Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

February 6, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

SPECULATION OF THE DAY....Fact 1: John McCain is weak among evangelicals and hardcore conservatives. Fact 2: He was kissing Mike Huckabee's ass big time in his victory speech last night. Fact 3: He and Huckabee cut a deal on Tuesday to keep Mitt Romney from winning in West Virginia. Fact 4: Huckabee isn't going to win the nomination, but he's staying in the race anyway. There must be a reason, hmmm?

Speculation 1: McCain will choose Huckabee as his VP in order to shore up his demographic weaknesses for the general election. Speculation 2: He'll throw Huckabee under the bus just as soon as he has this thing sewn up. Which is it?

Kevin Drum 10:30 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (82)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

Please god let it be the bus.

Posted by: Matilde on February 6, 2008 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

He still has to win the general election, so it's hard to see how he can afford to completely alienate Huckleberry supporters.

Posted by: dcbob on February 6, 2008 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

A McCain-Huckabee ticket would be the most clueless duo to run for president in history. Could the GOP pick two people with less grasp of policy than these guys? I don't think so. Also the conservative establishment might implode in such a massive way that the resulting black hole could swallow the whole country.

Posted by: DP on February 6, 2008 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

VP.

Posted by: Gore/Edwards 08 on February 6, 2008 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

Huckabee as VP would be a great boon to a possible Clinton candidacy. But I'd still prefer the bus.

Posted by: Knuckles on February 6, 2008 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

Huck and McCain made a deal.

McCain will do anything to win. He's as close as he ever will be to the White House and isn't going to let consistency and ideological purity stand in his way.

Posted by: Auto on February 6, 2008 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

Better question: Who cares?

These guys are only going to sniff the oval office when they're invited for an official breakfast by President Obama or President Clinton II.

Posted by: Nobcentral on February 6, 2008 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

VP

Posted by: uri on February 6, 2008 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

Hmmmm. A really old guy who may have health problems picks a Veep who's batshit insane. How many moderates are going to gulp when they consider how close Huck would be to the Oval office if they vote for McCain?

Posted by: uh_clem on February 6, 2008 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

OK, from the conservative point of view, Huckabee is good and McCain is EVIL. See Dobson's quote from yesterday. Now if Huckabee signs on to be McCain's VP, does that really fix McCain's problems with conservatives? Or will they turn on Huckabee as having sold his soul to the devil?

Posted by: ArkPanda on February 6, 2008 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

> Huck and McCain made a deal.
>
> McCain will do anything to win. He's as close as
> he ever will be to the White House and isn't going
> to let consistency and ideological purity stand
> in his way.

I have been roundly condemned over at Yglesias' site for stating that McCain will pick Huckabee as VP, but I agree that he wants the Presidency bad and if Huck it what takes that is what he will do.

Which should make Karl Rove very, very nervous. A President McCain backed up by Huckabee with his independent connection to the evangelicals would have no problem at all sending Rove to Gitmo for a little chat to see what Rove knows about certain events.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on February 6, 2008 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

It would be Reagan-Schweiker II.

I can see the ads now. "John McCain would be the oldest president elected to serve a first term. Do you want Mike Huckabee to be one heartbeat away from the presidency?"

The answer will be a resounding "Hell, yes!" in the hillbilly states such as West Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi. It will be "Hell, no!" in the vast majority of the country.

Posted by: Queequeg on February 6, 2008 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

Percy predicted that a week ago.

Posted by: Not Percy on February 6, 2008 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK
Speculation 1: McCain will choose Huckabee as his VP in order to shore up his demographic weaknesses for the general election. Speculation 2: He'll throw Huckabee under the bus just as soon as he has this thing sewn up. Which is it?

Maybe McCain won't get it sewn up at all. He only has to fall a little below his current delegate pace to leave the nomination to the convention, and Huckabee's surprisingly strong showing was the news story of the night, rather than the attention being centered on McCain's showing which would be expected to provide him a momentum boost.

And Huckabee's support comes from self-described "conservatives" (especially those who describe themselves as "very conservative"), who are likely to redouble their effort with good news. McCain's support comes from the people who are least likely to do anything for their candidate beyond voting in a Republican primary.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 6, 2008 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

Huckabee wouldn't add enough evengelical support to offset the loss of the more moderate independents who find McCain somewhat appealing, for some reason.

