Wednesday, December 12, 2007

"Don't Mormons Believe That Jesus And The Devil Are Brothers?"

Hypothetical question:

Say Huckabee pulls off the GOP nomination ... does this comment put Utah in play during the general?

Yesterday there was talk of Democratic operatives calling Huckabee an "easy kill" should he make it to the general. In just the last couple of weeks, since the beginning of the "Huckaboom" began to register in the polls, the former Arkansas Governor has had to duck and cover on tax issues, his own Willie Horton, dubious comments made about AIDS patients, and some questionable behavior upon leaving the governor's mansion in Little Rock. Tending to these issues may have contributed to Huckabee blanking on the Iran NIE, which doesn't exactly help him the national security credentials department ...

All these thrown together in such a short period of time really runs contrary to the principle of letting a potential scandal bleed slowly, which suggests that there s indeed a lot more where that came from. I can't help but wonder if in Huckabee's past there are many of these examples -- little instances that may have helped Huckabee in the short term (in this case with evangelicals who are suspicious of Mormonism), but will doom him with a broader audience.

CONTINUED: [Sorry, I forgot to finish this thought ...]

Utah is the most conservative state in the Union, but it's also the most Mormon. There's really no saying what Utah voters value more -- their faith or their ideology -- in the voting booth. It's probably too much to imagine that Utah suddenly becomes a Democratic next year in an anomalous reaction to Huckabee's comment, but what happens if Huckabee should make a similarly controversial statement that involves a segment of a population in a state that is not as uniformly devoted to the GOP?

Conversely, maybe this was an absolute stroke of genius on Huckabee's part. He can flog the Mormon horse as much as he wants because it will only hurt him in the general election in Utah, where he will be guaranteed a win anyway. It's not like he'd be dumb enough to say that all coal miners are in-bred and expect to win West Virginia, for example ... or is he?

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