A Newsweek writer ponders the question of whether the Republican Party would have been better off with Mike Huckabee as its nominee.
Social conservatism, economic populism, a lack of ties to Bush and a gift of gab are all pluses, the article says. On the other hand:
Does this mean Huckabee would've been a perfect--or even plausible--nominee? Hardly. His nutty flat-tax idea would produce massive tax increases for most Americans and massive tax cuts for the superwealthy. His governorship in Arkansas was shadowed by scandal. His staunch social conservatism--and religious fundamentalism--would've alienated a potentially fatal bloc of swing voters. When it comes to fundraising, he's even feebler than McCain. His gaffes would make Joe Biden blush. And then there's Chuck Norris. For all I know, Huckabee would've been trailing Obama by 12 percent in the polls at this point. Still, it's hard to deny how well-suited he'd be, at least in theory, to handle the political challenges currently plaguing McCain. The way things are going now, Obama will be seeking a second term in 2012. Will conditions be as favorable for Huckabee then as they now? Who knows. But I suspect he'll be willing to find out.