Video: Huckabee's new ads

Both solid, the second more so than the first because (a) I don’t trust him on immigration, although Iowans less familiar with his record probably will, and (b) the personal aspect of the second one calls for sincerity, which Huck has an uncanny ability to project. If I were his campaign manager, I’d jettison the cookie-cutter format of these ads and simply have him give minute-long speechlets while looking into the camera. He’s that good. They’re already doing something like that with the “conversations with Chuck Norris” series, but it’s impossible to take that seriously. Give the guy his own spotlight, wind him up and let him go. Like Obama, you can’t help but find yourself looking for reasons to vote for him.

You have to look hard, though. NRO on the “Holiday Inn Express candidate”:

This is the kernel of Huckabee’s foreign policy. He wants to anthropomorphize international relations and bring a Christian commitment to the Golden Rule to our affairs with other nations. As he told the Des Moines Register the other day, “You treat others the way you’d like to be treated. That’s to me the fundamental issue that has to be re-established in our dealings with other countries.”

This is deeply naïve. Countries aren’t people, and the world is more dangerous than a Sunday church social. Threats, deception, and — as a last resort — violence must play a role in international relations. Differences cannot always be worked out through sweet persuasion. A U.S. president who doesn’t realize this will repeat the experience of President Jimmy Carter at his most ineffectual.

Read Bryan’s post from last week posing war questions for Huck to see what NRO means. Meanwhile, as Drudge messes around with old sermons, the AP runs through some of Huck’s many, many, many clemencies as governor. Some of the speculation, as in the case of Denver Witham, seems too bad to be credible. Besides, as noted in the last clemency post, Huck’s pace wasn’t unprecedented for Arkansas governors, although it was unusual for modern times. According to the AP, the current governor’s working at a clip of less than one clemency per week; under Huck, it was once every four days or so.

Finally, near the very end of this long profile, Newsweek tries to make an issue of his work for Action America while serving as lieutenant governor in 1994. There was nothing illegal about it; the question is simply whether Huck thought he was being paid to drum up interest in politics or to drum up opposition to the proposed cigarette tax that would have helped fund HillaryCare. Why is that important? Because the chief donor to Action America was R.J. Reynolds. Huck says he didn’t know, two directors of AA say he most certainly did and even met personally with an executive from Reynolds. Since there are no allegations of illegality, and since Huck going around stumping against HillaryCare isn’t exactly a strike against him, on the scandal traction-ometer this one registers zero.