Is "Mike Huckabee author" a warm-up act for "Mike Huckabee candidate"?

Huckabee fends off candidacy questions at a Monitor Breakfast saying now is the time to "wait."

Huckabee's new book - released this month – is sounding to some like a campaign blueprint.

Is it just a coincidence that Mike Huckabee will kick off the tour for his new book, "A Simple Government: Twelve Things We Really Need from Washington (and a Trillion that We Don't)" in Iowa this Sunday? If this were a storyline on NCIS, the answer would be no.

In November 2009, Huckabee appeared at a Monitor Breakfast at a moment when he was pitching his last book, "A Simple Christmas." Huckabee insisted at that time that the book tour was not setting the stage for a 2012 presidential run. He said that he wouldn't focus on his political future until 2010 was over, adding that (at the time) it was "ridiculous to speculate about 2012 now."

Fast forward 18 months. Huckabee today appeared at another Monitor breakfast. His recent e-mail to supporters about his book ("Just when I think the Obama Administration can’t possibly pile on more debt, more job-killing regulations, and more intrusions into our private lives, they surprise me. So I decided to sum up why I disagree with them about spending, taxes, health care, immigration, terrorism… and just about every other issue") sure has the sound of a campaign trail speech.

But when asked at today's Monitor breakfast about the chance of a 2012 candidacy, Huckabee was not yet ready to jump. His non-denial denial: "I'd be smart to wait."

Marjorie Kehe is the Monitor book editor.

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