There is an adage which warns against kicking a man when he’s down, but what is one to do when that man paints a target on himself and begs for it?
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee today gave what can only be termed as the most bizarre press conference of 2007. Given that today is New Year’s Eve, that’s quite an accomplishment.
To believe Huck, you have to believe that he spent a chunk of cash (which is no doubt in short supply) creating a “negative ad” with which he was planning on pummeling Mitt today starting at noon. Then – and one can only venture a guess as to why – Huck had an epiphany this morning and decided to keep his campaign on a “positive” track rather than stooping to mudslinging.
This would all be fine and good with the glaring exception of his Bizarro Press Conference where he showed his negative ad to a room packed with reporters. The ad basically accuses Mitt of being a bold faced liar. If ever there was a case of the pot calling the kettle black, this is it. The New York Times link has video I’m sure will be plastered across the net. You’ll note the raucous laughter of the reporters as Huck tells the story of his epiphany.
No, Huck, they aren’t laughing with you. Neither am I. I’m laughing at you.
You see, I don’t buy Huck’s story. Not in the least. I think he’s being disingenuous. In short, I think he’s lying.
Political ads don’t just grow on trees. They take time to make and cost a wad of cash to generate. I don’t know the full extent of Huck’s finances, but I think it’s a safe bet he doesn’t have cash to throw down the rat hole by creating hit ads he’s never going to use. In my not so humble opinion, Huck’s Bizzaro Press Conference was part of a seriously flawed strategy that has now blown up in his face.
Huck wanted to throw down a hit ad on Mitt and still come away smelling like a rose. He wanted the people of Iowa specifically, and Americans in general, to believe he had Mitt lined up in his sights and his finger on the proverbial trigger and then at the last moment decided to be merciful and positive. The only problem with his plan is the number of people who believe his epiphany story can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Iowans know hypocrisy when they see it, and right now they see it personified by Mike Huckabee.
Huck has spent the better part of the past two days whining about comparison ads run by Mitt in Iowa and New Hampshire. Methinks the Gov doth protest far too much. Mitt’s ad barrage is devastatingly accurate and Huck knows this. He also knows he doesn’t have the resources (or the record) to go toe to toe with Mitt in the last few days leading up to the Hawkeye Cauci. Huck knows if he loses Iowa people will be chasing him down trying to jab him in the hindquarters with a huge fork because he’ll be way past done.
While Huck’s Bizarro Press Conference won’t eclipse Howard Dean’s spectacular Iowa implosion, I’m beginning to think it might come in as a close second.