So the latest polls have Mike Huckabee up an implausible nineteen points in Iowa and four points nationally. But he can't win, right? I mean, he's vulnerable on practically every non-social issue, he has a variety of skeletons in his closet, his policy team seems more or less nonexistent, he still doesn't have any money, and he has most of the GOP establishment united against him. He doesn't have a prayer - or maybe that's all he has.After that the piece kind of goes down hill but that seems pretty accurate. Now on Sunday morning I was watching the local news that comes on before MTP with my 85 year old mother. She is a lifelong Republican, but not a wingnut Bible thumper, who supported GWB until about a year ago - now she doesn't talk about it. She is still of sound mind. After the local news MTP came on and there was Rudy. She immediately turned the TV off and said I can't stand that guy - he's a crook. We have a fairly large population of Mormons here in the Pacific Northwest and like many here my Mother doesn't trust them. This is because of business dealings not theology. Mom is smart enough to know that Mike Huckabee is a likable guy but clueless. She might vote for McCain but is becoming increasingly disenchanted with the debacle in Iraq and not really buying the surge is a success spin.
Except, of course, that none of his rivals can win either. If you look at the field, every candidate seems to have near-disqualifying weaknesses (a point Larison has been making for months, I believe), which helps explain why nobody seems capable of getting above 30-35 percent in any national or state-level poll. McCain is still poison to a large chunk of the base and probably doesn't have enough money to capitalize even if he wins New Hampshire - and if he loses there, he's cooked. Mitt Romney is running on a record that would have made him a moderate Democrat in any state except hyper-liberal Massachussetts. Rudy Giuliani is running on a record that would have made him a moderate Democrat in any place except hyper-liberal New York City. Fred Thompson is more ideologically appropriate, but he's lived down to his lackluster record as a politician by running a remarkably lousy and (perhaps unremarkably) lazy campaign. Ron Paul is, well, Ron Paul.
From what I read even Tiny Tim gave Rudy a tough interview today even if he didn't ask the right questions. Are we looking for a dark horse to take the Republican nomination? A brokered convention? Who might the dark horse be?