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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Why Mike Huckabee could be on the 2008 GOP ticket

I still plan to blog at greater length, later this week, about my most-current views of the race for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination. But here's a teaser:

I'm now convinced that the party needs former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee to be in one of the top two slots (the only remaining questions being, which one, and with whom).

An entirely sufficient reason: Having this ordained Baptist minister on the ticket is likely to make humorless lefties' heads explode.

'Old Hippie' Mike Huckabee playing the bass guitar at a 2008 campaign function

Evidence: This post, from the normally good-humored Jeralyn Merritt, entitled "Huckabee: No Health Care for Dirty Hippies," and the forty-two comments prior to mine — none of which could recognize a terrific joke by Gov. Huckabee during Sunday's GOP debate in Florida that even the New York Times' debate transcriber caught.


UPDATE (Wed. Dec. 5 @ 8:30 pm): In the weeks since this post was written, I've continued, by and large, to be impressed by Huckabee's campaign skills. And I still would consider him for the second spot on the GOP's 2008 ticket. Enough serious questions have been raised about him, though — in particular, regarding his collaboration with tax-and-spend Democrats and soft-heartedness with pardons as governor, and regarding his lack of experience but worse, interest in serious foreign policy ideas — that I have grown unenthusiastic about him as a prospective top-ticket nominee. I've changed the title of this post from "needs to be on the 2008 GOP ticket" to "could be on the 2008 GOP ticket."

There are ways in which I continue to be dissatisfied with Romney, Giuliani, and Thompson in small to medium-sized measures, and with McCain in several large ones. But I am definitely, positively never going to be one of those "I'd rather stay home" Republicans come either primary or general election days. And, probably, around New Year's, I'll announce my own considered preference for the nomination.

Posted by Beldar at 02:33 AM in 2008 Election, Humor, Politics (2007) | Permalink


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(1) EW1(SG) made the following comment | Oct 24, 2007 10:51:29 PM | Permalink

An entirely sufficient reason: Having this ordained Baptist minister on the ticket is likely to make humorless lefties' heads explode.

Oh my. I just realized that I'm the Antichrist. Or rather, the equivalent leftie conceptualization.

Humorless, but vivid imaginations. Wonder what the reaction would be to mentioning The Capitalist Manifesto, and that I have actually read it?

(2) Milhouse made the following comment | Oct 24, 2007 10:57:47 PM | Permalink

Making lefties' heads go 'splodey is good; unfortunately he makes righties' heads go 'splodey too. He's a big-spending, big-government, nanny-state booster, a self-righteous moralist, he wants the government in our boardrooms and in our bedrooms, and on top of it all he's an idiot. Now what was it, again, that made him seem so attractive?

(3) Beldar made the following comment | Oct 25, 2007 6:15:52 PM | Permalink

Milhouse, that he made a mistake about a fact from American history (my guess is he was repeating a mistaken someone else had told him, but whatever) doesn't make him an idiot, and if you've watched him speak or give interviews, Hs he seems to be quite bright. He's articulate; he's funny, albeit corny. And from audience reactions at joint appearances, he's proving himself to be perhaps the best campaigner in the race.

I do agree that his record as governor raises some questions and, in particular, that it evidences some compromises of conservative principles. So did Reagan's from California, or for that matter, from the White House; so did Dubya's as a governor and as President. No one running has what I'd describe as a "perfect" record; "Perfect Candidate" will not be on my ballot in November 2008.

But I'm convinced that, at a minimum, Huckabee would be a good ideological and moral balance to a Giuliani-topped ticket. And with either Giuliani or Romney, he'd provide geographic balance and shore up crucial southern electoral votes. I have a harder time seeing him on a ticket with Thompson, which is to say, I don't see that match as being as complementary as the others, but I don't think it would be a bad one.

(4) Milhouse made the following comment | Oct 26, 2007 12:08:23 AM | Permalink

Well, if Giuliani's the nominee I'm not voting Republican, so I don't really care who his #2 is. But Huckabee as his #2 would just make me happier I wasn't voting for them. I just don't see anything in Huckabee's positions to support.

Right now I'm leaning towards Thompson. The two big flaws I see in him are a) his lack of executive experience; and b) that he has not acknowledged that his support for McCain-Feingold wasn't just a bad idea, but a breach of his oath to uphold the constitution. But despite those flaws, he seems to me better than any of the other candidates out there. At least he does say he regrets it, for whatever reason, which is better than McCain who AIUI is still proud of it.

BTW you're right that Dubya's "far from perfect". About the only things I can see that he's done right, or at least kind-of-right, are the war, tax cuts, and judicial nominations. The war's been mishandled, the tax cuts were kind of puny, and the nominations weren't all that great either, but at least those all earn him positive points rather than negative ones. And the war's so important that all by itself it counts for a large percentage of the score, so getting that one even partially right is good. The war is the main reason I voted for him in 2004, having supported Harry Browne in 2000.

(5) Milhouse made the following comment | Oct 26, 2007 12:17:32 AM | Permalink

PS: I would be an enthusiastic supporter of Ron Paul if only the president weren't also Commander in Chief and in charge of foreign policy. If the presidency were split into two jobs, I'd make Paul the President for Domestic Affairs and, I dunno, McCain or Brownback or someone President for Foreign Affairs. Assuming Dick Cheney wasn't available, that is.

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