Posted by: AJ on February 6, 2008 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

I vote "under the bus." If he knows what's good for him. (I realize that what's good for the country doesn't enter into it.)

.

Posted by: Arkie on February 6, 2008 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

Would choosing Huckabee as VP be even remotely sensible for McCain? I know he's worried about the lack of love certain sections of the conservative community have for him, but picking Huckabee will torpedo his independent support, which seemed to be one of his strengths. Or am I missing something?

Posted by: SpaceSquid on February 6, 2008 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

Does anyone else think he's going to pick Leiberman? Or is that just wishful thinking on my part, because I know the Democrats can beat that?
Huckabee is likeable, so it could be a very good choice. We all pay attention to the issues and know he's ridiculous, but considering how many voted for Bush, it causes me great worry.

Posted by: nettle on February 6, 2008 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

I hope it's the bus because my dream is a third-party Huckster in November!

Posted by: wihntr on February 6, 2008 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

Another vote for VP.

Posted by: PaulB on February 6, 2008 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

Picking the Huckster as his VP will ensure a Dem victory in November.

Posted by: goethean on February 6, 2008 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

I hope it's the bus because my dream is a third-party Huckster in November!

Huckster/RonPaul anyone?

Eh, I guess their foreign policy differences are too great.

Posted by: goethean on February 6, 2008 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

Put me down for bus.

As I think either Pat Buchanan or Rachel Maddow said last night - does McCain want to be having to defend his VP's ideas on evolution in every debate? How about the "fair tax"?

McCain is smart enough to see that is a recipe for disaster.

Posted by: Dawn on February 6, 2008 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

> Picking the Huckster as his VP will ensure
> a Dem victory in November.

People throughout the political spectrum have been underestimating Huckabee since Day 1. He comes across as a decent guy, and his dog whistles are better than any Republican politician's (I watched 3 minutes of his speech and spotted at least 4 dog whistles very subtly woven in that didn't even get a comment from the talking heads). If he agrees to say nothing about the Unfair Tax and be restrained on evangelizing in front of the cameras he will look very good to a lot of Americans.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on February 6, 2008 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Under the bus, I would guess. They have no previous relationship to draw on, and I don't think McCain will think Huckabee can help me enough in the election.

Then again, maybe McCain will think that Huckabee is strong in the states where he's weakest. I have my doubts that Huckabee would be a good campaigner for McCain, but who knows?

Posted by: mrsaturdaypants on February 6, 2008 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

It strikes me as something they wouldn't be inclined to do, to make him VP. They're probably thinking they're going to screw him, everything is open to the dictates of necessity. If they think they could use him in the general, I think they would. I don't think there is anything that out-and-out disqualifies him in their eyes, but they'd prefer someone else, and they probably already have a short list tucked away somewhere.

Posted by: Swan on February 6, 2008 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

Er, "but everything is open to the dictates of necessity."

Posted by: Swan on February 6, 2008 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

So if McCain wins, would all the faithful Huckabee followers be praying for McCain's early rapture so that their man could assume the mantle.

Theocracy?

Posted by: d on February 6, 2008 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

I'd love to see under the bus for the entertainment value but after already alienating the wingnut Rush/Hannity crowd, I can't see how he can even think of doing the same to the Evangelicals. Who would be left in the Republican party?

Posted by: Other Ed on February 6, 2008 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

...but picking Huckabee will torpedo his independent support, which seemed to be one of his strengths. Or am I missing something? - Space Squid

Here in Missouri the vote between them was:

McCain: 194,304
Huckabee: 185,627
Romney: 172,564

I think McCain would make a really bad error by snubbing Huckabee. So I vote for the VP spot. As others have said McCain is desperate to be in the White House and if this is the way he'll take it. Also "the heartbeat away from the Presidency" theme will be big and drum up support amongst the evangelistas. McCain *will* lose some independent support with the Huck pick though. But the greater challenge for McCain is to get the turnout amongst the Right moving in his favor and roll the dice with the Independents.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on February 6, 2008 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

There is less than zero chance of McCain picking Huckabee as VP, and he won't be tossed under the bus either.

The one personal liability that McCain has is his age and his health. This will be a major issue in the general election, as it should be. This limits McCain's choices for VP to those candidates that can be easily visualized as presidential material- Huckabee simply doesn't rate.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on February 6, 2008 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

The Republican Party is still the party of big money , but it is also the southern regional party just like the post Civil War Democratic Party. McCain cannot afford to throw Dixie under the bus because there are not enough rich folks, or folks who think they are rich, to elect a dog catcher.

