When former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee officially ended his bid for the presidency on Tuesday night, he said he'll do whatever is necessary to get Republican nominee John McCain elected. But Washington Post reporter Perry Bacon -- who has been on the Huckabeat -- had an interesting story. Huckabee's staffers have already begun preparing for a future run:
Using as a model Ronald Reagan's time between his failed run in 1976 and his success in 1980, the former Arkansas governor plans to help Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and Republican congressional candidates win over conservative Christians in the fall, while looking for a national radio show or other forum that he can use to expand his influence within the party.
And though Huckabee has said that he doubts McCain would offer him the vice presidential slot on the Republican ticket, he has not denied interest in the job. The head of his campaign's faith-and-values coalition, conservative radio talk show host Janet Folger, said she is broadcasting the phone number of McCain's campaign office so callers can demand that Huckabee be placed on the ticket. Folger said McCain "needs" to pick Huckabee to ensure that conservative Christians will turn out in November.
A few weeks ago, Karl Rove was on Fox News saying that McCain picking Huckabee as a running mate would be "doubling your trouble." His point was that the folks who didn't find McCain conservative enough certainly would not be assuaged by someone who wants to expand the scope of government as much as Huckabee claimed.
No matter what Huckabee's future, though, this will be an interesting story to follow. But Bacon's story had another part worth looking at:
Whatever his future in elective politics, Huckabee became a political leader in a conservative evangelical movement that is going through a generational change, shifting its focus from issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion to global warming and poverty.
So I guess this narrative is now being accepted as a statement of fact -- including that key word "from." Is that accurate? What would an accurate wording be, if you actually study what the polls say?