Rumor of the day | Arkansas Blog

Rumor of the day



It is that Mike Huckabee has landed a spot on one of the top Sunday TV news/interview shows (Meet the Press is the rumored venue) and that he will use the showcase to announce he is indeed in the race for president.

I have no idea if there's any truth to this (though I now have two unconnected people reporting the same rumor). But think about it. He wouldn't want to announce in Arkansas just now. Seth Blomeley of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette might turn up at the news conference and ask about crushed computer hard drives. Or, presuming we found out time and place and weren't barred at the door, we might want to ask about wedding registries, furniture, missing Mansion records, the depleted emergency fund, why he covered up the reason for a parole board member's firing, etc.

National Journal dropped Huckabee a notch on its list of Republican candidates to 7 with this comment:

Former Arkansas governor  Last Ranking: 6 

You'd think that if Huckabee had supporters and donors lined up, he'd let other Republicans know about them. It's not just about impressing us media types: Republican primary voters get their info from the Web, too. If they’re not convinced he's viable, he might never become viable.

Permit me to surprise you by saying that, while money is critically important, words, deeds and ideas SHOULD count more. It could be that Huckabee, lacking money and much base at the moment, will pitch his candidacy as one unburdened by special interest money. A campaign of ideas. It might be refreshing. Free media will be critical, though.

To the sooner-rather-than-later school of thought, add this from Karen Tumulty of Time (dig that line about "savoring" his last days in the Mansion):

The last time a little-known Arkansas governor ran for President, he waited until four months before the Iowa caucuses to make his announcement. That worked out pretty well for Bill Clinton, so it's understandable that until a few weeks ago, Mike Huckabee thought he had plenty of time. Buoyed by early encouragement from some Republican activists and savoring his last days in the Governor's mansion in Little Rock, Huckabee assumed that he would wait until at least the spring before announcing whether he would run in 2008. Better to move slowly and develop a sure message, he figured, than to rush in before he was ready. But this election is different. Huckabee is realizing that time is a luxury he doesn't have. Top political talent is being snapped up. Antsy potential supporters are starting to look elsewhere and are asking what's taking so long to start his campaign. Then there's money. Even if he starts today, Huckabee will have to raise about $2 million a week to get to the $100 million or so that it will take for him to be considered a serious contender. "It seems awfully early to me," he says, "but my decision is something that has to be announced soon."

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