Huckabee is probably dreaming of the evangelical ascendancy- VP to President to a godly nation. The more power the evangelicals have the more toxic they become, so, as a wise man once said, bring it on! It was fun for the money Republicans to run things while they led the squirrel-eatin' rubes with come racism here and some culture war there, but now they may have to share power.

I guess if you are rich enough you can just jump on a airplane and fly to some first world country for an abortion or a drink, so who cares how Dixie things get.

Posted by: bellumregio on February 6, 2008 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

Huckabee = Bus

McCain/Pawlenty ticket

Engineered elections

McCain dies in office fairly quickly. Pawlenty, media darling, takes over. Work on the Rovian Permanent Republican Majority undeflected.

In less prophetic news, Halliburton profit margins to rival Big Oil.

Posted by: Zit on February 6, 2008 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

You guys don't listen to enough radio. Huckabee's part of the plot to get that flaming liberal McCain elected and keep that good family-values man Romney out of the White House so the investment bankers of Wall Street can advance the homosexual agenda.

I heard it on Savage the other night. You can't make this shit up...

I suspect VP, but pray for the bus.

Posted by: thersites on February 6, 2008 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

I would figure Huckabee will end up stuck to the exhaust manifold of the McCain bus. If there's one thing he could do to further infuriate the corporate / anti-tax conservatives, it would be to put Huckabee on the ticket. McCain is not that dumb. Look for it to be Thompson, although they wouldn't exactly be a dynamic duo.

Posted by: CA Pol Junkie on February 6, 2008 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

McCain relishes being nasty too much to not toss Huckabee under the bus. He'll find himself a younger staunch religo-conservative along the lines of a Santorum for VP.

Posted by: tom.a on February 6, 2008 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

> McCain relishes being nasty too much to
> not toss Huckabee under the bus. He'll find
> himself a younger staunch religo-conservative
> along the lines of a...

For a moment there I thought you were implying he was considering another trade-up divorce.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on February 6, 2008 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

Another vote for under the bus.

Huckabee makes McCain unelectable to moderate indies and Dems who aren't sold on Hillary or Obama.

Posted by: DrDave on February 6, 2008 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

McCain will throw America under the bus if elected. Two of the Republican candidates would become worse presidents than W. Bush. Giuliani has dropped out, but McCain looks to become the nominee. If he should win the presidency, he will be a worse president than even W. Bush, blowing up everything.

Posted by: Brojo on February 6, 2008 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

I hope he throws that jackass Lieberman under the StraightTalk Express!!

Posted by: marc on February 6, 2008 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

Who could help put the Bush-II three legged coalition back together again? Clearly not Huck, although it would be rational for McCain to choose Huck since McCain's strength last night was from Blue states he won't carry in Nov.

You heard it here (maybe first?): McCain/Jeb Bush.

Here's Jebbie........ and the continuation of the Bush dynasty (I emphasize the 'nasty' part of that word).

Posted by: JimPortlandOR on February 6, 2008 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

Under the bus. Once it's sewn up, McCain goes to the middle. Conservatives will stay at home on Rush and Dobson's orders, so he's got to pick up more independents and sway the hawkish dems that he's the war president they want.

Posted by: sdc on February 6, 2008 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

It'd be worth the price of admission to watch McCain explain/defend/support the fairtax. Please let him be this stupid.

Posted by: Matt on February 6, 2008 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

McCain gave his delegates to Huckabee in West Virginia to screw over Romney, not out of any love for the Huckster. Huckabee's staying in because, well, what else does he have to do? Plus he can probably win Louisiana and have a nice showing in Texas- it's not like he's going to get Dennis Kucinich-like numbers if he stays in.

Posted by: Kevin on February 6, 2008 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

IMHO, Huckabee would likely make a McCain candidacy more viable.

Sure, we (as political junkies) know his considerable flaws. But he's brilliant at hiding is extremism in public, a theocrat who knows how to work the Daily Show. He'll give subtle nods to Bill Clinton as precedent for Arkansas governors to make the press all happy while at the same time he puts in dog whistle comments that the base will eat up but the MSM ignore. He'll fill the VPs designated role of attack dog, but do it in a 'nice guy' way.

