“Tonight, I urge you to watch my show on the Fox News Channel. There will be outstanding guests, a musical appearance by the Swon Brothers, and a very important announcement that will make news for sure. You will learn it of it first if you watch the show tonight. I hope you watch and encourage your friends to do the same.”
As I have written in the past, Huckabee has made moves that indicate he is considering mounting another Presidential run in 2016, specifically staffing up his non-profit advocacy organization with top advisors, such as his daughter Sarah Huckabee Sanders, former campaign manager Chip Saltsman, and communications director Alice Stewart. Stewart left her radio show in central Arkansas this past week to focus on her political consulting business. Fox executives have reportedly been putting pressure on Huckabee to make a decision or part ways. They previously have dismissed contributors who have made moves toward running for President such as former contributor Dr. Ben Carson. “We are taking a serious look at Governor Huckabee’s recent activity in the political arena,” said Bill Shine, executive vice president for programming at Fox told The Washington Post at the time, saying they are “evaluating his current status. We plan on meeting with him when he returns from his trip overseas.” Meanwhile, various media outlets are reporting that this will be Huckabee’s final Fox News show. If true, this is a strong indication that Huckabee is at least forming an exploratory committee to give serious consideration to a run for President. He would not give up his Fox News show unless this was the reason so that is my guess.
UPDATE I – As I am posting, this press release hits from Mike Huckabee’s website..
Gov. Huckabee Departs Fox News, Will Make Decision On ’16 Campaign By Late Spring Jan 03 2015 Huckabee: “As much as I have loved doing the show, I cannot bring myself to rule out another Presidential run.” Little Rock – Governor Mike Huckabee will announce tonight on his Fox News show that he is leaving the network after six-and-a-half years as the host of “Huckabee.” To close out his final show, Gov. Huckabee said: “Tonight I will do more than just say goodnight. I will say goodbye. This is the last edition of ‘Huckabee’ on the Fox News Channel. It’s been the ride of a lifetime, and I have never had so much fun in my life. But I also realize that God hasn’t put me on earth just to have a good time or to make a good living, but rather has put me on earth to try to make a good life. “There has been a great deal of speculation as to whether I would run for President. If I were willing to absolutely rule that out, I could keep doing this show. But I can’t make such a declaration. I won’t make a decision about running until late in the spring of 2015, but the continued chatter has put Fox News into a position that is not fair to them nor is it possible for me to openly determine political and financial support to justify a race. The honorable thing to do at this point is to end my tenure here at Fox. As much as I have loved doing the show, I cannot bring myself to rule out another Presidential run. So as we say in television, stay tuned!”
UPDATE II – Huckabee opened his show by contrasting what he characterized as a bipartisan record working with a Democratic-dominated state legislature in Arkansas with President Obama’s record in Washington.
“As difficult of an environment as it was, it really was a blessing. Because in such an atmosphere over 10 1/2 years, I learned how to govern. Getting tax cuts, shrinking the executive branch, reforming welfare and education, fighting long-entrenched corruption, and passing substantial protection for human life weren’t easy. And yet learning how to do it was incredibly valuable. It means taking your disagreements with legislators into private and not trying to negotiate on the front pages of the newspapers. It also means not gloating when you win and pouting when you lose. It means behaving like an adult,” said Huckabee.
“Now we haven’t seen much of that from Washington, but I would welcome the approach. So here’s hoping in the New Year of 2015 we see the fine art of governing and, if not, I will say what parents often say to their kids – ‘Don’t make me come up there’,” Huckabee added.
Huckabee ended the show primarily by reading the earlier prepared statement above with some additional praise for Fox News and the staff of his show. My take is that he is running. You don’t give up a multi-million dollar contract unless you are serious about running.