The Wayne Dumond story is back in the news. I will defer to Quin on substance( although I have written on Huckabee’s economic record I plead relative ignorance to the details of the case and whether Huckabee is responsible ) but there is something here which answers in part the question as to why people seem to “like” Huckabee more than Romney. Here is how Huckabee talked about the incident awhile back. Huckabee’s research guy sent around the transcript of his GMA appearance which includes this: “It was a horrible situation, horrible, I feel awful about it in every way. I wish that there was some way I could go back and reverse the clock and put him back in prison. But nobody, not me, not Jim Guy Tucker, not Bill Clinton, not that parole board, could ever imagine what might have transpired.. . .I am deeply sorry, and I mean, awfully, just horrified of what happened to (inaudible). And there is not a single person that will ever bring those women back to their families. But that’s the story, that’s what happened. ” Contrast that to Romney on the Judge Tuttman story. He repeatedly declined to express any regret — for the incident, for appointing the judge, for anything. All he and his press shop would say was: dump the judge and the “system” failed. There are lots of differences on the merits between these two but as a window into how the candidates react and how they handle reaction to stories the contrast is telling. How does the average voter react to the two approaches and the two candidates as people( which I am sorry to say is more important that specific policy for many voters)? I think they will feel more sympathy and relate better to Huckabee. They still may be persuaded by others not to vote for him but this explains I think in part why he is “connecting.” (Listen, conservative pundits never got the Bill Clinton biting the lip and “feeling your pain” act but a lot of voters did.)
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