Subject: The Huckster (We judge from his comments on KUAR yesterday that this nickname irks him; we deploy it when he’s on the “bad boy list”. He’s Gov. Huckabee when he hasn’t been naughty.)

He’s on the list in a rundown of potential 2008 presidential candidates in The Fix, the Washington Post political blog:


Mike Huckabee: The Arkansas governor makes the Line for a second straight month largely on potential. Huckabee is the candidate seemingly best equipped to appeal to social conservatives (he is a Baptist minister) while also offering an unorthodox appeal to other elements within the party (note the media coverage he’s gotten from his emphasis on nutrition, exercise and weight loss). But — and it is a big but — Huckabee just hasn’t capitalized on the momentum he had coming into 2006. It doesn’t help that his decision to sign a minimum wage increase last month drew the ire of fiscal hawks in the party — led by the Club For Growth, which called Huckabee a “liberal.” The window for Huckabee to move into the top tier is still open, but not as wide as it once was.

A PS for political trivia players should The Huckster make the big time and etymology arises, as it did for Slick Willie: There’s some friendly disagreement about who first employed The Huckster as a nickname for His Slipperiness. It didn’t exactly take a genius, given his name and behavior. I still think I was first, but John Brummett’s memory is generally superior to mine so perhaps he’s right that he tossed it off first. I argue that I was more inclined to the phrase. One of my best friends in college, the late Don Wakeman, was the son of the novelist Frederick Wakeman, who wrote the best-selling novel, “The Hucksters,” about Madison Avenue soap salesman. It later became a movie starring Clark Gable. And that’s my self-indulgent reminiscence for the day.