From NBC's Kelly Paice
The conservative blogosphere is hitting Mike Huckabee hard today regarding his granting of clemency to the suspect in the Washington state shootings that killed four police officers. Their conclusion, like First Read's earlier this morning, is that it doesn't help his 2012 prospects.
Michelle Malkin is calling the shooter, Maurice Clemmons, "Huckabee's Willie Horton II" saying, "The man being sought by police was granted clemency by former GOP Arkansas Mike Huckabee despite his violent history and vehement protestations from prosecutors and victims' family members. He was most recently in jail for alleged second-degree rape of a child. This isn't Huckabee's first Horton moment..." Malkin then goes into detail of another criminal, Wayne Dumond, who was also granted clemency by Huckabee. Malkin writes regarding the Dumond case, "Huckabee tried to evade responsibility for setting a convicted rapist free…only to rape again."
Red State's Erick Erickson also weighed in on the "Willie Horton" angle: "This is going to be extremely problematic for Governor Huckabee. Of course, a lot of folks said the last guy was Mike Huckabee's 'Willie Horton.' How many Willie Horton's can one man have?"
In regard to Huckabee's response to Clemmons' alleged involvement in yesterday's slayings, Malkin writes: "Note the passive language and blame-shifting to prosecutors with no explicit mention of Huckabee's role in granting clemency over the objections of prosecutors."
NRO's Kathryn Jean Lopez seems to agree with Malkin on the tone of Huckabee's statement: "Most commentary seems a bit premature, but, at the same time, this statement seems a bit passive for the former governor."
American Spectator's Quin Hillyer suggests that there's no way Huckabee can viably run in 2012, especially after his connection to this alleged killer: "The fact that it was the asinine Mike Huckabee who commuted his [Clemmons'] sentence merely confirms all the stories that I and others spent so much time in 2007-2008 trying to alert people to -- namely, that Huckabee A) has massive ethical problems and B) that his history of commutations of criminals shows a reckless disregard for public safety and for victims' rights."
Don Surber writes, "[I]n a just world, if Clemmons were convicted of these murders, his buddy Mike Huckabee would serve along beside him."
Hugh Hewitt posts the column "Global Eyes on the President at West Point" written by Managing Director of the White House Writers Groups, Inc. Clark Judge, giving his perspective of President Obama's much awaited speech tomorrow evening on the way forward in Afghanistan. Judge focuses on the political implications Pres. Obama's new war strategy for Afghanistan will have for leaders around the globe. Judge says that throughout his journalistic experiences across the world, "What I sensed in total was growing doubt about the president. He speaks well, everyone acknowledged, but is there substance behind the rhetoric? He is given to sweeping pronouncements. But will he, can he follow through? He commands the most capable military force on the globe. But does he have the stomach for a fight? Does he have the strength to make and stick with hard choices, or any choice at all? As one globally prominent (and I would have thought friendly to the president) American journalist summed up global opinion at a conference in Geneva: 'Machiavelli said it is better to be feared than loved. Mr. Obama is loved.'"
Red State's Erick Erickson analyzes just how conservative Florida's Charlie Crist is: "Last week, Charlie Crist decided to attack conservatives by telling reporters that 'It's hard to be more conservative than I am on issues — there's different ways stylistically to communicate that — I'm pro-life, I'm pro-gun, I'm pro-family, and I'm anti-tax,' then went on to say he guessed he just wasn't angry enough." And Erickson reports that "[j]ust this morning, Crist's spokesman says Charlie is willing to shift ground on his principles for pragmatic reasons," such as accepting stimulus money for the state.
Yet, Erickson argues that "Having failed to show that Marco Rubio is not a conservative, the Crist campaign has gone back to square one and has decided if they just keep telling everyone Crist is a conservative, perhaps someone will believe them." And Erickson points to a 2007 Sarasota Herald-Tribune article to argue that Crist himself admits to not being a true conservative: "Asked what being 'conservative' meant to him, he grew vague. 'I don't know,' [Charlie Crist] said. 'It doesn't really matter to me. I'm not really absorbed much by labels others might put on me.'"