This week yet another Republican hat – that of former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas – was tossed into the Republican ring.

The Governor is currently making the requisite media rounds, but after suffering a painful defeat in the midterm elections last fall, Republicans are unlikely to support a candidate who cheerfully raises taxes and then blames it on his constituents – in effect, he claims he raised taxes because the citizens of Arkansas liked them. He raised ‘em; and worse – he won’t promise not to do it again.

It is unlikely he will garner great support from the party itself, after all, a great part of the GOP defeat was that voters were tired of tax and spend Republicans.

In 1992, conventional wisdom had President Bush One with the general election in the bag. The Democrats ran a number of primary candidates who were generally unknown. So being a governor from Arkansas (a state that the Dumb Decided in the rest of the country barely heard of) was a plus, not a minus.

Gov. Bill Clinton had nothing to lose in 1992, and everything to gain. Then a number of odd things happened. With Republican anti-Bush votes going to Ross Perot, a great Saxophone performance by Clinton on The Arsenio Hall Show, and a bad performance in the grocery store by incumbent Bush who didn’t know how much the milk cost, the relatively unknown Governor of Arkansas won the White House.

But a candidate in this election — with no incumbent and a lot of Big Name People that even the Dumb Decided know — cannot successfully jump out of the dark of Arkansas and yell “boo.”

McCain is looking physically frail and is so wrapped around the troop surge (that most of America doesn’t like) that it makes him weak and wobbly.

Rudy Guiliani is, in my opinion, a true American hero. But he should take the Muhammed Ali option — go out the champ. He is well loved (and deservedly so) as America’s mayor and should not muddle that pure legacy with yucky presidential politics. But he does love cameras and they love him — and he is enjoying the Will He or Won’t He? — but the more he wiggles and waits, the less he will be taken seriously. My advice — go out on top, Rudy — go out on top.

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) could be a surprise horse. Although he is too much of a protectionist for some, his “hawk and fence” approach to national security plays well. He had some great interviews already last weekend, and could easily become chief Republican spoiler.

Hillary is still on top and should be happy that her “Michael Dukakis in a Tank” or “John Kerry In A Big Blue Condom” moment came early in her campaign. Hopefully for her, Democrats won’t remember her rendition of the Star “Mangled” Banner.

As for the rest of the Democrat field, with the exception of John Edwards who is running his everyman campaign from a 28,000 square foot house, they are all running for Vice President. John Edwards has no great strategy, no foreign policy credentials, he wasted his sympathy card when running for Veep, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of a union base that has shrunk to a shadow of its former self at less than 12% of the workforce. What’s his slogan going to be — YES Edwards, NO Wal-Mart? He’s sliding faster than a fat man in a raincoat down an icy hill.

So far, it seems its Hillary’s and Mitt’s race(s) to lose. Today. Tomorrow … ?

On a serious note, a sad goodbye to America’s true Derby champ, Barbaro. We hoped that he could get past one bad leg, but two bad legs was just too much.

Political lesson, that.


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