Baptist theology thrives on giving a person a second chance, and Mike Huckabee may have garnered one yesterday evening on the Tonight Show. Also, Jay Leno proved himself to be funnier writing the jokes himself without the Writers Guild of America. (So funny that, after the broadcast, the union said it "was withholding comment until it spoke to Leno about his show.")
Except for one quick pot shot about Mitt Romney needing a bath (which drew zilcho laughs), Huckabee repositioned himself (with Leno, at least) as a likable, affable candidate who can play the electric bass (better than Bill Clinton plays the saxophone, we might add) and talk tax policy with a non-expert as well as anyone. (Huck must have thanked the heavens that Leno asked him no foreign policy questions.)
Huckabee preached effectively what should separate Republicans from Democrats: taxes. He reminded America that the former want to lower them, while the latter want them to go the other direction -- even if in practice, with all due respect to the Bluegrass Warriors, it didn't always work out that way when he was Governor of Arkansas.
Huck also made a convincing case against fried food that would make the Colonel (as in Sanders, not Andrew Horne) roll in his grave. The fit-and-trim candidate rested his case when Leno showed a clip from a few years back when Huckabee was on the show wearing 110 pounds more and a bright yellow shirt that, with Huck's grin, made him look like the Wal-Mart smiley face about to roll back prices. It was yet another reminder of why Hillary made sure she had resigned from the Wal-Mart board of directors before she ran for President.
Whether the performance was enough to stem the blood loss in Iowa (alluded to by Huckabee on the show) will be known later today. It will be fascinating to learn whether Jay Leno has more influence on Iowa Republicans than does Rush Limbaugh, who yesterday excoriated the non-conservative aspects of Huckabee's tenure in Arkansas. My bet is that Limbaugh beats Leno in those ratings, but Huckabee may have more talent as an entertainer than both of them combined.