He's the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination according to many polls, he's releasing a campaign-manifesto-type book, Simple Government, and yet Mike Huckabee, as ABC's George Stephanopoulos noted in their interview this morning, is "about the most ambivalent front-runner" you'll ever see. Stephanopoulos probably read this morning's Washington Post story, in which Huckabee seems to dwell on the downsides of another campaign for the White House.
Lacks Necessary Messianic Self-Delusions: "I'm not one who thinks the future of the world is depending on whether I run for president."
Hates the Endless Debate Schedule: "We just rehashed the same stuff, over and over. I was bored with it," Huckabee said. "It was the same tripe, and I found it just incredibly disgusting, and ultimately meaningless."
Enjoys Current Job As a TV Host/Radio Commentator: "It could be that I've found my niche," he said. "I may be doing what I need to be doing, which is very fulfilling."
Which by the Way Has Him Rolling in Cash Money:
When Huckabee and his wife, Janet, picked out the lot for the house they are building on a Florida beach, "We just looked at each other and started laughing. We thought, can you believe we can do this?" he said. "Our first apartment was $40 a month. Our closet in this house will probably be as large as that tiny little apartment."
Concerned About Fund-raising:
"One thing I'm certainly going to gauge over the next few months is, would there be a substantial financial support? We did it before on a dime to the dollar of my opponents. I think it would be difficult to do again, because there would be higher expectations. I don't plan to jump in a pool that has no water."
Uneasy About the Tea Party: "What I don't know is, does this translate into a party of such ultraorthodoxy that no one with a record of actually governing can get through the mire?"
Not Confident About Beating Obama: Obama "is going to be much tougher to beat than people in our party think."
On this last point, though, Huckabee might have misinformed himself into being overly wary. Huckabee told Stephanopoulos this morning that "only one time since 1868 has an incumbent president been taken out who ran for reelection, and that was when Jimmy Carter ran in 1980." Stephanopoulos didn't correct him, but that's clearly not accurate. In addition to the recent example of George H.W. Bush, who lost in 1992, Herbert Hoover and William Howard Taft also failed in their quests for a second term. Once Huckabee brushes up on his history, taking on an incumbent might seem a little less daunting.