THE WORLD AFTER BUSH

As the Washington clocks strike twelve on 20th January 2009, listen carefully and you might just hear a swooshing sigh of relief travel around the world.
But a critique of what should have been done differently since 2001 is not enough.
This blog is about the new ideas that can change our world and how a 'new multilateralism' can tackle the global challenges of our age.
Change the World, Reports from the Fabian new year conference



Friday, February 8, 2008

Would McCain put Mike Huckabee a heartbeat from the Presidency?

John McCain wants to build bridges with conservative Republicans.Mike Huckabee, having been written out of a two-horse race by the media, did strikingly well in the southern states, and has managed to stay on friendly terms with McCain.

So there is now a great deal of chatter about McCain-Huckabee being a good way to balance the Republican ticket. Huckabee has done well with evangelical voters in particular, but he has offended a good deal of the Republican establishment with his left-leaning economic populism.

Would it be a balanced ticket for conservatives or a 'dual maverick express'?

Many observers note that Huckabee has a great deal of conversational charm on the campaign stump. But this just makes him a disarmingly charming lunatic.

McCain may gain credibility with part of the conservative base. But Independents and swing voters, especially women, may worry about a 72 year old candidate sharing a ticket with a creationist.

When it comes to God in public life, Huckabee is an American revolutionary and risks sounding like a fundamentalist:


"[Some of my opponents] do not want to change the Constitution, but I believe it's a lot easier to change the constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God, and that's what we need to do is to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards,"


He has made a great many controversial remarks on gay rights - and discussed this on Meet the Press before Christmas. He defended his claim in a 1988 book that:


"It is now difficult to keep track of the vast array of publicly endorsed and institutionally supported aberrations--from homosexuality and pedophilia to sadomasochism and necrophilia."


Just last month, he was comparing gay marriage to bestiality.


I think the radical view is to say that we're going to change the definition of marriage so that it can mean two men, two women, a man and three women, a man and a child, a man and animal."


I am not sure that Huckabee for Veep is that much more likely than the Clinton/Obama or Obama/Clinton 'dream ticket', which strikes me as neither plausible nor strategically smart.

McCain may want a less controversial conservative standard barrier. Or could he break with the conventional wisdom and not go conservative at all? The most intriguing chatter is about the possibility of McCain asking Colin Powell to run on the ticket with him.

My hunch is that McCain would struggle to get Powell to agree to run - but that it could prove a very smart choice for the Republicans.



2 comments:

tyger said...

I was driving home this morning (dirty stop out that I am) and I started thinking about McCain/Powell, and wondering if Powell had the desire to get back in deep.

Interesting.

Most of the talkingheads are saying a Huckabee VP slot won't happen. I doubt it, I can't see the strategy. Likewise I doubt McCain will go for a centrist-Dem like Wes Clark (as he may have done 8-years ago).

He'll try and appease the base with a darling of the GOP hackery. Or maybe an old friend: Lindsey Graham wouldn't be out of the question.

nick s said...

Powell was interviewed by CNN this week -- the full thing will be broadcast on Sunday, but we heard a few teasers today. From those, it was clear that he's hedging his bets, but doesn't feel committed to support McCain. He laid out a set of policy priorities, not just for the candidate, but for the candidate's relationship with the party. That last aspect, which he emphasised, seemed to my ears to discount McCain, on account of his status within the GOP, and look towards an Obama nomination.

Before Romney dropped out, the McCain-Huck ticket seemed obvious: Huckabee has been notably polite about McCain while campaigning, and things like the WV convention suggest at least a common goal. Having the feel narrowed, so that he has to campaign directly against McCain, may well prove interesting.

The obvious alternative Southern/conservative outreach choice is Mark Sanford (gov. of SC), though I'm uncertain whether he's ready to step onto the national stage. Graham is anathema to the conservative base: he's considered McCain's mini-me, soft on torture and immigration, and may well have trouble keeping his Senate seat as a result.

As the Washington clocks strike twelve on 20th January 2009, listen carefully and you might just hear a swooshing sigh of relief travel around the world. The Bush Presidency will not leave the legacy its architects intended. But a critique of what should have been done differently since 2001 is not enough. This blog is about the new ideas which can create a 'new multilateralism' to tackle the global challenges we face.