McCain/Huckabee: Could this be the GOP ticket?

Mike Huckabee was on NBC’s Meet the Press earlier this morning with Tim Russert where he flat out stated he would like to be John McCain’s vice president. I haven’t heard any other Republican come out quite this strongly about a yearning to be on the ticket. Romney may have hinted a bit but the word is he and McCain sort of dislike each other. Huckabee has been pitching for McCain for weeks now.

Here’s the video of Huckabee discussing this VP notion with Russert:

A report from USAToday:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said Sunday he would like to be John McCain’s running mate.

“There’s no one I would rather be on a ticket with than John McCain,” said Huckabee, who was a stronger than expected challenger against McCain for the Republican presidential nomination. “All during the campaign when I was his rival, not a running mate, there was no one who was more complimentary of him publicly and privately. … I still wanted to win, but if I couldn’t, John McCain was always the guy I would have supported and have now supported.

“But whether or not I do the best for him, that’s something that only he can decide,” Huckabee said on NBC’s Meet the Press.

Huckabee, an ordained Baptist minister who had strong support from religious conservatives, won the leadoff Iowa caucuses and contests in seven other states. He left the race in March after Arizona Sen. McCain clinched the nomination following a series of big victories.

Huckabee also apologized again for remarks he made Friday to the National Rifle Association. Responding to an offstage noise during a speech, Huckabee said it was Democrat Barack Obama diving to the floor after someone had aimed a gun at him. Huckabee issued an apology Friday evening.

Sure, Huckabee could bring McCain some religious street cred but what else does Huckabee add? They’re both rather moderate on amnesty/immigration, a double no-no for conservatives. Plus, Huckabee’s a bit lenient on his fiscal policy.

However, the bottom line is that Huckabee has proven he could help McCain carry the south strongly, an area where they’ll need help going against Obama.

In terms of the religious credibility Huckabee would bring, this would fit into McCain’s overall campaign strategy of sticking to a center-right position on most issues. Huckabee is quite charming as a surrogate, the media tends to like him, plus he’ll bring in religious conservatives. Could this be a win-win for McCain?