“Stick a fork in him. He’s done,” writes Dan Riehl. Is he? Judge for yourself. Not only did Huckabee credit Krikorian as the inspiration for his plan when he released it, but that was sort of the whole point — to buy him instant credibility on immigration by trading on Krikorian’s reputation among the base as an anti-amnesty advocate.
WaPo complains that not only has Huck since taken credit for “creating” the plan — which is true insofar as he had to “create” some sort of immigration policy for his campaign — but it turns out he lifted multiple passages verbatim from Krikorian in putting it together. Krikorian says he doesn’t care and seems happy enough to have a politician adopting his ideas. I don’t care either, for two reasons: (a) not one in a thousand Huckabee supporters is backing him because of his sudden unconvincing conversion on immigration, I’m betting, and (b) the real sin isn’t that he plagiarized the text, it’s that he was so unprepared on this issue that he had to go and lift someone else’s plan in the first place. Look at the timing of when it came out — early December, shortly after Huck had broken through and was among the national leaders. With conservatives finally giving him a close look, he had to give them something to look at. Enter Krikorian. I even noted at the time that one of the few places where Huck injected his own ideas was in the odd assurance that he would “[f]ully support all law enforcement personnel tasked with enforcing immigration law.” That was the “tell” that it was a pander; it’s an obvious reference to Ramos and Compean. Anyone who isn’t bothered by the fact that he’s coopted Krikorian as a sort of immigration character witness for himself isn’t going to be bothered by any plagiarism accusations. So call this a total bust, although a useful reminder of how thin Huck is on policy. Pinkerton’s going to earn his money this year.