Huckabee Leading VP Contender?
While Democrats debate the likelihood of a Barack Obama-Hillary Clinton “Dream Ticket,” the latest word is that Mike Huckabee is currently at the top of the list to be John McCain’s running mate. James Pethokoukis attributes this information to “a top McCain fundraiser and longtime Republican moneyman who has spoken to McCain’s inner circle.”
1) He is a great campaigner and communicator who could both shore up support in the South among social conservatives (Huckabee is a former Baptist minister) and appeal to working-class voters in the critical “Big 10” states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio.
2) As any pollster knows, voters search for candidates who “care about people like me,” and Huckabee would probably score a lot higher on that quality than millionaire investor Mitt Romney. Plus, given all the turmoil on Wall Street, 2008 would seem to be a bad year to pick a former investment banker for veep.
3) Economic conservatives and supply-siders may balk, but the threat of four years of Obamanomics and higher investment, income, and corporate taxes might be enough to keep them on board.
Reason three is simply idiotic, as it could be said of any plausible choice.
It’s true that Huckabee is an amiable, empathetic fellow who would shore up key parts of the Republican base. But he’ll also alienate other parts of the base and virtually kill the party’s chances of winning over moderate “swing” voters.
Dan Drezner hopes this is merely “a late April Fools’ joke.” My guess is that it’s more like a trial balloon. And that neither Huckabee nor Romney will be on the ticket.