This Saturday, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee announced that he would not run for the 2012 Republican party’s nomination. As my latest column for CNN.com notes, for all his political flaws Huckabee understood the economic concerns of the middle class.
The exit of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee from the 2012 presidential race opens a huge void in the Republican field.
Who now will speak to the concerns of middle-class American families?
There were many flaws in [Mike] Huckabee’s 2008 candidacy. His cultural message was too reactionary. His so-called Fair Tax was an ill-considered gimmick. His foreign policy background was too thin.
But of all the candidates in that year of economic crisis, Huckabee was unequaled in showing understanding and regard for those families getting by on incomes of five figures and not six, seven, eight or nine.
Now in 2011, the Republican candidates have wandered even further from middle-class concerns.
You hear more from this field about imaginary threats to the Constitution than about real threats to middle-class wages. More about the gold standard than about educational standards. More about eliminating Planned Parenthood than about improving health care coverage.
Meanwhile the American middle class faces its harshest challenge since the Great Depression. …