... and you bake a Mike Huckabee second place. The publicity is the same, a big gain nationally for the candidate, but it's instructive to know that, when it only takes 2,400 votes to finish second, the impact of a group of evangelical churches and a tax nut group can be very, very important. It certainly spelled the difference over Brownback at the Iowa Straw Poll (where Huckabee rocked with Elvis). Think what the story line would have been had Brownback finished second.
Brummett observes that Huckabee's preaching carried the day.
He stepped up Saturday afternoon and preached his way past Sam Brownback, from Iowa-neighboring Kansas and better-organized for the straw vote. The sermon was vintage Huckabee, engrossing as you heard it, but reduced pretty much to nonsense after you'd had a little time to think about it.
Huckabee extolled America's devotion to the sanctity of life as exhibited by the earnest search to dig out and save those miners in Utah. His point was that this proves we shouldn't have abortion.
In America we don't leave trapped workers to rot. Somehow that supposedly goes to show that women shouldn't have the right to make choices about their bodies.
Then Huckabee pulled out that handy anecdote he used to good effect at the Central High 40th-year commemoration a decade ago. It's about taking his daughter to the holocaust museum in Israel, and how she wrote in the guest book: "Why didn't someone do something?"
Huckabee told the Ames straw voters: You are somebodies and it's time you did something.
Yes, I am sorry to have to report that Our Boy Mike likened voting against him in a straw vote to murdering millions of Jews.
And here's a downside of Huckabee's showing. Somebody might start examining your record, such as typically all-over-the-map writing on foreign policy.
And here's cartoon commentary on Huck's Iowa finish by Mark Rorie of Batesville.