Whether he’s just plain fed up with daytime television at Fox News or he still has a hankering for presidential politics, one thing is for certain: Mike Huckabee is taking serious the idea of a second go at the White House.
The former Arkansas governor and insurgent GOP presidential contender in 2008, Huckabee spoke candidly with a group of reporters on a potential run in 2016. The National Journal reports he told them he has the credentials to be commander in chief:
“Let me be very clear: I have not made a decision about whether I’m going to run or not. But if you want to know, could a person like me — could I be that person, did I think I could be in 2008? The answer is yes.”
Talking up his foreign policy bonafides and re-emphasizing his commitment to a conservative agenda, Huckabee pressed:
“I have been to Israel nearly 30 times over the past 41 years and have never seen the nation under such threat. Israel is our closest ally and friend in the Middle East, and they are suffering due to the weak policies of the Obama administration.”
A CNN poll released last week showed Huckabee with a very comfortable double-digit lead in Iowa among other potential Republican presidential candidates. Specifically, Huckabee pulled 21 points, with Paul Ryan at a distant second at 12.
A Sept. 18 Gallup poll backs this, showing Huckabee leading hypothetical 2016 candidates in both “familiarity” and “favorability,” albeit by a smaller margin.
Huckabee’s surprise victory in the Iowa caucuses in 2008 catapulted him to the head of the pack of contenders before ultimately trailing Mitt Romney and John McCain. But with Mitt repeatedly declaring no interest in the race, Huckabee could re-inherit that old loyalty and command a strong start ahead of Christie, Rubio, Bush, Ryan, Perry and Paul.