January 19, 2008


Huck camp: Blame Fred (NBC’s Domenico Montanaro, 1/19/08, First Read)

It’s clear who Huckabee camp is blaming for its squeaker of a loss in South Carolina: Fred Thompson.

After Huckabee’s gracious concession speech -- in which he had nothing but kind words for John McCain who he said showed great “civility” -- former SC Gov. David Beasley, a Huckabee surrogate, railed against Thompson.

“Fred hurt us in South Carolina,” Beasley began. “He had one goal and one goal only -- to distort Mike Huckabee’s record so John McCain could pull it out. No ifs, ands or buts about it…."

Welcome to the majors, rook.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 19, 2008 11:27 PM

Funny, the way I see it, the Hucksters hurt Fred in Iowa and in South Carolina, seeing that Huckabee stole the conservative vote from the real conservative in the race.

Posted by: cargosquid at January 20, 2008 1:17 AM

Thanks Fred. I was going to sit out this election if the stupid party had nominated Huckabee.

Posted by: ic at January 20, 2008 2:04 AM

Sometimes, the randomness of events falls so easily into patterns that they lend credence to conspiracy theories.

First, Freds long dalliance in entry froze funding for candidates that may have been ready to go to Romney or Guiliani.

Second, Fred seemed to be able turn on good campaigning at will, but never came out of the gate as expected.

His surge in Iowa hurt Romney, not Huckabee.

It seems clear that he basically left NH organization entirely free to help McCain, and, as this article points out, he did his job on Huck in SC.

I was hoping he was for real, but I had the notion that he was always a stalking horse for McCain.

My guess would be that Huckabee rising was the only real surprise in this scenario. The McCain/Thompson gambit was probably intended to gut Romney, not Huck, and Huck's rise caught everyone off guard.

Am I nuts? Is this all an accident? Remember, Fred can act.

Regardless, OJ looks to be the smartest guy in the blogosphere at the moment.

Posted by: Bruno at January 20, 2008 2:08 AM

Bruno -
I don't think it was a conspiracy initially, but now it is clear that Fred is aiming for 2nd on a McCain/Thompson ticket. I think it's an inevitable, and perhaps unstoppable combination. I'm excited to see it happen. Fred is perfectly suited for the job of VP.

Posted by: Shelton at January 20, 2008 2:44 AM

Fred was the McCain-lite alternative to Maverick if he lost Nh. He adds nothing to the ticket, won't be offered the spot, and wouldn't take it.

Just go down a checklist of McCain's weaknesses and those of his likely opponents and you come up with the VP rather easily:

(1) He needs someone with executive experience

(2) He needs someone solid with the religious base of the party

(3) he needs someone young, a potential successor at any minute due to health but also electable on his own in '12.

(4) Hispanics are in play regardless of whether the nominee is Hillary or Obama

(5) you'd like someone who helps in FL, OH, or CA.

One man fits all the criteria.

Posted by: oj at January 20, 2008 8:35 AM

It is all but impossible for Jeb to be the VP nominee. I think that it's too bad for all the reasons you list, but there won't be a Bush on the ticket this year.

Posted by: Ibid at January 20, 2008 8:44 AM

wait......McCain/OJ? ;)

Posted by: JR at January 20, 2008 8:59 AM

Jeb won't be on the ticket this year, but Mel Martinez fits many of those characteristics.

Posted by: AC at January 20, 2008 9:13 AM

OJ has more skeletons in his closet than Ed Gein.

Posted by: Bryan at January 20, 2008 11:12 AM

Unless Jeb is dumb as a post, he doesn't have much in common with Martinez.

Posted by: erp at January 20, 2008 11:14 AM

Martinez? Oh man, the loony Right would go ballistic. It'd be Harriet Miers all over again. Do it Maverick!

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at January 20, 2008 11:18 AM

Again, AC, Sen. Mel Martinez is NOT a native-born citizen, and thus is prevented from seeking the office of Vice-President due to the 25th Amendment linking the VPOTUS to the same restrictions as the POTUS.

No matter what, OJ is looking rather prescient in sticking to his guns on Maverick. A tip of the wine glass to you, sir.

Posted by: Brad S at January 20, 2008 11:35 AM

If it's Clinton, Jeb can and should be be on the ticket. What are the Dems going to say: No dynasty?

Jeb delivers Florida. No other GOPer can deliver an important state.

Posted by: Bob at January 20, 2008 1:39 PM