Laugh at him if you please — there’s plenty to laugh at, and cringe at, in his record — but Huckabee gives a damned good speech. Striking how much it resembles Obama’s in its celebration of unity, its deprecation of hatred as a political principle, its insistence on the importance of the cause rather than the candidate, and the impression that both men give of actually speaking to the audience rather than reciting a prepared text. Given that we have to listen to one of the GOP candidates for the next ten months, I’d rather listen to Huckabee than to any of the others.
I’m not sure the Republican establishement will really be able to stop this guy, especially if in the end he’s mano-a-mano with McCain. Fortunately, I think any Democrat would cream him in November.
Update The contrast with HRC could hardly be more stark. Occasionally, her speechifying rises to the level of the pedestrian. Edwards, on the other hand, is getting panned for being “ungracious” in not congratulating Obama and “angry” in emphasizing that health insurance companies shouldn’t be able to delay their clients to death. I disagree. The speech seemed to me both heartfelt and un-selfconscious: about his cause and not about himself. Yes, he would have done better speaking in a lower tone. But I didn’t see anything there I wouldn’t want to see in a President. (As an Obama fan, I’d like to see Edwards fold as quickly as possible, but as a critic of rhetoric I have to say the thing that is, or at least the thing that appears to me.)