also building a pricey beachfront mansion on Florida’s Gulf coast.

In the meantime some of his most ardent supporters from the 2008 campaign have either signed on with potential rivals or taken new jobs.

For some time, Huckabee and his small circle of advisers have said that the former Arkansas governor would decide on a second bid this summer. But after being asked this week how Huckabee’s new children’s historical video company jibed with a presidential run, a source familiar with his thinking said a decision was coming “sooner rather than later.”

But, in an indication of Huckabee’s bare-bones operation, his loyalists were taken by surprise Friday morning about the looming announcement.

UPDATE: Huckabee will not run, Politico reporting:

Mike Huckabee opted against a run for the 2012 Republican nomination Saturday night, saying that despite all the signs saying yes, “My heart said no.”

“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,” Huckabee said on his Fox News show “Huckabee.”

“I know I’m going to deeply disappoint a lot of people I love,” he said, adding, “It pains me, seriously pains me to let them down. But I also know my decision is going to delight just as many who aren’t that fond of me.”

But the former Arkansas governor made clear he still plans to be a factor in the race, saying he is “rededicating himself” to the principles he believes in.

“Goodnight, and I guess I’ll be back next week,” he said.

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18 Comments so far ↓

  • mlindroo

    Well, if Huckabee doesn’t run, Obama does not have to face his most formidable opponent IMHO.

    Huckabee does have some significant weaknesses (e.g. poor fundraising skills plus the fact that he does not get along with the GOP Wall Street elite), but in general he is strong in the areas where Obama is weak. A likable right wing version of Bill Clinton (minus the extramarital affairs) who combines economic populism with affable social conservatism … Grover Norquist, Paul Ryan and the GOP elite would most likely hate Huck. But his surprisingly successful 2008 campaign might have worked even better next year, given the current state of the economy.


  • Graychin

    Huck won’t be giving up his fat Murdoch paycheck to make a futile run for the White House.

    Huck is far and away the most likeable person being mentioned for the Republican nomination. He’s actually the only one who seems to be free of a severe personality disorder. He probably has the best chance of beating Obama (perhaps as much as a 10% chance), and his easygoing persona would make his bizarre (even by Republican standards) ideas more palatable to voters.

    But – as I said, he won’t be running.

    • Watusie

      I would like to meet Huckabee in person. So I could ask him a question. When you were a young man God called you to be a Baptist minister and preach his word to his people. At what point did God then tell you OK, enough of that, move to Manhattan and rake it in?

      • Arms Merchant

        That’s an interesting question that I’d like to hear the answer to as well. There are a lot of selfless men and women in ministry but Huckabee doesn’t strike me as one of them.

        The TV pastors, with a couple of exceptions, seem phony to me. And those politicians with a true servant’s heart seem to be few and far between; the primary qualification seems to be lust for power. Also, Huckabee doesn’t seem to have a coherent political philosophy to advance (his record is a mish-mash of social conservatism and big-government statism), so if he moved from ministry to government to mass media, what exactly is the “calling” that is he hearing?

        The simplest explanation is that he’s just another pol out for himself alone.

        • Bunker555

          Doubt that he’s going to run.

          “Huckabee, an ordained Baptist minister, tends to poll well in states such as Iowa, Georgia and Alabama. He’s a social conservative, opposing abortion and gay marriage. In 2008, he called himself a “Main Street Republican” and derided Romney as a “Wall Street Republican.” But he came out in favor of replacing the federal income tax with a consumption tax, which his opponents said would hurt Main Street. His economic record as governor in Arkansas was spotty. The libertarian Cato Institute gave him a D rating for “raising taxes at almost every turn.” Huckabee counters that he lowered 94 taxes and fees, but was forced by the state supreme court to raise revenue for Arkansas’s schools”

        • Houndentenor

          Actually there are a lot of selfless pastors, ministers, priests and rabbis out there. (Sorry if my list wasn’t inclusive enough.) They are usually in small, rural or low-income communities. Many of them have to take a second job so they can keep their commitments to their calling while still providing for their families. Of course you will probably never see any of them on television except in the background during coverage of a natural disaster where they are leading teams to help people. They aren’t hogging the cameras so they don’t get much media attention.

    • Graychin

      I told you so! :)

  • mlindroo

    Graychin wrote:

    > Huck is far and away the most likeable person being mentioned for the Republican nomination.

    Yup! And note that Ronald Reagan punched way above his weight in the 1980s for the same reason! Conservatives should be rooting for likeable conservative candidates who can speak to liberals and independents in terms they can understand. Instead, the current “rock stars” are peole such as Chris Christie or Donald Trump who aren’t even that conservative but gain bonus points from Rush Limbaugh & co. simply for attacking liberals!


  • Bunker555

    This whole Huckabee spectacle seems a lot more consistent with running up ratings on Fox than running for President

    Top Trump political advisor suggests he will run for prez as an independent
    More Tweets from @thinkprogress →

  • Bunker555

    The Huckster ain’t gonna run. God told him not to run.

  • busboy33

    Didn’t he already say he wasn’t willing to take the pay cut?

    I guess serving your fellow man means something different to a minister than I thought it did. Nothing says “walk in the spirit of Jesus” like making sure you get even more wealthy than you already are.

  • TerryF98

    I guess that means the little bald bloke is now in, can’t think of his name right off. You know the one who just signed a bill stopping women getting cancer screening.

    A compassionate Conservative I guess.

  • SteveT

    Who could stop Romney now?

    • zephae

      Why Trump of course. Didn’t you hear? Those “investigators” he sent to Hawaii went back to NY and found out that Romney had an illegitimate black MORMON baby there.

  • politicalfan

    Trump is running??? Appeared after Huck’s annoucement. Sigh.

  • Felonious Munk

    New York
    Sunday, May 15, 2011

    Now that it is official that Mike Huckabee will not be running for President in 2012. What is going on ‘behind the scenes’ well it looks like The Donald and Mike are more than just acquaintances. They are developing into a political heavyweight combo. At every opportunity on the stump Donald Trump is waxing lyrical about the political experience and strengths of Mike Huckabee. This unison makes sense The Donald is the ‘Mr Fixit’ the businessman, and Mike Huckabee is the experienced seasoned well liked politician. Joining together provides cover for the strengths and weaknesses of each individually, this is a very shrewd political move that with a little more fine tuning should carry the Trump-Huckabee ticket right onto the lawn of The White House where the doors will open for the new President of the United States Donald Trump.

    Anyone having any doubts about the prospects of Donald Trump bringing on board Mike Huckabee as his running mate, should study the pluses that this dynamic team will bring to the Election 2012 voting process.

    Both these guys relate and connect seamlessly with the voting public, they tell the voters how it is, not how they want it to be. These strengths will ensure millions vote for Trump-Huckabee ensuring that Barack Obama is a one term president!

    US Politics Election 2012 Points to Trump-Huckabee Ticket …

  • Graychin

    Who could stop Romney?

    That’s easy – Romney.

  • PracticalGirl

    There’s an underlying, even creepy right wing propaganda story that I’d love to see FF tackle:

    Mr. Frum: You have decried the tone and consequences of spin that talk radio and perspective TV hosts dish to adults. How do you feel about the likes of Glenn Beck and Mike Huckabee turning their rhetorical fantasies and historical re-writes on US history and current events toward the youth of America?