Illinois4Huckabee will stay!
Visit from time to time and send us a note at email@example.com. It’s been an exciting year!
One of our videos was viewed over 6,500 times.
(The one with my Granddaughter!)
Thank you to all 20,000 of you who came by for information about Mike. I hope that we were able to encourage you about our great candidate.
The most rewarding part of this election was witnessing millions of Americans getting to know the man I have known for 15 years. America has a man from Hope who can give us hope. His name is Mike Huckabee! His message is one that resonates with most Americans; the rest of us who want an America we can remember but see slipping away from us.
I have been so proud of Mike, Janet, their family and the thousands of workers in this amazing grassroots effort.
I have also been greatly disappointed in many I once respected.
In much the same way that I can never again enjoy great movies in which actors like Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, Barbara Streisand and many others appear. The Huckabee Campaign has brought to light great truth about many whom I have held in high esteem.
What has been so disappointing through this process is the observation of those who I thought stood for the things Mike speaks of. It has been apparent that most are only concerned about maintaining the status quo and making sure their sources of income and fame are preserved.
These political operatives fall into three categories, although those categories overlap to an extent. Three groups seemingly unrelated yet acting with the same motives and the same fears.
1. "So called" Christian Leaders who refused to support Mike. Most of us would think they would have immediately embraced "one of their own", but Mike is not one of them and thankfully so. They drain the pocketbooks of the unsuspecting with promises to fight for us. They do fight but just enough to keep the battle raging, the money flowing and power expanding. They not only refused to support Mike, many actively fought against him. At first some said if he had traction they would support, yet when he got traction they didn't support. If they had supported Mike from the start, we would still be on track to the White House. They are unprincipled.
2. Establishment Republicans need to maintain the status quo. Horizontal politics, as Mike calls it. Back scratching and rhetoric. Lots of perks and power. Mike is one of US. He would be a "peoples" President. This threatens the status quo. Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney are establishment Republicans who maliciously and dishonestly attacked Mike with misleading ads. A distortion of truth is a lie. They can never be trusted to lead. They are unprincipled.
3. The Radio Kings. Those telling us so called "truth"; tell us what we believe; they are the true preservers of "true conservatism"; "Anti liberals"; fighters of evil. Yet, they relentlessly attacked Mike with the same misinformation that Romney and Thompson had. They are unprincipled.
Why not Mike?
Because . . .Mike could have brought our nation back together.
He could have restored the Presidency to an office of integrity, action and decency.
He leads by example.
"We the people" could have finally had a voice.
These three unprincipled groups thrive
from a divided nation,
from the preservation of a deteriorating nation.
They need to be needed but they do not bring solutions.
I became a Republican in 1982 because I thought that Republicans stood for something.
I fear I may have another disappointment on its way.
Thank you Mike Huckabee for giving us a glimpse of a new day.
There will be another election in 2012. Gov. Huckabee has promised to keep up the mikehuckabee.com site for the 3.9 million people who have already voted for him and we hope you'll stay on board for the next 4 years...because we'll need you for the next round.
When you are ready to battle again, we will be with you!
One more thing (self promotion warning)
Please consider buying my book, My Story Your Story His Story
Mike Huckabee wrote the foreword.
Available everywhere but your best price is going to be at the book website
Illinois4Huckabee will stay!
March 05, 2008 - 11:04 AM
by Mike and Janet Huckabee
Dear Faithful Friends,
Last night was a tough one for all of us. While Janet and I stood on the stage, we felt as if we were surrounded by a much larger family than our immediate family. We have been surrounded throughout the process by a large and growing family of faithful friends whose efforts in the campaign have humbled and amazed us day after day. I regularly wept or choked back tears just reading comments on the blog when I realized the sacrifices that so many have made for the campaign.
We had held out hope that we would win enough delegates to keep the contest going, but had vowed that if Senator McCain actually got the 1191 delegates, we would accept the will of the voters. In the end, the relentless hammering of the media that we "couldn't win" influenced enough voters and while we campaigned long and hard in the final states, it simply wasn't enough. I congratulate Senator McCain and will do what I can to assist him and influence him to take strong stands for issues that we conservatives cherish.
I don't see the long journey having reached its destination, but merely taking a detour. As my Marine friend Clebe McLary says, "I didn't lose--it's just that the game ended before I got finished playing."
In the immediate days ahead, we will be transitioning from campaign mode. For 14 months, there have been a lot of things put on hold in our lives. We have to join the many incredible people on our staff to figure out "what's next?" But this much I can tell you---we want to stay in touch and start now building a platform to continue addressing issues that brought us together in the first place.
Throughout my life, I've found that there are sometimes three possible answers to our prayers--"Yes," "No," or "Not Now."
