Mike Huckabee has not declared he is a candidate for president, but the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows he is now the favored candidate among Republicans. 25 percent of those polled supported the former Arkansas governor and Fox News contributor, edging out former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who had 21 percent in the poll.
Huckabee, who ran for president in 2008, has always played the nice guy. In his latest book he writes, "If you've come here looking for a personal attack on President (Barack) Obama and those in Washington, you should head to another shelf in the bookstore." The book, which he is busy promoting, is called, A Simple Government: Twelve Things We Really Need From Washington (And a Trillion That We Don't!).
Of course, Huckabee was a preacher in Arkansas for 12 years beginning in the early eighties. Television evangelist James Robinson, Huckabee's mentor, said of him, "His convictions shape his character and his character will shape his policies. His whole life has been shaped by moral absolutes." But there is one absolute that this former and future presidential aspirant will not be so moral about -- the need to win the Republican base.
The other day, conservative talk show host Steve Malzberg asked the former preacher about President Obama: "How come we don't have a health record, we don't have a college record, we don't have a birth certificate?" Previously, Huckabee dismissed questions about President Obama's birth certificate. Not this time!
"I would love to know more," Huckabee said, "What I know is troubling." Shockingly, Huckabee went on to talk about the president's upbringing in Kenya. "If you think about it, his perspective as growing up in Kenya with a Kenyan father and grandfather, their view of the Mau Mau revolution in Kenya is very different than ours," Huckabee said, "because he probably grew up hearing that the British were a bunch of imperialists who persecuted his grandfather."
President Obama did not grow up in Kenya; he grew up principally in Hawaii, as in the U.S.A., and Indonesia. His father, who he met only briefly as a boy, did not raise young Obama. And the riff about the British appears to have been manufactured out of whole cloth. Subsequently, a Huckabee spokesman said that the former governor "misspoke" and instead meant to say, "He grew up in Indonesia." Indonesia was never British. By the way, is anyone going to talk about the president's mother and her family since they raised him? Well, of course not.
It appears Huckabee is beginning to believe he can win the Republican primary. Most of the potential candidates for the GOP nomination are flawed. Romney has "Romneycare," Newt Gingrich was kicked out of office, Sarah Palin isn't ready to lead the nation, Indiana's Mitch Daniels and Minnesota's Tim Pawlenty have no charisma, and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour has made questionable comments about the Civil Rights era. Even better for Huckabee, Chris Christie, the energetic and articulate New Jersey governor, has repeatedly and emphatically said he is not running for president in 2012. Although Governor Christie now says he could win!
The former preacher and state governor from Hope, Arkansas, also President Bill Clinton's birthplace, is now making his move. He will have to win over the Tea Party, the GOP establishment and he will have to re-energize the Christian coalition. Some good old Obama bashing will play well with all of these groups. So it's no more Mr. Nice Guy!