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A Mike Huckabee quip doesn't square with reality

September 4, 2008 |  4:12 am

As we learned during the Republican primary season, Mike Huckabee rarely can resist one-liners -- even when, as was the case in his speech Wednesday night at the GOP's national convention, facts get in the way.

As part of the concerted party effort to respond to questions raised about Sarah Palin's experience level, Huckabee said John McCain's running mate got more votes running for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, than Joe Biden -- the vice presidential nominee on the Democratic ticket -- could garner in his failed White House bid this year.

The crowd laughed. But the numbers don’t add up.

In 1996, when Palin was elected mayor, she won 651 votes; in 1999, she was reelected with 909 votes, according to records posted on the city's website.

Although Biden's fifth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses led to him quickly exit the presidential race, Democratic officials recorded that 2,328 Iowans showed up to back him that night.

And because Biden's name remained on the ballot in some contests, he ended up with 79,754 votes in the overall tally for the nomination race.

Also as part of the bid to square what Palin brings to the table with Biden, a six-term senator, Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle, noted for the delegates that Alaska has the same number of electoral votes as Delaware -- three -- but was more than 200 times as large in land mass.

-- James Hohmann