The EFM Feature

That’s the question on the tip of my tongue after tonight’s results. I think Rudy has done the honorable thing in dropping out now that it has become clear that he isn’t going to be the nominee. In so doing, Rudy has shown class, and a concern for the future of the party. He understands that after Florida he would be reduced to a non-candidate candidate who could merely siphon votes (largely from Sen. McCain) without any chance of actually winning. This wouldn’t be good for the country, nevermind the party.
Now consider Huckabee. He’s siphoning votes from somebody, and I believe that person is Gov. Romney. After his dismal performances in New Hampshire and Michigan and his underwhelming performances in South Carolina and Florida, it’s clear that the Huckster has lost his groove.
Now let me say this: I believe Mike Huckabee is a good and decent man. But I also believe his campaign has been far more about him than it has been about what’s good for our party, for our movement. From the “Christian leader” commercials to the odd one-liners, Gov. Huckabee’s campaign has always seemed to me more of a novelty act than a serious performance. But these are serious times with serious issues. There’s the war, the economy, the multiple judges that the next president will appoint to the Supreme Court. The time has come for Republicans to pick among the two candidates who can actually win the nomination and the presidency: Sen. McCain and Gov. Romney. They need to decide, in particular, whether Gov. Romney or Sen. McCain is the better advocate for the social issues that they—and Gov. Huckabee, to his credit—care so much about. To continue to support Gov. Huckabee despite the impossibility of him winning the nomination is to ensure that the social issues that we care about are put on the backburner (in the best case) for the next four to eight years.
Now the skeptic might say, what makes you think Huckabee’s folks will go to Gov. Romney. Well, just a hunch really. But even if all of Huck’s support goes to Sen. McCain, and that leads to a landslide victory for the Senator next Tuesday, I think the party and the country will still be better off having made a choice between the two candidates who can win. Fred has done the right thing, and now so has Rudy. Meanwhile, Gov. Huckabee has made his name by talking about the importance of the voice of the people on Main Street. Will he take his chance to let them be heard?

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