Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee won't officially say whether he's running for president until May 5, but right now his website features a big countdown clock hovering over the words "Be The First To Know." It also has a place to "pledge to donate to Mike Huckabee," and I don't think he's talking about a pizza fund. And he just put out this video, which adds some new material to bits culled from the clips his proto-campaign has been putting out:
The conservative blogger Allahpundit notes that a few things are missing from that campaign ad:
It's got plenty to offer the blue-collar Republicans whom Huckabee's targeting—promises of wage growth, a solemn vow to protect America's unsustainable entitlements, and a little saber-rattling at ISIS and other jihadi menaces. But…not a word about gay marriage, abortion, or religious liberty. The furthest he goes is noting that he'll "lead with moral clarity" and that comes as a lead in to foreign policy. You can see the Huckabee master strategy this time in that: His problem in 2008 was ending up pigeonholed as a one-trick evangelical pony, a guy whose southern socially conservative appeal was so narrow that he couldn't carry it over to similar demographics who might logically be receptive to him, like Catholics….The answer is to aim for working-class righties on kitchen-table issues, knowing that he'll have lots of chances during the campaign to show off his evangelical cred. At the very least, a Huckabee who can mobilize lower-class conservative whites into turning out is a much more attractive VP candidate than a Huckabee who can mobilize the sort of core Republican evangelical voters who'll turn out for the eventual nominee anyway.
I can't help noticing that Huckabee's chief rival for the religious-right vote, Rick Santorum, seems to be looking at a similar strategy.
For more on the candidate—sorry, probable candidate—here's a piece I wrote last month: "Who Is This Mike Huckabee Guy, and Is He Running for President?"