Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Goodbye, Farewell and Amen*

Mike Huckabee pledged his supporters that he would stay in the GOP presidential contest until such time as a candidate secured the number of delegates required to clinch the nomination.

True to his word, the Governor bowed out gracefully last night when rival John McCain reached the requisite 1191 delegates.
Even so, considering the comparative paucity of staff and funds with which Huckabee waged his campaign, he achieved stunning results. In conceding, Huckabee proved himself a team player, vowing to support McCain, the Republican Party, and GOP candidates for the US House of Representatives and Senate.

I think that too many wannabe pundits wrote Huckabee off as simply the “evangelical” candidate, ignoring his positions on a wide range of issues. As the editors of the Dallas Morning News noted in their recent endorsement:

. . . Mr. Huckabee, 52, should be a top leader in tomorrow's Republican Party. His good-natured approach to politics – "I'm a conservative; I'm just not mad about it," as he likes to say – is quite appealing after years of scorched-earth tactics from both parties. He's a pragmatist more concerned with effective government than with bowing to ideological litmus tests. For example, he has proven himself willing to violate anti-tax dogma to undertake investment in infrastructure for the sake of long-term prosperity.

Mr. Huckabee also is good on the environment, contending that the future of the conservative movement depends on embracing conservation and stewardship of the natural world. And he's a compassionate conservative especially in tune with middle-class anxieties in a globalizing economy.

Though I may differ with McCain on a number of high-profile issues, I think that he is a far better choice than either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton (hardy a surprise, I know).
And with that, I will set presidential politics aside for a while. More about that and the veep sweepstakes later.

*Apologies to the 4077th.

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