Chris Cillizza, in his Washington Post politics blog "The Fix," ranks Gov. Mike Huckabee among the top five contenders for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008.
Mike Huckabee: The Fix sat down with the Arkansas governor a few weeks ago and came away impressed. Huckabee has a background that should appeal to social conservatives looking for a candidate, but he also has a message of practical populism that could make him attractive to a wider Republican audience. The problem for Huckabee is that with little national organization or cash sitting in the bank, it's not clear whether he will be able to ensure that caucus and primary voters hear his message. Huckabee insists that money won't be a problem if and when he decides to run, but count us skeptical for now.
In a related move, Huckabee today officially changed the name of his "Healthy America" PAC to "Hope for America," a development we reported weeks ago. From today's press release announcing the change:
The new 'Hope for America' political action committee allows Huckabee to continue to accept funds for his political activities, which include "helping Republican candidates, causes and organizations." ...
His visits to Iowa, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina and other states are designed to highlight his commitment to "keep the G.O.P. moving forward as we head into the important 2006 mid-terms," he said.
This Saturday, Huckabee will be the keynote luncheon speaker at the North Carolina GOP Convention in New Bern.