By: Mark W Adams

Watching the punditocracy try and fit this into their preconceived notions will be fun to watch.
That alone is enough reason to root for the underdogs. It's already started. Sometime over the weekend, Pat Buchanan saw his credibility wearing thin. He's always been about the money race, especially on the GOP side, insisting that Huckabee didn't have a chance going into Florida and the February 5th Mega-State primaries. He's said the same thing about John Edwards right along.

This morning on MSNBC, I saw him completely change his tune, laying out exactly how momentum alone can carry HuckABEE through to the nomination.

Buchanan's a believer now, and ignores Ron Paul's money bombs. This was quite out of character. When a veteran of the Nixon, Ford and Reagan White House can't figure out what's going on as the GOP coalition disintegrates any better than someone throwing chicken entrails against a wall as he backtracks on every bit of "wisdom" he's spouted about campaigning for president -- something's up.

Did he have some kind of epiphany? Did Karl Rove call him and share "The Math?" Or does he see his own failed attempt to buck the tide in 1996 as something akin to Huckamentum?

My guess, it's the latter. He most certainly has read New York Magazine's Huckabuchanan piece, and let his vanity overwhelm his pomposity.

It occurs to me that Pat's constant mantra that it's impossible to take anyone serious on either side unless they've got $50 million bucks to burn stems from his bitter experience at being a loser when he tried to grab the golden ring himself.

Huckabee’s brand of populism isn’t nearly as strident (read lunatic) as Buchanan’s. But to describe it as watery doesn’t do it justice. Huckabee’s posture on matters of taxing, trading, and even faith represent something shrewder: Buchananism minus the bombast, the paranoia, the out-front efforts to court the clenched-fist-and-camouflage crowd. And in this regard, the message and the messenger are the same—which could well make them more formidable, and no less disconcerting, than Buchanan and his gospel were in 1996.
See, it's not that Buchanan is nuttier than a fist full of cashews, at least according to Pat. He, like so many who attend the Court functions at Versailles on the Potomac refuses to ever question his world-view or competence. It's that he was outspent, not out campaigned or out thought by his competitors. He was robbed! And now he has a hero of his own to vindicate his trials and tribulations.

That's how he gets through the day, believing that his jingoistic xenophobia still resonates with more than a fraction of the general public and not just the wackos inhabiting the GOP base. Or worse, that it really is the best way for American to act. Mark my words, Buchanan will eventually take credit for any and all of Huckabee's success in the next six to eight weeks, having paved the way for the preacher from Hope, Arkansas.

And if Huckabee doesn't go all the way, it will (again) be all about the Benjamins.