As recent as two weeks ago, Mike Huckabee's name was regularly mentioned as a top prospect for vice president.
He had proven himself as the authentic Christian conservative who could easily court Evangelicals. He was extremely likeable. He even became friendly with frontrunner John McCain -- never launching a direct attack against him, and often offering complimentary thoughts on the Republican frontrunner.
Now Huckabee refuses to get out of a race he mathematically can't win -- and it's starting to get on McCain's nerves.
In a year where Republicans should be seizing on any advantage to help their nominee, the conservative base is relentlessly attacking its frontrunner and the second-place candidate has decided a chance at a miracle is good enough reason to stay in the race and divert McCain's time, money and resources.
Now comes Bob Novak's column that reports that Huckabee might have blown his best shot at getting towards the presidency . . . meaning a slot as vice-president.
Novak writes that political insiders close to McCain's presidential campaign "have put out the word that there is absolutely no chance that his last remaining major opponent for the GOP presidential nomination, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, will become McCain's running mate."