David Kirkpatrick

February 8, 2008

Dobson endorses Huckabee

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:38 pm

James Dobson of Focus on the Family, and religious right kingmaker, has formally endorsed Huckabee. This Commentary Magazine post from Jennifer Rubin explains just how inane this move is considering the timing.

From the post:

Focus on the Family’s James Dobson has decided to endorse Mike Huckabee in a truly senseless gesture, the timing of which can only be compared to the Battle of New Orleans. (Didn’t he hear the war is over?) Just to be clear: Huckabee has 196 delegates of a required 1191. There are approximately 1165 delegates (actually fewer since California and Illinois delegates are not yet fully allocated) still outstanding. (Huckabee is not likely to get more than 85% of the remaining delegates, you think?) Coming after McCain’s remarkably successful CPAC speech and just before President Bush’s expected nod to the new nominee, the decision to endorse a man perhaps even less beloved than McCain among the conservative base will, I think, be largely ignored, if not mocked.

This most reminds me of the members of far left in 2000 who decided to back Nader because, “there’s no difference between the Democratic and Republican parties.” That bloc’s conceit was to send a message to the Democrats the party needed to make a hard turn to the left.

Given the way that election turned out with Nader giving Bush the razor’s edge needed to get into the White House, I wonder how many of those idealistic protest voters wish they had a do-over on that pull of the lever.

I’m with Rubin that Dobson is more likely just going to be mocked for this similar exercise on the far right. McCain has the nomination wrapped up. If evangelicals avoid him in the general election due to Dobson’s irrational politics, McCain’s slim hope to win vanishes.

In current polling he loses to Obama and beats Clinton, each swing tied to the independent vote. Polls aren’t elections and I doubt evangelicals are taken into account in those numbers. They are a significant bloc on election day, however. Take away the religious right vote from the GOP base and I bet Clinton’s numbers against the Maverick get a lot closer.

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