Thursday, December 13, 2007

Why Does The Republican Establishment Not Want Mike Huckabee?

Left-wing humor site Sadly, No! has endorsed Mike Huckabee for President. In doing so, they ask a question, and debate among themselves the answer - why does the Republican establishment not like Mike Huckabee? Why are they working to keep him from getting the nomination?

Late last summer, I wondered why Huckabee wasn't getting more endorsements, wasn't polling better, wasn't getting more money from connected conservative Christians Republicans. Huckabee is one of their own, after all. He doesn't have Romney's chiseled good looks, or Giuliani's extensive public record (which should hardly be a selling point with Republican voters anyway; that and he's just batshit insane). He's the anti-Clinton in many ways - from the same small town, a Baptist, a good speaker, governor of Arkansas, fighting long odds against foes that just don't seem to conform to Party standards as much as he does, but get all sorts of support anyway (remember, before he came in second in New Hampshire, the runaway favorite in polling in the 1992 Democratic primary race was Paul Tsongas). Only now, as Romney and Giuliani destroy one another in one of those political fights that is interesting to watch, Huckabee's appeal to Republican voters is rising. His appeal to Republican voters, especially Republican primary voters couldn't be more clear.

Some of the folks at S,N! think that, like Buchanan in 1992, the party establishment doesn't like Huckabee because he has no idea how to couch the repellent ideas of the Republican Party in the kind of palatable language that George Bush was able to use in 2000 to hide the fact that he was just a tad to the left of Attila the Hun. Huckabee, in contrast, just kind of let's it all hang out there. Others at S,N! think that it is mere practical concerns - Huckabee drags the Republican Party to even more ignominious defeat than any of the other candidates. In a nice graph they put up recent polling numbers and projections; except for a head-to-head match-up between Sens. Clinton and McCain, none of the current crop of Republican front-runners come close to beating any of the Democratic front-runners. A loss is a loss.

I really can't fathom what is happening here. I still think Huckabee should be a shoo-in for the nomination.

Does anyone have any insight here in to internal Republican politics that can help me figure this one out?

Virtual Tin Cup

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