by Max Brantley
There's a good Mike Huckabee angle in the story about U.S. Rep. Parker Griffith, who announced this week that he was leaving the Democratic Party for his natural home among Alabama Republicans.
This conservative blogger notes there is already a Republican in the race and he shouldn't clear out in Griffith's favor. He is Les Phillip, who's received support from Huckabee.
Indeed, as a powerful orator, a veteran, and a black Republican running in the Deep South - Phillip seemed likely to be one of the national GOP’s marquee candidates in 2010. I’m certainly impressed with both the man and the campaign he has put together, and Gov. Huckabee went so far follow up a Phillip speech by calling it ”a magnificent address not only by a future Alabama congressman, but by one of our national leaders in the Republican Party for a long time to come.”
As I have said multiple times, Parker Griffith is welcome in our party – and if he can get by Les Phillip in a competitive primary then he will have earned my respect. However, if you’re asking me to dump a star candidate and a future national leader, force him out of the primary, and disown any Republican that dares support him , the answer is HELL NO.
You might recall that The Huckster demanded $34,000 in a speaking fee plus expenses to appear at a lightly attended fund-raiser for Phillip last summer. Phillip graciously said the exposure was worth a ton. Huckabee followed up later with remarks quoted above. Surely Huck will stay bought.