Huckabees Decision Could Weigh Heavily On The Rest Of The Field

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With his polling numbers looking good on almost every front, Former Arkansas Governor and potential 2012 Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee’s decision whether or not to make a run in 2012 could weigh heavily on the chances of the other potential candidates. While Huckabee insists that he’s thinking seriously about running for president again there has been little to almost no organization or movement to show that he is prepared to officially enter the field. The latest evidence: Chip Saltsman, his campaign manager in 2008 and one of his closest confidantes, has accepted a job as Chief of Staff for freshman Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN).

So what impact would a Huckabee decision to NOT run have on the remainder of the field? For a few candidates it could help boost their profiles immensely. Most polls are showing Huckabee as the front runner for the Iowa caucuses, followed closely by Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich. If Huckabee decides not to run, his evangelical Christian constituency—turned off by Romney’s Mormon faith and Gingrich’s messy love life—would be up for grabs. And if 2012 is anything like 2008, faith will dominate much of the debate leading up to the GOP primaries leaving Palin a chance to grab a large constituency of social conservative evangelicals.

Leading the list of lesser known potential candidates who would see a great boost should Huckabee decide to sit this one out are Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum whose faith and social stances would be attractive to Huckabee’s evangelical base as well as Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, who has recently promised to reverse the repeal of the DADT policy. Also among those who would benefit from a Huckabee non-candidacy would be US Rep. Mike Pence and dark horse candidate Hermann Cain, who has been compared on many fronts to Palin.

It is still very early in the process but if early polling is any indication, Mike Huckabee potentially holds the cards for those candidates looking to garner the support of the evangelical right. It appears from early indications that as Huckabee goes, so will go that constituency. For the lesser known candidates, Huckabee’s decision to run or not to run could decide if they sink or swim in a primary. Now might be the time to be bartering for a endorsement from the Huck.

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Pence Pits a Sure Thing for Governor, Against a Not So Sure Bid for President

Bookmark and Share In the Washington Whispers section of U.S. News and World Report, columnist Paul Bedard posted a piece entitled GOP Rep. Pence Is Part Reagan, Part Kennedy. In it he uses two statements to establish the title of his post. Growing up, Congressman Pence recalls being inspired by JFK but as an adult Pence believes that Ronald Reagan was the last president in his lifetime who accounts for a truly good model for a traditional American presidency.

Congressman Mike Pence

But more telling than Bedards appealing title, are Mike Pences own words discussing his future.

In the column, Pence claims that many have been encouraging him to run for Governor of Indiana. But he added Weve also gotten more than a little bit of encouragement to consider running for president. It would seem that the Congressman is trying to suggest that there is more of a popular outcry for him to run President, than there is for him to replace Governor Mitch Daniels who is term limited and prohibited from running for reelection in 2012.

It is hard to draw a conclusion about Pences future based on these statements, but a run for the Republican presidential nomination is possible and if youre a fan of Mike Pence, his emphasis on the encouragement he has received to run for President, than you might say this helps leans toward a Pence presidential candidacy being more likely than less likely. However Pence states that he will make his decision in the Spring.

That decision is probably going to be based on who is actually going to be running for President.

Everyone knows that frontrunner Mitt Romney is running, and its pretty apparent that Romney is not one of those whom Pence would base his decision on. The three whom will most likely have the biggest effect on his decision to run for President are Haley Barbour, Newt Gingrich, and most of all, Sarah Palin.

With these three names out of the picture, Pence will have a good shot at giving people like Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty and even Mike Huckabee a run for their money. With those three names or any significant combination of them out, Pence could lock up a substantial segment of the social and fiscal conservative base, a base which will be critical in the early contests of Iowa, new Hampshire, South Carolina and even Florida.

But even if Mike Pence had a clear road to locking up the conservative base vote, history is still against him. Not since 1880 and James Garfield, has a Member of the House of Representatives gone straight from the House, to e White House. But to make the hill Pence would have to climb to get to the Oval Office even steeper is another name to consider in the GOP race for President——Mitch Daniels. As the popular two term Governor of Indiana, if Daniels does run for President, he could stymie some of Pences steam, especially in his own home state of Indiana.

All things considered, I believe Mike Pence is more likely to run for Governor of Indiana and replace Daniels, instead of going up against Daniels or figures like Palin, Barbour or Gingrich. With the House of Representatives as his only springboard, competing against those names for money and the Republican base, will make a run for Governor by Pence, a much safer bet. But still, Pence undoubtedly has White House fever which makes me believe that while Pences mind is made up, its the decisions of others which can change his own mind.

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