Huckabee's Garbage Time
The late great LA Lakers announcer Chuck Hearns is thought to have coined the phrase Garbage Time to describe
the period of time at the end of a timed sporting event when the outcome of the game has already been decided.
Garbage Time is a good definition of what's happening now in the Republican Presidential Primary contest – actually it can't even be described as a contest anymore. A contest would require one candidate to have a realistic shot of defeating the frontrunner.
Mike Huckabee has about as realistic a chance of defeating John McCain as Rosie O'Donnell has of becoming Miss America. So – what could possibly be Huck's motivation for continuing a contest that has already been decided? That's an interesting question with a very simple answer.
On Planet Huckabee, this contest is all about Huckabee. He started out his post-CPAC Howard Fineman interview by claiming that Mitt Romney siphoned votes from his campaign effort. Sure, Mike. Somehow Romney managed to gain over 4 million votes that would have otherwise gone to you. What's in the water down there in Arkanasa?
Huck's campaign is all about keeping his name in lights long enough so that either McCain taps him as his VP – a move which would further irritate an already alienated GOP base – or searing Huck's visage in the collective American memory so people remember him in 2012. Either way, you'll note that neither of those motivators has anything to do with what's best for the Republican Party or for the United States. Again, Huck is doing what's best for Huck. Period.
Over the weekend, Huck won primary caucuses in Kansas and Louisiana. He lost narrowly to McCain in Washington State and – true to form – he didn't take nicely to losing. He immediately found the nearest microphone bank and decried the Washington results as Stalin-esque. In a calculated move hearkening back to the 2000 Election, Huck has taken a page from the "Algore Post-Election Playbook" and has called in the lawyers for a "complete investigation".
Have I mentioned the very obvious fact that – regardless of the outcome in Washington – Huck has no shot at winning? Even after his good weekend, Mitt Romney still has more delegates than Huck. In my ever so humble opinion, Mitt Romney exited the race at the highest possible point. His willingness to sacrifice his personal ambition for the sake of party unity and possible November victory will go down in electoral history as gracious and magnanimous. Huckabee will have claim to neither of those two titles. Every day he stays in this race for his own personal vanity is just one more day the dead fish has to rot in the sun. If the adage that "it's all over but the shouting" is true, Huck is screaming at the whirlwind.
Huckabee would like you to believe he scored a victory over Mitt Romney last week by virtue of the fact that he [Huckabee] is now the last man standing against McCain. In fact, the exact opposite is true. This isn't a "Survivor" type contest where the last man standing wins the prize. Like him or not – and believe you me I have serious differences with him – John McCain is going to be the Republican nominee for President this November. He will face off against either Hillary or Obama.
Mike Huckabee is an also ran – for some reason which escapes me (and the rest of the country) he's unable or unwilling to accept that fact.
Mitt Romney left this race with a huge amount of good-will and respect. The only thing that will greet Huckabee's exit is a collective sigh of relief along with whispers of "It's about damn time!"
Here endeth the lesson.
(1)Note that Huckabee is not attcking John McCain
(2) If Huckabee leaves the race the whole thing becomes the Obama/Hilary show. How is that good for McCain
(3) Huckabee in his way is reminding social conservatives what is at stake. I to believe in miracles but I realize Huck getting the nomination is slim to done. However he is jazzing upo the social conservative base. A base that are the real grunt workers in the general. Huckabee , who is making a personal connection with these voters, will benefit McCain greatly when he brings them over.
As was in the New York Times the other day if there was no Huckabee McCain would have to invent him.