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Mike Huckabee to have his own soapbox on Fox News

June 12, 2008 |  6:07 pm

Mike Huckabee presumably remains a running mate contender for John McCain's presidential ticket, but he apparently has achieved what some thought was an ulterior goal of his own White House bid: aFormer Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee will provide political commentary on Fox News regular spot on national television.

The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz reported today that Huckabee has inked a one-year deal to provide political commentary on Fox News. That network, of course, is the logical venue for the former Arkansas governor, who rode his strongly conservative convictions on social issues -- and his ability to glibly communicate those views -- to a first-place finish in the Iowa caucuses.

As we mentioned, some saw this coming a long time ago.

In late November, veteran Arkansas political journalist John Brummett ended a column on the politician he had followed for years this way:

"From time to time I've written an unoriginal but incisive line, which is that Huckabee is really running for his own show on Fox or MSNBC. I'm sticking with that.

"But I'll admit there are moments lately when I wonder if he'll have to go through the motions of being the Republican presidential or vice presidential nominee first."

Brummett's piece obviously was prescient, but he may have gotten the sequence wrong -- as well as underestimated Huckabee's ultimate ambition.

Take note of the former candidate's schedule of late. Monday found him in Bedford, N.H., speaking to the state's Federation of Republican Women's Lilac Luncheon. Such a lovely sounding affair would be high on anyone's list to attend, but especially so ...

... for someone looking down the presidential trail (and whose prospects may have been boosted by constant television exposure).

Saturday, Huckabee will be back in Iowa, speaking at the state GOP's annual convention. Ostensibly, he's appearing as a McCain surrogate. But one imagines he'll be reminding Republicans there what they liked about him earlier this year -- and could like about him again.

On the stump, by the way, it appears Huckabee has gotten his groove back.

He put his foot in his mouth a month ago during a speech to the National Rifle Assn. with a distasteful "joke" targeting Barack Obama (literally). He knew he had misspoken and apologized -- a couple of times.

In his appearance at the Lilac Luncheon in New Hampshire (the state where the bounce he came out of Iowa with got instantly flattened), he came up with a more effective way to critique Obama.

The Nashua Telegraph reported that Huckabee, after giving the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee his due, offered a "new car" analogy. Said Huckabee:

"When you got to the showroom, the car is really appealing, it's got that new car smell and all the bells and whistles.

"Then you've got to sit down and decide, can I afford the payments. I think when people start looking at what Obama is saying, the very last thing they need, in this tough economy, is more tax burden on their families and their future."

-- Don Frederick

Photo: Associated Press

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