Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas and a 2008 Republican primary contender, is reportedly once again looking to join the race to the White House.
According to Reuters, anonymous sources close to the Fox News television host believe he will reconsider his earlier decision not to run. "He is entertaining the request for conversations about it," a source told the news agency. A second source added, "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 unidentified sources said Huckabee was urged to enter after the recent stumbles of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who appeals to a similar faction of the Republican Party.
Huckabee, 56, ended speculation in May of his intention to enter the 2012 Republican primary when he explained, "All the factors say go, but my heart says no," he said on his Fox News program. "My answer is clear and firm. I will not seek the Republican nomination for president this year. I'm going to gladly continue doing what I do," he said.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Republican campaign advisor Ed Rollins, who chaired Huckabee's 2008 campaign, said: "I think over the last couple years he's developed a lifestyle he likes, he's making money, publishing books, he has his show. I didn't [get] the sense that every day he got up in the mirror and said, 'There's the next president of the United States.' "
Huckabee was largely overlooked in the early stages of the 2008 primary campaign. But enthusiastic support by socially conservative voters made him the surprise winner of the leadoff Iowa caucuses. He bested most of the other candidates, winning seven other nominating contests, mainly in the southern states, before ceding to GOP nominee Sen. John McCain.
As the Los Angeles Times indicated, polling showed that had the evangelical Christian decided to run, he would have been among the early front-runners, along with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. But like Romney, Huckabee would have carried baggage into the new campaign.
He also would have faced renewed attacks for granting pardons and sentence commutations to hundreds of felons in Arkansas, the Los Angeles times indicated. One man granted clemency by Huckabee over the objection of prosecutors later killed four police officers in Washington State in 2009.
Still, with the fluctuation of the current crop of Republican candidates in recent polls, Huckabee may find current political waters suitable to his skills.