Bob Novak reports this morning that the Romney and Giuliani teams are impressed enough with Mike Huckabee to regard him as a strong possibility for the vice president, in the case of either winning the nomination:
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's impressive performance in Republican presidential debates has advanced him as an ideal vice-presidential nominee, as judged by supporters of front-running GOP hopefuls Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney.
The nomination of Giuliani, former mayor of New York City, or Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, would mark the first Republican nominated for president who was not from California or the South in 56 years (except for appointed President Gerald Ford). As a conservative Southerner, Huckabee is seen by Giuliani and Romney backers as an ideal ticket balancer.
Huckabee has been distrusted in the conservative movement because of his record of raising taxes in Arkansas. However, he has signed the anti-tax pledge circulated by Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform. He also has been vigorously supported by backers of the Fair Tax, which would repeal the federal income tax and replace it with a national sales tax.
Huckabee has called the Club for Growth the 'Club for Greed,' and framed his campaign as a battle against Wall Street. He's called for fair trade over free trade, and his record on taxes is not what I would like. If either Romney or Giuliani were to select Huckabee, there won't be any cheering here. A critical question may be whether he could actually bring Arkansas in a race against Hillary. If she is the Democratic nominee, and she carries the state, what's the point?
Novak also says that many Democrats in marginal seats are worrying about running with Hillary at the top of the ticket:
Many of the Democratic congressmen who ousted Republicans in marginal House districts last year privately express concern about the impact on their re-election prospects if Hillary Clinton is nominated for president.
Because of the strong possibility that Sen. Clinton indeed will be the party's candidate, these congressmen will not openly express their fears. But they dread her impact from the top of the ticket.
Clinton's opponents don't raise the question in public. But there is such underground talk in Iowa, the state opening the battle for convention delegates, questioning her "electability."
Novak however, has missed the best quote from a Congressional 'defender' of Hillary's. It was Congressman Earl Pomeroy who said:
“It’s way too early to conclude that Hillary would be a disaster downballot for the party”
With friends like this...