Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Few More Thoughts About Huckabee

So his rivals batter him and he seems to be still standing. OK, I know it's early, but for me, the parallel is Lee Sherman Dreyfus.

Seemed to come out of nowhere. Resonated with people. Didn't get elected because voters liked his ideology, knew or cared about the fine print in his white papers. If he even had them.

He won the Governor's race in '78 because people just liked the guy. They found him authentic in a profession congested with phonies.

I'm not saying Huckabee can or should win the nomination, or the Presidency. I'm not voting for him.

I'm saying experts who are baffled by his success in this excruciatingly-long, ever-shifting campaign should not be surprised that he's rising to the top of the charts, at least this week.

Put next to a professional-grade flip-flopper like Romney, a sleepy, out-classed Ed ("Bring Back Tommy") Thompson, an over-the-hill McCain, an irrelevant Tancredo, a quirky non-factor like Ron Paul and the purported front-runner, Rudy Guiliani, a guy who seems to be treading water and who cannot possibly stay afloat on the campaign trail for another year clinging to so much scandalous personal baggage - - Mike Huckabee is beginning to look good to Republicans, by comparison.

I used to think his name hurt him. Now I think, like his mythic weight-loss, that it works to his advantage, adding homey charm to his story.

I could be wrong about all this. I observe Republicans more than I hang out with them, but I think I've seen this dynamic at play before...a phenom appears, and all the shots that the opponents take just don't seem to land because the regular laws of political physics somehow get suspended.

Which is also why Barack Obama could win the Democratic nomination.

Maybe I'll get back to that later.

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