The influential Dallas Morning News endorsed Mike Huckabee for Texas' upcoming primary.
Headlining that as "a vote for Huckabee is a vote for GOP's future," the paper added that "John McCain is all but guaranteed to be the party's presidential nominee. It is mathematically impossible for Mike Huckabee, the last remaining major GOP contender, to capture the nomination."
The paper praised McCain for "long experience and personal courage, he has a solid record of fiscal responsibility and has been on the right side of campaign finance reform and environmental issues. And he was correct and principled to lead the fight for comprehensive immigration reform last summer."
But the News noted McCain's advanced age and his notorious temper have given them pause.
"Win or lose in November, the GOP is destined to spend the next few years redefining itself. For many reasons, Reaganism, which made the GOP the dominant political party of the last generation, no longer resonates as it once did with the American public. The world has changed since Ronald Reagan's election nearly 30 years ago, and the great man's political heirs will have to adjust the GOP's strategy and tactics to new realities.
"To that end, 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."
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