I wasn’t even going to address this, but since I have noticed that the lefties over at Balloon Juice can’t see the forest for the trees, I’ve decided to explain this for others who may be unable figure it out. But first, let’s roll this crafty 30 second spot. 3…2…1…
OK, you’ve watched it, right? Not really much there on the surface is there? It’s just Mike Huckabee in a warm sweater wishing us all Merry Christmas in front of a pretty Christmas tree. So what?
Amusingly, some of the leftists over at Balloon Juice, paranoid as they are, saw this as an attack on them, the secular progressives. They saw this as a middle finger in the War on Christmas. Like I said, they’re not seeing the forest for the Christmas tree. This ad isn’t even aimed at them. Silly rabbits.
Right from the beginning Huckabee asks if we aren’t all tired of all these political ads. Rather than focusing on all that nonsense, shouldn’t we instead be focusing on the season? Yes, it’s Christmas. Why would Huckabee do this?
It’s simple: he wants to coast through the next couple of weeks and start winning primaries. The political ads and political stories he’s referring to are those about him, the negative stories, the hit pieces, the attack ads. He knows that if any of the negative memes gain traction, they could impact his current Huckaboom. He’s on top right now in several states and rising in others. He wants that momentum to continue.
This is how I explained it to the folks over at Balloon Juice:
You’re missing the whole point of this ad, Mike. It has nothing to do with the War on Christmas. It has everything to do with the war being waged on him by the other Republican candidates.
Right now, Mike Huckabee is surging in the polls in the early primary states. He wants this to continue at least up until the Iowa caucuses (and beyond if possible).
What he’s really doing here, is noticing that he is on top. “So let’s stop all this politicking, and celebrate Christmas. Leave me alone, stop all the negative stories, and let me cruise right into the nomination.”
It’s a smart move, but it probably won’t work. But he is immunizing himself to some extent. “Hey, I’m a nice guy, but these other bastards are attacking me, during CHRISTMAS. They suck, I rule. Vote for me.”
This isn’t targeted at liberals, but his other opponents: those Republicans who can’t stand him.
Does anyone care to disagree? This was a smart political move. I wonder if Ed Rollins, the man who helped engineer Ronald Reagan’s 1984 landslide victory over Walter Mondale, had a hand in it. Well played, Huck. But will it work?
See also: the discussion over at Race 4 2008. There’s a lot of Huckabee haters over there, so you may find it amusing.
Update: Huck’s words in the ad:
“Are you about worn out of all the television commercials you’ve been seeing? Mostly about politics. I don’t blame you. At this time of year sometimes it’s nice to pull aside from all of that and just remember that what really matters is the celebration of the birth of Christ and being with our family and our friends. I hope that you and your family have a magnificent Christmas season. And on behalf of all of us, God bless and Merry Christmas. I’m Mike Huckabee and I approve this message.”
Update 2: Ron Paul steps in it again, saying that when fascism comes it will come bearing a cross. Not really. It will come wearing a dress (Clinton/Giuliani).