Steve Deace of WHO Radio in Des Moines knows. Craig Robinson of the Iowa Republican knows. Erik Erikson of Red State (who is also a talk show host at Radio WSB in Atlanta) knows. The Des Moines Register used to know. What do they know that Governor Mike Huckabee doesn’t know? That he isn’t running for president in 2012.
Every one of the above has run polls or made predictions about how each of a number of candidates will fare during the upcoming Presidential primary/caucus season. Each has left out Governor Huckabee, even though he continues to lead when polled for favorability, and when in national or many state horse races. Do they do this because he has announced he is not running? No, they don’t. The only announcement made was that he wouldn’t make a decision until summer’s approach. How do they know, then? These soothsayers use eight kinds of divination….
Halomancy – Divination using salt
Some pundits know, based on his diet, Huckabee isn’t running. Seriously, they think he isn’t running because he has put on a few pounds? Tell that to Chris Christie in New Jersey.
Uranomancy – Divination by consulting the heavens
Some of these folks are certain the stars have not aligned for Huckabee. They are able to take any poll and make the worst of it. For example, for the longest time Huckabee was leading polls only in conservative, “red” states, mostly in the south. This was proof he can’t reach out to the moderates and independents and therefore he won’t run. Recent polls show he has done well in California and New Jersey. This is proof now he isn’t running because he is too moderate to win the GOP nomination.
Capnomancy – Divination by smoke
Some people can’t understand or control Mike Huckabee. If he doesn’t do things the way they think he ought, it is obvious he has no presidential ambitions. Take for example, the claim by some that if the Governor really wanted to win in 2012, he would participate in this week’s CPAC convention. Never mind that he has already given principled reasons why he isn’t going to participate. Even some former supporters are getting antsy. Mike Huckabee is a fun guy to have in Iowa; reporters love him. They hope they can goad him into coming to Iowa or their state more frequently. Six Stops in February in Iowa isn’t enough.
Keraunoscopia – Divination using thunder
Mike Huckabee isn’t running because his wife won’t let him. And bad decisions on pardons will continue to haunt him. The talk show hosts are against him. He has a bad reputation with fiscal conservatives. He is too religious and wants to turn the whole country into Taliban II. Besides the slander that most of this involves, it is mostly wishful thinking. It is hearing what his opponents want to hear.
Ailuromancy – Divination by studying a cat’s jump
Apparently there was some miscommunication between Governor Huckabee and Bob Vander Plaats, who announced last week that Governor Huckabee would be the speaker in the FAMiLY LEADER lecture series in June. Others are certain his cruise to Alaska is proof he won’t run. His book tour in Iowa and South Carolina only means he can sell books there, not that he is reaching out to potential voters.
Botanomancy – Divination using plants
The former governor has moved to Florida. And he is building a big 2-3 million dollar house and obviously he can’t pay that off and run for president. But who know what other arrangements he has made to pay it off. The talk show hosts don’t know. But they have read the tea leaves. Others are sure that he won’t run because every single campaign aide that could possibly help him in Iowa has already committed to other candidates. (The truth is that very few movers and shakers have publicly committed to other candidates, none of whom have announced).
Enoptromancy – Divination using a mirror
These are the folks who can’t imagine they would ever give up a lucrative TV deal and all the money that goes with it. And that is doubly true for the the Hick from Arkansas, who can’t resist the filthy lucre. They don’t see his character, however; they only see their own.
Extispicy – Divination using entrails
This is the dissecting that goes on, and the gut feeling they get, as if they knew what was going on inside the belly of Governor Huckabee. They read recently that he paid off a few small lingering debts and closed his 2008 Huckabee for President organization and now they know he is not running.
Some of these things may be legitimate reasons to speculate he may not be running. And it is certainly fine to make guesses or predictions. But to say you know for sure? I won’t play the game and say I know he is going to run for president. I don’t know one way or the other. Maybe he doesn’t know yet. And you don’t need salt, a telescope, smoke, thunder, plants, mirrors, cats, or entrails to see that is a possibility.
David is currently an adjunct instructor of Composition and Speech at Marshalltown Community College in Iowa. His wife and he have also owned a business selling antique and collectible postcards on eBay since 1999. David was an activist with Operation Rescue in the early 1990s. He is a member of Trinity Presbyterian Reformed Church in Johnston, Iowa.