I would like to think our prayers were answered with a "Not Now." We will keep our website up and as we transition, will want to create a way to keep in touch and continue the battle for our families, our freedom, and our future. We will also focus on assisting conservative Senate and House candidates, in places where we know our investment of time and energy can make a real difference. You can expect us to be active online as we do this and to regularly solicit your opinions and support. Too many big issues are at stake for us to sit on the sidelines.
In the immediate time, we have to make sure that we pay all the bills of the campaign and end in the black, help our staff find ways to earn a living, and make sure that we don't lose the momentum of the past 14 months, but instead follow the plan:
REFLECT, REST, RENEW, and RE-BOOT!
I really welcome your input and thoughts during these coming days. Pray for us as we seek wisdom as to what steps we take now. Despite what some have thought, we really didn't have a "Plan B' in the wings--we always thought we'd be in this until the inauguration in January of 2009!
God has been so good to us! We can never fully express our gratitude for all you have done and how you have touched and blessed our lives. I truly hope I didn't let you down. I promise to you that I gave it all I had to the last minute and left it "all on the field." What is more amazing is how you were willing to be "poured out" to the point of empty in order to be with us all the way. I stand amazed by it all and overwhelmed with gratitude.
We will dust off, pick ourselves up off the canvas, and answer the bell for the next round, whatever that may be. We love you all, and trust that the journey has just begun!
With tired bodies and grateful hearts,
Mike and Janet Huckabee
Huckabee said: "I am truly excited to have Cliff Harris on my team and appreciate his support. It means a lot to have the greatest athlete in the history of my alma mater wearing my jersey."
Harris, who played in five Super Bowls and six Pro Bowls, said: "Mike Huckabee is a true conservative champion. I hope voters all across Texas will join me in rallying behind Mike on March 4th."
"Many told me I would never play in the NFL, let alone win a Super Bowl ring or two. Similar cynics may say the same thing about my friend, and fellow Ouachita alum Mike Huckabee, becoming President. Let me remind everyone: in America, anything is possible as long as you work hard and stand for the right things. The key to success is to always keep going and never quit. That is exactly what Mike Huckabee has done his entire life," said Harris.
This is one of the finest analysis of the election so far.
Why Huckabee Can't Drop Out
A funny graphic going around the Internet these days shows Senator John McCain and Governor Mike Huckabee in full debate mode. McCain says, "Since all of the moderates in the country have endorsed me, I think you should drop out of the race and let me fool the Democrats!" Huckabee replies, "Since all of the moderates in the country have endorsed you, I think conservatives should be able to vote for me."
This strikes at the heart of why Mike Huckabee seems to dig his heels in when operatives within McCain's campaign and the Commentocracy urge him to quit before voters in 20 other states have been heard. Huckabee clearly is not following any conventional political instincts in his decision to remain in the race until someone clinches the nomination. Instead, he's listening to the most vocal chorus of more than two million supporters who have yet to participate in the electoral process. Huckabee is the only means conservatives have of conveying a simple message to McCain: "If you want to be our nominee, earn it."
The political party bosses front loaded the nominating process to give moderates a better shot at bringing forth an early nominee from their ranks. Unfortunately, they didn't count on the presence of a strong and motivated conservative base this election cycle. Their hopes of repackaging Mitt Romney as a conservative fell flat -- none of his conservative views were realized before he opened his campaign headquarters. Romney is so prone to ideological fluidity that he originally endorsed Mike Huckabee, withdrew that endorsement so he could run, and then did a 180 kick-flip to grind his way into the McCain camp. Suddenly, McCain went from geriatric ultra-liberal to a national hero and man of substance. Such is the character of the people who occupy the highest rungs of the GOP ladder. While many conservatives were fooled into supporting Romney, thanks to an almost hysterical two-week rant from Talk Radio, a remnant of serious conservatives stood their ground, voting for Huckabee and for Fred Thompson. McCain's divide and conquer strategy proved more effective than Giuliani’s firewall in God's Waiting Room.
Even if the conservative remnant were foolish enough to fall for Romney's multiple personality disorder of a campaign, he didn't have a chance against McCain. Just before Romney dropped out, the math told the story: McCain at that point had 53% of delegates and everyone else combined had 47%. Pundits and historians will fiddle with facts for generations to come, but the bottom line is that the "Anybody but Romney" vote far outweighed the "Anybody but McCain" vote. The Establishment would have been happy with either man, since their objective is to have a moderate who can appeal to some Democrat constituency. They closed ranks behind the more liberal McCain as soon as he sowed traction. What better Republican to run against liberal Democrats than one who has supported them more often than his own party? If it was only about power and winning, this would be a slam dunk. Unfortunately, some of us still look for something intangible – like core convictions. Romney had none and McCain’s are fundamentally wrong for conservatives.
