Wednesday, January 02, 2008

As Huckabee Pulls Ad, Rollins, For Once, Must Pull a Punch

by Sridhar Pappu - January 2nd, 2008 - Washington Post

It is New Year's Eve and Rollins is sitting in a bar area in the Wakonda Club, slightly slouched in his chair, wearing a gray suit. Just hours earlier, Huckabee had stunned reporters expecting the launch of a hard-hitting TV ad attacking Mitt Romney; instead, he pulled the spot crafted by Rollins.

Surrounded by placards declaring "Enough Is Enough," Huckabee showed the ad he said he wasn't going to run, leaving reporters scrambling to determine whether this was a planned maneuver, an act of bad timing or something lifted from a Capra movie. "I just realized that this is not how we run our campaign in this state," the candidate said.

Huckabee is the candidate that has hired both Dick Morris, the former Clinton dirty tricks guru who now hates his former boss (and his wife) as well as Ed Rollins, the former Reagan staffer who most of his fellow Reagan officials shun like the plague for his propensity to go negative even when it is not needed. Both are masters of hate and the attack ad.

You have to ask yourself, why did Huckabee hire these two if he doesn't plan to fight dirty? In fact, why are both of these men still on Huckabees staff if it is not just a matter of time?

There is a good question about the maturity of Huckabee if he can't make up his mind. This whole episode looks like the actions of an amateur.

At the same time Huckabee supporters claim evangelicals (social conservatives) are disrespected in the party and they are attacking fiscal conservatives and libertarians with venom. The complainers cannot explain though how both libertarians and fiscal conservatives supported George W. Bush if social conservatives are so disrespected. If it is Huckabee's goal to tear the Republican Party apart, he could not use a more effective strategy than the actions he is taking.

Huckabee reminds me of Pat Robertson, another evangelical who got into politics and could not make up his mind what he wanted to be, pastor or politician. He too wound up being neither.


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