There could be problems with this - if his sermons get published (he's kept them secret, likely for good reasons), if some of his crazier comments get a lot of play. But the MSM overall likes the guy, and they are a heck of a lot more important to appease than Kristol, who will fall into line when things are inevitable.

Posted by: Fides on February 6, 2008 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

Interesting, but I'm sticking with there's no way McCain picks Huckleberry, much less Romney, for VP. I'm not sure about the throwing under bus thing because I don't think Huckster is that naive or stupid (crazy yes, naive no). He's probably been promised some plumb position short of VP, but not saying volatile McCain wouldn't stab him in the back even then. If swing voters are going to mean something this election, then can't see how McCain will pick-up a net gain from them if he picks nutball Huck as VP, esp. since we've gone 8 years with seeing how a VP can have impact in a very scary way. With McCain no spring chicken, his VP pick will have to be MUCH less frightening and more credible and sanely moderate. However, that said he will likely have to go with a much-loved conservative (which actually Huck is not), more like a Duncan Hunter, or dare say Newt Gingrich(!?). But all of this ultimately will mean zilch because a Hillary/Obama/Bill trio ticket is near unbeatable.

Posted by: Grey Matter on February 6, 2008 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

Huckabee is a ruthless Energizer bunny who can give a convincing imitation of someone whose views are sane. He's got the Fundie card to play and he'll do a super sales job of convincing the delegates that he can stem any loss of independents. McCain may be forced to put him on the ticket.

Posted by: dalloway on February 6, 2008 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

I think Huckabee is staying in the race to improve the bargaining position of the religious right.
In the end, he'll say "I got X amount of supporters, we want you to do A, B and C, otherwise I'll tell them all to stay home."

Posted by: markus on February 6, 2008 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

Only if they don't win, Rush Loombowel and Mann Coldturd's et al discomfiture will make it delicious ecstasy.

Posted by: Neil B. on February 6, 2008 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

My gut says VP as well. The common Rovian wisdom in the GOP is that you can't win without the base and the evangelicals are what will bring it home. The GOP base can't stand McCain but evangelicals love Huck. McCain will do whatever it takes to get him to the oval office and he needs the South to do it. McCain will run with whomever can bring the South and that looks like Huck.

Posted by: arteclectic on February 6, 2008 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

McCain won't sully the bus or the VP office but will bring Huck into the WH in a new plum position, perhaps as NHA (National Humor Advisor) aka Court Jester.

Posted by: geen on February 6, 2008 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

arteclectic, Yes McCain does need the south very badly. Clinton or Obama is doing rather well in the South and McCain's blue state wins won't come through for him in the general.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on February 6, 2008 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

The Huck would be a shrewd choice by McCain to shore up the evangelicals while still thumbing his nose at the talking heads who hate the both of them. Huck is very plain-spoken and genuinely folksy. Yeah, he is a nut job, but unlike past evangelical boutique candidates, he doesn't betray that. He is a master at dog whistles because he's spent years listening for them. If Huckabee could reassure his base for McCain, it'd talk away McCain's first big hurdle, shoring up the GOP. I won't take many Republians opting out to sink McCain. I mean, more Dems just voted in Georgia than Republicans. The South might actually be in play this year and McCain can't risk his base staying home. The risks with Huck are overstated, too. Because of the dog whistles, the public at large doesn't really get that he's REALLY conservative. Especially since he flirts with populism on a few issues. Honestly, I think McCain himself is a much bigger risk to his independent support than Huckabee would be. My mom liked McCain in 2000 and absolutely loathes him today. McCain's been good at turning off independents all on his own and I'm not convinced the Huck would hasten than all that much on his own.

All that said, I'd suggest that there is an option 3. That the Huck is biding his time to throw McCAIN under the bus. Not likely, I admit, but if Romney bows out, there is still a chance that his support will fall into Huckabee's lap. I'm stunned at how weak McCain's support is yesterday. I mean, he's not over 50% in ARIZONA. Even Romney got 51% in his pseudo home-state of Massachusetts. Everyone else won their home states by 57% and more. McCain is showing an alarming weakness in his party and he either needs Huckabee to shore that up, or Huckabee wants to cozy up to McCain and then exploit that weakness.

