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.