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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Bad Week for Huckabee

Mike Huckabee began this week as the hot commodity in presidential politics, surging in IA and nationally, and inspiring a host of positive media attention. But in a striking illustration of how rapidly worms turn in the current political environment, he’s had a really bad week so far.
One problem had been lurking in the background for ages, and probably made its way from some rival campaign’s oppo-reasearch file into the media just as he emerged from the second tier into major-candidate viability. That would be the Wayne DuMond case. You can read all about it in the linked article, but basically, Huckabee appears to have personally lobbied the Arkansas parole board to releasee DuMond, a convicted rapist, in 1999, in response to right-wing political pressure (strangely, DuMond appears to have become a cause celebre among some conservatives who believed his original life-plus-20-years sentence was influenced by the fact that his victim was a distant relative of Bill Clinton). DuMond proceeded to rape and murder another woman in Missouri, and upon dying in prison in 2005, was the prime suspect in another rape and murder.
This is potentially the Willie Horton case on steroids, since Huckabee, unlike Mike Dukakis in Massachusetts, knew about the specific case and seems to have personally intervened, disregarding pleas from DuMond’s earlier victim’s family.
A second bad development for Huckabee is probably less damaging, but is still an indication of his and his campaign’s shortcomings. A full day after the release of the new National Intelligence Estimate on Iran, and at a time when it was the leading news story in several major media outlets, Huckabee was asked about it, and clearly had no clue about the report or its significance. It goes to show that even if you can overcome a small budget and a shoestring campaign operation in places like Iowa, it’s still helpful to have a staff to keep you aware of big breaking news, especially if one of your main vulnerabilities is lack of expertise in international relations.

One comment on “Bad Week for Huckabee

  1. ducdebrabant on

    We’ll get to the fact that he also advocated in the 90’s (!) quarantining all HIV-positive people, proclaiming homosexuality not only sinful but inherently dangerous to the public health. Right?


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