In Indiana's House District 86, Mort Large and Andy Miller were vying for the chance to take on State Representative David Orentlicher.
At the time, I was the Manager of Political Affairs for the Indiana Chamber. Being that Orentlicher is no friend to the business community, we were looking to get involved in the 86th.
The line on Mort Large was that he couldn't win the general election. Because of an unfortunate oversight on his taxes, he had temporarily claimed multiple homestead exemptions. In addition, it was feared that his socially conservative views made him unelectable.
Andy Miller, however, had similar views. He also was socially conservative. However, due to a number of factors (none of which made complete sense to me), he was considered more electable. So the Indiana Chamber decided to help him with the Primary (with significant financial contributions). Miller lost.
During the decision time, I argued that if Miller was more electable, he should be able to defeat Mort Large on his own. That's the definition of being a better candidate right? If Miller was so much better of a candidate, he should be able to prove it. Both were good men. Both would make better State Reps than Orentlicher. So why get involved. I was over-ruled.
I was right. In the end Large was the better candidate. He defeated Miller in the Primary despite being considerably outspent. Then, scorned by those who supported Miller, lost the general election to David O.
This situation is remarkable similar to the 2008 Presidential. I've never supported Huckabee (I was a Thompson man myself), but the argument that McCain is a much better candidate for Republicans is not yet proven.
- With far less money than McCain, he has managed to obtain about 1/3 of McCain's total.
- Despite McCain's coronation last week, with supportive statements from none other than President Bush, Huckabee defeated McCain in 2 of 3 contests Saturday. He nearly defeated McCain in left-leaning Washington State.
- Huckabee is far more articulate than McCain.
So let's not coronate the man. It's premature.