Huckabee, and to a lesser degree Fred Thompson, provided conservatives with an alternative "anti-Establishment" vehicle. The GOP Establishment and NeoLib conservatives had no way of anticipating that the conservative base had finally reached the tipping point of refusing to be the GOP's step 'n fetchers for yet another election cycle. The 2008 election cycle is proving to be a pivotal moment for traditional conservatives. Instead of staying home in droves as they did in 2006, conservatives may well bolt the party altogether if the rift is not healed soon. It cannot be healed by efforts to crush Huckabee's Quixotic insurgency. MEMO To McCain Camp: Huckabee's supporters aren't going to support you until the last delegate has voted at the convention. Even then, much rests in the person who will run with McCain. Without a real conservative on the ticket, all of the geotargeting in Huckabee's strong districts will not pursuade the political burn victims on the right.
Less than a month ago, GOP insiders were salivating over the possibility that a young and charismatic Democrat named Barack Obama would be crushed by the Clinton Machine in the most cynical and abusive way, putting a disillusioned African-American voting block up for grabs. The Perfect Storm of Bill Clinton's racial slurs and Obama's lack of gravitas did not come to fruition. Democrat Party bosses reined the former President in and many African-American leaders closed ranks behind Hillary -- for a few hours. In spite of his weakness as a potential leader of the free world, Obama's growing popularity is allowing him to ride a wave of feel-good 60's type Democratic politics -- possibly all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
What it means.
The GOP needs their base back. Even if Hillary is the Democratic nominee, Al Gore and other party leaders are trying to make an amicable end to the Democratic Party's current nominating disaster. The Democratic nominee will be poised to wage a generational battle of their Young Liberal against the GOP's Old Moderate. Conservatives need not show up. McCain cannot be recast as a conservative with any more credibility than Romney was. Without the Get Out the Vote efforts of disenfranchised Social Conservatives, McCain cannot win. He would be a fool to pick Romney or any other moderate as his running mate. He may not be thinking of Huckabee with any warm fuzzy feelings right now, but he needs to make a credible overture to the new generation of Social Conservatives. Establishment "OnceCons" like Gary Bauer, Pat Robertson and Phyllis Schlafley have no credibility speaking to this constituency. Their endorsements of “any elephant”, including moderates, over the past twenty years has proven that their loyalty is with pragmatic politics and not movement conservatism.
Conventional wiseguys tell us this new Social Conservative movement is uniting around the impossible hope that Huckabee could emerge as a standard bearer in a brokered convention. They are short sighted and shallow in their analysis. What is happening is a united effort among SoCons to take their place at the table -- even if they have to scorch the tablecloth in the process. If conservatives are not given an opportunity to vote their conscience and the GOP loses in the Fall, the fault will not be their intransigence. It will be the end of their 40 year journey of discovery that people of principle can never throw in with people of power and expect to come out with a clear conscience. The last few primaries will be their final feeble attempt at conveying this message to the moderates who run the party. It can be a reunion song or a breakup song.
John McCain and his OnceCon apologists are calling the tune.
"I am seeking the Presidency because I care deeply about important issues facing America—Life, Marriage, the Fair Tax, the Second Amendment, American Border Security and Sovereignty. I am as committed to those issues as I ever was, and my campaigning around the country has convinced me that the majority of Republicans want me to continue to fight for these and other conservative causes. So I will.
I know all about the rumors swirling around. That's why I just went on national news show this afternoon, to knock those rumors down. I am still in this race. As I have said all along, I am in this race until someone gets to 1,191 delegates. That has not happened yet, and so I will keep campaigning for the Republican nomination. Period. That’s my ironclad commitment to my supporters."
- - Mike Huckabee
Cofounder of the Heritage Foundation Endorses Huckabee
I believe that the voters in this Republican nomination contest—here in Virginia and across the country—deserve a real choice. And Governor Huckabee is clearly the conservative alternative. He is the best choice, and he is my choice. So I am voting for him on Tuesday, here in Virginia.
I don’t buy the idea that John McCain is a true conservative. Nor do I buy the idea that Mike Huckabee should get out of this contest. The people in the Potomac area—Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. In addition, we have many important states coming up, including my home state of Wisconsin. Folks in all those states deserve a choice a real choice.
I had been a supporter of Mitt Romney, but now I am very glad that Governor Huckabee has decided to stay in the race. I appreciate that he is staying in, just as I appreciate that Governor Huckabee and Senator McCain are not going at each other’s throats—a vigorous debate about important issues is the healthiest thing possible for the Republican Party.Governor Huckabee has articulated some very clear differences with Senator McCain: on immigration, on McCain Feingold, and also on the McCain Lieberman global warming scheme. Mike Huckabee is much more solid on the social issues, including right to life. Yes, Senator McCain says that he has a right to life record, but he can’t be supportive of embryonic stem cell research and have a clear right to life record, because the right to lifers, including me, want to protect all life, from conception of natural death.
