Huckabee's story of personal change will wear well on afternoon talk shows. Diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2003 and told his abundant heft threatened his heart, he lost 110 pounds and became so fit that he ran and completed four marathons in 2005 and 2006. His own story is now part of his political pitch: Individuals can eat less, exercise more, and in the process reduce health care costs that threaten personal and national budgets.
Huckabee talks about tough policy issues in a folksy way. When he and I recently spoke in Washington, he told how he had just flown there from the Little Rock airport, where the security guards know who he is -- but he still had to take the coins from his pocket and the shoes from his feet "as if I was wearing a turban on my head and went by the name of Abdul."
Huckabee said he and other Americans don't object to that process, and they want immigrants to be required also to enter through an orderly process rather than a porous border: That's why a border barrier is essential. When that's in place, a reasoned debate about entry can begin, because it's clear that we "only have so many seats on the airplane."
Pundits count three or four seats on the GOP presidential campaign plane, and say they're occupied by McCain, Giuliani, Romney and (maybe) Gingrich. Might there be one more?