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Hunter For Huck

Duncan Hunter, who actually opposes free trade and illegal immigration, has endorsed Mike Huckabee [1], who wants you to think that he does.  My one-time, quite ludicrous prediction that Duncan Hunter would be the Republican nominee (based once again on the implausibility of all of the alternatives) was informed partly by the idea that Hunter’s protectionist and border security credentials would help the GOP this cycle with those states that they must win.  One of the crucial flaws with this is that I assumed voters would want the experienced legislator who knew what he was talking about, rather than the artful showman who does not.  Nonetheless, the Huckabee phenomenon shows that there is some response among Republicans to the themes Hunter has articulated–they just needed someone a bit smoother and more glib to gesture towards them very generally before they would get excited. 

P.S. Hunter’s endorsement statement is here [2].  It clearly helps Huckabee’s reputation on border security and national security that one of the leading restrictionists and former Chairman of the Armed Forces Committee has endorsed him.  It’s an interesting split of the two also-rans: Tancredo went for Romney, which was frankly more bizarre than this, and Hunter has backed Huckabee.  As recent and cynical as Huckabee’s shift on immigration has been, the Hunter endorsement doesn’t strike me as being nearly as odd as Tancredo’s support for Romney.  The latter is just wrong on so many levels.

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4 Comments To "Hunter For Huck"

#1 Comment By Michael Brendan Dougherty On January 23, 2008 @ 3:38 pm

Didn’t Huckabee say that Hunter would make a great Sec. Of Defense? I think he did in that New York Times profile: [3]

#2 Comment By Daniel Larison On January 23, 2008 @ 3:44 pm

That’s true, Michael, but I think that’s the thing everyone ends up saying about Duncan Hunter, if only for lack of anything else to say. Maybe Hunter thinks that he stands a better chance of getting the job with Huckabee than with one of the more establishmentarian candidates?

#3 Comment By OldNewEngland On January 23, 2008 @ 9:50 pm

I’d love to see Hunter in the cabinet.

But Dan, that’s pretty funny, how you called Dunc as the nominee. The establishment organs would never let a protectionist get anywhere near the candidacy.

#4 Comment By bsebse On January 23, 2008 @ 11:51 pm

Romney was consulting with Tancredo on immigration at least 18 month before he launched his campaign and made some big time changes in Mass based on those consultations. He started checking immigration status of people who were arrested and maybe even traffic stops.

Romney made the “flop” much earlier than other and more enthusiastically, indicated that he might have been more serious about the issue than the others as well.