Monday, February 04, 2008

Huckabee's Veep Gambit


If any Presidential candidate has more blatantly campaigned for VP than Mike Huckabee, I'd like to hear it. Today NPR ran a piece including audio of his stump as he swings through the South in anticipation of SuperDuper Tuesday. He's campaigning only against Romney whom he calls out for, well, for not being a redneck. He is literally telling Southern Republican to vote for him because "I know how to make grits . . . I don't each fried chicken with the skin off, with a knife and fork." Thank God we can elect a President with greasy fingers.

Not only is Huckabee doing all he can to rip down Romney while not mentioning McCain, he's clearly playing up his credentials as a Southern vote-getter. The message is clear -- pick Huck as your running mate and run the table in the south. Speculation of Huckabee's second fiddle ambitions has been running hot for a while now, but the latest stumping makes it a dead certainty that's what he's after.

Which would be a disastrous strategy for McCain. McCain is a scary candidate for Dems because he plays so well among independents. Those same independents will grow increasingly nervous as Huckabee's borderline wingnuttery is run out in a general election campaign. And if McCain is elected as the nation's oldest President ever, his pick for Vice President matters a whole lot.

5 comments:

redhorse said...

This Huck VP stuff makes for an interesting conversation. For while you see McCain needing a moderate due to his age, I think him hoisting Huck into the 2 spot works b/c hard right voters that don't like him will like Huck.

The calculus then is this: which is greater -- the number of hard right voters Huck brings in or the number of indies he loses?

I don't know that answer, but I do know that Mama McCain is 137 years old, so presumably the son has growing to do.

Ben said...

You are right about his stratgey...as a Republican I am hoping it doesnt work out the way he wants.

grandpaboy said...

"Those same independents will grow increasingly nervous as Huckabee's borderline wingnuttery is run out in a general election campaign. And if McCain is elected as the nation's oldest President ever, his pick for Vice President matters a whole lot."

That's the first time I've seen a contrary arguement to VP Huck. Nicely done. Needless to say, Vice President Huckabee is almost as scary as President Huckabee. Especially under McCain. I still worry, but the last seven years have only reinforced my "worst case scenario" reflex.

PS I will post something again - promise.

Pho said...

Red:

I'm not sure Huck helps that much with Conservatives. On immigration Huck has been as guilty of deviating from hard right orthodoxy as McCain. Similarly, he has a checkered (in the eyes of GrowthClubbers anyway) past on taxes.

The one place where he might help is bringing into the fold enthusiastic pro-lifers. McCain has a perfect (again from that perspective) pro-life record but that movement is pissed at him over McCain-Feingold.

Pho said...

GrandpaBoy:

Glad to hear from you again. Thanks for the love. Looking forward to you getting your Grandpa on again.