I think there were sound reasons for the widespread conservative criticism of Mike Huckabee, but I wonder if the extent of the campaign against him may have backfired. First, it may have played into the hands of the anti-establishment populism and evangelical identity politics Michael Brendan Dougherty documents. Second, it made it very difficult for the anti-Huckabee conservatives to pivot and oppose John McCain in South Carolina.
The scenario I outlined a while back of Huckabee helping Rudy Giuliani may no longer be realistic. But Huckabee — and his critics — may have given McCain a boost.