Robert Novak

In conversations with me, Huckabee and Farris both denied advocating that an Obama presidency should be inflicted on the country. Huckabee was enthusiastic in his support for McCain, noting how well they had bonded during their primary competition.

Farris is another matter. A vigorous supporter of Huckabee for president, he has not endorsed McCain and may never do so (though he quickly adds he never would vote for Obama or Hillary Clinton). "I am concerned about what judges he (McCain) may name," Farris told me, "and the test will be who he selects for vice president." He made it clear that Huckabee would be his choice, and ruefully adds, "I understand he is not under consideration."

At McCain headquarters, there is no doubt expressed about Huckabee's loyalty. "I feel we haven't used him (Huckabee) enough," McCain campaign manger Rick Davis told me. McCain's strategists are more concerned that the libertarian Rep. Ron Paul has not abandoned his candidacy, keeps fighting for delegates and says he will not endorse McCain.

Even taking Huckabee's professions of support for McCain at face value, he is not leaving politics for the lecture circuit. He has formed the Huck PAC to back Republican candidates, his supporters have established a Website (, and Huckabee backers are behind the Government Is Not God PAC to discourage McCain from naming Romney as his vice president.

Mike Huckabee has emerged from obscurity to become a major factor in American politics leading evangelical Christians. The McCain campaign counts on him to energize supporters who would rather wait for Huckabee 2012, not to encourage those dreams.

Robert Novak

Robert Novak (1931-2009) was a syndicated columnist and editor of the Evans-Novak Political Report.

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