Rick Perry and Mike Huckabee should join in the Trump debate
By Bernie Quigley
For The Hill on 12/8/12
Mike Huckabee should join the Donald Trump debate on Dec. 27 pitched by Dick Morris as “the most important Presidential debate in American history.” Potentially, yes. At least since 1860. And Rick Perry must be there as well. This is the big fight and The Donald is Don King.
Because there is panic in the primaries as the Establishment attempts to gather itself. This morning there are two pictures of New Jersey governor Chris Christie on the opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal, suggesting – “just talk and just speculation . . . hypothetical” - a write-in campaign and a brokered convention. They would feature those who are not Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney like Mitch Daniels, who used to work for the Bush family, and Christie, who hopes to in the future. And did I mention Jeb Bush? His name tags on at the end there. How about Chris Christie? How about Jeb Bush? How about Jeb Bush in a Chris Christie mask?
Jennifer Rubin’s column in the Washington Post features a Goofus and Gallant contrast:
Gingrich, for example, in his over-the-top style called this election the most important since 1860. Christie at lunch had mocked the elf-importance [sic] of those who say such things. Gingrich at one point declared that he’d need not just eight years but solid majorities in the Congress. Christie had chided pols who are obsessed with the time in office rather than the progress they make on big issues. Gingrich explained how he couldn’t get anything done without big GOP majorities. Christie had spoken about how a leader can pull in Democratic support. . . The speech certainly revealed Gingrich’s exaggerated regard for his own intellect, his tone deafness, his penchant for self-delusion and his serious handicap in reaching voters beyond the GOP base.
All the result of the venerable WSJ Dorothy Rabinowitz’s column a few weeks back dragging Newt out of rural obscurity to the top of the polls. Lonely are the brave.
Possibly the panic is greater in Iowa and more significant. I may have this wrong but as I understand it there is no ballot in Iowa so anyone can enter at any time. So Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor who won there last time, could still enter Iowa. And he seems as a good a fit for Iowa as Christie does for Wall Street.
I don't see Iowans voting for Newt, who not long ago converted to Catholicism. His conversion seems the Dutch Schultz model popular with politicians today: Schultz lived a life of ruin and mayhem and converted on his death bed. It appeared suspicious to us in the Catholic school. Iowans might prefer John Bunyan’s Christian on the road to the Celestial City. Someone more like Ron Paul in principal. But not in real life. I don’t see them voting for him either; too much like John Bunyan’s Christian. Paul is a revolutionary and Iowa is not yet in revolutionary times. Nor do I see them voting for Mitt Romney. The mischievous video “Romney: Stuff the Ice Chest” (“I would force spiders and badgers on the enemy!”) hits a spooky cord. Earthy Iowans intuit Romney’s 7% creep factor.
That leaves Texas governor Rick Perry hovering around at 11% in fourth place behind Gingrich, Paul and Romney. Iowa is still unsettled and Perry is a good fit. As good and natural a fit as Huckabee was last time around when he came from behind to win.