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The Definitive Mike Huckabee Scouting Report

The former Arkansas governor and Fox News host kicks off a second run for the Republican nomination.
Bloomberg business news

Mike Huckabee: Will It Be Different This Time?

What he’s got: Affability, humor, and folksy charm galore; arguably the best communication skills—on TV, on the stump, or in retail settings—of any Republican 2016er; executive experience as a two-term-plus Arkansas governor; demonstrated presidential vote-getting capacity as winner of the Iowa caucuses and overall delegate runner-up in the 2008 GOP nomination contest; high name recognition among Republicans due to that campaign and more than six years afterward as a Fox News host, syndicated radio personality, and author; status as an ordained Southern Baptist minister and adamant social conservative views that provide him with deep ties to, and a base of support within, the evangelical community.

What he lacks: Establishment support; national security credentials; convincing defenses of elements of his Arkansas record (on taxes and prisoner clemency, for example) that make him vulnerable to conservative attacks; enthusiasm for, or even tolerance of, asking rich people for money; a path to the Republican nomination that doesn’t involve a repeat victory in Iowa; proven appeal to voters beyond his core of evangelical supporters; ability to conceal the Gibraltar-sized chip on his shoulder regarding his treatment by much of his party and the mainstream media.