by Max Brantley
BEHIND THE CANDIDATE: Interested to know more about Chip Saltsman, Mike Huckabee's campaign manager? Here's a feature in the alumni magazine of his alma mater, Christian Brothers University in Memphis. Toward the end, you'll find a reference to where Saltsman has worked previously -- for an "outsourcing solution" company and for a check advance company. And Mike Huckabee is the candidate for the working man? UPDATE: I'm reminded by Todd Turner, the lawyer who's made something of a career out of bird-dogging the blood-sucking payday lenders, that Huckabee signed the check-cashing law the day it was passed. And this in the only state in the union with a tough usury provision that made this law unconstitutional.
FLUID: New NY Times poll. Anybody's race on the Republican side, though most recent momentum seems to favor McCain. Among Dems, Hillary leads but Obama has gained ground. Washington Post has it slightly better for McCain, a bit worse for Hillary. USA/GALLUP has Hillary up, McCain up, Huckabee down.
UNDECIDED: South Carolina voters, with changing outlooks, reflect the uncertainty of the national poll of Republicans in this NY Times story. One interesting quote from a man identified as a reverend.
Mr. Thompson, who was not a serious contender in Iowa or New Hampshire, has tried to siphon Mr. Huckabee’s support among evangelicals. He has done this by courting endorsements from right-to-life groups and religious leaders like Mr. Wilson, who criticized Mr. Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor and former Baptist minister for “mixing church and state way too much.”
WHO KNOWS: Why do the pundits keep getting it wrong? Brummett takes a stab at it. Because they are masters of the obvious. And when the obvious doesn't happen ....
IF YOU HAVE TO ASK: You're terminally old and stodgy like me. Just the same, my Salon piece on Mike Huckabee's dark side got picked up on perezhilton today.