Reuters: Huckabee thinking of jumping into presidential race; Update: HuckPAC denies


Mike Huckabee has been approached by Republican and conservative activists unhappy with the current crop of presidential hopefuls and he is considering entering the fray, two sources who have spoken with Huckabee told Reuters…

“He is entertaining the request for conversations about it,” one of the sources said. “I do not think it is a complete 100 percent ‘I’m reconsidering’ but he hasn’t shut the door on it.”

One of the sources said Huckabee was urged to enter after the recent stumbles of Texas Governor Rick Perry, who appeals to a similar right wing of the Republican party.

I won’t belabor his history with Perry yet again, but suffice it to say that he’s not a fan of either of the two frontrunners so he’d naturally relish the chance to be the white knight that vanquishes both. Just one teensy question: Er, how’s he going to do that? We’ve spent the past week reading stories about how close Christie and Palin are cutting it by waiting so long to jump in. Huckabee would face the same organizational problems plus a distinct disadvantage vis-a-vis Romney, Perry, and Christie in terms of fundraising, with those three able to draw on big donors in a way that Huck wouldn’t. (That disadvantage could be lethal if we end up with a long primary season.) And of course Perry will take a chunk out of Huckabee’s base among southerners and evangelicals, so he’ll have a harder time running now than he would have had by jumping in early, which might have scared Perry off.

Maybe his decision is contingent on Christie’s decision. If the big guy gets in, he’ll split the centrist vote with Romney the same way Huck would split the southern social-con vote with Perry. Maybe he thinks he can win a four-way race? Or is his inner circle leaking this now simply as a goof, to make tomorrow night’s super-awkward interview with Romney somehow even more super-awkward?

Update: Politico’s hearing rumblings too:

“There’s this opening now,” one activist who spoke to POLITICO just said, confirming the story. The activist said it was a not a huge chance but that “he owes it to his country to look at it. It’s a tall mountain to climb, but it’s not a slog anymore. It’s not some long drawn-out process. It’s 100 days.”

Has any presidential debate performance wreaked as much havoc as Perry’s last?

Update: New half-assed cloak-and-dagger theory: Huckabee knows it’s too late to mount a winning campaign but it’s not too late to run a campaign capable of denying Perry the support he needs to win. He jumps in, the social-con vote splits, Romney waltzes to the nomination, and suddenly Huck lands on the ticket as VP. Awesome.

Update: The rumors are false, says Team Huck.