A reference to the now notorious Politico piece, of course. I find it irritating but his supporters will wet themselves over it so I salute him for being brilliantly shrewd. The cowboy hat, the red pick-up truck from his senate campaign, the cracker-barrel admonition here that doesn’t really mean anything but sure sounds good as an empty display of principle: It’s all calculated to affect the manly southern image for which the Fredheads adore him. Every time he pulls something like this I think of Carl Cameron snickering about his Gucci loafers at the Iowa state fair, but whatevs. It works. Let me pay Huckabee a compliment, though, and note that for all of Coulter’s sneering at him for being “cornpone,” he never resorts in his delivery or mannerisms to props like cowboy hats. He saves his identity politics for his rhetoric, where he’s a thousand times more shameless than anyone else.

If McCain stops at a firehouse and poses with the “silly hat” on, I’ll really take a second look.

Tags: Iowa