Jim Geraghty poses a hypothetical:
Suppose you’re an undecided Republican voter, with mixed feelings about the big-name Republican presidential candidates. You respect John McCain, but he doesn’t look like a viable option — which is just as well since he bugged you with his crusade for speech-limiting campaign finance reform, and lost you with the immigration deal with Ted Kennedy.
Mitt Romney’s wowed you in the debates, but you can’t forget that while you agree with all his positions, he had strikingly different ones not too long ago. And you would prefer a nominee who has won more than just one political race in his life.
You love Rudy Giuliani’s crime-fighting record and 9/11 leadership, but the thought of a non-pro-life Republican nominee gives you pause, and the messy home life troubles you a bit.
You were very excited about Fred Thompson, and nearly fainted with anticipation when you saw his smackdown of Michael Moore. But lately you feel like you’re playing a character in Waiting for Godot, and you’re wondering if he got lost somewhere on the way to the announcement.
Those still shopping for a candidate could do a lot worse than former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who with the second-place finish in Ames is not merely now a “top tier” candidate, as Newt Gingrich recently declared, but arguably belongs in the middle of that first tier.
That describes me to a tee.
Huckabee’s record on taxes gives me cause for concern, yet he seems to be on solid ground when addressing national defense and The Long War. He’s unabashedly pro-life, and he’s an ordained Baptist minister. Thanks to his solid performances in recent debates and in several interviews (like today’s with Michael Medved), and also due to his second place finish in the Iowa Straw Pool, I’m giving him a second look.
I’m eager to see whether Huckabee does well in the Texas GOP Straw Poll, especially if Fred Thompson jumps into the race and they go head-to-head. Some say Huckabee’s already stolen Thompson’s thunder. I suspect that Fred still has time to win the nomination, but he can’t wait much longer.
Fred or Mike? Mike or Fred? Hmmmm …