Huck And Foreign Affairs

Daniel Drezner reads through Mike Huckabee’s Foreign Policy statement and finds it rather lacking:

The essay is a great symbol of Huckabee’s campaign — there are feints in interesting directions, but in the end it’s just a grab-bag of contradictory ideas.

In a New York Times Magazine profile, Huckabee mentions columnist Thomas Friedman and new sovereigntist Frank Gaffney as his foreign policy influences. Those in the know might believe this to be impossible, but Huckabee’s Foreign Affairs essay really is an attempt to mix these two together in some kind of unholy alchemy.

The more one looks at Huckabee the less substance there seems to be. If this guy gets the nomination, it’s lights out for the GOP’s chances in 2008. No wonder the Democrats are pushing for him—he’s the one candidate that makes Obama seem prepared. (A Huckabee-Obama race would be the most vapid Presidential contest in recent history.) His appeal is that he’s a good-old-boy Evangelical, which is enough for about 25% of the GOP electorate, but not enough to win the White House. It won’t even be close.

Thankfully, I don’t think Huck will make it through the nomination process. He’s peaked too early, and now people are asking questions about his record. The Wayne DuMond pardon is just the tip of the iceberg for Huckabee. You can’t be a governor of Arkansas without a few skeletons in your closet, and Huckabee is no exception to that rule.

Huckabee is not Presidential material. He may be a nice guy, he may be a devout Christian, and he may be the sort of person you’d like to have a beer with, but that doesn’t make him someone who could face down Ahmadinejad or work with Congress on solving our Social Security problems. Republican primary voters need to think about which candidate can actually use the bully pulpit of the Presidency to advance conservative ideas—and that will mean working with a hostile Congress and trying to advance American values in an increasingly hostile world. Huckabee’s vapid piece in Foreign Policy demonstrates that not only is Huckabee unprepared, but he possesses a naïvete that is downright dangerous. The GOP can do better than that, and hopefully they will.

SEE ALSO: James Joyner takes a detailed look at what he calls Huckabee’s “Sunday school” foreign policy.

UPDATE: Even Andrew Sullivan gets in on the act. He’s right, though. Huckabee’s statement basically consisted of throwing out the names of two foreign policy theorists that Huckabee could recall off the top of his head, not even realizing that the two stand for essentially opposite concepts of American foreign policy.

5 thoughts on “Huck And Foreign Affairs”

  1. Reagan had written extensively on foreign policy before 1980, and had been the governor of a state with an international border and numerous foreign trade ties even at the time. As for George W., I don’t think he would have been nominated if the war had started in 1999 rather than 2001. Bush made up for his lack of experience with a decent foreign policy team, and even then Bush’s foreign policy has been half-assed at best. He gets credit for his fortitude on the war, but Bush’s overall foreign policy is a mixed bag at best.

    Huckabee keeps demonstrating a fundamental lack of not only experience, but judgment. His foreign policy is scarcely different from Obama’s or Edwards’. In terms of foreign policy, I’d be more comfortable with Hillary in charge than Huckabee. At least she’s Machiavellian enough to keep our enemies guessing. Huckabee’s disturbing naïveté makes him unfit to lead this country in a time of war. I could accept him as a VP, but he just doesn’t have what it takes to lead.

  2. The more we’re told Huckabee simply can’t win, the higher his poll numbers go. Now he leads Thompson in his firewall state of South Carolina….and murmurs last week suggested he’s leading Giuliani is his firewall state of Florida. Mind you these polls came out AFTER a week full of Huckabee-bashing. His opponents have thrown everything and the kitchen sink at him only to watch his popularity continue to go up.

    People like you are quaint and naive enough to believe that Presidential elections are actually won on issue. They’re won on salesmanship….and Huckabee is one hell of a salesman. If he’s the GOP nominee, he’s the next President. Period. The weakest link to the GOP coalition is the evangelical base, which demands purity or will go on strike. That’s why Giuliani would be such an unmitigated disaster for them. Consolidating the evangelical base means taking potential swing states like Missouri and West Virginia out of contention by July and forcing the Democrats into the same dead-end 18-state strategy that has destroyed them in the last two election cycles.

    And seriously Jay, where do the GOP’s robber barons and neocons go after Huckabee gets the nomination. Do “ownership society” blue bloods really vote for a Democrat who favors universal health care and raising the top tax rate (or sit home and risk that Democrat winning) or do they hold their nose and vote Huckabee? Do “bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” voters really deny their vote to a fellow hawk in favor of his “cut and run” opponent?

    Huckabee may not be your first choice or the first choice of establishment Republicans who took for granted that they could hold off the mutiny of their malnourished Christian soldiers forever, but when he proves that he can win against weak Democratic opposition next fall, you’ll be onboard.

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