WASHINGTON – As Mike Huckabee launches his latest book tour, he’s taking time to nurture his fans in key early-primary states.
There are six stops in Iowa. There are five in South Carolina. The final stop is at a Books-A-Million in Destin, Florida.
But the man who proclaims he is “seriously contemplating” another run for the presidency has no plans to spend time in the first-in-the-nation primary state.
“You ever been to New Hampshire in February?” he told reporters this afternoon at a tea hosted by the Christan Science Monitor. “My Southern blood isn’t acclimated.”
The presidential race is still early, to be sure, with no announced candidates. But as other presidential hopefuls camp out in the Granite State, Huckabee’s whirlwind book tour schedule provides some indication of the strategy he would employ in a presidential primary race.
In addition to Iowa and South Carolina, the former Arkansas governor has stops throughout his South base – in Texas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Georgia.
Huckabee this afternoon downplayed any political decision-making that went into the three-week tour, saying it was put together by a publisher concerned with selling books and not a political strategist trying to win votes.
“They’re not particularly interested in the politics of the stops,” he said of his publisher. “They’re looking at whether or not there’s a market, they believe, for the books. Maybe the reason I didn’t spend three weeks in Portland, Oregon, or Vermont might have to do something with the fact that there may not be as much of a market for a conservative book there than there would in Iowa, or South Carolina, or Alabama. Texas.”
Which begs the question: if his book doesn’t have a market in New Hampshire, does the man himself?
Huckabee placed a distant third in the 2008 New Hampshire primary -- behind John McCain and Mitt Romney – and Romney has been far ahead in early polls this year.
Sarah Palin, another frequently-talked-about presidential candidate, has not made any trips to New Hampshire since October 2008 and last year also skipped the state during a book tour.
Matt Viser can be reached at email@example.com.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.