Well, something weird is happening. People seem to think that Mike Huckabee is what Fred Thompson could have been. I think that a meme is born.
Simple: Don’t think of Mike Huckabee as Mike Huckabee. Think of Mike Huckabee as Fred Thompson. Huckabee is filling the role Fred Thompson entered the race in September to fill. He is the socially conservative Southern pro-life candidate with a silver tongue and a pleasingly low-key affect.
I spoke to Rasmussen about Huckabee’s rapid rise yesterday, and our chat can be found here. Key quote: "Had anybody else resonated with GOP primary voters, this would have been impossible. What Mike Huckabee is doing is validating the dream of Thompson’s supporters – that there was a vacuum or void in the race, but Thompson didn’t grab it for whatever reason."
My lunch partner said it slightly differently. There was a demographic that was frustrated, especially after Fred went nowhere.
While I see the logic in all of this, I do think that something else is going on with Huckabee. After all, Fred supporters didn’t want a soft-on-immigration populist who could change the party. They wanted to keep the whole game together. Somehow, I don’t think that’s Huckabee’s game.
UPDATE: Really a clarification. I want someone soft on immigration. Huck’s answer at the debate was brilliant.