The 2008 presidential campaign is shaping up as a true IQ test for the American public, as a remarkable number of candidates seem to be betting that voters are cognitively challenged. Hillary Clinton's strategy depends on convincing enough people that being the spouse of a popular U.S. President is a sufficient qualification for that office, and that she is running as an independent woman while courting fans of her husband to put her over the top. Mitt Romney is running as a bed-rock conservative despite supporting left of center policies in his last job as Governor of Massachusetts. John Edwards accepted nearly a half-million dollars to work for a massive hedge-fund that profited from foreclosing on homes, and yet sells himself as a champion of the poor. But the most blatantly dishonest campaign of all might be that of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who simultaneously denies making Christianity a central issue while constantly raising it by guile, design, or "accident," such as in his televised Christmas ad that "accidentally" contained a glowing, floating cross worthy of Cecil B. DeMille. Huckabee has taken every opportunity to make convince Iowans that Mitt Romney is a real Christian, mostly by denying that he would ever do such a thing.
Recently, he attempted an even more obvious piece of deceit, calling a press conference to announce that he would not issue a planned attack ad against Romney, because it wasn't "the right thing to do." Huckabee then ran the ad for reporters and photographers, guaranteeing that it would be described, filmed and publicized, all while the candidate, in theory, garnered brownie points for not running it. Huckabee emulated such past political sleaze-artists as Kentucky's legendary governor "Happy" Chandler, who once won an election by asking rhetorical questions such as, "Would you vote for a man who took bribes in office?" After Chandler won, and it was pointed out that his opponent had done none of the things his accusatory questions suggested, "Happy" answered that he never said his opponent did any of those vile things. He just was asking if people would ever vote for someone who did.
Cute. Maybe Mike Huckabee will try that one next.