A year ago, I would have claimed Mike Huckabee would be the next SBC politico to run for president on a major ticket. I truly think Mike could have been the candidate this year instead of Mr. Romney, if Mike had run.
I think Mike misread the strength of Mr. Obama as the incumbent. If Mr. Huckabee wants or wanted to be president, he may have decided not to run against a sitting president but to wait for the 2016 generals, when the country will have had eight years of Democratic incumbency and, so, it was thought, would be ready for a change.
Now, it appears, four years has quite possibily been enough of Democratic White HouseManShip. There is a very real possibility the Romney-Ryan ticket may unseat the incumbent. In fact, recent polls of various stripes offer Mr. Romney everything from a popular vote squeaker to an enormous electoral victory, with Mr. Obama winning only portions of the Right and Left Coast and possibly New Mexico.
If Romney-Ryan wins, it will put Mr. Huckabee's presidential hopes (if any) on hold for eight years and perhaps more. If Romney-Ryan is a successful ticket and if Mr. Ryan does not go quite insane serving as VP for eight years (possibly) then any Republican candidacy eight years from now has to take Mr. Ryan into account. He will have been on the national stage for eight years and will be only 50.
All those factors being in place (and there is no guarantee), the 2020 Republican Presidential ticket would look like this:
Paul Ryan, Wisconsin for President
Ted Cruz, Texas for Vice President
If, somehow, the Obama/Biden ticket uses the power of incumbency with the power of massive block voting (94% of African Americans say they will vote for the Dems; 0% say they will back Romney/Ryan. No, really 0%), then the Ryan/Cruz ticket would be the Republican standard bearer in 2016.
And, so, it says here, the next SBC POTUS will be Ted Cruz, not Mike Huckabee. Mike either did not want it, or misread the tea leaves, or is just plain old unlucky. The weakest field of Republican Presidential candidates in forever could have been Mike's for the taking and, once in the hunt, he might have bagged the hare.
Mr. Cruz will join a list of SBC fellows including Harry Truman (the best), Jimmy Carter (a one termer) and Bill Clinton (who could lead but seldom get out of his own way). Mr. Cruz would be the first Hispanic, Republican, Catholic convert to run for and perhaps hold the highest office in the land.
I had duties all last evening. The only speech I listened to, late, on DVR, was that of Ted Cruz. Convention speeches have become less stem-winders and more info-mercials. He suffered from that and Mr. Cruz appears more thoughtful than sloganesque but his appearance, demeanor and speaking style are, well, rather breath-taking. One longs to hear him off the convention leash and sharing his own mind without constraint.
Tomorrow: I Answer the Radical Anarchist, Todd Littleton, Who Claims He Will Not Vote and You Should Not, Either.
Opinions expressed here are mine alone.