Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Huckabee Thin on Foreign Policy

In a world where our foreign policy is one of our nation's keys to success, Mike Huckabee seems to be a bit lean on answers to handling foreign relations, as evidenced in an NRO article yesterday.

Mike Huckabee’s extraordinary rise in the polls means he deserves to be taken seriously as a presidential candidate in a way he hasn’t been all year long. Serious candidates have well-formulated views on foreign policy. What are Huckabee’s?

He hasn’t been asked about them much — reporters prefer to inquire after his views on evolution—but Don Imus, on his resurrected radio show, queried Huckabee the other day about his foreign-policy experience. Huckabee not so humbly invoked Ronald Reagan, who also, according to the former Arkansas governor, ascended to the presidency with no foreign-policy experience. As Powerline’s Paul Mirengoff has pointed out, this is — to say the least — an inapt analogy. Ronald Reagan lived and breathed the global fight with the Soviet Union for decades, and had been an important voice on the right on foreign policy long before he was president.

Mike Huckabee, by contrast, cut his teeth on typical state-level fare in Arkansas and on weight-loss and wellness programs. This is probably why he felt compelled to quip to Imus, “And the ultimate thing is, I may not be the expert that some people are on foreign policy, but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.” (Powerline also points out that he used the exact same line on Imus a year earlier when foreign policy came up.) This won’t do.

Huckabee did give a long speech on foreign policy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in September. It combined a superficial rendering of conventional foreign-policy wisdom — which of course included many unfair criticisms of President Bush — with Huckabee’s inimitable folksy delivery. The former governor’s bottom line was that we should be nicer to other countries.

Huckabee has been pretty lean on the foreign policy side of things. He will either need to hire a strong foreign policy adviser or start reading up on his own plans. Huckabee does not seem to have a real plan for America in regards to the rest of the world, and given the current state of things in the rest of the world, that does not bode well for America.

Huckabee better start giving us more than a friendly smile, folksy demeanor, the Fair Tax, and his belief in God if he wants to be President.

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