Well we still aren’t at a two man race even with the sudden and somewhat unexpected exit of Mitt Romney from the GOP primary race. Ron Paul continues to roll along and may be the big beneficiary of Mitt’s exit. Now wouldn’t that be a kick in the pants? That aside there is an interesting mix of men still in the race.
John McCain is undoubtedly the front runner in this race. But, his temper of late may create a rather nasty backlash that could force folks to send their votes elsewhere. Of course the difficulty with that premise is that the only two places to send their votes are to Huckabee and Paul. Most people like Huckabee, but his folksy charm is either appreciated or disdained by Republican voters. Either way he is a social conservative of the highest order and that may be enough to garner some of the Romney fallout. Huckabee is also a bit more economically conservative than McCain and will gladly fight for tax breaks that McCain refuses. Ron Paul, on the other hand, remains the alternative to McCain’s 100 year Iraq war. Paul is a stark and constant reminder of the failures of the Bush administration on so many levels and the strong anti-Bush sentiment may help him capture the independent votes that would be otherwise picked up by the Democrat in the general election.
If I were Mike Huckabee here is what I would do.
Reposition himself as the “David” to John McCain’s “Goliath”. No doubt a message that Huckabee could sell well – seeing as it is scriptural and all. The analogy would be easy to see as McCain is hawkish and powerful in Washington. McCain is also known for his violent temper and scruff attitude. On the other hand, Huckabee is the perfect “David” with his slight, often unassuming, nature. People like to cheer for the underdog and David and Goliath is the ultimate underdog story.
For some reason voters are not standing strong behind the front runners. The idea of change has people looking for something different and clearly McCain does not stand for change. Romney tried telling that story but no one listened. I truly believe Huckabee can tell that same story and be believed. Huckabee has a way of saying terrible things about someone, but having it sound like a pat on the back.
If I were Huckabee I would also stand back and give McCain enough room and rope to hang himself. McCain is a loose cannon and will possibly implode before this race is over. The guy is old and stodgy, with a reputation for delivering offhand remarks in a less than subtle way. (Think Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran) Finding a way to make that happen could be the best offense Huckabee could use going forward. Just stand back and let McCain ruin his own campaign. As the front runner McCain will undoubtedly get greater scrutiny from the entirety of the media. This closer inspection will cause McCain to lose his balance and show people what he is really like. Sadly, that can only hurt him in the long run.
So, if Mike Huckabee is listening – go find that David costume back at the Baptist Church and let “Goliath” mortally wound himself in the ensuing battle.