What the Heck is Huckabee Doing?

I must admit, I was at one time a Mike Huckabee fan, but my ignorance only lasted for a few weeks until I found out where he really stands on policies. He is extremely well spoken and comfortable in front of the camera, which is something that has been lacking in the White House lately. This alone fooled many conservative voters who don’t keep up with presidential politics more than watching ten minutes of a debate before casting a vote. Huckabee articulates social conservative values better than anyone in the Republican field did this year. Many “values voters” supported him simply because of his social conservative values, but there remains a small contingent of people that voted for him because of his support of the Fair Tax. However, besides witty one-liners, the Fair Tax, and his staunch support of sanctity of life issues, there is little from his record to suggest that he would govern conservatively.

HuckbearSome Americans are “one issue voters”, whether it’s a stance on abortion, foreign policy, immigration, or taxes. Huckabee gained a lot of ground this year because he portrayed himself as only “Christian” candidate, while preaching the dangerous rhetoric of populism. This led many people to vote for him because of identity politics. Identity politics happens everywhere—blacks vote for Obama because he’s black, women vote for Hillary because she’s a woman, Christians vote for Huckabee because he’s a Christian. It’s a dangerous way to vote and it clearly exists.

While governor of Arkansas, Huckabee demonstrated throughout his governing that he is not a fiscal conservative by raising both government spending and taxes overall in the state. On foreign policy issues, Huckabee called the Bush administration’s foreign policy an “arrogant bunker mentality”. Much of his political speech closely mirrored John Edwards populist message. But all this is moot because he likely won’t be the nominee.

So back to my original question…what the heck is he doing? According to an article posted just yesterday by Jim Forsyth, Huckabee is shooting for a brokered convention. In other words, he’s hoping that John McCain doesn’t get the required number of delegates needed by September, leading to a debate and vote at the convention as to who wins the nomination. This same interesting scenario is also playing out among the Democrats between Hillary and Obama.

Others have speculated that Huckabee is shooting for a Vice Presidential spot, but it appears that won’t happen since he’s attempting to spoil McCain’s nomination process. But what definitely appears obvious is that Huckabee is building himself up for a run at the presidency in 2012. By hanging around and garnering more support now while he can, perhaps people will remember him in 4 years when either Hillary or Obama occupies the White House. But is his staying in the race now actually building up more support for him or is it just demonstrating the conservative distaste for John McCain? Huckabee is more of a social conservative than McCain, but it’s laughable when either claims to be carrying the banner of conservatism.

Huckabee’s mantra in this campaign of “I’m the candidate of miracles” is getting old. He has overstayed his welcome and has become annoyingly optimistic. Even though many conservatives don’t care for John McCain and probably never will, Huckabee drawing this out is just leaving everyone with a bad taste in their mouth. While his presence has contributed to an interesting and ultimately disappointing 2008 Republican nomination process, hopefully the Republicans can find a genuine conservative candidate in 2012.

Article: Is Huck Still Running for ’08 or ’12?