How curious, says former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, that most polls comparing potential candidates for the 2012 Republican nomination show him at or near the top — yet it's Sarah Palin's rumored bid that gets all the media attention. Huckabee, a Fox News host and author, is far ahead of the field in Iowa, the lead-off primary state: "I just don't understand how it is that a person can read these polls day after day and the narrative is constantly everybody but me," he told Politico. Does he have a point? (See Huckabee's take on the latest issues)
Huckabee's right — he is getting no respect: It's easy to understand Huckabee's frustration, says Frank James at NPR. After his strong presidential run in 2008, Huckabee "could be Obama's worst nightmare" in 2012. "Huckabee emanates folksiness from his pores" that could undermine the president's urbane coolness. And Huckabee, as a former Arkansas governor, could pull in Southern voters and independent men who helped put Obama over the top in 2008.
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He should stop whining. Palin deserves the attention: Huckabee should give the "Rodney Dangerfield routine" a rest, says Jennifer Rubin in The Washington Post. "Huckabee is no Palin when it comes to juicing up the base," and his appeal never stretched much beyond evangelical Christians. Besides, Tea Partiers in particular cringe at the way he taxed and spent as governor. If he decides to run in 2012, "he'll have to show greater range than in 2008."
Huckabee is strong if he runs — but that is a big "if": "It's not a done deal" that Huckabee is even running, says Allahpundit at Hot Air. He had to "scrounge for funds" to keep his 2008 campaign afloat, and just "took out a huge mortgage to build his new home in Florida," so money will be "a major issue." And if Palin runs, she'll be strongest with the "same constituencies he's targeting." But that said, if anyone is "poised to hurt Palin" by attracting social conservatives and blue collar voters, it's Mike Huckabee.
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