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Bill Kristol [1] and I agree [2] that Huckabee is electable and would be competitive in a general election.  Very worrisome.  That pits both of us against Stuart Rothenburg [3], who has a reputation for knowing what he’s talking about.  Yet it seems obvious [4] to me [5] that Huckabee counteracts everything Obama has to offer, such as it is, while outmatching him in a number of ways.  While Obama is the professorial “arugula” candidate, Huckabee is the candidate of the average American.  While Obama is inexperienced liberal, Huckabee is the two-term governor who relates to Middle Americans.  Whereas Obama wants to invade Pakistan…Huckabee wants to invade Pakistan.  Okay, call that one a draw.  Rothenburg reads this matchup exactly backwards.  It isn’t Obama who cancels out Huckabee’s advantages, but Huckabee who cancels out Obama’s.   

Update: In case the title caused any confusion, what I found terrifying was agreeing with Bill Kristol.  A Huckabee nomination would be merely disturbing.

3 Comments (Open | Close)

3 Comments To "Terrifying"

#1 Comment By nbeaudrot On January 7, 2008 @ 9:19 am

It seems to me that Huckabee could win the general, but doesn’t have a path through the primaries. He’ll have a hard time winning outside of the South plus other states with lots of evangelicals (Oklahoma, maybe Missouri).

#2 Comment By mlindroo On January 7, 2008 @ 10:59 am

Hi Daniel,

Isn’t the big problem with Huckabee (or McCain for that matter) that he is loathed by the GOP elite while Obama pretty much makes everyone happy on the Dem side of the aisle…?

In 2004, the enthusiasm was clearly on the GOP side while the Democrats fielded a fairly mediocre “he’ll do” type of candidate — and the result was “only” a 48% – 52% loss.


#3 Comment By mkdelucas On January 7, 2008 @ 5:58 pm

Respectfully disagree. You ignore the role the media will play. Huckabee will be made to look small and ridiculuos; Obama will be put forth as a figure of hope. Head to head the granduer and mystery will fall all to one side.

You also forget that campaigns are principally referendums on the past, and most middle class Americans (the key constituency), anxious and unhappy as they are, will vote to repudiate it. And however much Huckabee might talk about change, he is the Republican and thus, by default, the person representing the past.

So I don’t think he has a shot. Not against Obama, not against anyone.