Governor Huckabee is also good on marriage, insisting that it be limited to one man and one woman. Unfortunately, Senator McCain refused to vote for the marriage amendment.
These are important differences.
By voting for Governor Huckabee, people will be telling Senator McCain and the Republican Party establishment that they better accommodate these conservatives and their heartfelt beliefs, or else they the GOP will not be able to win the general election this November. Like Governor Huckabee, I have great respect for Senator McCain, but he and his Republican Party backers have to make sure that they accommodate the base of the Republican Party.
If they don’t, Senator McCain may find that the conservative grassroots won’t turn out to vote this November. I know my fellow conservatives. I have been active in the conservative movement since 1960. I was an early supporter of Barry Goldwater, and I was a delegate for Ronald Reagan in 1976 and 1980. And so I remind all the Washington DC-oriented political strategists that outside-the-beltway conservatives don’t have to vote for every candidate if they don’t want to. They can stay home, or they can skip over some candidates. That is a very real possibility this year. I have had hundreds of people that have contacted me, telling me, “I can’t vote for McCain.”
I hope that Senator McCain will accommodate those people, for the sake of the conservative movement, as well as the Republican Party. But to repeat: I am voting for Governor Huckabee.
The Republican Party must reach out to social conservatives, like me, and so Mike Huckabee is solid. But Mike Huckabee also appeals to working people. The Republican Party by and large ignores the concerns of these people, especially when they are hurting. Governor Huckabee is the only candidate who has consistently reached out, during this campaign, to those who are hurting. It’s great for the GOP hierarchy to say that the fundamentals of the economy are sound. But it’s even more important to concentrate on real people, and to look for sound conservative solutions. Mike Huckabee is one of them by his own background, and so naturally he listens to them. By voting for him, millions of ordinary Americans will make their voice heard, loud and clear.
I call upon all my fellow conservatives to get out and support Governor Huckabee. A big vote for him is the best way to send a message to Senator McCain and the Republican Establishment that this is an election, not a coronation.
Paul Weyrich is the Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation. The opinions expressed here are his own.
Just wanted to encourage you all to go to www.hannity.com
There is a poll there that asks if Huckabee has a chance at pulling this off.
Please go vote.
Let's show Mr Hannity and the other Status Quo Folks that we are a movement to be taken seriously.
By the way, I have sent my last dollar to any organization Gary Bauer is involved in. By endorsing McCain over Huckabee he revealled his true allegience.
With Huckabees victory in Kansas, voters send McCain a message
By STEVE KRASKE and JIM SULLINGER
The Kansas City Star
Mike Huckabee’s win Saturday in Kansas’ Republican presidential caucuses was complete, dominant and never in doubt.
In swamping presumptive GOP nominee John McCain 11,627 to 4,587 votes, or 60 percent to 24 percent, Huckabee swept 104 of the state’s 105 counties. In that final county, Trego in western Kansas, Huckabee and McCain tied at 15 votes each.
The win gave Huckabee all 36 delegates that were on the line for the GOP National Convention in Minneapolis this summer.
“It’s a big win for Huckabee,” said Bob Beatty, a political science professor at Washburn University in Topeka.
Matthew Pennell, Huckabee’s state coordinator, said he expected the former Arkansas governor to win Kansas, but not by the margin he rolled up.
“Personally, I didn’t think we would carry the 3rd District, but we did and pretty overwhelmingly,” he said.
Fred Logan, a former GOP state chairman and a KCTV-5 political analyst, said McCain’s crushing defeat amounted to a setback for U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, a Kansas Republican who endorsed McCain after ending his own presidential bid last year.
“I think this is less of a rebuke of McCain and more of an embarrassment to Sam Brownback,” Logan said, adding that Brownback had recorded an automated phone message for his Senate colleague.
A little more than 20,000 Republicans turned out for Saturday’s caucuses, a total that was either a few thousand above what was expected or a few thousand short, depending on which GOP official was citing numbers and whether the forecasts came before or after Romney exited.
Turnout in Johnson County surpassed expectations, with big crowds reported at several sites.
“So much for Republican voter apathy,” said Christian Morgan, Kansas GOP executive director.
“Miracle” Mike Huckabee Electrifies CPAC Crowd, Vows to Stay in Race
by Fin Gomez
On the flight from Kansas to Washington D.C. late last night Mike Huckabee was talking to members of his inner circle about the big expectations for his speech today at the Conservative Political Action Conference, the annual gathering of conservatives in the Nation’s Capitol.
