Republicans have clearly been unimpressed with their choices for president. McCain's "turn" has sadly (in my opinion) fizzled, Giuliani has not quite reconciled the base, Romney turned out to be a little strange and Thompson was a great non-candidate, as a candidate he has not impressed.
So it is no surprise to me that Mike Huckabee is now being touted as a rising candidate by none other than David Brooks.
Huckabee was a governor, and governors do better in presidential campaigns then Senators. He can point to programs implemented and problems solved, not obscure policy arguments. His main negative is that he does not have a real foreign policy (and unlike 2000, foreign policy (Iraq, Iran, terrorism) will dominate the campaign). His socially conservative roots will put off some (that noise you just heard was Andrew Sullivan banging out another "anti-Christianist" essay), thought to me he comes off somewhat measured and more importantly, a federalist on such matters. And while he supports the Fair Tax, some fiscal conservatives worry about his spending habits as governor.
I have thought for a while that Huckabee should not be ignored. I cannot see him actually winning the nomination, but he is definitely someone the GOP should be listening too.