Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Mike Huckabee is Out

Another one pulls up before the race even starts. Mike Huckabee joins Haley Barbour as two big Republican heavyweights who have decided not to run for the GOP nomination. Huckabee's decision is particularly surprising considering he has positioned himself well throughout the campaign so far.

There were rumours a couple of weeks ago that Huckabee might not be running and he had taken his foot of the gas somewhat as it was clear his campaign was at a much lower tempo than his rivals when. He had lost out on some key hires for his Iowa campaign team.

“All the factors say go,” Huckabee said in his Fox News Channel show. “But my heart says no.” Huckabee's withdrawal flings the campaign further open amongst grassroots conservatives as this was certainly the group from which he drew most support. Undoubtedly, he now makes a strong choice for running mate when the time comes.

One also has to question if the window is now closing for Huckabee. Should he run in four years time he would likely encounter one Sarah Palin, who seems unlikely to run this year, and this would result in a serious tussle for the votes of the socially conservative base. It really seems now rather than later is Huckabee's best opportunity to challenge for the highest office in the land.