Republicans keep longing for a reincarnation of Ronald Reagan to pop up and win the GOP presidential nomination, but thus far not one of the current candidates has shown that he has the vaguest notion of what made my father the great president he was — his vision of the America it is capable of becoming based on his unbounded optimism and faith in the ability of fellow Americans to do the right thing when told the truth.
They keep going off on tangents, arguing about the religious faith of one of their number, or about the legality of using lawn service companies that hire illegal aliens, or how much a former mayor spent on security for himself and his mistress, but not a single word about what matters most – a vision of what kind of America will result if they win the presidency.
The American people crave to see the vision of the shining city on the hill my Dad promised and went a long way towards creating, yet not a single one of the GOP candidates has said a word about how they plan to get us there, or even mentioned it’s where they want to take us, or what it would be like once we got there.
Could 2008 actually end up being a showdown between the author of "The Audacity of Hope" and the new Man from
? Hope, Ark.
It sounds preposterous, but
’s shock over Mike Huckabee’s sudden rise in the polls — he "came from nowhere," Robert Novak huffed last week — makes you wonder. Having failed to anticipate so much else, including the Barack Obama polling surge of days earlier, the press pack has proved an unreliable guide to election 2008. What the Beltway calls unthinkable today keeps turning out to be front-page news tomorrow. . . . Washington
Though their views on issues are often antithetical, Mr. Huckabee and Mr. Obama may be united in catching the wave of an emerging zeitgeist that is larger than either party’s ideology. An exhausted and disillusioned public may be ready for a replay of the New Frontier pitch of 1960.
-- FRANK RICH
So the latest polls have Mike Huckabee up an implausible nineteen points in
and four points nationally. But he can’t win, right? I mean, he’s vulnerable on practically every non-social issue, he has a variety of skeletons in his closet, his policy team seems more or less nonexistent, he still doesn’t have any money, and he has most of the GOP establishment united against him. He doesn’t have a prayer — or maybe that’s all he has. Iowa
Except, of course, that none of his rivals can win either. If you look at the field, every candidate seems to have near-disqualifying weaknesses . . . which helps explain why nobody seems capable of getting above 30-35 percent in any national or state-level poll. . . .
[I]deologically-speaking, none of the Republican contenders make nearly as much sense as candidates for the nomination of the present-day GOP as Obama, Clinton and Edwards do as candidates for the nomination of the present-day Democratic Party.
-- ROSS DOUTHAT
Mike Huckabee once advocated isolating AIDS patients from the general public, opposed increased federal funding in the search for a cure and said homosexuality could "pose a dangerous public health risk."
As a candidate for a U.S. Senate seat in 1992, Huckabee answered 229 questions submitted to him by The Associated Press. Besides a quarantine, Huckabee suggested that
Hollywoodcelebrities fund AIDS research from their own pockets, rather than federal health agencies.
As promised, Washington Post Ombud Deborah Howell has finally weighed in on the controversy surrounding the recent WaPo piece that front-paged the Obama Muslim rumors without declaring them false. Her conclusion, in essence, was that the paper made a hash of things.
-- GREG SARGENT
I'm married to a jazz drummer. I have sat at the front table in countless clubs, clapping and tapping my foot. I have even helped to schlep the snare and tom-tom into taxis. I have an amiable social relationship with any number of the cats with whom my husband plays. See, I even know some of the lingo. So I would like to advertise my services as a jazz drummer, too.
What, no bookings? Sticklers who object that I have never actually played the drums might reflect on Hillary Clinton's claim that eight years "in" the White House (that is, physically under the roof) count as political "experience", on the basis of which she deserves the presidency. Implicitly, Hillary has already been practically-president for two terms.
Yet obstreperous voters in the first Democratic caucus state of Iowa have failed to get with the programme, and were polled this week as preferring the upstart Barack Obama over the purportedly "inevitable" nomination of the former First Lady - by three percentage points. In response, Hillary has been banging the drum of her vastly superior political "experience" compared to her younger rival's.Cartoon by Tony Auth/The Philadelphia Inquirer