Tags: iowa | caucus

Huckabee Burns Bright for GOP

Tuesday, 11 Dec 2007 08:11 AM

By John LeBoutillier

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Three weeks from this Thursday are the Iowa caucuses. With the way the schedule is set up this year — with the "big states" front-loaded to the Feb. 5 "tsunami Tuesday" — Iowa is now more important than ever before.

In other words, the infamous Big Mo is even more accentuated this year.

Plus the schedule is different; the gap between all-important Iowa and equally-important New Hampshire is now just five days! It used to be three weeks.

So let us look at Iowa for both races:

1) Democrats: Obama has all the upward momentum and has had it since the Philadelphia debate where Hillary revealed her jive-talking, triangulating, devious evasiveness when she tried to have it both ways on driver's licenses for illegals. Then the Oprah weekend happened and that can only help Obama as he heads into Iowa.

In other words, he has the big mo, and Hillary and Team Clinton are scrambling to find a way to fight back. They are panicked; Bill is making bad campaign appearances; her staff is mad at him; and he is mad at her inept campaign team.

So as of now, with three weeks to go and the year’s two biggest holidays in between in effect freezing the campaign for those days, Obama is on the right track.

The winner of Iowa is probably going to win New Hampshire and then South Carolina. That winner will be hard to defeat for the Democratic nomination.

So Iowa is huge.

2) GOP: Huckabee is hot. All others are in trouble.

The Republican primary voter has been shopping all year for a candidate to believe in. From Rudy to McCain to Romney and Thompson. Each has had his day in the sun. And each has started to fade. Now Huckabee is the flavor of the month and is the man.

But we need to ask: Can it last?

Will the GOP nominate a pro-tax-raising, pro-more-government spending, pro-benefits for illegal immigrants candidate?

Does Mike Huckabee fit the Republican Party? Is this the direction we are now going to go in? A conservative party is going now to embrace Big Government and More Taxes to solve social problems?

Somehow it just doesn’t fit.

Yes, Huckabee will probably now win Iowa as he - like Obama - had upward momentum. His’ is in fact even more explosive than Obama’s.

But what goes up fast can come down fast, too. And Huckabee’s record just does not unite the GOP. If he is to be the nominee, then that means the GOP is now yet another tax-and-spend big government party.

And they won’t win that way.

So the Republican race is up in the air; none of us has a clue about who will win.

Romney, by the way, has opened the Mormon can of worms. That religion is viewed by many voters with great skepticism. His speech last week began a process where his religion will now be made an issue. And it will in the end hurt him.

Rudy had a tough time on "Meet the Press" Sunday. His personal baggage is catching up to him. And he doesn’t fit the party either.

So, as has been written here before, the stage is set for upsets and surprises in January.

We conservatives cannot be happy with the direction of the GOP race. We need a non-neo-con in this race who is exciting, good on TV and not tied to the Bush machine.

So far, no luck on finding that candidate.

I want to apologize in advance to many readers who are inundating me with e-mails about two recent columns on the CIA. It is impossible for me to answer all these messages. I am sorry, as I usually try to answer all of your e-mails. But there are simply too many.

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