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Every Registered Republican Planning to Jump in Presidential Race Late

The Republican Presidential nomination has been wide open for months. Mitt Romney has a smallish base of primary election support that cannot crack the low-20s. Extremist Texas politician Rick Perry has become the liberal in the race, aided along by a kneecapping from Wall Street. The Republican establishment believes that economic circumstances dictate a real opportunity for victory in 2012, but none of the candidates currently in the race are a sure bet to capitalize on it.

Therefore, the entire world is rethinking whether or not they should get into the race late. Sarah Palin had a deadline of today but she’s extending it. Rudy Giuliani snuck up to New Hampshire this week. Chris Christie is said to be “seriously considering” a run after appeals from several Republican mandarins. And now, we learn that Mike Huckabee has been approached to rethink his stance on the race.

Mike Huckabee has been approached by Republican and conservative activists unhappy with the current crop of presidential hopefuls and he is considering entering the fray, two sources who have spoken with Huckabee told Reuters.

The former Arkansas governor, who made a splash by winning the Iowa caucuses as a candidate in 2008, announced last May on his Fox News show that he would not enter the race.

But the conservative Huckabee, who appeals to evangelical Christians and is seen as an effective campaigner, is taking another look at jumping in, said the two sources, who are close to Huckabee. They spoke to Reuters on the condition of anonymity.

“He is entertaining the request for conversations about it,” one of the sources said. “I do not think it is a complete 100 percent ‘I’m reconsidering’ but he hasn’t shut the door on it.”

Has someone called Phil Gramm? John Connally? Wendell Wilkie?

Why, if I were Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, John Hunstman and Michele Bachmann, I’d almost be offended that the rest of the Republican base is so desperate for another alternative. To say nothing of Romney and Perry.

I get the feeling that there is no Great Right Hope, no savior that can check the box on every nutty idea demanded by the Tea Party base and also win an election. If Rick Perry is being seen as an amalgam of Howard Dean and George McGovern, clearly there’s nobody pure enough. So we’ll keep seeing this mad scramble for someone, anyone who can carry the conservative flag.

Meanwhile, Florida moved up their primary to January 31 today, which means that the other four early primary states will move as well. And that means there will be almost no time to stand up a national organization before the votes start getting cast.

UPDATE: HuckPAC shoots down the report. What’s interesting here more than the specific individuals is that some band of conservatives are touring the country, hitting up every Republican with the slightest following to see if they’ll think about running for President.

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David Dayen

David Dayen