Mike Huckabee from Arkansas ran for the Republican party nomination in 2008. Is he a good candidate for 2012?
Well, for starters, Huckabee is a very smart guy. The former Arkansas governor is now hosting a show on Fox simply called "Huckabee," and he has written a children's book that has been a best-seller.
He also has the "hip" factor--Huckabee plays bass guitar in a band called "Capital Offense."
Additionally, he's fairly young, at 55 years old, he sits between the older generation and the young. After losing over 100 pounds several years ago, he also looks quite young and energetic.
And to his credit, he's not a nasty person. He, in fact, is a former pastor. That credential is partly what gave him such support from the Republican right, in addition to his staunch anti-abortion stance and abstinence education.
One thing the Democrats do well is define themselves: they claim to be the party of choice, women, blacks, hispanics, and the custodians of fairness. And it seems that people believed them and voted in the current administration.
For the election in 2012, the Republicans need to define themselves better. One thing they can't be is all things to all people. That's where Huckabee fits in well. He makes no apologies for being a Christian, but he doesn't offend people who are not religious. He is blunt about economics and taxes, even stating that the tax system punishes people for working. That kind of candor speaks to people who are working hard and not getting ahead today.
When some Republicans talk like Huckabee does, they sound mean. Huckabee never does. He sounds reasonable. He has a way of talking that makes sense, sounds kind, and doesn't offend anyone. It's nice to see someone unapologetically yet unoffensively take a stand on something.
Perhaps his one political shortcoming is that he's not particularly aggressive. Maybe some people interpret that as weakness. I think that could make him a powerful "stealth" candidate in 2012.
One thing is for sure: the Republican party needs to define itself and articulate that for the next election. Mike Huckabee, a man who already knows who he is and lives a consistent life, may be just the person to lead the party.