Are these the two biggest losers from the debate?

November 29, 2007

McCain wins on substance but Huckabee wins on style.


My gut reaction from reading the transcripts is that the Republican party is in serious ideological trouble. I accept that as left of centre Blairite (the British equivalent of the DLC) I am biased but I believe that the Republicans can only win the election by emphasising the War in Iraq and offering a platform of achievable reforms as an alternative to Clinton’s bombast and Obama’s inexperience. However, as the National Review Online (the US equivalent of the Daily Telegraph) put it, ‘Based on the tone and answers given tonight, you would think that the Republican Party seethes with a blistering resentment of immigrants, with only the briefest of pauses to distinguish between those who are illegal and legal. You would think that the only tax plan that they like is the Fair Tax, and that they would like to somehow eliminate all taxes and let somebody else figure out how to fund the parts of the government that are actually needed. Guys, I thought we were small-government conservatives, not no-government anarchists’.

However, I do have to admit that Mike Huckabee was impressive. He triangulated like another governor of Arkansas and he managed to appeal to the centre, without changing his views on social issues. He managed to combine home-grown homilies with the rhetoric of Dick Morris. If he can overcome his support for the National Sales Tax, he could actually pull this thing off. John McCain was also impressive, although he needs to move further to the centre and start using some of his rhetoric in the debates that he uses on the campaign trail, especially about immigration. I like the fact that he seems to have moved away from the fringe on taxation, though he needs to be more radical and go back to his original position on the Bush tax cuts. Romney and Giuliani were unimpressive while the campaign of Fred Thompson seems to be over.

In terms of the Iowa polling, if you include the new Rasmussen poll and filter it through Samplemiser you get the following: Huckabee 27.38 Romney 25.16 Giuliani 12.19 Thompson 10.93 Paul 5 McCain 4.12.



  1. […] Read the rest of this great post here […]

  2. Huckabee was the big winner. Day by day, increasingly, Mike Huckabee is what Leadership looks like ( http://snipr.com/leaderlook ). He’s an adroit public speaker; he’s all about calling his listeners to “do something,” to awaken them to their own empowerment, and summon them to action in order that “Main Street,” and not “Wall Street,” will prevail in guarding the values and beliefs upon which the Republic was founded.

    Huckabee puts his listeners at ease, and reassures them, articulating clear concepts in a natural, easy style (no doubt something well-cultivated as a pastor). He’s not as “mechanically-scripted” as Romney, nor angry or demanding, like a Ron Paul, and his large brown eyes, peering through a humble demeanor, draw a striking contrast to a unconvincing, tired-looking Thompson. One can easily imagine sitting comfortably with Mike over a cup of coffee at the Main Street Cafe.

    Most importantly, Huckabee is ONE with the FairTax grassroots movement ( http://snipr.com/fthuckabeeonirs ). Romney’s recent WEAK response to FairTax questioning on “This Week with Geo. Stephanopoulos ( http://snipurl.com/stephanopoulosdebate )” drew a sharp contrast between Huckabee and all other presidential front-runners who will not embrace it. Huckabee understands that what”s wrong with the income tax can”t be fixed with “a tap of the hammer, nor a twist of the screwdriver.” That his opponents cling to the destructive Tax Code, the IRS, preserving political power of granting tax favors at continued cost to – and misery of – American families, invigorates his campaign”s raison d”etre. “Main Street” will have to demand ( http://snipr.com/scrapthecode ) that their legislators deliver the bill to Huckabee, if elected.

  3. The ‘fair tax’ is Huckabee’s achillees heel. It will be easy to evade and will hit the middle classes really hard. The question is whether he can finesse his suppot for the montrosity or he can escape criticism for long enough to get the nomination.

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