Carol Platt Liebau: Huckabee: A "Unique Challenge"?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Huckabee: A "Unique Challenge"?

The WaPo's Chris Cillizza speculates that Mike Huckabee might be difficult to demonize, and pose a "unique challenge" should he become the presidential nominee.

Please. We all know the flaws of the four best-known aspirants, Giuliani, Romney, McCain and Thompson. But Cillizza's argument -- that Huckabee's social conservatism could win over the base while his economic populism and low key manner woos independents -- is a joke.

What's more likely is that it goes the other way, that is, his economic populism divides the base -- and then, the press goes to town discussing his belief in creationism, his background as a preacher, his pro-life stances and his release of a convicted rapist. The Democrats follow up by mentioning his "compassion" when it comes to illegal immigration and his lack of foreign policy experience, thereby neutralizing two policy issues that otherwise cut in Republicans' favor -- and his ethics problems would be used to neutralize Hillary's or to enhance Obama's appeal. Voila! No suburban moderate will touch him with a ten-foot pole, and hello, President Clinton or Obama.

Huckabee would pose a "unique challenge" all right. But not to the Democrats.


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