Saturday, February 9, 2008

Huckabee - Right and Wrong

Mike Huckabee is dead on right on several points. I fully agree with the Fair Tax proposal to eliminate and replace the income tax. His notion that the government is an obstacle to small business rather than an enabler is also right and it's a situation that's critical to our economic future.

The problem is that his presentation is weak. He may believe passionately in what he says, but it doesn't come out in his voice. Romney has the same issue. He often says the right words and sports the right look, but he doesn't make the sale. When Reagan spoke, there was no ambiguity. There was no doubt in his mind that he believed everything he said and that he was willing to go to the wall for it.

McCain may not always say the right things, but he says them well. He sounds like a guy who has made up his mind and will champion his positions. I wouldn't put him in the Reagan class, but he scores better than his rivals.

Conventional wisdom is that the public is "sick and tired of the infighting". The public may even believe that. But the fact is, even if they don't want you to start fights, they want to know you can win them. We don't vote for pacifists, not since Carter. Huckabees mistake was in deciding to stay "above the fray". He never mixed it up. We don't know if he can win a fight because he works so hard to avoid them. Someone who shares your ideas, but wont fight for them is useless. Staying in the race doesn't constitute fighting. Challenging your opponent head on where you have differences does. Most people don't even know where Huckabee disagrees with McCain because all he ever does is praise him. Even when asked directly by a FOX news reporter what their differences were, he responded by saying what a civil and respectful campaign they were both running. McCain hasn't had to challenge Huckabee, because he's so far behind, it's irrelevant.

Being a leader is more than having good ideas. It's about advancing them, championing them, making them real. Huckabee has shown no capacity to do that.

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