“The pressure is on, ” Huckabee said to his staff, smiling. For the remainder of the flight ,he was left alone, as he worked on the text of the speech.
Huckabee was right, the expectations were astronomically high for his address. Mitt Romney, supported by many of the establishment conservatives at this meeting, had dropped out Thursday, and the GOP presumptive nominee, John McCain, is far from a favorite son for many at this conference, who still resent McCain’s defeated immigration reform bill . Not only did Huckabee have to convince those in attendance about meeting their conservative standards(that some like the Club for Growth had questioned) but he had to defend what many consider a quixotic attempt to continue campaigning even as McCain continues to amass delegates, 719 to Huckabee’s 198.
So as he stepped up to the podium today, the lingering question , hovering above the crowd, was could he do it?
If the loud audience reaction is an accurate indicator, then yes, Huckabee delivered today.
Hitting his mark, he emphasized the issues that resonated well with the several hundred cheering conservatives in the room:
Pro-traditional marriage, pro-life stance, border security, all Republican platform benchmarks, and with Huckabee’s argument for each, the audience roared with approval,and regular standing ovations.
Huckabee also took the opportunity to say that, despite McCain’s colossal lead in delegates, he had no plans to bow out.
“I know the pundits, and I know what they say, that the math doesn’t work out.Folks,I didn’t major in math,I majored in miracles, and I believe in those,” Huckabee said to cheers. “Am I quitting? Let’s get that settled right now. No, I’m not.” The crowd waved signs, and chanted: We like Mike… We like Mike.
Huckabee then concluded with a story from a supporter from Kentucky who had recently lost her house in the tornadoes that ravaged the South on Tuesday.
“Despite damage to her home there was one thing that was pretty remarkable,she had a Mike Huckabee yard sign..when the tornado had gone through,standing pristine, without a hint of damage, or even meaning,was that yard sign.”Huckabee continued, using the image asn an analogy for his campaign.”Across America, everywhere there is still a vote to be cast, I am still standing.”
Mike Huckabee won the Kansas Republican caucuses Saturday, demonstrating the lingering rift in the party after rival John McCain was minted the clear front-runner Super Tuesday.
Kansas was the first of four states to hold contests for both parties Saturday. Final results showed Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, with 60 percent, compared to 24 percent for McCain, the Arizona senator. Texas Congressman Ron Paul had 11 percent.
Huckabee captured all 36 of the delegates to the Republican National Convention from Kansas, according to The Associated Press. Another three delegates are party leaders who attend the convention no matter whom they support, and two of them have endorsed McCain.
AP Breaking News: Evangelical leader James Dobson to endorse Mike Huckabee for GOP presidential nod
By ERIC GORSKIAP Religion Writer
James Dobson, one of the nation's most prominent evangelical Christian leaders, is about to endorse former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee,the Associated Press has learned. Dobson, founder of Colorado Springs, Colo.-based Focus on the Family, talked to the GOP presidential hopeful Thursday and later was to release a statement explaining his choice, said Gary Schneeberger, a spokesman for Dobson.
Huckabee had long sought Dobson's endorsement, believing he is the best fit to advance Dobson's conservative, moral worldview.
Huck's Army releases the following press release after Romney's departure from the race:
HUCKABEE GRASSROOTS TO ROMNEY SUPPORTERS:
GIVE MIKE ANOTHER LOOK.
Huck's Army troops: Huckabee's conservative credentials are real! McCain will struggle to beat Hillary or Obama in the South -- Huckabee won't.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The 17,000 grassroots "troops" of HucksArmy.com are encouraging Gov. Mitt Romney supporters to take another look at Huckabee. They have set up a welcome and question and answer forum at http://forum.hucksarmy.com where Romney and Huckabee supporters can interact.
"Although many have been misinformed, we really believe that Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney have similar credentials and conservative positions," said Lucas Roebuck, Public Affairs Officer for HucksArmy.com.
NO TAX INCREASES: Both Huckabee and Romney signed the Americans for Tax Reform Taxpayer Protection Pledge. John McCain has not signed the pledge (atr.org).
ENERGY INDEPENDENCE: Both Huckabee and Romney have said energy independence is vital for American security and would make it a top priority of the administration.
GUBERNATORIAL EXPERIENCE: Both Huckabee and Romney believe that the experience of being governor is most beneficial when preparing for the presidency. Romney was governor for a term in Massachusetts; Huckabee was governor of Arkansas for over a decade.
SECURE THE BORDER NOW: Both Huckabee and Romney opposed amnesty. Both support getting the Mexican/American border fence done in the first months of the next president's term.
