Continuing our politics postings, Mike Huckabee has suddenly obtained front-runner status.

Gene Veith has a discussion thread going on this.

The talking heads all seem very puzzled and concerned by this. It has been interesting to watch Huckabee’s rise over the last several weeks.

First, there was the denial that the Republican primary was a four person race (Giuliani, Romney, Thompson, and Huckabee). Second, came the grudging admission that Huckabee seems to be having “a moment” (note: “moments” are just that). Finally, the long knives have come out and we are seeing media commentators tear into Huckabee and his “liberal” record. Here I thought having a liberal past was a prerequisite for Republican candidates this cycle. The fact that so much fire is being directed Huckabee’s way is proof positive he may be for real.

I like Huckabee and I am enjoying his ride right now. He needs to do two things to turn this “moment” into a real surge ahead: (1) He needs to show some foreign policy gravitas. He has made some silly statements about things the Bush administration has done (again, they deserve a lot a criticism), but Huckabee’s comments were not well thought out. Americans will want a commander-in-chief next Fall. (2) He needs to address his role in the Wayne Dumond parole. He should not dodge his responsibility. If he made a mistake, he should admit it and move on. If he does not address it, I believe it will haunt him throughout the campaign and especially in the General Election (imagine Hillary running to Huckabee’s right on crime).

Huckabee’s rise proves that the notion Republicans have “matured” beyond their social conservative and pro-life principles (as supposedly evinced by the support for Rudy that is now cratering) is false.

Thank God.