Peggy Noonan has a take on the “why” of the Hucker’s win:
From the mail I have received the past month after criticizing him in this space, I would say his great power, the thing really pushing his supporters, is that they believe that what ails America and threatens its continued existence is not economic collapse or jihad, it is our culture.
We’ll get back to this.
They have been bruised and offended by the rigid, almost militant secularism and multiculturalism of the public schools; they reject those schools’ squalor, in all senses of the word. They believe in God and family and America. They are populist: They don’t admire billionaire CEOs, they admire husbands with two jobs who hold the family together for the sake of the kids; they don’t need to see the triumph of supply-side thinking, they want to see that suffering woman down the street get the help she needs.
Much has been written about Huckabee’s stealth liberalism, by much better observers than I.
But the Huckabee’s great strength – “it’s the home, family, schools and culture, stupid!” – is also the deepest pitfall. It points out an inward-facing, insular coccooning instinct that is the flip side of the post-cold-war euphoria that gave us Bill Clinton. In 1992, the electorate said “History is over; let’s talk about underwear!”. Today, it’s “the world is a dangerous place, here and abroad; I wanna focus on “here””. It’s a current that melds nicely with Huckabee’s propensity to bury problems in money, and his foreign policy naivete.
They believe that Mr. Huckabee, the minister who speaks their language, shares, down to the bone, their anxieties, concerns and beliefs.
Sorta like that other candidate from Little Rock did.
But history didn’t stop in 1992, and you can’t wish it away today.