SANCTITY OF LIFE: "We must promote a culture of life," said Romney. No candidate has done more to promote life than Mike Huckabee, according to the National Right to Life PAC.
Huckabee supporters also believe Huckabee is the most electable GOP candidate at this point.
"Republicans don't win if they don't carry the south," Roebuck said. "McCain may be polling well in national polls, but how will he do against an Obama or Clinton in the critical Southern states? Both Barack and Hillary have a unique appeal to the South that only Huckabee can negate.
"If Obama is the candidate, Huckabee's oratory excellence will be critical in national Republican debates."Huckabee is clearly the best GOP debater," Roebuck said. "He's the one who will be able to face down the siren rhetoric of Obama in the general election."
With core values of faith, family and freedom, HucksArmy.com is an online grassroots movement not owned or operated by any candidate or political campaign. With more than 17,000 recruits, HucksArmy.com is dedicated to mobilize support for candidates who honor God and country.
This just in from CBS, Mitt Romney is ’suspending’ his campaign for the White house.
Romney had tried to portray the race for the Republican nomination as a two way race. He had attempted to sideline Mike Huckabee, and portray himself as the alternative to McCain. On Super Tuesday however, Huckabee had a very good showing and vowed to stay in the race until the end. This effectively ended Romney’s hope for beating McCain. He would have needed 3/4 of the delegates left and cannot afford to split them with Huckabee.
This now gives Huckabee a fighting chance to top McCain. Huckabee has polled very well in Texas, by far the biggest prize left. He is also in good position in Virginia and Mississippi.
To explain the startling success of Senator John McCain in the fight for the GOP presidential nomination, talk radio hosts and columnists who loathe the Arizona Senator cite an alleged split on the conservative side between Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. According to this reasoning (explicitly advanced by Laura Ingraham, Hugh Hewitt and many others) if only Huckabee withdrew as a candidate, Mitt Romney could unite conservative cadres and pull out an upset victory on Super-Duper Tuesday.
Of course, Huckabee won’t leave the race (in at least six of Tuesday’s state contests he’s running well ahead of Romney) and the argument that he should rests on distorted history and illogical assumptions.
Some of my fellow commentators on the right seem to believe that the minority “moderate” wing of the party has united behind McCain because they had no other candidate, and the much larger conservative base in the GOP fatally split its votes among a number of once-viable alternatives.
These conclusions are flat-out wrong--- both about the party’s ruling conservatives and its remaining moderates.
WRONG ABOUT CONSERVATIVES
To believe that Huck and Mitt are dividing conservatives, you have to believe that Huckabee is a conservative --- which Romney, Limbaugh, Igraham, and countless others have been denying (stridently and strenuously) for months. Romney spent millions on negative ads in Iowa trying to label Huckabee as a liberal RINO—slamming him as soft on immigration, soft on crime, a big spender, a tax hiker and so forth (the same sort of attacks that they’re now applying to McCain). Fred Thompson pronounced Huckabee a “pro-life LIBERAL” and Rush delivered daily diatribes about how the former Arkansas governor was not “a conservative.” So, has Huckabee now suddenly morphed into a true conservative just to give Romniacs an excuse for the failure of their guy to rally the rightwing base?
Either the elite commentators were wrong when they labeled Huckabee a “liberal populist,” or they are wrong now when they say he’s stealing conservative votes from Romney. The only other alternative is that they view conservative voters as just too stupid to see Huckabee for what he really is.
As to the idea that rock-solid, true-blue Reaganites were divided by too many candidates on the conservative side of the party, where’s the evidence of that?
It’s true that a lot of candidates tried to rally the base but most of them (Tom Tancredo, Sam Brownback, Duncan Hunter, Tommy Thompson, Jim Gilmore, Alan Keyes) got absolutely nowhere.
Nor did Fred Thompson (who co-sponsored McCain-Feingold, and compiled a voting record virtually identical to McCain’s during his years in the Senate) draw significant conservative support that hurt Romney. In Iowa, where Huckabee smashed Romney by nine points, Thompson and McCain tied for third. Did Thompson really take more votes away from Romney than McCain took away from Huckabee? In South Carolina, Thompson again finished third – and Romney finished fourth. Even if every one of Fred’s votes had gone to Romney, their combined total still would have fallen 3% (40,000 votes) behind McCain.
WRONG ABOUT MODERATES
But the analysis is also dead wrong that says that McCain’s been winning because he had moderate voters all to himself while conservatives divided their support among several candidates.
