OK, Mike Huckabee’s suddenly taken over this blog again as the subject of three of the last four posts, but this is interesting so I’m pointing it up. Conservative writer Ross Douthat of the Atlantic Monthly has a blog post titled “A Tale of Two Outsiders,” contrasting the outsider credentials of our former governor with GOP VP nominee Sarah Palin.
Douthat pronounces himself “disappointed” with Palin for not fully meeting the press—an arena that Huckabee, by comparison, was not at all hesitant to enter. Writes Douthat:
But the fact remains that she has given one fine speech, and two lackluster interviews, and has otherwise dodged the sort of rough-and-tumble venues and conversations that Huckabee welcomed, and which he used to make his candidacy for president seem more plausible than it initially appeared. Palin needs to at least approach the standard Huckabee set; she hasn’t yet; and that failure is showing up in her approval ratings. There’s still time for her to turn it around, and as you might expect, I’m pulling for her to do it. But at this point, there’s an awful lot riding on that one vice-presidential debate.
Douthat makes a thoughtful case that is worth reading in its entirety. I’m not convinced that the McCain campaign is doing itself any favors by not engaging Palin with the media (savvier strategic minds are welcome to disagree in the comment section). Get her out there, I say!
(The Arkansas Project suggested a couple of weeks back that Palin should be mixing it up with the media more—and that the McCain camp should recruit the skilled Huckabee to serve as de facto media trainer.)