Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee speaks during a corner stone dedication ceremony for a new Jewish settlement at Beit Orot between Mount Scopus and Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem
Anyone who thinks presidential ambition is an incurable condition hasn’t spent much time lately with Mike Huckabee.
The man who came in second in the 2008 GOP primary isn’t exactly ruling out another run in 2012. But he doesn’t sound all that eager to jump right back into the fray, either.
“I’m not one who thinks the future of the world is depending on whether I run for president,” the former Arkansas governor said in an interview.
The truth is, there were many things about the presidential campaign grind that Huckabee didn’t much like the last time around.
Don’t look for him in the early presidential debates, which begin just over two months from now, for instance. He doesn’t have fond memories of standing on those crowded stages during the last campaign, fighting for airtime and answering question after question about Iraq.
“We just rehashed the same stuff, over and over. I was bored with it,” Huckabee said. “It was the same tripe, and I found it just incredibly disgusting, and ultimately meaningless.”
Nor was he particularly sorry to have skipped this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, a traditional stop for GOP presidential contenders, which was underway even as he was giving this interview. “It’s a showcase of just people coming out to get more exposure,” he said.
So instead of throwing red meat to the conservative faithful, Huckabee was tucking into a breakfast of eggs and butter-slathered pancakes at a trendy New York hotel overlooking Times Square. His much discussed diet – he famously lost more than 100 pounds after being diagnosed with diabetes in 2003 and wrote a book about eating right – is apparently on hiatus.
It is more than Huckabee gaining weight from a lack of exercise or a strict Presidential diet. It is about fundraising and Mike Huckabee’s lack thereof and his failure to do so.
Mitt Romney and/or Sarah Palin would bury him with $ millions in television ads. Everyone one of his missteps and foibles would be exploited during the GOP primaries. And, for that Huckabee would have to forego an easy paycheck with Fox News and the speaking circuit.
I don’t think so and neither does Huckabee.