Then, there's national security, the Republican trump card during the Cold War and after 9/11. Huckabee not only has zero national-security credentials, he basically has no foreign-policy advisers either, as a New York Times Magazine piece this Sunday makes clear. In a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in September, Huckabee struck notes seemingly borrowed from Barack Obama, hitting the Bush administration for its "bunker mentality" and strongly supporting direct talks with Iran. A foreign-policy debate with a Democratic nominee would be a competition over who can promise to be nicer to foreign countries.
None of this is a winning formula. Huckabee has been running his campaign out of his back pocket, and has done it extremely well. There's a reason, though, that serious candidates surround themselves with policy experts. It's necessary to running a campaign based on more than sound bites. Wherever you scratch Huckabee on policy, he seems an inch deep. Do Republicans really want to enter what is already a tough political year with a candidate apparently allergic to preparation, and who has shown no predilection for organizing or fundraising, when he can do cable TV appearances instead?
Democrats have to be looking at Huckabee the way Republicans once regarded Dean -- as a shiny Christmas present that is too good to be true.