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Huckabee Feels Hint of Giuliani-like Heat

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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RUDABEE , Huckabee, Giuliani

Mike Huckabee has now lame-joked and Jesus-talked his way past Mitt Romney into the lead in a new Iowa poll. And though Huckster's prospects for actually capturing the nomination remain doubtful for the moment—one Vegas oddsmaker still gives four other Republicans (including Fred Thompson and Ron Paul) a better chance of becoming president—the tongues of Republican chatterblogs are wagging about a possible pairing of the well-spoken Baptist minister and Republican rogue Rudy Giuliani.

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The perception gaining traction with Huckabee's surge is that he could, as Rudy's VP, play the proverbial Richie Cunningham to Rudy's Arthur Fonzarelli. Following that metaphor further, Huck would placate Mr. and Mrs. C (aka the Republican base) with his folks-pleasin' bona fides while Rudy administered a savage, no-holds-barred street beating to the hated Clinton gang. No one doubts Huckabee's stump skills with orthodox Republicans. But does he have enough clean-cut likability to balance Rudy's personal and political shortcomings?

There's a tsunami of scrutiny already licking at Huck's heels.

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