Fire of Liberty
I'd have to say that this column by Peggy Noonan pretty much sums up Governor Huckabee. While Noonan points out his social conservative bonafides she also notes that the former is also an populist in the form of William Jennings Bryan, Huey P. Long and John Edwards. I for one can't fathom the notion that the conservatives who ascended under the rein of President Reagan's would be willing to toss their principles of free markets, smaller government/fiscal conservatism, national interest foreign policy, and pro-family for a former Governor of Arkansas that is a nice fellow who appeals to most but swears away from the other facets of conservatism that produces a winning coalition. While Huckabee is a nice fellow to hang out with or to offer you guidance in "life's highway," I believe that it's far better to lose an election by clutching to a candidate that hews to the conservative principles set by Goldwater and Reagan rather than someone who appeals to one aspect of the conservative coalition. If people thought George W. Bush went soft on conservatism with his excessive spending, growth in government, and his "compassionate conservatism,"(Even if the folks in the White House went well beyond the ideas of Marvin Olasky)they'd think he was William F. Buckley Jr and Barry Goldwater(the 60 and 64 version) compared to the plans under Huckabee's belt. The former Arkansas governor might have lost 100 lbs but he still hasn't shed the economic and political populism that he demonstrated so well in the home state of Bill Clinton. One governor from Arkansas is enough for one lifetime. From the looks of it, Gov Huckabee might be the choice of evangelicals in Iowa but isn't the choice that will forge a conservative coalition that wins elections.
*Here's George Will's take on the former Governor of Arkansas.