Tuesday, December 11, 2007


"Who the hell is Mike Huckabee?" a friend asked while we watched a GOP debate earlier this year.

"He's the former governor of Arkansas," I said. "He's polling about the same as Tommy Thompson."

"Who's that?"


I liked to poke fun at Tommy Thompson. I'm also a Wisconsinite, and he's something of an embarrassment to many of us; granted, not as bad as Joe McCarthy, but still. So comparing Mike Huckabee to Thompson was a jab. I admit it. But honestly, I never expected I'd have to relive that conversation months later. Mike Huckabee just wasn't the real thing.

Then again, a lot of people said that about another Arkansas governor in the early 90's. Yeah, it happens. I take it back.

In March, Huckabee was polling at one percent. With a margin of error somewhere around five percent, there was a possibility that almost negative-four percent of Americans would vote for him. He was flirting with mathematical impossibilities.

Between March and October, nothing really happened. Just before Halloween, Huckabee was still polling in the low single-digits. As Midwesterners, we know exactly what those temperatures feel like. Voters were giving him the cold shoulder.

And then November happened. I don't know if it was a combination of too much turkey, a brilliant campaign ad that featured Chuck Norris, or a slew of religious Conservatives receiving free campaign buttons, but Huckabee happened. And he happened fast.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll in early November finally showed Huckabee breaking into the double digits, at 10 percent. By the end of the month, Huckabee fever gripped cable news, and a new CNN poll conducted last week has our pal Huck within the margin of error of Rudy Giuliani (whom you may have already heard of). If you include the margin of error, he might actually be ahead of "America's Mayor." Has the "I was the mayor of New York on 9/11"-slogan finally run its course?

We're just a few weeks from the cacuses now, in case you forgot. Could it be possible that Mike Huckabee (the Tommy Thompson impersonator) might actually have a shot at the Republican nomination? He seems a good fit; many Republicans like his conservative record. Plus, he is Chuck Norris approved.

Well played, Huck-Chuck. Well played indeed.

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

Rob, you should have your own column.