Through the entire campaign, Mac has had to compete for moderate or centrist Republican voters (and independents, in those primaries where they could vote) with Rudy Giuliani. Unlike McCain, Rudy has a long background as a moderate on issues like abortion, gay rights, and gun control, where Mac has been solidly conservative. Rudy also ran ahead of McCain in virtually all polls last year, and raised triple the money the Arizona Senator managed to put together. At one point, Rudy held the polling lead in South Carolina, and was competing with Mitt Romney for the lead in New Hampshire and Michigan and Nevada.
In other words, it makes no sense to say McCain had moderates to himself while Mitt had to struggle with other conservatives – especially since Rush, Sean, Savage, Laura and countless others relentlessly labeled Huckabee as a “moderate” or a “liberal,” who would be competing for those votes with Mac and Rudy, rather than drawing conservative votes from Romney.
In Florida, McCain’s victory was all the more impressive because Rudy was a powerful factor – investing far more resources into the state, and drawing more votes (15% to 13%) than Mike Huckabee. In other words, even if you assume that Huck and Mitt split conservatives (a very dubious assumption, as noted above), then Giuliani took even more votes away from McCain. Just for the record, the allegedly “moderate” vote in Florida (McCain plus Giuliani) totaled 51% while the allegedly “conservative” vote (Romney plus Huckabee, PLUS Fred Thompson’s 1%) totaled 45%. In other words, even if you combine the votes for all the purportedly “conservative” candidates it doesn’t provide enough support to top the “non-conservatives” who backed Mac and Rudy in a very high turn out primary.
Here’s the SLAM DUNK regarding the stupid argument that if only Huck dropped out, Mitt would surge to victory:
All of the three major national polls taken in the last three days (Fox News, ABC/Washington Post and Gallup) show that even if every single voter who backs Huckabee, switched to Romney (an impossibility, of course), McCain still wins across the country. The numbers, if you’re interested, of McCain supporters vs. the combined total of Romney and Huckabee supporters --- 48 to 39% (Fox News), 48 to 40% (ABC News/Washington Post) and 43 to 42% (Gallup). Meanwhile, all indications are that for many of the Huck-a-nuts—perhaps even a majority – their second choice would be McCain, not Romney.
WRONG ABOUT McCAIN
If you can’t explain McCain’s success by arguing that there’s been a big split among the party’s conservatives, then how can the Senator’s critics come to terms with his surging campaign?
Maybe they ought to recognize the obvious – they’re wrong about Johnny Mac and his appeal.
In state after state, Exit Polls show McCain drawing substantial backing among self-described “conservative” voters. It’s true that he’s weaker with such Republicans than among so-called moderates, but he’s strong enough (drawing over a quarter of conservatives, consistently and reliably, in the divided field) to indicate that many conservatives are simply ignoring the howls from talk radio that McCain is a secret liberal.
Sure, Ann Coulter claims that Hillary Clinton is “more conservative” than McCain, and says that she plans to campaign for Hillary (won’t that be fun?). But who knows the Arizona Senator better – Ann C. (who has very possibly never met him) or the solid, conservative Senate leaders (Tom Coburn, Johnny Isaakson, Saxby Chambliss, Richard Burr, John Kyl, Trent Lott, Phil Gramm, John Thune, Norm Coleman) who’ve worked beside McCain every day for years and have come forward to endorse him for the nomination? These guys earn nearly perfect voting records from the American Consrvative Union--- Trent Lott, for instance, got a lifetime 92% (even better than McCain's 82.3%), but he vouches for his long-time colleague as a solid, courageous pro-life conservative. Fred Thompson had a less consistent conservative record than Lott (86%) and very close to McCain's, and yet commentators readily embraced him as a "consistent conservative."
As to Mitt Romney, he is certainly a good man and a good candidate and a strong standard bearer for conservatives. Those who back Mitt deserve respect, and should proudly work hard for their guy on Tuesday.
But don’t pretend that McCain is only winning because divisions among conservatives have allowed some squishy moderate to sneak to victory.
It’s true that conservatives are divided in the upcoming primaries.
Some (perhaps a plurality) back Mitt Romney, a strong conservative
Some back Mike Huckabee, a strong (though much maligned) conservative.
And some of us back John McCain, as the strongest and most consistent conservative in the race.
May the best man win.
We have outlasted Rudy, Fred, and others who were supposed to be the winners. Only 8% of the Republican delegates have been selected, and we have about the same number of delegates as McCain or Romney. We are in it to win.
The Romney campaign knows this and they are running scared.
So far the media has with a few exceptions, been content to sell this sham of a story to their viewers and listeners. You would think that under this coordinated assault, we would be sinking in the polls nationally.
Not so. FOX News has us tied with Gov. Romney in 2nd place nationally in a new poll of registered voters.
What's more, in Tennessee, Georgia, Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas and Oklahoma, recent polls have us in first or tied for first.
We can win. We will win.
