Washington (CNN) - Last time around, Mike Huckabee announced he was running for president on January 29, 2007. This time, the former Arkansas governor is content to wait a while.
The former presidential candidate – who finished second to Arizona Sen. John McCain in total number of delegates after the 2008 race – said Friday he won't make any decision about a second presidential bid until this summer.
Why the delay? Huckabee says he doesn't want to become a "stale loaf of bread on the shelf."
"I think people get sick of us if we're out there for too long a period of time, and by the time it starts to matter – when you're getting closer to the caucuses and the primaries – you've been so, just, essentially, exposed in a campaign mode that there's nothing new," he told Fox News where he is a paid contributor - a post he'd have to give up if he ran.
Of course, Huckabee has little to gain by jumping in the race early. Virtually every national poll has him near or on top and he's likely content to watch other lesser-known candidates fight it out for a while.
"For me, having done this four years ago, I realize that very few people can sustain the burn rate of a campaign if it's going to have to last 18 months," he also said. "You can't raise and go through that much money and the infrastructure necessary to carry the campaign."
As for his ultimate decision, Huckabee won't say what direction he's leaning. But those reading the tea leaves noted earlier this week he is about to embark on a book tour that will include several stops in Iowa and South Carolina, two early voting states where he is particularly popular.
One thing Huckabee's decision won't depend on however is what Sarah Palin does.
"She would be a very key player in the Republican primary, I don't think anyone disputes that," he said. "But it wouldn't make the decision for me whether it's a go or a no go," he said.