Huckabee Criticizes Bunker Mentality of Bush Administration

Huckabee has no experience in foreign policy, and certainly did not look very good when he was caught unaware of the report on Iran’s nuclear program, but he got one thing right. In an article in the January-February issue of Foreign Affairs he criticizes the White House’s “bunker mentality.”

“American foreign policy needs to change its tone and attitude, open up, and reach out,” Huckabee said. “The Bush administration’s arrogant bunker mentality has been counterproductive at home and abroad. My administration will recognize that the United States’ main fight today does not pit us against the world but pits the world against the terrorists.”

He got that part right, but otherwise does not show any signs that he recognizes where the Bush administration went wrong. He criticizes them for not sending in enough troops but misses the point that the whole idea of the war was fundamentally wrong and that this is not a problem which can be resolved with a purely military solution:

In one specific criticism, Huckabee said Bush did not send enough troops to invade Iraq. And he accused the president of marginalizing Gen. Eric Shinseki, the Army chief of staff, who said at the outset of the war that it might take several hundred thousand U.S. troops to control Iraq after the invasion. “I would have met with Shinseki privately and carefully weighed his advice,” Huckabee said.

He said this year’s troop increase under Bush has resulted in significant but tenuous gains, and he said – much as Bush has – that he would not withdraw troops from Iraq any faster than Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander there, recommends. The military has now slowly begun to reverse the troop increase.

I doubt that this article will be enough to end doubts about Huckabee’s lack of foreign policy experience. Huckabee is quoted as saying, “I may not be the expert as some people on foreign policy, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night” earlier in the month. I’ve taken over ten trips to Walt Disney World and spent quite a bit of time at Epcot each time. That makes me a far greater expert than Huckabee on foreign policy.

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  1. 1
    nctodc says:

    “I may not be the expert as some people on foreign policy, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.”

    C’mon, it’s a joke…a play on the commercial.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    Of course its a joke. I’m also joking about going to Epcot providing experience in foreign policy. At least it is somewhat more relevant.

  3. 3
    MoreMoxie says:

    It’s a joke but not one that’s a good indicator of Presidential mettle. I like jokes and find Huckabee good at them, but in a position of responsibility, one must use them sparingly and avoiding using them to make light of really serious stuff. He uses them to take the edge off his religious zealotry and overdoes it to the point of reminding you he really should not be thought a serious candidate. Unfortunately, the country seems to prefer people who are not really serious candidates, a category in which I think Obama fits rather comfortably. If it’s Huck against the O tv show, I hope Bloomberg runs. Now there’s serious.

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    A Huckabee vs. Bloomberg race is probably the scenario which makes a Bloomberg run the least likely. If those two are the nominees it would demonstrate that experience is not the primary factor for voters this year.

    Bloomberg currently is basing his trial balloons upon people being upset with hyper-partinship. Obama and Huckabee (at least in his rhetoric) are the candidates who might have the best shot at diffusing partisanship, reducing interest in an independent like Bloomberg. Independents who might not vote for Clinton and would be even less likely to vote for Edwards would be more likely to vote for Obama, leaving less room for Bloomberg.

    I think Bloomberg is most likely to run if Edwards gets the Democratic nomination since if he gets the nomination it would be do momentum from a win in Iowa before most people get a good view at him. Edwards is unlikely to hold up in a sustained campaign and would likely fall to third in a three way race, leaving Bloomberg the opening to turn to both Democrats and Independents as being the only hope for keeping a Republican out of office. If Edwards gets the nomination I would certainly concentrate on building an alternative to the Democrats and Republicans as opposed to voting for Edwards.

    The second most likely scenario for Bloomberg would be if Clinton runs due to the amount of people who just don’t like her.

  5. 5
    MoreMoxie says:

    Thanks, Ron, for your analysis. I had heard sometime ago speculation that Bloomberg would not run against HRC. Perhaps I am idealizing him as a just a good guy, but I was hoping he would step in if it looks like the country needs a serious adult (which I credit HRC with being). I honestly don’t think Obama is. I think the mainstream media is hyping him in the primaries to tear him down in the general. Huckabee is, in my view, plainly not qualified. So, depending on how you understand the reasons for Bloomberg’s interest, you would think two lightweights in the general would be a trigger for his getting serious.

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    I’d go along more with that view if Bloomberg had been speaking out more about the lack of qualifications of some of the candidates as opposed to the problems with partisanship.

    Another question is how we interpret the recent meeting between Obama and Bloomberg. It’s all speculation but I see it as being a sign that Bloomberg sees Obama as being on the same page as him regarding partisanship and appeal to independents. My guess, and obviously is that it is just a guess, is that Bloomberg doesn’t run if Obama gets the nomination unless he starts looking weaker during the spring after winning the nomination.

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