Last night Arkansas governor turned cancer-cure pitchman Mike Huckabee suspended his presidential campaign. Most of Huckabee’s press coverage stressed the candidate’s socially conservative views, but he was more than just another Christian conservative. On issues like trade and entitlements—and even more than that, with the endorsements he sought and the rhetoric he used—Huckabee aimed for voters who didn’t mix their social conservatism with Club for Growth economics.
Last May I started telling people that Huckabee was trying to tap into the populist currents described in Donald Warren’s 1976 book The Radical Center: Middle Americans and the Politics of Alienation. Warren, a sociologist at the University of Michigan, sketched the views of the group he called Middle American Radicals, or MARs