Huckabee Not Running, Hands Nomination to Romney

By YeOldeScribe ~ May 15th, 2011 @ 9:46 pm

Not too long ago, we predicted the race for the 2012 Republican nomination for President would be a close contest between Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. Yesterday, that race became a one man show.

Mike Huckabee announced that he would not vie for the Republican’s bid to the 2012 Presidential election. Huckabee made the decision to the public on his weekly Fox News TV show, saying “All the factors say go, but my heart says no. And that’s the decision that I have made. And in it I’ve finally found some resolution.”

There’s really not a whole lot to say about the announcement itself – it was relatively short and uneventful, as it should have been. About the only other thing to note from the speech was that Huckabee did not say who he would vote for in the primaries, nor did he throw his weight/his followers behind one of the other candidates. He also said that no matter who eventually wins the Republican nomination, that’s who he’ll vote for.

We’re happy for Huckabee that he made this decision based on what he wanted to do and didn’t cave to all the people who wanted him to run just because he’d stand a great chance of winning. If Huckabee didn’t want to run, then he shouldn’t have, and he made the right call. About the only criticism we have is the quip about how he’ll vote for the party no matter who gets the nod. Really Mike? So if a trained monkey got the nomination, that’s who you’d vote for? (Thankfully though, term limits forbid Dubyah from running for President again.) We know it’s important to appease the party base, but that kind of a statement is the opposite of progressive. It’s no secret Romney and he aren’t friends – so why no just say I’m not running and I’m voting for whomever I please and that’s that!

As for what this means for 2012, we think this all but wraps up the nomination. Huckabee and Romney were the only two serious contenders. Sure, Trump still hasn’t announced he’s not running yet (why cut his time in the spotlight short?), but he will. And even if he runs, all the money in the world can’t cover up for the fact that he’s a rip roaring idiot. We still don’t think Bachmann will run because she’d have to give up her current job to do it, but she’s much more likely to go (call it a 40% chance) now that Huckabee wouldn’t be stealing votes from her. Ron Paul announced he’s running, and if he weren’t certifiably insane, that would count for something. Pawlenty might run, but his poll numbers are so low he doesn’t look to be a huge threat.

That’s not to say that we think that Romney won’t face a challenge from the hard right. To many Republicans, Romney’s too liberal – first of all, he’s from Massachusetts, and nothing good (or 100% Republican) comes out of that state to those on the hard right. Second, he’s got that whole “Universal Health Care” strike against him, and for Repubs who are looking to challenge Obama on Health Care, electing a nominee who at one time passed it in his own state (but now says that national health care is a bad thing) probably isn’t what they were hoping for. No, the hard right could never support Romney, but luckily, someone is running that suits their style – Newt Gingrich.

Yeah, Palin is out there too, but even Repubs are starting to get wise that she’s about 12 short of a dozen. No, we’re predicting that by the time it comes to vote in the primary, the hard right will throw their support behind the former Speaker of the House. We discussed earlier why Newt isn’t presidential material, but in case you forgot, here’s a quick refresher. Newt hasn’t done anything political in the last 10 years. The only significant contribution he’s made since then was to compare Muslims to Nazi’s. He basically threw himself in with the birthers when it was still cool to do so. Gingrich, who led the charge to get Slick Willy impeached for his improper relationships in the White House, has been divorced twice including one exceptionally raucous affair which led Gingrich to recently say that voters shouldn’t look to his past when deciding whether or not to elect him. But some Republicans still love him for the work he did in the mid to lat ’90s, and they’re willing to overlook his many shortcomings and give him another chance.

And even with the support of the hard right, it’s not going to be enough. Romney should cruise to many primary victories in early 2012, and he should secure the nomination very early in the process. This is actually a good thing for Republicans. The less time they spend infighting and wasting money on a primary means more money to fight the billion dollar treasure chest that will the the Barack Obama re-election campaign.

In short, we’re sad that Huckabee isn’t running – we really liked him personally. But we’re happy he made the decision on his own terms, and we’re also happy with handing the nomination to Romney by default (although we still think he’ll lose to Obama in the national election).

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