Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee announced tonight he would not run for president in 2012. Most folks figured this would be his decision. I even stated such in March: ["Can Giuliani be a player in 2012?"].
You never really know until the person makes the decision. Everything else is just speculation. Most folks, it would seem from a quick Google search, were predicting he would stay out of it.
In his announcement, he took some shots at pundits and the media, and also noted that he was polling well in and out of the South, which he seemed to find surprising.
Having interviewed Huckabee twice, I can tell you that he is extremely likable, very charming (as is his wife), and, frankly, probably the strongest potential candidate for Republicans in 2012. Not just because he would run strong in southern states, working class places, and the rust belt, areas of the country that have been creamed by globalization, but also because he historically had the support of blacks in Arkansas, a voting bloc Republicans have always had problems galvanizing. He wasn't afraid to go into Democratic strongholds to look for votes - and win them.
Interestingly enough, Ted Nugent was Huckabee's guest tonight, performing a rollicking version of "Cat Scratch Fever." Huckabee was clearly enjoying himself, even rolling his eyes when Nugent offered his more sexually graphic lyrics, which seemed to embarrass Huckabee. If he is having fun and he's happy, that's a good thing. Why wreck it running for president?