Jay Reding.com

Why Huck’s Ahead

While I make no bones about my dislike of Mike Huckabee as a candidate, things like this are why Huckabee has gone from the bottom tier to the top so quickly:

It’s simply, folksy, and puts Huckabee above the fray. Rich Lowry sees a hidden strategy behind the ad, and I’m inclined to agree. This was a brilliant political move for Huckabee.

The fact is, however, that Mike Huckabee doesn’t have the policy chops to be President. However, you can bet that he will be the leader for Evangelical Republicans for some time in the future. He does represent a critical sector of the Republican base, and while his appeal to evangelicals won’t get him to the White House, it does give him a lot of power in the Republican Party. A Mike Huckabee that gets a few years of political and foreign policy experience as Vice President could be a potent force in the future.

3 responses to “Why Huck’s Ahead”

  1. Mark says:

    If the GOP united around one of the other candidates, Huckabee probably wouldn’t win the nomination, but the nature of frontloaded primary process will almost assuredly not allow that to happen. Unless Willard gets his footing back, Huckabee will be the nominee.

    So are you saying that for all your Huckabee-bashing, you still want him to be elected Vice-President? It’s not okay for this man to be President, but it’s no problem if he’s a heartbeat away from the Presidency? How’d that work for William McKinley?

  2. Jay Reding says:

    If the GOP united around one of the other candidates, Huckabee probably wouldn’t win the nomination, but the nature of frontloaded primary process will almost assuredly not allow that to happen. Unless Willard gets his footing back, Huckabee will be the nominee.

    Huckabee won’t be the nominee, any more than Howard Dean was assuredly going to be the nominee at this point in 2003. He has a plurality base of support, but that isn’t enough to win. I know you’d love for Huck to win since he’s the Republican most likely to go down in flames, but it just isn’t going to happen. If what I’m hearing from Iowa is correct, that race might be more surprising than the polls indicate.

    So are you saying that for all your Huckabee-bashing, you still want him to be elected Vice-President? It’s not okay for this man to be President, but it’s no problem if he’s a heartbeat away from the Presidency? How’d that work for William McKinley?

    The chances of a President being assassinated in the modern day are pretty damn slim. I’d accept Huckabee for VP because he needs some real-world experience before he could ever be President, and he would help get the evangelical vote out. The VP (Cheney aside) tends not to have much influence on policy, but would be a nice bully pulpit for someone like Huck on social issues.

  3. Mark says:

    “I know you’d love for Huck to win since he’s the Republican most likely to go down in flames”

    Huckabee is a classic example of a charismatic politician who nobody takes seriously yet ends up running the table. Ronald Reagan did it. Bill Clinton did. Mike Huckabee has great potential to be the next one to do it. Nearly a year ago, you ridiculed me for suggesting that if Republican voters got to know Mike Huckabee, they’d like him. As is so often the case around here, you were wrong and I was right. Yet you continue to spin the same narrative. Your tone deafness knows no limits.

    Furthermore, any Republican who can consolidate the evangelical voters the way that Mike Huckabee could would be a slam-dunk to win the Presidency no matter how much the media and the Democrats underestimate “the Baptist preacher”. No matter how much the robber barons and war-mongers of the Republican Party grumble about Huckabee today, at the end of the day they’ll come around. A Republican who has his Christian soldiers marching forward wins elections.

    “If what I’m hearing from Iowa is correct, that race might be more surprising than the polls indicate.”

    I’m not sure what you’re hearing, but if it’s the fact that Slick Willard has a strong machine here, that’s correct. Willard’s turnout operation will be substantial while Huckabee’s is fledgling at best. At least as of now, that’s about as complicated as it gets for Iowa Republicans.

    “The chances of a President being assassinated in the modern day are pretty damn slim.”

    In the span of seven years from 1974-1981, there were three assassination attempts on sitting Presidents. Granted, that’s 25+ years ago, but it’s not that far removed from “the modern day”. It certainly isn’t so far out of the realm of possibilities that a man you decry as categorically unsuited for the Presidency can be suited for the Vice-Presidency.