by Max Brantley
John Brummett seems less enamored than the national press with former Gov. Mike Huckabee's debate performance.
There are typecasts in our presidential campaigns. Among the Republican presidential hopefuls, they are these: Giuliani, McCain and Romney are the clashing front-runners, flawed but favored; Fred Thompson is the wild card; Ron Paul is the Libertarian oddball foil mixing some truth with greater impracticality; Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo ought to have quit months ago; and Huckabee is a swell talker and seeming nice guy who might make one of those first three a decent running mate.
Perhaps I reflect merely the ennui that familiarity breeds, but commentators continue to compliment performances by Huckabee that I find superficial, silly and tiresome.
PS -- Kane Webb in the D-G was somewhat kinder, but drew the same conclusion today.
Copy and paste:
“When I was a little kid, if I went into a store with my mother, she had a simple rule for me: If I picked something off the shelf at the store and I broke it, I bought it. I learned I don’t pick something off the shelf I can’t afford to buy. Well, what we did in Iraq, we essentially broke it. It’s our responsibility to do the best we can to try to fix it before we just turn away.” Now there are three big problems with this big nonanswer: (1 ) Never compare a war with knocking over a trinket in a toy store; (2 ) the you-break-it, you-own-it theory calls to mind Colin Powell’s pre-invasion Pottery Barn analogy, which is no way for a Republican to endear himself to the neo-cons, or the base; and (3 ) so are you saying, sir, that the United States should not have invaded Iraq and overthrown the ghastly regime of Saddam Hussein ? In short, Huckabee sounded second-tier.