The real reason for Mr. Huckabee’s ascendance may be that his message is simply more uplifting — and, in the ethical rather than theological sense, more Christian — than that of rivals whose main calling cards of fear, torture and nativism have become more strident with every debate. The fresh-faced politics of joy may be trumping the five-o’clock-shadow of Nixonian gloom and paranoia favored by the entire G.O.P. field with the sometime exception of John McCain.
If you’ve read very much of this site, you know that I am probably not likely to be a Huckabee supporter. However, after hearing a few interviews recently I’ve found myself intrigued with this one making a last minute surge. Maybe it’s because the big business Republicans like Novak and the Council on Growth seem so rabid to destroy his candidacy. Maybe it’s because he’s been willing to take the risk to actually lay out policy positions that put flesh on Bush’s rhetoric of compassionate conservatism. Whatever the case, Frank Rich’s article from the Times suggesting that the election may come down to two who are willing to consider complexity is an interesting thought.