Mike Huckabee, the genial former governor of Arkansas, is enjoying an improbable moment as a favorite dark-horse GOP presidential candidate among liberals. (He wants to raise taxes to help the poor! He supports arts education in the schools!) But he faces a few nettlesome hurdles en route to winning the actual GOP nod: his utter lack of funding, party support, name recognition, and voter enthusiasm.
For Democratic politicos, presidential candidates most especially, all roads lead to Robert Rubin. The former Clinton treasury secretary bestrides the summit of power and wisdom, commending those Democrats he considers fiscally sound to Wall Street's mega-donors, while commending his own Wall Street perspectives -- free trade and balanced budgets are his holies of holies -- to the Democrats. Problem is, as our founding co-editor Robert Kuttner documents in our cover story, what Rubin is selling is neither good politics nor good economics, nor even very disinterested. How, Kuttner wonders, has an Eisenhower Republican become the Democrats' economic guru?
Let's see, now: on the democratic side, there's Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd, John Edwards, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, Barack Obama, Bill Richardson, and Loose-Lips Joe Biden, with Wesley Clark and just maybe Al Gore waiting in the wings. For the Repub-licans, there's Sam Brownback, James Gilmore, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, John McCain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Tom Tancredo, and Tommy Thompson, with Chuck Hagel and just maybe the Newtster himself waiting to pounce.