Hearkening Back to Huckabee
11-20-2009
When I came across this item on former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee earlier today (courtesy of a Marc Ambinder link), it took me back a few years to when I first started this website. The item details Huckabee’s recent comments taking fellow Republicans to task for their knee-jerk criticism of President Obama.
 
Back in October of 2007, I put up a couple of posts puzzling over the question of why Huckabee wasn’t surging in the polls for the Republican presidential race. At the time, Kansas Senator Sam Brownback was viewed as the higher profile religious conservative, and was accordingly given greater attention in the national media.  Huckabee struck me back then as a polished speaker who talked of compassionate conservatism in a way that sounded genuine, rather than strategic.  And, Huckabee seemed like a personable guy. As we know, he went on to win the Iowa Caucus a few months later.
 
In contrast, the political discourse between the two parties has been so nasty and vitriolic lately, and some of the criticism of Obama so feverish, that Huckabee’s recent comments literally struck me as a breath of fresh air, just as he did when we first saw him in the Republican debates surrounded by slash-and-burners like Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, and Mitt Romney. I don’t know that this will help him with his party’s base; some will argue that the comments were simply a strategic play for moderate support.  But Huckabee remains quite popular with Republican voters, and his comments were a timely reminder that many voters actually appreciate civil political discourse, even when there are real differences to be debated.


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