With the implosion of George Allen, the darling of many conservatives, there’s a huge chunk of folks in the grassroots seeking a new horse. Rudy’s positions on guns and abortion are better-suited to New York City than conservatives in the South. Romney is a Mormon, and it’s up in the air whether evangelical Christians will consider that important or not. As for McCain, he’ll have trouble winning over conservatives of any stripe—though that’s not to say he won’t be able to.
Hackabee certainly has his own albatross: he raised taxes, albeit only after cutting them by a bigger amount. Most of the time, that would be a deal-breaker for conservatives. It might be this once again this cycle, but maybe not. If anyone can overcome that liability, Huckabee certainly seems capable. He would need to have an agenda once he’s past introducing himself to the rest of the nation, but whatever it is, there’s no doubt he’ll be able to communicate it effectively.
Rudy, McCain, and Romney might not be alone in the top tier for long.
Joel Mowbray, who got his start with Townhall.com, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.
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