John Dickerson already has an article up called, “Huckabee’s Nutty Flip Flop:”
Minutes before the press conference—where he was to unveil and explain the new ads—he’d decided not to go negative, calling the stations where the spots were planning to air and killing them.
Despite changing his mind, Huckabee still wanted to show the press one of the negative ads he wasn’t going to run. A transcript of the event will show this response from the press corps:
“Bwahahahahaha!” [sound of reporters falling out of chairs, doubled over in laughter]
Reporters saw the spectacle as a transparent charade to get them to run Huckabee’s ad for him while allowing him to maintain the high road. The ad was a standard attack ad with pictures of Romney and claims about his record on taxes, the death penalty, and the deficit he left in Massachusetts after his term as governor. Despite Huckabee’s switcheroo, the room was also filled with easels displaying Romney distortions, which Huckabee and aides said couldn’t be pulled down because the candidate had made his decision so recently.
But the part that I found interesting is this:
“What does it profit you if you gain the world but lose your soul?” the candidate asked, and it must be said that he looked like a man who had just had a blood transfusion.
Just as I assumed, the Baptist preacher used Scripture to justify his wacky publicity stunt. The writer concludes with this scenario. I can only hope he’s right.
Iowans will find the whole zigzag episode—he was for attack ads before he was against them—just wobbly and confused. Not the kind of profile you want to project just before the voting begins.