2008 Huckabee Chases the Impossible Dream
posted by February 29 at 13:20 PMon
The Politico’s Jonathan Martin attempts to answer one of the last, great questions of 2008: what could possibly be the motivation for Mike Huckabee to stay in this race?
The new line of reasoning from party insiders trying to figure out the strategy behind Huckabee’s
increasingly quixotic, totally mad run for the White House? People will look back fondly and say, “at least he did better than Mitt Romney.”
“Huckabee is playing for second,” said Republican strategist Craig Shirley, a McCain backer and author of a book on the 1976 presidential race. “He wants the story written that he came in second to McCain and not Mitt Romney. That way he will have what he believes is the more legitimate claim to be the heir apparent for the GOP nomination, and not Romney, in 2012 or 2016.”
Playing for a better position in 2012 is clearly on the mind of Huckabee strategist Ed Rollins, whose hopes for the Arkansas governor’s future appear to rest on the idea that sometime during his presidency, John McCain may die:
And even if McCain does win in November, Rollins noted that the Arizonan will already be 72 years old.
“It may be open again in four years. And Mike is 51. He’s got a long way to go before his political career is over.”
Yet others suggest that possibly we’re over-thinking Huck’s motives:
“I think he’s looking for a high profile and a job,” said John Brummett, columnist for the Arkansas News and a veteran of the Little Rock press corps. “He’s always needed work.”
“And I think he thought he could be a bigger deal if he stayed in it for a while.”
So, there you have it: either Huckabee is trying to position himself as the New Reagan, or he is hoping that people realize how old McCain is, or he’s hoping McCain dies in office, or he simply wants a paycheck and his own little plot of fame in the evangelical right. Or possibly all four.