2012: Huckabee Out?

It looks like the former Arkansas Governor/Fox News personality is leaning against another run for President in 2012:

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says he’s leaning slightly against running for president in 2012 but says it’s far too early to say what he will do.

Huckabee says how the 2010 congressional elections turn out will affect his decision. He also will be looking at whether the Republican Party is willing to unite behind him as a candidate.

Another consideration, Huckabee says, is the status of his weekly TV show on Fox News.

Given those factors, Huckabee says mounting another presidential bid is “less likely rather than more likely” at the moment.

[Emphasis mine]

Despite Huckabee’s popularity among evangelical Republicans, it’s highly unlikely he could beat someone of Sarah Palin’s caliber. In addition, his failed 2008 campaign would probably cast a shadow over any potential candidacy.

As would this:

The Seattle Times reports that the man suspected of shooting four police officers in Washington State was granted clemency in Arkansas nine years ago by then-Governor Mike Huckabee.

Huckabee had reportedly pardoned the suspected shooter, Maurice Clemmons, because he was just 17 when his original crimes were committed. (Clemmons was still on parole, and should apparently have been sent back to jail in Arkansas more recently.) But it’s a tragic, and politically damaging story of the kind that, with the name Willie Horton attached, helped derail Mike Dukakis’s bid for the White House.

And the story also recalls another act of clemency gone awry: Huckabee advocated for parole for a convicted rapist who — his allies said — had been railroaded by Huckabee predecessor Bill Clinton. The rapist, Wayne DuMond, was released; he raped and murdered another woman.

[Emphasis mine]

If Huck does run, I imagine his pardon problem will dog him throughout the campaign; it may very well cost him the nomination. If he’s smart, he’ll ensconce himself in the right-wing sanctuary at Fox News.