Yeah, so? This came up in December in the heat of Huckamania, when the issue was whether he was charging churches. (The gig this weekend is for a youth group.) Giuliani made millions speaking before his campaign; Billy Jeff’s made millions speaking since his term ended, which helps explain how Her Majesty was able to make that $5 million loan to her campaign. Here’s the best RCP can do:

Huckabee’s odd choice does give the sense that staying in the race is merely a way of staying politically (and thus professionally) relevant. If Huckabee is going to stay in this thing, he’ll have to walk a fine between becoming a Kucinich-esque joke and a principled candidate. The former is merely an act of ego-stroking, while the latter confers a sense of duty. Taking money for speaking gigs doesn’t help persuade us it’s the latter.

His supporters are McCain-haters and evangelical true believers. Neither one needs any further persuading, just as neither one’s under any illusions about his chances. If he was the frontrunner and was taking days off to make bank, it would look greedy. As it is, all he’s doing is preparing for unemployment. The Kucinich comparison doesn’t work either since Kooky has no hope of bigger things in the future and Huckabee does. How is a paid speech some sort of departure from form when the sole reason for his candidacy at this point is as a vehicle for raising his profile?

Exit question: Who’s spot on the national stage will be bigger next year, Huckabee’s — or McCain’s?

Tags: unemployment