Cross-Posting Note: This appears also at Marry in Massachusetts.
In light of all the results, there were minor flares indicating there may be a way to go with that unity. The outliers still on the menu in various states had their wee followings even yesterday.
|State||Ron Paul||Mitt Romney|
Of course, the party is and should be far more concerned about Huckabee's victories in three caucus states (Iowa, Kansas and West Virginia) and five primary ones (Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana and Tennessee). Coupled with his solid polling in the states he lost (but often came in second), that puts extra pressure on the right vice presidential candidate to pull in evangelicals and social conservatives.
Not surprisingly, he invoked his religion repeatedly — St. Paul and Isiah. However, the earthly power he called into play was an army of the underclasses. He verbally assembled an impressive host of folk, seemingly as a warning to this party.
In thanking his small contributors, he said "Those are the folks who have given me a voice, and I only pray to God that I've been able to give them a voice…" His list then included:
- unborn children of this country
- hard-working people
- (everyone) who puts on a uniform and keeps us free
- every small business owner
- single moms
- guys…working two shifts
Then he had to break from his list of carefully crafted tropes to conclude:
For all of the conservatives of this country and party who want less government and who want what government they have to be a little more efficient, a little more effective, a little less filled with corruption, and a whole lot filled with the kind of competence that we pay for, I also believe that there are people out there for whom I hope I've given a voice, and that's the people who believe that we need to really overhaul our tax system and implement the Fair Tax and get rid of the IRS.
Those are his claims and I'm sure he'll stick to them. It remains to be seen whether his press-ganged army wants any GOP platform changes as a "group."
Huckabee's candidacy and programs differ so vastly from John McCain's that the Republican Party may have to hope that his former supporters vote begrudgingly to keep a Dem out of office or that they just stay home in November. Until the party reinvents itself as it has successfully several times, there'll be no unity. The King-James-told-me-so and love-the-sinner-hate-the-sin folk aren't about to make up with social moderates.
There can be no Huckabee vice president or even a cabinet slot, unless McCain introduces a Secretary of Mumbo Jumbo.
In a bit of historic eloquence, Huckabee delivered his concession in Texas with an Alamo ending. He spoke of how inspiring the dedication was of the 13-day holdouts there, knowing they'd die in their cause. He used that to return to his smug theme — "These were people who understood their battle was not about them. It was about the principles of liberty that they deemed more important than their own lives. "
While that's again an apt, if melodramatic, analogy for his failed campaign, it has an implicit message for McCain and party officials that maybe only Texans and those up on their history got. The seemingly meaningless loss at the Alamo actually delayed the Mexican army enough for Sam Houston's forces to mass and win the real battle, at San Jacinto, a short time later.