(CNN) – There's a likely GOP 2012 presidential candidate who is a former governor, darling of the party's conservative base, and the leader of nearly every early presidential poll.
And his name is not Sarah Palin.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, whose upstart presidential campaign toppled Mitt Romney in Iowa and nearly brought down John McCain in South Carolina last year, wants people to know he's every bit as serious as other potential presidential aspirants, and suggested there's a double standard when it comes to how some in his party treat him and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
"Some of the people who had excoriated me and really been very dismissive of me for views that I had taken, and labeled me anything from a populist to an ignoramus - the same people have been very defensive [of] and laudatory to Sarah Palin," Huckabee told Politico in an article published Monday.
I'm a very serious person," he also said. "I may not be dour, but I'm serious."
The former two-term Arkansas governor has expressed criticism of Palin before, suggesting her abrupt resignation of the Alaska governorship may suggest she's not ready to handle the pressures of a hardscrabble presidential primary campaign.
"If she's looking to be a national political figure, it's not going to get easier," he said in July. "In a primary this is going to be an issue she'll have to face. Will she be able to withstand the pressure?"
In many respects, Huckabee should be considered the early favorite in what already appears to be a crowded field of 2012 Republican contenders. He consistently leads Palin and his old rival Romney in presidential polls and has maintained a legion of faithful followers. He's also out with a new book this month and a concurrent book tour through some of the country's most conservative townships - including some in politically important Iowa.
Huckabee was also the winner of a recent Values Voter Summit straw poll, grabbing nearly 29 percent of the vote in a crowded field that, in addition to Palin and Romney, included Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Indiana Rep. Mike Pence, House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
But Huckabee's fundraising pales in comparison to Romney's and Palin's, and it's the former Republican vice presidential candidate who has been dubbed the party's rock star, and whose upcoming book tour will make national headlines - a fact Huckabee brushed off with his trademark humor.
"I'm glad she's getting the props - I know I'm not nearly as attractive," he said.
Both the Reps & Dems need some new blood. We are all sick of the same old blowhards who get nothing done. Mike belongs in the pullpit.
Ahhhh, my daily dose of the CNN Palin ticker.
I am not going to read any comments since I know the mere mention of Palin's name makes the loons carazy.
So, you've gotta love CNN's use of the title to a story. it's made to sound like it's Palin that has the double-standard instead of those imaginary people Huckabee is talking about, supposed "fans" of Palin, that don't like him.
I don't know enough about Huckabee to judge him, but it seems he is willing to attack those on his own side, or maybe it's just the only thing the media will report on. Either way, the fact that the media seems to like Huckabee and doesn't do a hatchet job on him, makes me wonder.
I would prefer Romney and Jindal to Palin and Huckabee. Although Palin may be the best looking GOP candidate, presidential election is no beauty contest. I have been very disappointed by what she represents and has said.
I don't agree with ole Huck on pretty much anything. But he doesn't scare me the way Sarah does. I just can't stand her.
please let Palin run, it will be better than comedy central.
The Dems love you Huckabee... because you are a loser.
Stay out of the race.
I'm not surprised that Gov. Huckabee is doing so well. He is a hard working decent man, even if I disagree with many of his views, I do respect him. And that is much more than I could say for Romney or Palin. Romney reminds me of a talking "Ken" doll, and Palin is an air headed "Barbie" who winks and does not think with more than 2% of her bosom.
Mike don't throw Palin under the bus... Where is a place for her... you... Romney ... Pawlenty... Jindal...! Work together! for win in 20012
Huckabee would be a very good candidate, but after the first three years of the narcisstic, ego-maniac, now occupying the White House, the People;meaning Republicans, Conservatives, Independents, and just plain voters will vote for anybody, but Obama!
Maybe if he gets it he can help find the $2.3 Trillion lost by the Pentagon under Bush/Cheney......Cheney seems willing to open his mouth with every chance he gets.
Not only does no one care what Sarah Palin thinks or says; no one cares what Mike Huckabee says about Sarah Palin or thinks about Sarah Palin.
These two right wing nut jobs deserve each other and I hope they both make the gop ticket in 2012 so we can flush em both, once and for all
If Huckabee wants to be taken seriously, then he needs to behave more seriously. And I'm not even talking about his political views. Put that aside. I am talking about how he spends his time and how he runs his life. What a joke.
Well better Huckabee than that idiot Palin.
Then again, so Obama wins again, I hope the GOP does nominate the quitter Palin.
I rather see Mr. Huckabee playing guitar on Fox.. He does a better job as a musician then as a politician.. Mr. Huckabee is funny..Hee hee hee!!!
Yes – it is shocking that Huckabee is labeled an ignoramus while Palin, who says sillier things than Huckabee, is somehow not labeled something worse by these same people.
Yes, Palin does stand for things – but she stand for things against facts, logic, reason and all evidence – that behavior is not something of which to be proud.
This guy will have a better chance as a 'Conservative Democrat'. He should switch parties.
Huckabee would be my last choice among all living Republicans to vote for, with the possible exception of Palin. Stop with the religiocrats and run a real Republican. You remember, small government, keep gov. out of people's personal lives? Bible thumping populists are not real Republicans.
I would vote for Huckabee over Palin any day. He doesn't make me gag with just a mention of his name.
And I was always a Dem and became a Conservative.
If you simply do the math and forget the parties – at least with the Republicans we don't have a double digit unemployment, military that is backed with the right attitude and people who do not want to take away my personal rights.
Again it's simply the math and the ability to do what's right, not just popular. And doing what is right is not always popular.
Just a general observation from reading liberal and conservative postings here and on other sites........the liberals seem to have better spelling......
Sarah P. is not bright enough to know what a double standard is.
And herein lies the fundamental problem with the Republican party. It's not whether Sarah Palin can take the pressure of a presidential primary election, it's whether Sarah Palin can take the pressure of actually being president. Do you think the work and the pressures thereof stops simply because you get elected? Apparently you do. And you just lost my vote.
We do not need another theocrat in national office. Huckabee would change the Consitution so that it matches his sacred book. I don't believe in him or his book. I believe in the Constitution.
He should be kept from any national governmental office.
Huckabee can beat Obama. Anybody but Obama !
As an Arkansan, I will tell you one thing–WATCH OUT FOR HUCKABEE. He is a self-promoter and an egotistical whiner. Half of the parks and rivers in Arkansas are named after him or his wife. Not because he wanted it, us dumb Arkies just forced him to do it.