The Toilet Just Flushed on Huckabee’s Campaign

| December 5, 2007 | Comments (7)

Today, Mike Huckabee disqualified himself for President by asking, basically, “NIE? What on Earth is that?”.

Kuhn: I don’t know to what extent you have been briefed or been able to take a look at the NIE report that came out yesterday …

Huckabee: I’m sorry?

Kuhn: The NIE report, the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran. Have you been briefed or been able to take a look at it —

Huckabee: No.

Kuhn: Have you heard of the finding?

Huckabee: No.

Kuhn then summarized the NIE finding that Iran had stopped work on a clandestine nuclear program four years ago and asked if it “adjusts your view on Iran in any sense.”

I can’t fault Huckabee for anything he said after that. I’m sure the explanation from the MSM reporter was nuanced and didn’t in any way shiv the President. No, sirree. So the meandering trip through I Don’t Know What I’m Talking About But I’m Going To Give You An Answer Anyway-ville is kind of forgivable.

What’s not forgivable is that the question caught Huckabee completely flatfooted. He should have, at least, had someone clue him in on the basics of the story just in case the biggest freaking story of the past two days came up in conversation. Does this guy have absolutely no one at least keeping marginally informed on national security matters? In the middle of a shooting war? With the self-appointed Islamist-in-Chief - the guy about whom the NIE was written - rattling our cage about every week?

I was talking to some friends over the weekend and I said that there were a couple circumstances under which I could vote for Huckabee, even though he’s a nanny-stater and a big government lover through and through. Not now. The only Republican lower on my voting list right now is Ron Paul. He needs to be praying really hard right now that his answer wasn’t caught on videotape. If it was, there are at least three Republican campaigns feverishly making a brand-new campaign ad right this very minute that’s going to be in really heavy rotation in Iowa very soon.

UPDATE: Ace lays the lumber to Huckabee’s campaign. Tell me, after looking at his stances, or lack of stances, on the issues that matter, what self-respecting Republican would vote for him over even Duncan Hunter?

If they’re honest? None.

So why the popularity? Well, I think there are two thigns at work. First, Huckabee’s a charming little rascal. He can toss out the glib answer that makes folks smile but doesn’t say anything at all. He’s basically the anti-Bush in that regard. Second, the MSM really seems to have taken a shine to him. They really haven’t gone after him like they would a Christian who leads with his faith and doesn’t happen to be a big-government nanny state kind of guy. Had Huckabee been, say, Pat Robertson…well…we know what happened to Robertson.

Basically, he’s the Puritan Bill Clinton. It’s no surprise that he’s making a surge right now.

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Category: Featured, Huh? What??, The 2008 Horse Race

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Comments (7)

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  1. Jewells says:

    I hope they caught it on tape and I hope it gets played from now til the primaries. I can't stand Huckabee. I seriously, would almost rather see Hillary elected. He's a phony, smarmy, self righteous dickhead. God, in Heaven, this is the best the Republicans can come up with? Even Fred doesn't turn me on. Duncan Hunter, the one man who I KNOW would be a great president is trailing at the bottom. How stupid is America?

  2. Demosthenes says:

    Just think, here we have (yet another) former governor of a southern state displaying no knowledge or preparation for the job of President. Yet, because he spouts a bunch of banal religious mumbo jumbo and seems like a nice guy, religious right voters ignore his utter lack of qualification for the presidency. Will Republican primary voters ever learn?

  3. Demosthenes says:

    I would add that the first one performing this stunt and fooling primary voters (in his instance, Democrats) was the lamentable Jimmy Carter. However, Mr. Bush is the most recent example of this "genre".

  4. Paul says:

    I think that "appearing presidential" has been redefined over the past 7 years, and Huckabee is simply emulating the current resident.

  5. Jimmie says:

    Hardly, Paul. Long on charisma and short on substance isn't exactly the description you'd use for George Bush. Now the guy before him…

  6. Jewells says:

    Personally I think GWB is pretty charismatic, he just doesn't have that knack of being a good public speaker. As Jimmie just said, we had one of those and him and his wife are the most shallow power hungry people this country has ever produced. I think Huckabee is dangerous, as dangerous as the Clintons. His nanny state mentality is what has turned me off as well as his constant joking during debates. He's running for president, not the class clown.

  7. Jimmie says:

    Fair point, Jewells. I'll say that what I've seen of the President is that, in small groups and individually, he is a very charming and engaged man. In bigger groups, he just doesn't have that smoothness that Huckabee has and that people react very favorably toward.

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