THIRD PARTY CANDIDATE: The NY Times has a talking heads video feature, which, today, has a couple of fellows debating the proposition that Mike Huckabee should mount a third-party presidential candidacy now that he’s all but eliminated from the Republican contest. Sounds good. The family probably would like it, too.

WHY WON’T HE QUIT?: LA Times ponders the question.

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If, as many suspect, Huckabee is continuing his presidential bid largely to build momentum as a vice presidential prospect, he also must deal with a counter campaign.

Just hours after former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s exit from the GOP race on Thursday effectively handed the nomination to McCain, Huckabee’s critics intensified efforts to deny him a spot on the ticket. The opposition stems largely from his record as governor of Arkansas from mid-1996 through 2006.

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“Clearly, an economic liberal like Mike Huckabee will be unacceptable to a majority of Republicans,” Pat Toomey, president of the Club for Growth, a conservative advocacy group, said in a statement. On Friday, Toomey released his roster of preferred vice presidential picks, which was led by South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford.

David A. Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, said Huckabee’s record on taxes and immigration would only worsen McCain’s friction with conservatives if he were on the ticket.

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