Again, Jennifer, you are absolutely right both about how well Huckabee is doing and also about how his “likeability” is playing a big role in his good political fortunes right now. The truth is that his likeability is only true if you agree with him. If you don’t, well…the closest analogy is to another southern Baptist liberal governor, Jimmy Carter. Carter had this “nice guy” image, but the truth was he was mean and petty and prone to fudging the truth and just sort of weird. Both I and Bob Novak are among those who have noted (without specifically making the Carter comparison) that Huckabee shares all these same characteristics. Shawn and John Tabin and Dave Weigel are all correct in that Huckabee’s likeability is only skin deep and that the myth of his likeability is amplified by the media’s love of his liberalism, which is quite apparent on everything but a couple of social issues. And — back to the DuMond case — his expressions of regret would carry more weight for the discerning (rather than the gullible) observer if he would just admit that he was largely responsible for getting DuMond freed. Right now his line is, basically, “I am sorry, so sorry, that he raped and murdered again, but I didn’t free him, so it’s not my fault.” His human sorrow is not in doubt, but unless he acknowledges his own role, then he is expressing sympathy without contrition. As any good theologian will tell you, it is the contrition that is the key. Maybe the preacher should study a little more theology.
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