Posted by: BStu on February 6, 2008 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

I have been telling you for weeks that the Republican ticket would be McCain/Huckabee and that while the Democratic nominee will actually win the general election, it will be close enough for the Republicans to steal it as they did in 2000 and 2004. McCain and Huckabee will be sworn in on January 20, 2009.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 6, 2008 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

For my money, people are completely misunderestimating the Baptist-Mormon thing. These two evangelizing groups just don't like each other, and Huckabee is intent on stopping Romney, regardless of any deal with McCain. Let me just snip this from Slate:

For nearly the past 40 years, the Southern Baptist Convention has devoted considerable effort to teaching its members about the dangers of Mormonism. In fact, probably no other organization in the nation has played a bigger role in perpetuating the idea that Mormonism is a cult than the Southern Baptist Convention.

This from Salon is more colorful:

"A vote for Romney is a vote for Satan," Keller declared in his daily e-mail devotional last May. His reasoning went like this: Romney's election would serve as a giant advertisement for a competing religion, Mormonism, which Keller and others believe has falsely portrayed itself as another form of Christianity in an effort to find converts. "He would influence people to seek out the Mormon faith," Keller predicted of a Romney presidency. "They would get sucked into those lies and they would eventually die and go to hell."

The Huck does not need a deal to want to stop Romney.

Posted by: Tom Maguire on February 6, 2008 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

...there is an option 3. That the Huck is biding his time to throw McCAIN under the bus.

Wow. Good thing popcorn isn't imported, the bowls look to be full and refilled often this year.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on February 6, 2008 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Not that I know what McCain will do, but . . .

All available evidence shows that VP candidates are more or less irrelevant outside their home states; the exception proving the rule was Quayle, who actually created a slight drag on GHWB in '92. Arkansas is a swing state where McC could use some help, but it has only 6 EVs. As for "common Rovian wisdom," last night on Fox, Rove himself said McCain/Huck was "double trouble" becuase they have too many of the same enemies.

Pennsylvania has 21 EVs, so there's been talk of Tom Ridge, but he's an actual moderate -- pro-choice and everything -- and would infuriate the GOP right. Also, he's tied to the current administration, nor is it certain he could deliver the state. Can't rule him out, but seems unlikely.

Tennessee's 11 EVs (in another state where McC could use a hand) brings us to Ol' Fred, arguably the most Reaganesque of last year's field. But he's old and has a "dormant" terminal illness, which emphasizes all the wrong things about McC, and his so-called campaign may already have made him a national joke. Can't rule him out, but . . .

There's been talk of various southern governors, but Florida's Charlie Crist is closeted-gay, and McC doesn't need help elsewhere in the south, except maybe Virginia, where George Allen can't provide any.

Then there's Pawlenty, darling of movement conservatives and fairly popular governor of a state whose 10 EVs McC will certainly lose without Pawlenty on the ticket. And he's McC's national co-chair. And this weekend (says the Minneapolis paper), he and McC are off to Munich for some annual gathering of foreign policy bigs that McC loves to attend.

My nickel's on Pawlenty.

Posted by: penalcolony on February 6, 2008 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Huckabee has baggage. He destroyed computer files as Governor, he has supported Fair Tax, and he has said he wants to align the Constitution with the Word of God. I don't see him making a good VP Candidate.

Posted by: reino on February 6, 2008 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

> As for "common Rovian wisdom," last night on
> Fox, Rove himself said McCain/Huck was "double
> trouble" becuase they have too many of the same
> enemies.

Not that you can believe anything Rove says ever, but in this case the motive is very clear: if McCain takes the Presidency with an independent evangelical supporting him (that is, an evangelical not controlled by Rove) then Rove will spend the next 4-8 years looking over his shoulder for the black helicopter that will whisk him away to a torture cell at Gitmo. I don't get the impression that McCain would ever forget or forgive what happen in SC in 2000 and he is an nasty vindictive person.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on February 6, 2008 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Please let it be the bus - preferably an exploding bus.

Posted by: Brian on February 6, 2008 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

I think McCain is clearly angling to put Huckabee on his ticket, and it appears Huckabee is doing the same. McCain has to gain traction with evangelicals and hard-core conservatives; the fact that so many would support a former pro-abortion pro-gay rights advocate in Mittens Romney has to scare the hell out of McCain.

Just be careful with any deals with the devil, evangelicals will clearly hope for McCain to die in office so Huck can take over.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on February 6, 2008 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

VP. The GOP convention is going to try its best to force a right-wing hardliner on McCain anyway, so it makes sense to head them off at the pass.

