Was it a change of heart or manipulating the media? My personal opinion is of the latter, and I've gathered several reactions from other bloggers that seem to agree. The way the media is reporting it right now, Mike just made a stupid mistake and it is backfiring already.
Here is what happened via the Caucus:
Mike Huckabee is holding a press conference right now in which he was supposed to unveil a new negative ad against arch rival Mitt Romney.
But Mr. Huckabee came to the press conference and announced he’d had a change of heart and would not be broadcasting the ad after all.
But wait! It gets better.
He then broadcast it for a room crammed with reporters, photographers and television cameras.
The assembled media found the display hilarious and at several points laughed out loud.
Telling you what’s in the ad, of course, plays into Mr. Huckabee’s strategy of getting his message out — Mr. Romney is bad — while being able to say his hands are clean.
So was it an innocent change of heart at the last minute, or a planned political move? If it is the latter, does he really think the media and Iowans are that stupid? Is Huckabee that stupid?
Personally, I agree with Joe Klein:
I don't think so. Not with all those monster oppo "Enough is Enough" charts surrounding Huckabee with facts and figures about Romney's alleged depravities–on taxes, abortion, immigration, guns and judicial appointments. (Huckabee's partially-birthed ad slags Romney for, among other things, offering a $50 co-pay for abortions in Massachusetts.)
That sound you hear rumbling out of Des Moines appears to be a monumental implosion.
Here is Huckabee's negative ad if you want to see it.