Carol Platt Liebau: How Revealing

Saturday, February 09, 2008

How Revealing

Mike Huckabee is resisting calls that he pull out of the presidential race.

There's no doubt that Huckabee has the right to stay in until the convention. But having the right to do something doesn't make it right to do. By staying in, Huckabee delays and makes more difficult the very serious task John McCain has ahead of him of unifying the Republican Party.

Especially with Mitt Romney out of the race, Huckabee can now become the sole vessel for unhappy Republicans to vent their discontent with the McCain candidacy. Certainly, Huckabee can continues to rack up wins. Perhaps Huckabee believes that by continuing to win delegates to the point where he comes in "second" to McCain, he is reserving a place for himself as the putative frontrunner the next time a Republican presidential field assembles.

But he may be playing it too clever by half. He's already managed to stir the resentment of many conservatives for the way he worked in conjunction with McCain to knock Romney out of contention. Now, he may earn the enmity of moderates for hassling McCain. That doesn't leave a huge constituency for the smooth-talking governor, whose candidacy is already crippled by the perception that he's a regional candidate whose appeal is primarily restricted to evangelical Christians.

Finally, the contrast with Mitt Romney couldn't be stronger. In his withdrawal address, Romney said:

I disagree with Senator McCain on a number of issues, as you know. But I agree with him on doing whatever it takes to be successful in Iraq, on finding and executing Osama bin Laden, and on eliminating Al Qaeda and terror. If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign, be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.

Those scruples apparently don't burden Governor Huckabee. How revealing -- of both Romney's and Huckabee's characters.

3 Comments:

Blogger The Very Sane Woman Who Points Out the Obvious said...

How revealing indeed. Did governor Romney really say the following?

"If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign, be a part of aiding a surrender to terror."

So if Clinton or Obama become the president, then the terrorists win.

If he really said this, then it is the most offensive, and absolutely wrong, bit of political claptrap that I've heard in years.

9:24 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

I really don't get it, Carol. Mike Huckabee's sole sin in this race has been to win the votes of conservative heartland Republicans. Votes that Mitt Romney wasn't able to win (outside of his home states) despite spending $50 million dollars building himself up and attacking other Republicans. Yet reading your posts, the one candidate that heartland conservatives in the great red middle actually like is the one you keep arguing should always want to drop out of the race.

In the beginning Mike Huckabee should have dropped out because he was making too big a deal of his religion, preying on the unsophisticated evangelicals of Iowa. Then he should have dropped out because he was a spoiler robbing Multiple Choice Mitt of the conservative votes that were his by divine right. Now he should drop out to allow for a coronation of John McCain.

How condescending and arrogant are these arguments? It's not Mike Huckabee's fault that Mitt Romney couldn't buy a win in Iowa and New Hampshire, despite outspending all of other Republican candidates combined. Given that Mitt Romney finished third in every state that mattered on Super Tuesday, it is fairly clear which former governor was playing the spoiler in the race, and it wasn't Mike Huckabee.

Don't get me wrong, from my side of the field I'm plenty happy that the bi-coastal Republican elites decided to prop up a man who spent millions attacking other Republicans. I'm just not sure when the Republican establishment became such elitists that they actively despise and condescend to the people in the fly-over states who form their base.

10:08 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

The very sane woman... asks, "Did governor Romney really say teh following?"

Of course he did. For the past six years the Republicans have been labeling anyone who disagrees with them traitors. If it's good enough for the Bush administration and Rush Limbaugh, then why would you expect a failed second-rate presidential candidate to act any differently?

Very sane..., please also note that Carol approvingly repeated Romney's scurrilous charge. The next time Carol starts complaining about the coarseness of the debate, gets the vapors and starts looking for smelling salts, please remember it's just an act. Lowering the level of political discourse is not something that bothers Carol in the slightest.

7:20 PM  

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