Posted by: dr sardonicus on February 6, 2008 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, VP. Why not, what would McCain care.

Bigger point: VP choices never matter. The most they can do is hurt you, but it has to be a big deal (e.g., electroshock therapy).

Posted by: santamonicamr on February 6, 2008 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

I cannot imgine Huckaby as President. Also, if McCain chose him as VP, that would say that McCain's lacked judgment.

Posted by: ex-liberal on February 6, 2008 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

That would be door #1...VP for Huckabee. And I'm already tired of the confidence and misplaced bravado of posters here regarding Dem chances in November. Given the Dem election track record this cockiness is totally unfounded. I'm cautiously optimistic at best.

Posted by: ckelly on February 6, 2008 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

This limits McCain's choices for VP to those candidates that can be easily visualized as presidential material- Huckabee simply doesn't rate.

Huckabee came in second yesterday. And the Repubs can't exactly be choosy over their presidential material now can they?

Posted by: ckelly on February 6, 2008 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

under the bus

Posted by: DIS on February 6, 2008 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

McLame/Huckleberry '08!

Posted by: tc on February 6, 2008 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

There is the possibility that the Republican nominee will see the need for an audacious choice. Like, say, Colin Powell, J.C. Watts, or Michael S. Steele. But definitely not Alan Keyes.

Posted by: Joel Rubinstein on February 6, 2008 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

McCain will never ever choose Huck. This is preposterous. If he did, he would be back in 10% support range. Look at the states McCain won: NY, NJ, Cal, Ill., etc. When he kissed Bush/fundie ass last year or two, he went from shoe-in front-runner to in the tank. He appeals to 'kill em all' foreign policy nutjob republicans -- but millions of these people can't stand hicks and bible thumpers anymore than the rest of us. Plus, anti-tax republicans don't like either of them. I think McCain would do anything to win, but this is not a winning strategy -- he would kiss millions of his independents supporters goodbye and the Southern fundies still wouldn't like him.

Posted by: Norbert on February 6, 2008 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

Well, according to Bill Kristol on the radio a few minutes ago, Jeb Bush would be a good balance on that McCain ticket. He did admit that Jeb might carry a little baggage.

Do people still consider Kristol a serious person?

Posted by: Dave the Welder on February 6, 2008 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

Might we all be overthinking this a little? I'm not convinced a McCain/Huckabee alliance, at this stage anyway, needs to go beyond "Squeezing out Romney ASAP helps us both."

And once he's gone they've got a two-man race that McCain obviously thinks he can win, and likely can, and Huckabee becomes the only choice for conservatives which gives him much bigger numbers going forward. Whether Huckabee still thinks he can win or not is arguable, but regardless it gives him a lot of credibility in the party to take into 2012.

That might be the biggest prize of all. Right now it's the Republicans as group and ideology that lose. I don't think it matters which member of the party they put forward. But four years of Dems in power, especially Clinton or Obama in power, and people might start to forget the bad old days, and the old guard might start feeling a little cranky again.

Posted by: john on February 6, 2008 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

"Do people still consider Kristol a serious person?

Posted by: Dave the Welder on February 6, 2008 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK"

No

Posted by: reino on February 6, 2008 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

Dave, I never considered Kristol to be a serious person. And still don't.

Posted by: BlueStater on February 6, 2008 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

Huck gets veto power over the VP choice. (He may prefer that to running himself.)

I wouldn't count out the Huck/McCain ticket though. What if Romney gives the Huckster support when he runs out of inheritance?

Posted by: Andrew J. Lazarus on February 6, 2008 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

Oh it's McCain/Hucklebee alright. The e-vans will insist on it if they're gonna be convinced to provide any turn-out. They thought it was their turn to have the lead-spot this time, so now they'll be promised that "really, it's your turn in '12, and the country will be used to Huck as Veep for 8 years by then". (And Huck will only be 60 years old in '12).

Yep, on my bottom dollar - McCain/Huck is the ticket.

(BTW, Huck won't be running in '12 from the Veep-spot. '08 has all the makings of Bob Dole all over again)

Posted by: deuce on February 6, 2008 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK
Well, according to Bill Kristol on the radio a few minutes ago, Jeb Bush would be a good balance on that McCain ticket. He did admit that Jeb might carry a little baggage.

