The current column at the NY Times Opinionator blog, Huckabee and the Democratic Ideal, wonders "where’s the Democratic Mike Huckabee?" It answers its own question by approvingly citing David Seaton, an American expatriate blogger living in Madrid, who writes thusly [emphasis added]:
Democrats could learn a lot by studying Huckabee. I have no idea what is really behind Mike Huckabee’s friendly facade, but he is making some interesting and nuanced noises for a southern populist and I think Democrats should take note of these nuances and make some of the same noises.
I believe he is on record as saying that the major problem of the American prison system is that it is filled with people who are drug addicts, not criminals, and that instead of prison they should be in rehab. Since the majority of prisoners in American jails are persons of color, this statement is profoundly un-racist. And if you consider how much more caring, un-punitive and especially how much more expensive it would be to treat these unfortunates as sick people instead of criminals to be locked away, the statement is amazingly un-conservative. This is the sort of message that Democrats should be delivering.
Seaton stops short of endorsing Huckabee. But it's noteworthy that another one of Seaton's columns in praise of the former Arkansas governor is entitled "Huckabee tickles my inner Lenin."