In: Mike Huckabee. The former Arkansas governor finished second in an otherwise meaningless Iowa straw poll, surpassing expectations. The signifigance? Huckabee spent virtually no money (as opposed to the millions spent by the Anchorman, who won the poll), showing that his message has some resonance. And what is that message? I’m a nice guy, and I’m a social conservative. The former is winning over the media, according to The Plank, while the latter appeals to the likeminded who don’t trust Rudy, McCain or Thompson and can’t stomach a flip-flopping Mormon.
I doubt Huckabee can win (he lacks money and organization), but he’s certainly emerging from that second tier, and if, say, Rudy wins the nomination, Huckabee could supply some necessary conservative bona fides. Romney, meanwhile, could use a non-automaton on his ticket. Say this for Huckabee: he’s engaging and candid, regardless of what you think of his politics.
Out: Bill Richardson, who has proven reliably inept in his bid for the White House.
(excerpted from the HRC/LOGO debate:)
MS. ETHERIDGE: Thank you. Do you think homosexuality is a choice, or is it biological?
GOV. RICHARDSON: It’s a choice. It’s –
MS. ETHERIDGE: I don’t know if you understand the question. (Soft laughter.) Do you think I — a homosexual is born that way, or do you think that around seventh grade we go, “Ooh, I want to be gay”?
GOV. RICHARDSON: Well, I — I’m not a scientist. It’s — you know, I don’t see this as an issue of science or definition. I see gays and lesbians as people as a matter of human decency. I see it as a matter of love and companionship and people loving each other. You know I don’t like to categorize people. I don’t like to, like, answer definitions like that that, you know, perhaps are grounded in science or something else that I don’t understand.
At first considered the moderate alternative to Hillary and Obama, Richardson has disqualified himself from any serious consideration for a presidential ticket. He might’ve even ruined his shot at a high-profile Cabinet position. He best withdraw before embarrassing himself any further.