Presumably, this was intended in the same sense one might say that the Pacific Ocean "might contain a little water."

Posted by: cmdicely on February 6, 2008 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

Huckabee was doing better than he could reasonably have hoped for, given his political skills, to make it into the Arkansas governorship on a wave of Clinton pique. As with several of the GOP candidates this year (and maybe a few Democrats) running for president was just a risky move to burnish his consultancy credentials and move him firmly into the eight-figure salary range. Being an ex-governor of an unfashionable state makes you a partner in a swanky law firm--being one of the more serious presidential also-rans gets you corporate jets parked outside your mansion.

In other words, I doubt Huck is looking for anything so grandiose as the vice-presidency at this point, or any sort of government service, for that matter. Maybe McCain could make him our ambassador to the Vatican--Huckabee might get a kick out of handing the Pope a Chick tract every day for a couple years.

Posted by: Matt on February 6, 2008 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

It's two. In fact, this is entering Atrios' simple answers territory.

Posted by: edgewise on February 6, 2008 at 8:22 PM | PERMALINK

The obvious answer is "bus", but I'm beginning to wonder if McCain might not be thinking of someone else to throw under it.

McCain needs either the evangelicals or the dittoheads to win. He owes nothing to either group. The assumption is that the dittoheads will sit in their chairs and spew venom at McCain while he pleads with them to support him.

Supposing he attacks them instead? McCain can pick up evangelical votes with Huckabee's support, and he can shore up the independent vote by breaking with a certain cigar-chomping gasbag and his acolytes, whom McCain bowed down to for years to get this far in the process, and who rewarded him by declaring that they'd sit out the election rather than vote for him.

It's kind of a long shot, but if McCain does pick Huck as VP, he pretty much has to do this. Huckabee is poison because, whatever his other merits, he lobbied to have a convicted rapist released so he could rape and kill someone else. The only way to get around that is to portray Huck as a good guy surrounded by bad advisors (i.e. the entire right-wing punditverse) and then throw the lot of them under the bus.

I could picture a lot of the 28%ers who still support George W. falling for this. It could work, but it requires smashing the existing Republican machine and building up a new one before November.

Not that that's a bad thing. Difficult, but it can be done, and I'm certain McCain will do anything it takes to win.

Posted by: Splitting Image on February 7, 2008 at 12:12 AM | PERMALINK

Now that's a ticket that will get Rush Limbaugh's full support.

I suppose if McCain wants to give a big FU to the talk show mafia, as Fred Barnes calls them, and show how really importent they've become, then he could pick Hucakbee. But McCain finished second behind Huckabee in the states he carried, and Huckabee supporters would be easier to covert to McCain supporters than Romney supporters. Right now Huckabee needs McCain more than McCain needs him. But I hear the post of HHS is available.

My guess is Pawlenty is probably at the top of McCain's short list. Loyalty should count for something.

Oh by the way, it wasn't McCain's voters in West Virginia that put Hucakbee over-the--top, it was Ron Paul's. That's why Paul will get three delegates in West Virginia. Romney could have offered the same deal, but he didn't. Maybe next time he'll learn a lesson about belittling other candidates. What goes around comes around. That's why Romney is finished as far as the campagain as concerned, the talk show mafia notwithstanding.

They'd better learn to like John McCain.

Posted by: Sean Scallon on February 7, 2008 at 12:45 AM | PERMALINK

Huckabee probably gave General McCain the thumbs up for the bus trick because he is going to ask the lord for a miracle and when it happens, that proves that everything is going to be ok for america.

not. the days of the conflicted party are numbered.

pro life pro death. sure. how did that ever make sense to anyone? except ann coulter of course. she can believe whatever
she wants to.

wake up folks.

Radical American Fundamentalists.
Radical Islamic Fundamentalists.

Different name same game.

Guns don't kill, Dogmatism does.

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay is an amazing chronicle of alchemy and other epidemics that have been foisted on societies over the past six hundred years. Very few people recognize these schemes while they are in play.

Are you a participant in the largest confidence game in the history of mankind?

You have a choice, either you wake up now and pay attention to what is happening around you for yourself or wait and read about yourself five years from now. The books will be written.

It is not too late to break the spell

http://youtube.com/watch?v=6h3G-lMZxjo

Posted by: unreasonably rational on February 8, 2008 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK
Post a comment









Remember personal info?










 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly