The newest hot name in the Mitt Romney veepstakes is a blast from the past: 2008 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. The former Arkansas governor-turned-Fox News host lost the last round of presidential primaries to Sen. John McCain, and now an increasing number of insider Romney supporters are reportedly urging Mitt to put Huckabee on this year's ticket. Here, four reasons that might be a good idea:
1. Huckabee would fire up evangelicals
Romney will need all the help he can get to encourage a big turnout from the GOP base, American Family Association founder Don Wildmon tells Business Insider. That means getting evangelicals who stayed home four years ago to go to the polls this November. "And Mike Huckabee is the only one who can do it in the way it needs to be done." As a Baptist preacher, he's someone the Christian Right "can support without question."
2. He wouldn't overshadow Mitt
Huckabee is "substantive and knows domestic policy," Ed Rollins, the chairman of Huckabee's 2008 presidential campaign, tells National Review. But he's not obnoxious about it. Huckabee isn't the kind of brash conservative who might "overshadow" Romney. "In a way, it's almost a dream ticket."
3. Huck would help Romney in the South
It's going to be a challenge to get the Southern base to mobilize for a "Massachusetts moderate" like Romney, says Allahpundit at Hot Air. And "there's arguably no one who could do more to solve that problem in one fell swoop than Huck."
4. He's just really likable
Huckabee would "electrify the rank-and-file much like Palin did in 2008," but with a charm that would win over the media and independents, says Robert W. Patterson at The Philadelphia Inquirer. His "easygoing demeanor" and "working-class roots" would help Romney make up lost ground with unmarried women and minorities. Most importantly, he'd bring to the ticket "a Ronald Reagan likability that neither Obama nor Romney possesses."