Maybe Huckabee was feeling left out
Mike Huckabee has spent the last few days watching Pat Robertson endorse Rudy Giuliani and Paul Weyrich endorse Mitt Romney while getting no love himself from the nation's social conservative leadership. And Huckabee's a bass-playing minister, no less (would that be a bass player playing to the base?).
So today Huckabee gets one of his own: Donald Wildmon, founder of the American Family Foundation and a big player in Christian radio, not to mention an ace boycott organizer when he finds TV programs, movies and art offensive.
So what does all this mean? Clearly the social conservatives within the Republican Party have not been able to find a presidential horse they all want to ride together. Some don't want to ride at all. For the last few cycles they have been kingmakers in terms of awarding nominations. But with the different leaders scattering every which way this time around, you have to figure the advantage goes to Giuliani -- the least-attractive (on the surface) candidate to the social conservatives.
Of course, we wouldn't be betting our money on this. But still ...
UPDATE: Our colleague Stephanie Simon's piece from Iowa in today's paper explores the support Huckabee is receiving among Iowa voters. And it illustrates an interesting dynamic. Of the lower-tier candidates, Ron Paul has been grabbing some of the spotlight for his surprising fundraising success but hasn't seen a related spike in poll support. Huckabee's been showing poll support -- at least in Iowa -- but has been having trouble raising cash. Of course, neither of them are seeing the cash nor poll numbers the front-runners are getting.
And this points out the dialectic of presidential nomination fights: Broad national support gets trumped by strong local support in key early-voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire. The candidates know that -- which is why they're spending so much time in those two states. And why Huckabee's seeming embrace in the corn belt could mean something.
-- Scott Martelle