November 29, 2007

NY Daily: Don't Look Now, But Huckabee's Rising

Michael Goodwin of the New York Daily News has a great article on Huckabee's strong debate performance and recent surge in support:

Huck is rising, and now we know why.

News reports that former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is sprinting toward the front of the Republican pack have provoked lots of head-scratching and questions of "Who?" But anyone who watched Wednesday night's debate now understands much better who he is and why he is suddenly the GOP man to watch.

Huckabee demonstrated a smooth, folksy style and a sharp mind. He was funny, bright and direct. He was the only one who could answer a question about which agency he would abolish - the IRS, because he favors a form of national sales tax.

The former Baptist minister's defense of the death penalty while expressing anguish over how hard it was to sign off on executions made him seem both tough and human.

It didn't hurt that, a minute later, he was quoting the Bible. There were times when he could have sold snake oil to the audience - he was that good.

Of course, Huckabee could be getting a boost just because nobody else in the field has closed the deal. Even so, his timing is impeccable. Peaking just as voters are making up their minds is how you pull an upset early, then build on it in later states. Stranger things have happened.

And Huckabee's opponents clearly are flawed. Those flaws were on display Wednesday night.


All of which means now is shaping up as Huckabee's best chance. If he can seize it the way he did last night, there soon won't be any doubts about who he is.

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