I think he wants to be that. Last night, he was on the Daily Show and had a spirited two-part exchange with Jon Stewart. During the first part, they discussed the conservative philosophy toward government, with Huckabee suggesting that conservatives need to stress "good government" (true) and less government. His "less" part, however was problematic as he suggested that less government is only possible if people are willing to self-govern and do the right thing. But his own experience from Arkansas, he admitted, was the good people wanting all those bureaus and agencies to keep the bad people in line. In other words, the good people are already trying to do the right thing, so less government can only occur if the bad people also try. Which seems contradictory. Circular, even.
The second half centered on gay marriage. Jon handled the entire interview very well and pointed out the real flaws in Huckabee's argument. The most annoying for me, was Huckabee's assertion that marriage as we know it now, is what marriage has been for 5,000 years. Disagree with gay marriage all you want, but arguing that marriage has been some static institution is simply ignorant. As Jon pointed out, you go back 5,000 years and you have polygamous marriages as the norm. Marriage is not a religious rite until a 1000 years into the common era, and in that entire time you have a lot of marriage that is about economics, property, slavery, and other variations where individual parties had no choice in the matter. Pretending that marriage has been one thing is the worst possible argument against gay marriage.
If Huckabee is the face, I see the right getting more socially conservative and moving farther right. Not good, in my mind, for either the GOP or the country as a whole.