Huckabee: I haven't closed the door on anything

I was going to blog the news that DeMint is also apparently kinda sorta maybe a little thinking about running, but his team backed off of that so fast that it sounds like he may simply have been throwing a bone to his fans who desperately want to see him in. His spokesman insists that nothing’s changed and that “his heart is in the Senate.” And thus do Palinistas and Cainiacs everywhere breathe a sigh of relief.

Or do they?

Appearing today as a guest of the Clinton School of Public Service, the surprise 2008 GOP presidential contender said he did not slam the door shut to running next year when he announced two weeks ago that he had decided against throwing his hat into the ring.

“Everything is still open. I haven’t closed doors. I found long ago that that’s not the smart thing to do,” Huckabee told reporters after a speech at the Clinton presidential library.

But Huckabee acknowledged several factors prompted him to bow out of the 2012 GOP race, not the least of which he said was the difficulty he sees in defeating Democratic President Barack Obama.

I don’t know if he meant what the reporter thinks he meant. Another Arkansas paper was there and says Huck’s “everything is still open” line was in response to a question about whether he’d join the ticket as VP, nothing more. Follow the link and see for yourself. He talks about the possibility of running in the past tense and alludes to the fact that he’ll be endorsing someone eventually. Doesn’t sound like a guy having second thoughts. It sounds like a guy relishing his kingmaker cachet within the party now that he’s made his decision.

Which brings us back to DeMint. He’d be the prohibitive frontrunner in South Carolina, which would annoy an awful lot of locals who relish their own kingmaker status when it comes to choosing the GOP nominee. If he got in, the rest of the field would concede the state to him and proceed directly to Florida, which would become the de facto “deciding” primary state — and ironically, given the comparative dearth of social conservatives there vis-a-vis South Carolina, would probably favor the centrist candidates over the DeMint “true conservative” wing. You know who that would benefit? I think you do.