A couple of months ago, I saw former Ark. Guv Mike Huckabee as a frontrunner, if not the frontrunner for the Repub prez nomination in 2012. But with every passing week I become more convinced that he won’t even run.
In a long and very good interview interview piece this a.m. with Karen Tumulty of the Wash Post, headlined “Does Mike Huckabee Still Want to be President?” he makes a much better case for not running than for running. He’s enjopying his life right now, making a ton of money, building his dream house in Florida. He really got sick of the process of endless debates in 2008 (even though they won him the Iowa caucuses, and carried him deeper into the nomination battle than anyone other than John McCain) and he candidly tells Tumulty that Pres. Obama holds a lot of good cards heading into 2012.
“‘President Obama is going to be much tougher to beat than people in our party think,’ Huckabee said. ‘He’s going to have a clear ride through to the Democratic nomination, because no one is going to oppose him or challenge him. He’s going to start out with a billion dollars, no opponent, so he can save his money to the last four months. He’s got a huge social network and he has the power of the incumbency. People underestimate how sweet it is flying on Air Force One with all the trappings of the presidency.’
The Republicans, meanwhile, ‘could in fact end up with a demolition derby,’ he added. ‘Whoever emerges will come out bloody, bruised and broke.’
Obama could be crippled by such imponderables as high unemployment or a crisis overseas, Huckabee said. ‘Is he beatable? Yes. Is it as easy as some of the Republicans like to chirp? Absolutely not. And that’s something I have to consider.'”
Huckabee, who managed his strong showing in 2008 while being outspent by most of his rivals, says one factor in his ultimate run-or-don’t-run decision will be money, but he doesn’t seem to be assembling the team he would need to compete on that score.