As the hustling Hucksterbee makes more candidate-like noises, we ponder: What makes Minister Mike run?
"Everywhere I go," says Minister Mike, "people tell me they hope I run." Like this guy? Has the Hucksterbee perhaps been spending too much time on the "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" circuit?
Yesterday former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee announced that he will announce his decision whether to run for president in 2016 on May 5. Already, though, our radio fanatic Jack, who keeps us up to date on doings at the intersection between radio and politics, was passing along word that Minister Mike, now a perennial GOP presidential wannabe, was making noises like a 2016 GOP presidential wannabe.
First there was this Inside Radio report:
Huckabee Ends Radio CommentariesThen there was this perspective from radio maven Tom Taylor:
Posted: Thursday, April 16, 2015
As he considers a potential presidential run, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee will end his daily radio commentaries, effective May 1. “The Huckabee Report,” which currently airs on more than 500 stations, will be available in podcast form to subscribers.
The three-times-daily commentaries were picked up by WYM Media Management in January, after Huckabee ended a six-year relationship with Westwood One. Syndicated talker and Fox News Channel contributor Mike Gallagher will replace Huckabee, starting May 4. Huckabee earlier announced he’s leaving Fox News Channel, ending his six year-old television show.
Huckabee said Wednesday morning that his daily commentaries would no longer be broadcast and hinted he was getting closer to deciding whether to make a second run for the White House. "I've had biting and tough commentary about some of the more absurd ways in which Washington defied common sense and busted our family budgets as well as in which their naive and so called smart diplomacy caused us to lose our friends' trust and gain nothing but the ridicule of our enemies," Huckabee said. “But, as I move closer to the decision to do more than talk about these concerns and do something about them, I will bring the broadcast version to a close.”
Huckabee will distribute his commentaries online as part Huckabee Exclusive, a subscription-based portal that offers daily podcasts, weekly videos and a news summary of the big stories of the week with Huckabee’s take on them.
Sounding like a 2016 candidate, Mike Huckabee launches a subscription site and drops his daily radio commentaryAt the mention of that $7.95-a-month "Hucksterbee Exclusive," Jack asks: "What kind of nuts are going to pay for that?"
Radio’s been pretty good to the former Arkansas governor, ever since a local station helped him through college as he worked as a DJ. Nearly a year and a half ago, he ended his three-hour daily talk show with Cumulus, but kept up his thrice-daily commentaries through WYM Media and WYD Media Ad Sales (December 17 NOW). The latest from Arkansas Online is that Huckabee’s leaving the short-form business at the end of this month, and that WYM will replace him with Mike Gallagher’s “Gallagher Online,” starting May 4. Huckabee says “Everywhere I go, people tell me they hope I run [for president], but they miss the television show and would miss my being on radio, if my candidacy caused it to cease as well.” He says “that’s why I have launched the Huckabee Exclusive,” costing $7.95 a month or about $60 a year. That keeps him from running afoul of the FCC’s equal time rule for broadcasting – and gives him a new revenue stream. He reportedly felt that his 2008 Presidential run was hampered by a lack of funds. Meanwhile, Huckabee’s about to be a radio station owner. The March 16 NOW had the story about Huckabee buying stations through the new Bluff City Radio group, in which Mike’s a minority partner. Bluff City’s buying AC “K-Train” KTRN (104.5) in Pine Bluff, plus construction permits for three new FMs.
A fair question, but I take it back a step and ask, what kind of nuts think the Hucksterbee has a shot at the 2016 GOP presidential nomination? Or, for that matter, most of the other GOP nutters making candidate-like noises for 2016 -- in the grand tradition of the Band of Nutters who comprised the never-to-be-forgotten (however-hard-we-may-try) 2012 GOP presidential field?
It puts me in mind of this recent Borowitz Report:
Well, I'm here to say that Minister Mike has every bit as remote a chance as the Rand Man. No, I'm going to say remoter. And he's someone who might at some point be talked to by other, less remotely chanced GOP candidates, since the Rand Man with his crypto-libertarian views has access to a slice of the GOP voter base that the other candidates don't. At this point does anyone really believe that Minister Mike can bring any significant amount of support from his supposed evangelical base to the dance?
LOUISVILLE (The Borowitz Report)—With an official announcement on his campaign Web site, Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) has joined a crowded field of people who will never be elected President in their lifetimes.
While Paul and Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) are the only officially announced Republican candidates with a zero-per-cent chance of ever winning the Presidency, a burgeoning roster of totally pointless candidacies is waiting in the wings.
Former Texas Governor Rick Perry, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, and neurosurgeon Ben Carson are just a few of the men thought to be considering squandering time and money pursuing an office that they will never occupy in a billion years.
On the Democratic side, only former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has stepped forward as someone who could only be elected to the White House in an alternate universe.
Minutes after his announcement, aides to Senator Paul said that they believed that he would emerge as the top choice of voters who are determined to waste their votes in 2016.
“There’s no one out there who has a more remote chance of being elected, unless Trump decides to run,” one aide said.
But I guess for all these nutters who crawl out of the woodwork to preen as GOP presidential wannabes -- yes, even for The Donald -- there's the upside of a kind of national attention they can't get any other way, which might at some point lead to other opportunities, without any real downside, unless you count the possibility of making a disastrous fool of your candidatorial self. But then, how big a price did one of 2012's most celebrated GOP candidate fails, then Texas Gov. Rick Perry, suffer? After all, is he not pretending to be a serious 2016 candidate, and are there not media hucksters on call to explain to us why it could really happen?
Meanwhile, all those commentating gigs Minister Mike is having to separate himself from in anticipation of another run, would he have had those if he hadn't invented himself as a presidential couldbe? So maybe it's not so much politics per se as politics-as-bizniz?