2000114828547842787_rs.thumbnail.jpg2000174212671617872_rs.thumbnail.jpgZogby says that we’re in the middle of a Huckaboom — they find that Mike Huckabee is within 1 point of Giuliani in the national polls. Whether the Zogby poll is an outlier or not, Huckabee’s surge over the past two months has been remarkable, turning more than one former cheerleader in the culture wars into a tongue clucking nag worried about how "swing voters" will perceive such an extremist party.

Mercy me.

Much of Huckabee’s "can-do," likeability quotient rests on his remarkable weight loss story, and the book he wrote about his experience — crediting his success to diet and exercise. But there’s a compelling case to be made that Huckabee lost his weight due to gastric bypass surgery, something he has vigorously denied before.

But still:

  • Huckabee’s vague history of diet/exercise doesn’t adequately explain his astonishing result.
  • His spokeswoman gives an ambiguous denial.
  • Massive and persistent weight loss with bariatric surgery is orders of magnitude more common than with diet/exercise.
  • Huckabee’s weight loss record fits the pattern of gastric bypass surgery exactly for rapidity, amount and maintenance, and not at all like that of diet/exercise.
  • Huckabee demonstrates changes in physical appearance that appear bariatric both in general and the specific (hair loss and skin changes).
  • His particular diet habits are tellingly bariatric.
  • Just prior to his rapid weight loss he took an unusual vacation with a furtive itinerary and end date.
  • In 2005 he needed an abdominal hernia repair, an expected complication of bariatric surgery, and this was explained to be a Spigelian hernia, a vanishingly rare hernia type that is best explained as an apparent cover story.
  • His marathon prowess is not so likely to be an example of exercise inducing weight loss, as it is the expected result of (bariatric) weight loss permitting exercise.
  • While running marathons Huckabee is shown carrying that energy supplementation, that is both expected of, and associated with, bariatric marathoners.
  • The lack of any identified witnesses to the bariatric surgery/hospitalization is adequately explained by medical privacy ethical standards as well as the rigor of Federal law.

The author concludes that the whole thing could be cleared up were Huckabee to release the CT scan he had in 2005 which diagnosed his hernia.

Could Huckabee’s whole act be a flim-flam? Hard to believe I know, but it would be irresponsible not to speculate.