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Huckabee's Willie Horton?

A story about the Values Voter Summit in this morning's Washington Times featured a fairly tawdry blind quote about Mike Huckabee:

Then, referring to Mr. Huckabee, he said, "He's finished, I think. Bad things will be coming out about him," referring to long-standing accusations surrounding Mr. Huckabee's clemency for a rapist who later murdered someone in another state.

The weird thing about the Washington Times quote is that this story--as the reporter acknowledges--has been out for a while. In fact Huckabee has said more than once in this campaign that he regrets pushing for the eventual killer's parole. Here's last Sunday's Boston Globe:

"It was one of those things I just feel horrible about. You just ache all the way to the bone over what happened," the former Arkansas governor said in an interview. "But nobody could know that" Dumond would attack again, he said.

I'm told there are others in the political press corps who think this is an Achilles heel that will doom Huckabee. At first blush I don't buy it. If Huckabee rockets up far enough in the primary field that his opponents need to pounce on this, it will mean that conservatives have risen up to thoroughly reject the likes of Rudy and Mitt, and it's hard to see them turning back over one case like this.

Still, it's a remarkable story: The rapist was himself castrated after the first crime, in what appears to have been an act of vigilante justice. And the victim was a distant Arkansas cousin of Bill Clinton. (Bizarrely, New York Post columnist latched onto the story in the late 1990s and spun it as a Clinton conspiracy--"Clinton's biggest crime," he called it here. And he's a victim of "Clinton-clan justice" here. Talk about a rabbit hole.)