If Texas doesn't go his way, (and the polls don't look good), Mike Huckabee will most likely bring his surprising and energetic campaign to a close. But not before having established himself politically in a real substantive way.
The Washington Times has an article out today saying he may be read to claim the title of "leader" for conservative Evangelicals. Read more below:
Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign may be nearing its end, but those around him say he won't disappear and is poised to claim political leadership of conservative evangelicals.
Mr. Huckabee's inner circle says he's the perfect bridge to re-establish the Christian right, which has suffered over the last decade, as a political force that speaks for millions of voters.
"He has become the leader of a new generation of Christian conservative voters," said Rex Nelson, who was communications director when Mr. Huckabee was Arkansas' governor.
Several of Mr. Huckabee's close advisers, speaking on the condition of anonymity to freely discuss possibilities, said he does not have an interest in a Cabinet position or in running for the U.S. Senate from Arkansas, but said being on a ticket as vice president would be an attractive alternative. One adviser mentioned a role as Republican National Committee chairman, while another said he might be best suited for a role outside the party.
Mr. Huckabee is a former Southern Baptist pastor who has energized evangelical Republican voters this year, but his camp has been surprised at how little support evangelical leaders have offered and, in fact, how much they worked against him.
That could signal a split between evangelical leaders and their supporters, which Mr. Huckabee's supporters say leaves the field open for him, both among those religious values voters and a broader conservative audience.
"He now has become the voice and face of conservative America. Whether it's conservatism or Christian conservatism, I think the options now are wide open for him to decide how does he want to take advantage in the right way," said former South Carolina Gov. David Beasley, one of Mr. Huckabee's early supporters.
Also, The Dallas Morning News endorsed Huckabee saying the following:
Win or lose in November, the GOP is destined to spend the next few years redefining itself. For many reasons, Reaganism, which made the GOP the dominant political party of the last generation, no longer resonates as it once did with the American public. The world has changed since Ronald Reagan's election nearly 30 years ago, and the great man's political heirs will have to adjust the GOP's strategy and tactics to new realities.
To that end, Mr. Huckabee, 52, should be a top leader in tomorrow's Republican Party. His good-natured approach to politics - "I'm a conservative; I'm just not mad about it," as he likes to say - is quite appealing after years of scorched-earth tactics from both parties. He's a pragmatist more concerned with effective government than with bowing to ideological litmus tests. For example, he has proven himself willing to violate anti-tax dogma to undertake investment in infrastructure for the sake of long-term prosperity.
Let me give it to you straight. As much as Evangelicals across this country propelled his candidacy, national Evangelical leaders did just as much, if not more to kill it. By not supporting him early on they denied Huckabee more than a puncher's chance at the nomination and perhaps even more importantly, denied him the help he needed to mobilize the base even further. Those leaders had their reasons but it doesn't change the fact that their lack of support torpedoed the one candidate who was the most solid on the life and marriage issues.
If a movie was going to be made about all of this, The Brody File has a suggestion.