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The Good, the Bad, and the Huckabee

I have changed my mind several times about who would be the best GOP presidential nominee and will probably change it a few more over the coming weeks. In my column at Townhall today I talk about some of the reasons for my indecision.

The strangest thing happened on the way to the Presidential primaries. I changed my mind about almost every candidate - and in some cases even changed it back again. I never had completely made my mind up about who I thought the best GOP nominee would be, but I had some strong opinions. Many of those have changed after watching the candidates perform for the past year.

I have been a fan of Rudy Giuliani for many years and even wrote about the strengths he would bring to the Presidency on two separate occasions over the past two years. Those strengths are still there, but as I wrote over a year ago, he also brings some negatives. Rudy's strengths are being able to lead in a time of crisis, being tough on law and order, having a track record of doing what most said couldn't be done in New York City, fiscal conservatism and being able to communicate effectively. The "communication thing" is incredibly important to me because if George Bush had better communicated the situation in Iraq, public opinion of the war would never have reached the lows it did. If Bush's approval numbers had been higher he would have been able to accomplish much more on a variety of issues. If anything, the presidency of George Bush taught us that a President in this age of media must possess strong communication skills to be effective. Rudy was not only a good communicator during 9/11, but he has consistently spoken forcefully on the issue of terrorism and the war since then.

Then I get to the negatives for Rudy, and go into some of the positives and negatives for the other candidates including Fred Thompson, who has impressed me lately.

[updated to add link - jra]


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Comments (11)

Lorie, it has been obvious ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Lorie, it has been obvious Fred is the man for a month now. If I where still blogging I would have beaten Coulter to the line that "Huckabee is the Republican Jimmy Carter" by 2 weeks. That's dead right.

A vote for Huck in the Primary is a vote for Hillary in the general. He is unelectable. -- He is the ONLY candidate that the Democrat smear machine can make his negatives go higher than Hillary's. Rudy's problem is also his negs and even he beats Huck in this regard.

As a Republican, Huck scares the hell out of me. As a citizen he scares me even more.

A dems perspective of you ... (Below threshold)
JFO:

A dems perspective of you dilemma Lorie. Probably not worth much but I'll say it anyway. I'm not saying the dem candidates don't have problems but since this is about republicans I'll stick to that.

It seems no one is getting really engaged with any of your guys. You have two (Mitt and Rudi) who have and will sell their souls for a vote. Huckabee is downright scary except to the evangelical right which has lost considerable influence. At one time I thought he'd make a good president but his ads in Iowa and his stump here are more about religion than being president. Scary. Thompson just looks like a tired, worn out, uninterested old man. He comes to life occasionally - last week here in the Des Moines debate, but he appears to have no staying power. That leaves McCain and I suppose he's lost lots of Repub. support because of his immigration stand.

The only republican I could see myself voting for would be McCain and that would be if it's him vs. Clinton.

Lorie, for some reason read... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Lorie, for some reason reading an article where the writer quotes --- themselves --- creeps me out in the same way that Senator Robert Dole spoke of himself in the third person.

It is the Christmas holiday... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

It is the Christmas holiday. Way too soon for most republicans to focus on the candidates. Right now, Iowa and New Hampshire are going through the motions. After the new year comes in, more people will pay attention. The polling will be more accurate at that time. I have to say that I haven't considered anyone, but if Huckabee scares JFO, I will have to consider him. ww

How many unelectable have b... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

How many unelectable have been elected. Reagan comes to mind. I like Huckabee at first but some of what he said lately has made me leery of him. The bogus attack makes a part of me vote for him anyway. I leaning toward Thompson now but that could change. I think the Republican primary has been more useful then the Democrats which I think will help the Republican candidate in the general election.

Couldn't resist eh WW? ... (Below threshold)
JFO:

Couldn't resist eh WW?

Oh, by the way folks here i... (Below threshold)
JFO:

Oh, by the way folks here in Iowa are very focused on the candidates. And Huckabee is doing well.

Neat title, Lorie. ... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

Neat title, Lorie. ;-)

I'm not very satisfied with... (Below threshold)

I'm not very satisfied with any candidate so far, Deomcrat or Republican. But that's not to say that some at least have the experience and perhaps the judgement to be an effective president if elected.

I'm a longtime viewer of televangelist James Robison, and I've seen enough of his former staffer, Mike Huckabee, over the last ten years to both like the guy personally, but also to be wary of some of his judgement as well. Personality wise, he's the best guy running. Judgement wise is a whole different issue though.

By the way, Merry Christmas Lorie and your family. I hope you caught the Christmas MONK on the USA NETWORK recently. It was a real homerun. Apparently you must be writing more for the newspapers recently, which is a very good thing and a sure sign of success as an upcoming writer.

I've been a Fred supporter ... (Below threshold)
Dave W:

I've been a Fred supporter from the get go. Kind of liked the Huckster to start with, until alot of his past actions were shown in the light. The guy can talk, but it seems thats all he is is a bunch of talk. Go Fred!
I'd like to see a Thompson/Giuliani or Thompson/Romney ticket. Thompson for the conservative, and one of the other two for the charisma/"Gravi tas" aspect that Cheney supposedly brought to the Bush campaign.

Fred's got my vote, but you... (Below threshold)

Fred's got my vote, but you already knew that.




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