Wednesday, Dec. 07, 2011

Mike Huckabee

Before Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry declared their candidacies, the absence of a true social conservative in the race had many Republicans pining for a second run by Mike Huckabee, the Baptist minister and former governor of Arkansas whose ragtag band of Christian conservatives and Chuck Norrisites stole the Iowa caucus from Mitt Romney in 2008. In May, Huckabee seemed to have been swayed. On the eve of an airing of his Saturday Fox News talk show, the Republican sent an e-mail to friends and advisers, writing, "I expect that once I pull the trigger [tomorrow] night, things will get even crazier, as if that's possible." It was a shameless play for ratings from the hyperbolic Huck, who told loyal viewers — and gullible reporters tuning in — that he would pass on another run because his "heart says no." God and family reportedly played a role too.