12 Dec 2007

How Did Huckabee Come from Behind?


Nicholas Wapshott explains that other candidates made mistakes and the press helped him.

How did Mike Huckabee, a little known governor of Arkansas, find himself running neck and neck for the Republican nomination with Rudy Giuliani? How did the penniless Mr. Huckabee soar past the free spending Mitt Romney, estimated worth more than $200 million, in the early voting state of Iowa?

It is usually only paranoid conspiracy theorists who blame the press for causing the events they report, but in the case of the presidential race the insatiable need to find a new angle on an old story certainly helps the underdog. …

Quietly, while the big beasts of the Republican jungle were roaring and clawing at each other, the mild and modest Mr. Huckabee, like James Stewart as Jefferson Smith in Frank Capra’s “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” was making steady progress. As a Southern Baptist, he had spotted what may turn out to be Mr. Romney’s fatal weakness: his Mormonism. By playing up his own role as a “Christian leader,” and invoking at every turn Jesus as his mentor, Mr. Huckabee silently slipped a stiletto into Mr. Romney’s ribs.

Although the Massachusetts governor’s appeal last week in College Station, Texas, for religious tolerance and more religion in public life showed that he could look and talk like a president, by addressing the issue of his faith he has only drawn attention to it, causing more voters to consider whether or not they really would be happy with a Mormon in the White House.

The most recent Iowa poll, for Newsweek, puts the Arkansas governor at 39%, ahead of Mr. Romney’s 17%. And in the latest national poll, for CNN, Mr. Huckabee is just two statistically insignificant points behind the leader, Mr. Giuliani.

Fortunately for the GOP, Iowa is far from decisive.

5 Feedbacks on "How Did Huckabee Come from Behind?"


This is a HUGE mistake for the GOP. Huckster is the least intelligent candidate – why not try evaluating someone on their merits? This guy knows nothing about foreign policy. He makes generalizations about issues but has no specific plans about anything. Say hello to a D in the Whitehouse if you nominate Hucker-bee.

jacob chung

i disagree. i don’t think it’s about mormonism vs. mainline christianity. i think this is a character issue. his supporters trust huckabee. i don’t think romney has garnered that same trust with the public; his politician’s posture and his history of supporting abortion and gay rights don’t settle well with conservatives. huckabee resonates with a conservative who wants to believe his candidate is trustworthy. George W failed them. they believe that Huckabee is of a different ilk.

Mark Steven Zuelke

Huck vs. Iron Lady? Huck wins. Huck is reassured, his faith and loving heart shine through. His eloquence reflects a true heart. Will he end up like any politician is still a question. On the other platform, the HC patter is formless and void, she relies on bad faith and comes across as mean, angry and out to get even with someone. No one really likes HC, they merely think she is a strong candidate. And she already is like any politician.

Marshall Pettit

It’s unfortunate that many still view Mormonism as non-Christian. But I agree with the blogger, this appears to be a surprising Huckabee advantage in the eyes of many Iowa and South Carolina voters.


Huckabee has played the religion card. Anyone who believes he has not play the religion card is either ignorant or a religious bigot or both. How ever eloquent his speech or how sincere he may come across, I don’t one trust him. I believe him to be sly like a fox with some hay seed charm. Romney has proven time and time again his ability to manage. At Bain Capital, the Winter Olympics, and as Governor of Massachusetts he has shown he has the brains and skills to turn around something in bad times, something not running right but yet at the core has great value. America is not running right and he has the abilities to turn it around like no other candidate has………..Republican or Democrat


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