Commentator BSR defends Mike Huckabee non-endorsement of Hoffman in comments and links to this post. It is worth quoting:
If Huckabee agrees so much with Hoffman, the conservative bloggers wail, why doesn’t he officially endorse him?
I answer that question with a question of my own. Would these same bloggers be asking that question if it were a Democratic candidate that was the more conservative in this race?
No. They wouldn’t.
Mike Huckabee is the leading contender for the 2012 Republican party nomination. If he officially endorsed a non-Republican candidate he would be running counter to his party – indeed some would say such action serves to legitimize and strengthen a rival party – and you can bet your next paycheck he’d be hearing about it in 2012.
It’s not Huckabee’s fault the party can’t field a respectable candidate in New York. Furthermore, Huckabee is a man of the people who is fully aware that his personal opinion is plenty (heck, it may even be better) to help voters make a decision.
So, the story remains, Mike Huckabee didn’t endorse a non-Republican.
Not a bad point if want to stay in good with the party, Mitt Romney for example is staying out of it, but the party is less popular than conservatism. There is a much better point to be made that my fellow Blue State Republican does NOT make.
The point would be the timing. Any endorsement would be appear to be a “me too” endorsement so at this point it is moot.
A great example is Pawlenty v Palin. When Palin endorsed Hoffman was in 3rd place but showed promise. She was talking a huge political risk, not only in angering the main party but in backing a losing horse and not only a losing horse but a THIRD PLACE horse in a three horse race. If Hoffman came in a poor 3rd the media would be jumping all over her. As I blogged Stephen Stromberger at the Washington post was practically giddy at the possibility. Margaret Carlson gives another example:
Scozzafava fails to meet Palin’s requirements for a good Republican because of her moderate position on gay marriage and abortion. While she says she won’t vote for new taxes, Palin doesn’t believe her. Friending Hoffman on Facebook, Palin wrote that the best thing about him is that he’s “not been anointed by any political machine” and stands for bedrock Republican principles. Invoking Ronald Reagan, Palin added that he knew that “blurring the lines wasn’t an appropriate way to win election.”
Put aside that Palin is violating Reagan’s cardinal rule not to speak ill of a fellow Republican. Palin isn’t a stickler for details. Her incursion into NY-23 puts into stark relief the schism in the party that’s been brewing like a tea bag since the party’s loss in November.
One-time rogue Newt Gingrich, in the midst of his periodic dithering over whether to run for president, went nuclear over her purity test. “This idea that we’re suddenly going to establish litmus tests, and all across the country, we’re going to purge the party of anybody who doesn’t agree with us 100 percent — that guarantees Obama’s reelection. That guarantees Pelosi is speaker for life.”
Yet despite Google’s love of all stories anti Palin Hoffman is now poised to win giving her the rewards from the risk. Pawlenty seeing that the game had changed found himself forced to follow her lead as did other republicans. They became followers. It made him look like Moe pushing Curley and Larry into a room.
Huckabee meanwhile made his preference to Hoffman clear so a official endorsement will only make him weak while his holding back will help him with the establishment. Strategically the status quo is his best move and it is not dishonorable…
…he is still not going to win in 2012 although the MSM will favor him over Palin if she runs, and will favor Romney over him if she doesn’t.