HE COULDA BEEN A CONTENDA: James Wolcott of Vanity Fair says Mike Huckabee blew it:
The zombie march of Giuliani's and Fred Thompson's maladroit campaigns will entrance political dissecters for seasons to come but less remarked is the misguided direction the Huckabee campaign took after its win in Iowa. Despite his financial disadvantages, Huckabee had a real opportunity to bust open and make himself a real player and what does he do?--instead of broadening his appeal and message and opening up his passing game, he escorts himself down a narrow lane to the frayed, far-right fringe by crudely pandering on the tired old Confederate flag controversy ("If somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag, we'd tell them what to do with the pole"--this from a preacher man) and proposing a pet list of fatuous, unpassable Constitutional amendments. He became Duncan Hunter with a grin, a most unappetizing combination day or night. Huckabee's banana-peel spill, after looking so surefooted earlier, lends credence to the Weekly Standard's Richelieu's contention that "strategy" is just a CYA buzzword for improvised scrambling and flying blind through a series of storm clouds
ODD MEN OUT: NY Times Republican debate coverage from last night consigns Huckabee and Ron Paul to concluding sentences in an article devoted to Romney and McCain tussling.
The other candidates, Representative Ron Paul of Texas and Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor whose campaign has struggled since its upset victory in Iowa, received few questions, drawing several protests from Mr. Huckabee.
“I want to make sure everybody understands, this isn’t a two-man race,” he said. “There’s another guy, I would like to say, down here on the far right of the stage.”
NOTHING BETTER TO DO: Gail Collins column:
Mike Huckabee is still in the Republican race, possibly due to a belief in miracles or a lack of any other specific occupation.