Friday, November 13, 2009

Smart move by Huckabee (NY 23)

A few weeks back, Huckabee took some heat for not getting involved in a Congressional race here in New York.

Post election, he looks like he showed good judgement.

Republican conservatives and moderates were caught up in a battle over New York’s 23rd Congressional district. The GOP endorsed candidate, Dede Scozzafava, was pro-abortion and pro gay rights. She was battling the Democratic candidate, Bill Owens, and a Conservative Party candidate, Doug Hoffman, whose views fit in better with Huckabee's on these and other issues.

But despite calls to endorse Hoffman - as did Sarah Palin, and eventually, Tim Pawlenty - Huckabee declined. (So did Mitt Romney.)

Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich endorsed Scozzafava.

Huckabee was reluctant to endorse outside the Party. His policy has been to push conservatives to primary fellow Republicans, not to run in the general election again them (Rubio vs. Crist down in Florida, for example). But he also could not openly support a Republican whose views so differed from his own.

Just before the election, Scozzafava dropped out and endorsed the Democratic candidate. Egg on the face of Gingrich.

Then the Democratic candidate bested Hoffman - giving a normally safe Republican seat to the the Democrats.

That won't make Palin look good - though at least she came in early and was consistent. Pawlenty looked like he was being opportunistic, so that won't help him either, especially since the Republicans lost what had been a safe seat.

In the end, Huckabee showed good political sense without compromising his beliefs - and he did not antagonize GOP leaders. Even if they are not enthusiastic about him, he will seem less of a threat than Palin.

And if it comes down to Romney and Huckabee, at least some of the Romney-leaning leadership will have an easier time backing Huckabee when he wins the nomination.

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