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Why Mike Huckabee probably won’t run for president in 2012 (video)

Mike Huckabee has an Achilles’ heel that nags at him: money. The possible 2012 GOP presidential candidate isn't good at raising it, and he worries about having an empty bank account – again.

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“Not nearly as much as people might think, because I’ve had nothing, and was pretty doggone content,” Huckabee said.

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But he then made it clear that he has, in fact, given his personal finances a fair amount of thought. “You know, the last few years, I’ve certainly done better than I’ve ever done in my life,” he said. "You know, if I have the choice of being, let’s say, better off or abjectly poor, I kind of like better off better.”

“I’d be dishonest if I said I didn’t,” he continued. “But I’m not so enamored with the things that I have that they have me. One of the things, you know, that I’d have to understand is that if I run, you know, I walk away from a pretty good income.”

Huckabee was making the case for waiting as long as possible before quitting his day job to launch a campaign. He says he doesn’t want to walk away any sooner than he has to, because he doesn’t have much savings.

“In order to run for president the last time, I cashed in my life insurance, my annuities,” he said. “You know, I pretty much went through everything that I ever had as an asset that I thought I might one day live on. One thing I committed to myself, my wife, and to God was that if I do this, I’m going to hopefully be in a position where I’m not so completely destitute at the end of it that I have no idea what to do if I get sick, or if I retire, or if I’m retired earlier, have a disability.”

This is a man who was not born rich (like, say, Mr. Romney) and may feel he’s earned a few luxuries in life. Huckabee was invited to be a speaker on a Christian cruise around Alaska from June 5 to 12, and so he and his wife are going. That’s right around when he might be announcing for president – so does that mean he’s really leaning against running? Who knows.

In other interviews this week, Huckabee appeared to psych himself out of running, only to change his tune the next day. On Monday, he told George Stephanopoulos of ABC News that Obama will be “tough to beat.” He continued: “This race is going to be like climbing a ladder pointing toward you, because Barack Obama is going to start this race with a billion dollars.”

There’s the money thing again.

But on Tuesday, Huckabee told Sean Hannity on Fox that he thinks Obama “can be beat.” Still, he added, “it’s the process of getting to that nomination that’s tough.”

Ultimately, it may be a question of having the fire in the belly. Does Huckabee have it? Hard to tell. And if it’s hard to tell, doesn’t that point to “no”? After all, we’re not hearing the other nonindependently wealthy candidates ruminate about possibly draining their assets to run. They’re just out there getting ready for a campaign.

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