Bill Kristol’s new column in the New York Times–which is causing the Left countless conniption fits–takes a very positive look at Mike Huckabee. He includes this quote:
After the last two elections, featuring the well-born George Bush and Al Gore and John Kerry, Americans — even Republicans! — are ready for a likable regular guy. Huckabee seems to be that. He came up from modest origins. He served as governor of Arkansas for more than a decade. He fought a successful battle against being overweight. These may not be utterly compelling qualifications for the presidency. I’m certainly not ready to sign up.
Still, as the conservative writer Michelle Malkin put it, “For the work-hard-to-get-ahead strivers who represent the heart and soul of the G.O.P., there are obvious, powerful points of identification.”
Since I never usually appear on the New York Times op-ed page unless someone’s calling me a fascist, I was pleasantly surprised to see the quote. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), I didn’t write what Kristol attributed to me. A different MM–Michael Medved–was the author:
Common Misconception: He’s a one dimensional Bible-thumper who can appeal only to Evangelicals in the South and Midwest
Truth: In an election in which the term “elitist” has become a dirty word, Huckabee enjoys a serious advantage as the least elitist candidate of them all: a humble, witty, soft-spoken guy who became the first male in family history to graduate from high school. Romney’s the son of a Governor and auto executive and he studied at Harvard and Stanford (and BYU), McCain’s the son and grandson of prominent Navy admirals; Rudy’s been part of Manhattan high life and the legal power elite for so many years that he’s disconnected from his Brooklyn roots, and Fred’s more associated with Hollywood (and his glamorous young wife) than his hardscrabble upbringing in Tennessee. Huckabee, however, comes across like the ultimate underdog and an ordinary guy – so ordinary, that he even battled (and conquered) a serious weight problem that most Americans can understand. It’s not just Christian zealots who recognize Huckabee as “one of us”; I’ve spoken to non-religious Russian immigrant Jews who love him because he’s down-to-earth, plain-spoken and unpretentious non-celebrity. For the work-hard-to-get-ahead strivers who represent the heart and soul of the GOP, there are obvious, powerful points of identification. In this context, his embarrassing fumbles in reacting to Benazir Bhutto’s assassination haven’t destroyed his campaign: anyone who wanted a candidate with foreign policy credentials would have turned away from Huckabee long ago.