Opinion: Doug Thompson

Huckabee watch

I wish I’d been as loud about my doubts of former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., as I was about Sen. Barak Obama, D-Ill. I’d have more pundit bragging rights.
Frankly, I never understood the buzz about Thompson. He was an ex-actor who had enough sense to walk away from Congress and therefore is relatively unsullied by recent scandals.

OK. He had celebrity from his stint on “Law and Order” and his hands were clean. Suddenly he’s the perceived savior of GOP presidential hopes.
How incredibly sad that is.
Thompson is the Republican Obama, a dot-com with lots of speculation and no payoff. Both of them have campaigns kept alive by news outlets that desperately need some sort of a race. The talk shows have to have something.
There is one difference: Thompson needed no strong frontrunner to crush him.
Obama’s backed by young volunteers. Those are the people who believe youth is the answer to everything. They’re the same type of enthusiastic group with vigor and new ideas who loved Howard Dean four years ago. Dean’s group from four years ago is older, wiser and backing Hillary Clinton.
Without Thompson, New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani remains ahead of former Massachusetts’ governor Mitt Romney and somewhere behind a consensus.
Given a choice between Giuliani and Romney on one hand and Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., on the other, whom will conservatives vote for?
The correct answer is neither. This, of course, is where our boy Mike comes in.
Former Gov. Mike Huckabee has been giving a very convincing run as the social conservative who isn’t a Pharisee. His kind remarks about the Clinton’s preserving their marriage, unlike many of the strident critics, is one of the very few Christ-like things I’ve heard a Religious Righter say in a while.
Nobody’s going to wonder whether this guy taps his foot in a men’s room stall, either.
I don’t think Huckabee’s going to win the nomination. I can see him, however, convincing Christian conservatives that voting for a Gotham mayor who doesn’t bash gays or for a Mormon isn’t necessarily all that bad. I can easily see him as a running mate.
I have no trouble at all seeing him in the top slot in 2012. Mrs. President might be on her way to re-election then. Might not. Four years ago, we were all talking about the permanent Republican majority.
I still don’t see a Republican ticket winning in 2008, however.
Nothing’s impossible, but I’ve racked my brain over the past several months to find a way out for conservatives. I can’t think of one.
Every Republican in Congress – even McCain – licked the president’s hand while he was popular. Now that president is perceived as the reason we got into Iraq and the sole reason we can’t get out, and every Republican in Congress is rightly viewed as his blind minion.
When everybody thinks the same, nobody’s thinking. Slavish devotion went to President Bush while he led the GOP from victory to victory. Dr. Faust, your bill has come due.
It’s as if unpopularity in this country was gallon of water that fills one of two buckets – the Bush’s or the Clinton’s. It took a lot of pouring, but the brackish water is in the Bush bucket now.
The best thing to ever happen to Hillary Clinton was to become a U.S. Senator. Before, she picked her causes: education, child welfare and safety, health care, whatever. Her role in politics was seen as an aloof harpy who swooped in on what interested her.
When you’re a U.S. Senator, however, you have to deal with what’s brought to your desk. This is especially true in a state like New York, which includes a cosmopolitan center of the world that has rural farms upstate. Apparently, the senator has taken to a well-rounded political life rather well, judging from her results in the last Senate election.
Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee. Again, this makes Huckabee more attractive. You could argue that if Hillary Clinton is the nominee, the GOP is going to lose Arkansas, and you’d have a point. However, if Arkansas and it’s electoral votes can be saved, then Huckabee’s the man to do it.
I don’t see anybody else taking the podium at a “Giuliani for Arkansas” rally.

Categories: Legacy Archive