When the phone rings, is it McCain on the line?

Huckabee would accept vice presidential slot if offered, but does not believe he's on McCain's list.

huckabee 224.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
huckabee 224.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
It's early in the morning. Somewhere in the room a phone is ringing. "I think that's John McCain wanting to know if I'll be on his ticket," former Republican Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said in jest. Given that it is vice presidential hunting season, it's natural that the thoughts of Huckabee automatically turn to his party's presumptive presidential nominee, who these days might very well be making a fateful call to politicians in his party. So although Huckabee is in Jerusalem and the topic of the early-morning press conference he held Tuesday was not American politics, he easily states what is on everyone's mind these days, even if they are far from Washington - the vice presidential race. Had that call been McCain, Huckabee told the reporters, "you guys will have a heck of a story." As a contender in the Republican primaries who hung on longer than the other serious rivals in the field, Huckabee has since been mentioned as a possible vice presidential choice. But when pressed on the topic later in the meeting, he addressed it more seriously, and acknowledged that he did not believe he was on McCain's list, the actual contents of which have kept Washington pundits guessing. "I would be quite surprised if my cell phone went off at the table and I had to step out and tell him [McCain], 'Yes,' said Huckabee, adding, "I have no indication that I am on the [V.P.] list." Still, he noted, should McCain actually call him, he would not turn it down. "I don't think anybody that runs for president turns around and says 'No,'" reflected Huckabee. "But I have said all along John McCain needs to select the person who can help him win and help him govern. I don't know who that person is, because only he can know that, I can't. It would be totally disrespectful of his place as the nominee to start suggesting that he ought to pick a particular person," said Huckabee.