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December 05, 2007


Hmmm, I have this feeling that for Republican candidates, it should be 'peeking too early', cause it's better if they can get in before anyone really figures out what they are really like.

...or piquing too early. people just aren't ready for a primary yet and any interest now will wear off by the time anyone gets to vote on anything?

Huffington nails Huckabee on releasing a serial rapist.


I would say this just might sink his boat.

It's just too much to expect a presidential candidate to know as much about foriegn policy as, say, a blogger, without a huge staff to tell him what to think . . . it takes a village to raise a president. God forbid that the guy should spend an hour a day reading.

ot, but i want to thank publius for doing a bang-up job. tons of good posts, right mixture of snark & substance.


Huckabee's victory over his weight problem has made him eminently qualified to tackle heavy foreign policy issues.

He will examine the fossil evidence and hold his head because man's life on Earth is so complicated.

Then he'll read Revelations and simplify, simplify, simplify.

And who can forget Governor Dean's pique in front of all those cameras, sending him sliding back down the mountain?

Speaking of Dean, Huckabee is this election's model. People don't like mainstream, establishment, plastic politicians. They'll take a look at the homespun, craft fair, nothing-to-lose alternative before brand consciousness kicks in. As everybody knows, you just can't beat a national brand for consistent quality and reliable operation.

publius, your post is based upon the assumption that the electorate at large really cares about experience or knowledge of the world outside our borders.

That is very arguable.

[Obama] arguably has the best organization on the ground in Iowa

What information are you basing that on? Or, less charitably, assuming that your grasp of "organization on the ground in Iowa" isn't the product of first-hand experience, whose assessment are you repeating?

As an Edwards supporter, and someone who realizes that without a clear win in Iowa his campaign will be dead dead dead, one of my lowest moments this spring was learning that HRC's campaign had overhauled their Iowa operation and brought in Teresa Vilmain. She was Harkin's field director in his first Senate campaign in 1984. She's done field work almost continuously for the last two decades. The news had very much the feel of being in a pickup basketball game and seeing Michael Jordan join the other team. Sure, he's old, and past his prime -- but he's way better than 99.9% of anybody our side could call on.

I'll be delighted to be proven wrong on election day. Maybe Teresa V.'s only there to insure against a credibility-dinging fourth-place or weak third-place finish for HRC. {whistles past graveyard...}

I would say this just might sink his boat.
Maybe, but that information has been out for years and the boat hasn't sunk yet.

Yeah, I think Huckabee's rise is similar to an unheard of stock that gets a good mention on some TV show - but after the price skyrockets, the investors and researchers realize there are no technical fundamentals to back up the rise.

Or at least I hope so... that would mean that his numbers start dropping back to reality soon. But I've been watching the Republican race and I'm not sure who could pick up the lead - the party seems so factionalized with no clear "compromise candidate"

I agree that a candidate's knowledgle or lack thereof really isn't much of a factor inwinning elelctions. Ignorance will lose them leftwinng activist votes but that's all.

many people rightly think that they themsleves lack the knwledge to determine policy, so, when choosing a President, they look for someone they believe is trustworthy. The "trustworthy" candidate is the one that has the right persona as communicated visually by the TV. Kennedy and Reagan had that TV-friendly "trustworthy" personality. Hillary Clintondoes nnot. Huckabee might. He will be a formidable candidate especially if matched by Clinton.

Reagan lacked knowledge and lacked responsible advisors and yet,to this day, he is widely believed to have been a good President. Seeing is believing for many people.

Many voters will vote against their own beliefs for a candidate who seems to them to be trustworthy. many Reagan supporters didn't like his policies or his corruption--remember the "Teflon President"?

I think that it is not going to be an effective response to mock Huckabee for his lack of knowledge or his religion.

Ignorance will lose them leftwinng activist votes but that's all.

I think the salient point is about appearances, not actual ignorance. In order to appear presidential, Huckabee needs to have a campaign staff that can digest breaking news and tell him what he should say when reporters ask him about it.

I don't thinkso. A significant number of voters equate a Presidential appearance with perceived trustworthiness, not the ablity to sound well informed. To get elelcted a candidate needs to appeal to some voters on the issues but also get the votes of the people who jjust like that candidate better.

A tentacled organization! He just might peel off us Cthulhu voters after all.

I do think the story about how he let rightwing loons convince him to release a rapist will hurt him if the sotry becomes well known. It is a very significant story, in my view, because victims of the rapist appealled to Huckabee personally to refrain from releasing the rapist. he went ahead and the rapist acted again. Huckabee's excuse is that he had no way of knowing the rapist was dangerous. I guess one convictin and letters from victims wasn't evidence enough to offset pressure from the extreme righht. Kevin Drum has more about this.

Oddly, part of "trustworthiness" seems to be smugness. Voters seem to go for the candidate who acts like he has already won. This is the same tactic that all the guidebooks say wins job interviews -- act like you already have the job.

I don't mean nasty or dismissive. I'm speaking of an attitude that says, "I am so far above my opponent that he amuses me. Now let's get back to the formality of voting me in." Think of Reagan's 1980 "There you go again." Has there ever been such a smug, arrogant statement in a Presidential debate? People lapped it up. Four years later, I think he promised not to take advantage of Mondale's youth and inexperience -- a great joke, but an arrogant one. GWB did not strike me as smug in the debates, but he's smug and arrogant as all he11 in his other public appearances -- e.g., "I'm the Decider," or "we had our accountability moment," blaming Congress for wasting his time by passing legislation that they knew he would veto, etc. The man reeks of privilege and, again, people seem to love him for it.

Liberal politicians have been scared away from this winning pose by the media, which for some reason calls only liberals smug and arrogant, even though virtually every right-wing pol (including all the 2008 R candidates) exudes the attitude that he should be in charge and is always right. All Al Gore had to do was roll his eyes a bit, and the press was all over him. The result is that most of our politicians try to act humble and earnest, which comes across as needy. Even when they win, they are despised as weaklings (Carter, Clinton).

Hillary may win because she talks like a winner, and doesn't seem weak.

A tentacled organization! He just might peel off us Cthulhu voters after all.

Sniflheim wins the thread.

"A significant number of voters equate a Presidential appearance with perceived trustworthiness, not the ablity to sound well informed."

Cue Reagan.

Cthulhu doesn't have voters.

Just meals.

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