GOP Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee
Mike Huckabee hasn’t publicly declared whether he’ll run for president, but one likely Republican hopeful is already moving to woo the former Arkansas governor.
Representatives of Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour have been trying to set up a time with Huckabee aides for the two Southern governors and longtime friends to meet, POLITICO has learned.
Both were in Mississippi on Monday, but aides to both Republicans were cagey and declined to confirm whether the pair sat down together.
It’s a delicate topic for the two prospective candidates. Barbour wants to be respectful of Huckabee’s decision-making process and not be seen as pressuring the 2008 winner of the Iowa caucuses. And Huckabee, despite doing little of what he himself has said would be necessary to mount a campaign, wants to keep the possibility of running open and isn’t quite ready to play kingmaker.
But for all their aides’ coyness, the two principals have been openly flirting with one another in recent weeks.
Well, there is every indication that Mike Huckabee will NOT be a candidate for the Presidency in 2012 for various reasons and that Haley Barbour WILL be. With those facts out of the way, then why wouldn’t Barbour a southern governor try to solicit the support of Huckabee.
But, why the leak?
Does Mitt Romney feel threatened? (as he should, particularly with regards to Iowa and South Carolina)
Or, is Barbour, a shrewd political operative, trying to force Huckabee out and out quickly?
Could be either or both – but it won’t make any difference because Haley Barbour is going nowhere with Michele Bachmann in the race. She will win Iowa, Romney wins New Hampshire and unless Huckabee, Christie or Daniels runs, Romney will probably be the Bob Dole of 2012, losing to Obama by 6 points.