Day By Day

Friday, October 19, 2007

Huckabee Ascendent

Several weeks ago "She Who Must Not Be Named" and I were driving along the interstate early in the evening. We had the radio on and were listening to some talk show host interviewing Gov. Mike Huckabee. After a while "She" said, "I like him, too bad he's not going to be the nominee." I agreed that he was likable and smart and had executive experience and would probably make a good President. I was, however, worried about his statements on free trade and would reserve judgment.

Then followed a blitz in which Huckabee appeared on several shows. I came to like him a bit more, but remained pretty happy with Giuliani and saw no reason to pay a lot of attention to Huckabee. Now I note that James Dobson has declared all of the top-tier Republican candidates unacceptable and is openly hungering for a Huckabee nomination. Today David Brooks jumps on the Huckabee express and gives the Governor a tongue bath in the NYT. Brooks and Dobson -- that's a pretty wide stance.

Read Brooks' piece here.

Brooks has a point. The Republicans are in trouble because they are divided, and each of the top-tier candidates, good men all, alienates at least one of the major factions within the party. Huckabee is the only candidate who is acceptable across a broad spectrum and therefore the only one who stands a chance of uniting the party.

It's an interesting thought. I'm going to have to start paying more attention to the Gov.


Byron York says Huckabee hit a home run at the Values Voters summit. [here]

UPDATE: In the straw poll taken at the end of the summit Huckabee essentially tied Romney as the values voters' first choice (each got about 1500 votes). Giuliani barely registered with about 100 votes. Read about it here.

UPDATE: Apparently Huckabee blew away the opposition among people physically attending the summit. Nearly all of Romney's votes came from online sources. Rich Lowry listened to Huckabee's speech. Here's his reaction:
Wow. Let me repeat: Wow. What an incredible communicator. His message has gotten stronger with the accent on Buchanesque nationalist/protectionist notes, and he speaks the language of these kind of voters better than anyone. I found myself getting goose-bumps near the end of his speech when he invoked a long series of Biblical underdogs, beginning with David and his five smooth stones.
Can't get any stronger than that.