Huckabee poses a challenge for the other candidates but I see no scenerio in which he could actually win or come close to winning. I just don’t see the GOP choosing a tax an spend populist who does not adhere to the low tax, limited government, and free trade policies that been the basis of the GOP’s philosophy, not to mention the country’s economic success, for a generation. You just can’t attack free market capitalism with a dollop of class envy and win the GOP nomination. But if one accepts that he can’t win he can make things difficult for his opponents. In that regard he may help determine the winner. As others have commented he fragments the social conservative vote. He also gets to taunt his opponents. Romney benefits when Huckabee takes aim at Fred (whose lobbying past will be fodder for Huckabee’s populist attacks), but will suffer when Huckabee reminds voters that he has always been pro-life. He is thoroughly amusing but I suspect his opponents will not be amused when the barbs start flying their way and they will need to consider carefully whether to return the jibes and risk elevating his profile further.
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