Check out the David Brooks column we ran in today’s paper, particularly these paragraphs:
Huckabee won because he tapped into realities that other Republicans have been slow to recognize. First, evangelicals have changed. Huckabee is the first ironic evangelical on the national stage. He’s funny, campy (see his Chuck Norris fixation) and he’s not at war with modern culture.
Second, Huckabee understands much better than Mitt Romney that we have a crisis of authority in this country. People have lost faith in their leaders’ ability to respond to problems. While Romney embodies the leadership class, Huckabee went after it. He criticized Wall Street and K Street. Most importantly, he sensed that conservatives do not believe their own movement is well led. He took on Rush Limbaugh, the Club for Growth and even President Bush. The old guard threw everything they had at him, and their diminished power is now exposed.
I believe he’s on to something. The folks who attended the Iowa GOP caucuses Thursday night certainly thought he was on to something.
If you want to win as a Republican these days, you have to approach things a lot differently from the way George W. Bush and Mark Sanford (as pure an example of a "Club for Growth" guy as you’re likely to find) have. And, unfortunately for Mitt Romney, being a "Suit" doesn’t cut it any more. (Thinking a person would be good at politics because he’s good at business is about like assuming that a good swimmer would automatically be a good tennis player — it MIGHT happen, but one does not really lead to the other.)
This New Wave going to be very interesting to watch, and it might be very good for the country.
In New Hampshire, we’ll get our next indicator as to the direction in which that wave is rolling. Will Huckabee’s crushing Iowa victory over Romney boost him to an unexpected victory — or will it push John McCain over the top?