This absolutely takes the cake.
Mike Huckabee is holding a press conference right now in which he was supposed to unveil a new negative ad against arch rival Mitt Romney.
But Mr. Huckabee came to the press conference and announced he’d had a change of heart and would not be broadcasting the ad after all.
But wait! It gets better.
He then broadcast it for a room crammed with reporters, photographers and television cameras.
The assembled media found the display hilarious and at several points laughed out loud.
Telling you what’s in the ad, of course, plays into Mr. Huckabee’s strategy of getting his message out — Mr. Romney is bad — while being able to say his hands are clean.
He spoke at a dais in front of a huge banner that said, “Enough is Enough.” Placed around the room were poster boards criticizing Mr. Romney for various things.
Mr. Huckabee, with his wife standing silently off to the side, said that the “conventional wisdom” was that when you are attacked, you attack back. But, he said, an hour before the press conference, which was scheduled for noon, he just decided not to go that route.
“It’s not worth it,” he said.
Polls regularly show that Iowa voters do not reward candidates who go negative, and perhaps Mr. Huckabee saw some of those polls. “The people of Iowa deserve better,” he said.
Asked if he wasn’t being hypocritical by showing the ad to a roomful of cameras that are likely to record it and show it — for free — around the country, Mr. Huckabee said he was showing it to reporters only because reporters were so cynical that if he didn’t show it, they would not believe that he really had made such an ad.
“It’s never too late to do the right thing,” he said. He added that he would love to sit down and have a debate with Mr. Romney, at which point a Fox News reporter piped up that Fox would love to broadcast such an event.
It’s like a preacher delivering a sermon against gossip, by saying, “As many of you know, there are certain people in our church who gossip. Take for example, sister Jones who can’t even keep a husband. Or, brother Jack, who recently drank away his inheritance. Well, I for one am not like those sinners. I say we need to take to higher road. So, unlike brother McDermott — whose car was parked outside Miss Donavan’s home a little late last night — I believe it’s important to be holy.”
For you evangelicals who worry how having a Mormon president would play out, at least you wouldn’t have to worry about a Baptist weight loss guru glibly cheapening your faith. The whole scene reminds me of Luke 18:11:
“The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are…”
Except that the Pharisee didn’t have the foresight to call a press conference.