From Macon, at 4 p.m.: Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee is to announce whether or not he’ll run for president on Saturday – on his Fox News show.
I ran into state Rep. Ed Setzler, R-Kennesaw, as he was checking into the hotel. Setzler was at the top of the Huckabee campaign in Georgia in 2008 – when he carried the state.
Don’t expect Huckabee to try again this year, Setzler said. The man’s top advisors in Iowa have already gone elsewhere.
Both Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich, Georgia candidates for the GOP nomination for president, were given mentions this afternoon. Cain drew the stronger applause.
Two other potential GOP candidates for president gave video greetings to the 500 or so delegates assembled in the early hours – former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann.
Bachmann, perhaps inadvertently, entered into local GOP politics by giving a shoutout to incumbent GOP chairman Sue Everhart, who’s running for a third term. She’s facing Tricia Pridemore, the governor’s choice.
Backstage, Senate President pro tem Tommie Williams, R-Lyons, said he thinks Senate Republicans are indeed close to a deal with Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle over control of that chamber.
At any Republican gathering, the language aimed at Democrats is sharp and biting. Macon is no exception.
Newly elected state Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said he was delivering on his promise to create a state agency that didn’t coddle labor unions – or “coddle people sitting at a home, waiting for a check.”
Said Chuck Eaton, a member of the state Public Service Commission, will be one of only two statewide candidates on the 2012 ballot, and said he was worried. “I know what kind of re-election campaign the president’s going to run. It’s going to be a Chicago-style campaign. It would not surprise me they bring their thugs down here from all over the country,” he said.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider