This is probably not the best endorsement for Mike Huckabee…
It’s not too often that a Republican gets good press in Iran.
Huck did today.
Top Republican Candidate Wants Dialog with Iran
Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki said yesterday that by holding direct talks with the Islamic Republic the US would show that they have gotten a better understanding of Iran’s key role in the region and its determination to obtain its legal rights. This is definitely what the regime in Iran would prefer.
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Well, it looks like the regime has found a favorite candidate in the Republican ranks.
Iranian Fars News reported:
Ten days before the start of the primaries, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee is a hot item. He is leading the polls among Republican candidates in Iowa – the first state to cast its votes – and is increasingly gaining in the state that will follow, New Hampshire.
Moreover, he is neck and neck in national surveys with former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Huckabee could be the next president. He is one of seven candidates with realistic chances: Huckabee, Giuliani, Senator John McCain, and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney for the Republicans; senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and the former senator and vice presidential candidate, John Edwards, for the Democrats. That is how open this race has become.
Earlier this summer, Huckabee was a candidate who appeared to have no chance. Romney had a sound lead in Iowa, and Giuliani was confidently ahead in the national polls. McCain’s campaign – he the backer of staying in Iraq – appears to be done. Fred Thompson was a candidate people believed would steal the votes of the Christian right. How fast the wheel has turned: Giuliani is in a free fall, and it is not clear what, if anything, will stop it; McCain, at least in New Hampshire, is on the rise, and Romney is falling. Thompson appears to have become a non-factor.
But Huckabee, with his friendly sense of humor, his compassionate conservatism – which at times reminds you of the promises of George Bush – and mostly his religious message makes him the hero of the moment.
last week he dropped a bomb in an article he published in Foreign Affairs, where all the other candidates have contributed articles. He wrote of “urgent concerns” regarding Iran’s nuclear program and its support for militants, saying that he does not discard the military option. But he was critical of the Bush foreign policy, which he described as “arrogant bunker mentality.”
In the Iranian context, his policy is being interpreted as a change, calling for bringing to the table non-military options as well. Huckabee is of the opinion that relations with Iran deteriorated following Bush’s “axis of evil” speech. In many points his message on Iran is more akin to that of the Democrats: there is a need for dialogue with Iran, and more diplomacy is needed. He quoted the Chinese strategist Sun Tzu, who authored The Art of War 2,500 years ago: “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”
Huckabee has vowed that “Iran will not acquire nuclear weapons on my watch,” but that does not assuage Israeli observers who are not too pleased with his stance.