With the news today that Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has endorsed Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman in the three-way congressional race in upstate New York's 23rd District, now the pressure is on former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee to follow suit. . . .You can read my latest at The American Spectator, and let me call your attention to the real juicy stuff:
Huckabee finds himself in an awkward position . . . Huckabee is due to speak Tuesday night in Syracuse at a New York Conservative Party awards dinner but, as he told [Neil] Cavuto, he won't be giving "an endorsement speech."You see the difficulty here for both Huckabee and Hoffman. Huckabee's now a Fox News superstar, and endorsing Hoffman might be a bit too much at a time when the network is fighting the Obama administration's charges that Fox lacks journalistic credibility.
Huckabee's speech was scheduled before the NY23 election became the focus of a national political maelstrom. Most New York media expect Hoffman also to attend Tuesday's dinner, although the congressional candidate has not yet publicly announced whether he will attend.
Some Hoffman campaign officials are concerned that, if Hoffman shows up at the Syracuse dinner, it might be viewed as distracting from Huckabee's spotlight. Conservative Party officials don't want to put pressure on their Republican guest of honor. Huckabee won't endorse Scozzafava, and he certainly wouldn't support the little-known Democratic candidate Bill Owens. Therefore, Huckabee's status as a "friendly neutral" in the three-way election may be the best the Hoffman campaign can hope for. . . .
Erick plays rough by including Huckabee together with Mitt Romney in his ultimatum to 2012 hopefuls. Although I've often criticized Huckabee for his political deviations, he seems like a nice guy who means well and, if the Hoffman people don't want to put him on the spot, I'm inclined to go easy.
BTW, my sources don't expect Romney to endorse Hoffman. Ain't gonna happen, I'm told. Still, to recall a famous phrase, do you believe in miracles? UPDATE: Remind me to chew my sources a new one for not giving me the heads-up on this: (Hat-tip: Hot Air.) So much for the Huckabee-can't-endorse-because-of-his-Fox-contract theory, I suppose . . . HOFFMANIA: CATCH IT! Our complete coverage of the NY23 special election