GOP 2012 preview: While Palin courts lamestream media, Huckabee woos Christian conservatives

In interviews with ABC news and the New York Times former Alaska governor Sarah Palin said she is planning to run for president of the United States in 2012. The interviews with two of the main “lamestream media” outlets in the country, as she refers to them, will come out this week and are certain in Palin style to make a splash. They will overshadow the grassroots work former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, one of Palin’s likely rivals for the Republican nomination, will be doing in Iowa, the traditional first battleground in the presidential election cycle.

In an interview scheduled to air December 9 for a “Ten Most Fascinating People” show, Palin told Barbara Walters she was “looking at the lay of the land” and “trying to figure out if a [presidential run] is a good thing for the country, for the discourse, for my family, if it’s a good thing.”

Walters asked if Palin really thought she could defeat Pres. Obama.

“I believe so,” Palin said, clearly still feeling her way and not entirely convinced .

Meantime in Iowa, in the wake of elections where conservative candidates steered clear of social issues and won, Huckabee is going against the grain and playing to his strengths. He prefaced his coming trip to the Hawkeye state with an interview on an Iowa Christian radio station in which he praised voters for ousting the state Supreme Court justices who last year ruled to legalize gay marriage.

As Jason Hancock reports for the Iowa Independent, Huckabee told Christian radio host Steve Deace that the judicial retention election that resulted in the three Iowa justices being removed from the bench was one of the most important elections in the country . He said that when courts get out of line, the president and Congress must step up to put them back in place.

Huckabee will be in Iowa beginning Sunday when he’ll address The Family Leader, a new incarnation of the Iowa Family Policy Center that is led by former Huckabee adviser Bob Vander Plaats.

Asked about the judicial retention election, which saw Vander Plaats lead the campaign to oust the judges, Huckabee said Iowans expressed the popular will unabashedly.

The [founding fathers] considered the judiciary the least powerful branch of government, Huckabee said, because “it was less directly representative of the people.”

Huckabee joins another potential 2012 presidential hopeful, New Gingrich, in support of the ouster. Earlier this week, Gingrich told the Des Moines Register that now that three of the justices who legalized gay marriage in Iowa have been removed the remaining four should also step down.

Deace asked Huckabee what role the president could play in keeping the courts in check.

“A president has certainly got to respect a ruling of a court, but if a ruling of the court is wrong, and you have two branches of government that determine that it’s wrong, then those other two branches supercede the one,” he said, later adding that when the president and Congress disagree with the court, they can address it by constitutional amendment or by passage of further amplification of law. There are many means to do that.”

Additional reporting and writing from Jason Hancock, editor of Colorado Independent sister site in Iowa.

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