The governor spoke at a church and did a book signing in NW Ark. yesterday. Along the way, he again said he wasn't in a hurry to announce his coming presidential exploratory committee because, typical, stricter fund-raising rules would apply. Use of his so-called leadership PAC in Virgnia is apparently more commodious.
The governor also joined the throw-down on his own Republican Party, electorally and performance-wise. It might not be a great primary message, but it certainly has crossover appeal:
Talking politics after his speech, Huckabee said the political "tsunami" that hit the Republican Party nationwide in the midterm elections hurt many undeserving candidates and the state and local level but eventually will be seen as a "cleansing moment."
"We didn't deserve to win that election. We had not done our job well with high government spending and corruption. It was an election that was hard to get excited about," he said.
The biggest lesson Republicans need to learn from the election, he said, is "how little we were able to accomplish before that."
The Democrat-Gazette account (copy and paste http://www.nwanews.com/adg/News/173242/) confirms the long rumored Dec. 16 fund-raiser for Huckabee's PAC in LR. This will take a page out of the "Winner in Wonderland" fund-raiser in 1991 by which Bill Clinton demonstrated a local money base for his presidential run. Interesting, too, is Huckabee's mention that he apparently counts on speaking fee income to supplement a coming part-time post at OBU. Former governors haven't typically been in high demand for high-fee speaking engagements. That's more a presidential benefit. It'll be interesting to watch.
Can Huckabee match McCain's "common-sense conservatism" message that he rolled out yesterday.
Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post threw out this comment on the race in The Fix today.
A cursory look at the current Republican field reveals that neither of the two frontrunners -- Arizona Sen. John McCain and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney -- is likely to emerge as the favorite son for social conservatives. Romney's record on social issues is something less than consistent, and many social conservatives remain skeptical about McCain as a result of his race against President George W. Bush in 2000. Who among the remaining candidates can fill this niche? Brownback and Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee seem best positioned -- though neither has done much to impress over the past year. Brownback has done little in terms of travel or fundraising to indicate he is serious about the race. Huckabee has traveled relentlessly around the country but not yet put into place any sort of campaign infrastructure either nationally or in early voting states.