Huckabee's campaign has been run on, to invoke two of his favorite substances, duct tape and WD-40.When reporters asked who his foreign-policy advisers were, he cited former ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton as someone with whom he has "spoken or will continue to speak." But he never had. His advisers then said he had e-mailed Bolton, which he had once without ever following up. It was vintage Huckabee -- slippery and laughably unserious.
Now Huckabee has gone from supporting the Bush amnesty plan and righteously declaring in a debate that children of illegals shouldn't be punished for the sins of their parents, to promising to chase them all -- man, woman and child -- from the country. It might be the most nakedly political turnabout any GOP candidate has made in the race.
The tragedy of Huckabee's campaign is that if he had sat down two years ago and thought seriously about what it would take to become the next president, he might have been able to make much more of his winsome ways. Instead, he ran on a kind of lark, without carefully considered policy, without fundraising, without organization. His warm persona and religious rhetoric have won evangelicals, but left other voters cold, despite the fanciful theories spun around his candidacy.
There are enough evangelicals in South Carolina and Florida for Huckabee to do well in the weeks ahead, but, ultimately, he is bound by the limits of his own Christian identity politics.