As usual, the so-called TV talking-head political pundits/experts are — once again — wrong!
Do you recall their fawning over the quarterly fundraising totals and how they pontificate that “money is the mother’s milk of American politics” and this one, “you have to have $100 million to even compete in this newly front-loaded race”?
Mike Huckabee has vaulted to No. 1 in the GOP race basically without one red cent!
A different formula than these self-proclaimed experts could possibly understand: the right messenger combined with the right message and then added to big momentum vaults a candidate to the top:
Messenger + Message + Momentum = Success
Huckabee is hot, hot, hot. He is a good speaker; he is pleasant-sounding; he is smart. His message right now is simple: “I am not any of these other GOP candidates.”
That plus the fact that he is of the evangelicals who make up a third of the GOP vote has tied him into the GOP base much more effectively than Romney or Rudy.
Fred Thompson — as predicted here — has faded into obscurity because he is a boring candidate. Ron Paul remains hot on the Internet but until he translates that energy into success in a real caucus or primary, at least a third-place, he won’t get the credibility and visibility that Huckabee now has.
This is not to say that Huckabee won’t or can’t fade. He might. All the other GOP front-runners have faded after their moment in the sun.
But he has vaulted to the top without any money at all. A valuable lesson which may yet be seen again in the 2008 race —especially if an independent third candidate enters the race.
What if it comes down to Obama vs. Huckabee? Let’s just say that these two hot candidates win Iowa. And let us assume Obama then wins New Hampshire and South Carolina, where he is now tied with Hillary. If he wins Iowa and gets some big mo he may sweep those three. If he does, and with the front-loaded system, he could possibly win the Democratic nomination.
Huckabee will win Iowa. He will not win New Hampshire. But he may then win South Carolina. Anyway, let us just assume that somehow he wins the GOP nomination.
If ever there was a perfect set-up for an independent third candidate to drive right up the center and win this election, this is it.
This candidate paints these two as the extremists they are: Huckabee is not a fiscal conservative. He is a big government liberal masquerading as a Republican. Plus he is seen by many as a religious extremist.
Obama can easily be painted as a way-out left-winger who can’t be trusted to run the country.
Thus, this so-far hypothetical independent third candidate could run against these two extremists who cannot be trusted with power and have a real shot at winning.
Year 2008 is certain to be a year of total surprises; In fact we have already had many and it’s only 2007. Who could have foreseen the rise of Obama? Or the troubles and in-fighting inside the Clinton Camp? Or the rise of Mike Huckabee?
So keep an open mind about next year. Nothing should surprise any of us including the very real possibility that our next president isn’t even in the race yet.
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