To close this gap from 2nd to 1st and shock the pundits, and more importantly our rivals, I need your immediate financial support. I am counting on you as I always have, because you are the five smooth stones in my pocket.
Make an immediate contribution of $25 or more today and watch us soar. (Use the Ranger Button above)
I am counting on you for victory.
With deepest gratitude.
From the Editor: I am raising my goal to $5,000. Too much is at stake! Give NOW!
In much the same way that I can never again enjoy great movies in which actors like Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, Barbara Steisand and many others appear. The Huckabee Campaign has brought to light great truth about many whom I have held in high esteem. They have lost their greatness and greatly disappointed me.
What has been so disappointing through this process is the observation of those who I thought stood for the things Mike speaks of. It has been apparent that most are only concerned about maintaining the status quo and making sure their sources of income and fame are preserved.
So far this political season I have seen Mike Huckabee's campaign soar. It has been a joy for other people throughout the country to get to know this man I have known and respected for many years. His message is one that resonates with most Americans; the rest of us who want an America we can remember but see slipping away from us.
These political operatives fall into three categories, although those categories overlap to an extent. Three groups seemingly unrelated yet acting with the same motives and the same fears.
1. "So called" Christian Leaders who have refused to support Mike. Most of us would think they would embrace "one of their own", but Mike is not one of them and thankfully so. They drain the pocketbooks of the unsuspecting with promises to fight for us. They do fight but just enough to keep the battle raging, the money flowing and power expanding. They not only refuse to support Mike, many actively fight against him. At first some said if he had traction they would support, yet when he got traction they didn't support. They are unprincipled.
2. Establishment Republicans need to maintain the status quo. Horizontal politics, as Mike calls it. Back scatching and rhetoric. Lots of perks and power. Mike is one of US. He would be a "peoples" President. This threatens the status quo. Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney are establishment Republicans who malitiously and dishonestly attacked Mike with misleading ads. A distortion of truth is a lie. They cannot be trusted to lead. They are unprincipled.
3. The Radio Kings. Those telling us so called "truth"; tell us what we believe; they are the the true preservers of "true conservatism"; "Anti liberals"; fighters of evil. They have relentlessly attacked with they same misinformation that Romney and Thompson had. They are unprincipled.
Why not Mike?
Because . . .
Mike can bring our nation back together.
He can restore the Presidency to an office of integrity, action and decency.
He can lead by example.
"We the people" will finally have a voice.
These three unprincipled groups thrive
from a divided nation,
from the preservation of a deteriorating nation.
They need to be needed but they do not bring solutions.
I became a Republican because I thought they stood for something.
I fear I may have another dissappointment on it's way
Let's hope other's are starting to see what I have seen.
It is time to restore our nation, our honor, our unity.
It's time for Mike Huckabee to be Our President.
Duncan Hunter, who ended his presidential bid last weekend, just issued this statement: “I got to know Governor Huckabee well on the campaign trail.
Of the remaining candidates, I feel that he is strongly committed to strengthening national defense, constructing the border fence and meeting the challenge of China’s emergence as a military superpower that is taking large portions of America’s industrial base.
Hunter continued, "Mike Huckabee is a man of outstanding character and integrity. I saw that character over the last year of campaigning and was greatly impressed. The other Republican candidates have many strengths and I wish them all well. My personal choice is Mike Huckabee."
(CBS)From CBS News' Joy Lin: NAVASOTA, TX --
“Today, we reset the clock,” Mike Huckabee said on the day after his second-place finish in the South Carolina GOP primary. “I woke up this morning and thought the momentum is back.”
Trying to recover from his 3-point loss to John McCain, the presidential hopeful started the day by pushing back notions of total defeat. Huckabee had woken up early to fly to Texas for a fund-raiser hosted by actor and Huckabee supporter Chuck Norris. Huckabee and his wife brought their two dogs from Little Rock.
For reporters, he outlined several factors that contributed to his loss including Fred Thompson for taking away some of his votes and the snow that froze the streets of the Greenville-Spartanburg area. He resisted the notion that he had failed to prove himself as the candidate of the South, pointing out he was not the only “Southern candidate.”
Asked about the next hurdle – Florida -- Huckabee went out of his way to write the political obituary of Thompson.
“Florida is a unique state because it’s a winner-take-all-state and, obviously, Giuliani has put everything in Florida. I mean, the good thing for us is there is no state where we said it’s this or nothing,” Huckabee said.
“Thompson said it was Iowa, then South Carolina, and in both cases it hadn't happen for him. So I have to make the assumption based on what he said in his speech last night that we're only a time frame awy from when he says that its over. Its not my decision to make for him but, if he doesn't then he has to explain why he said it would be over.
Considering McCain’s carryover of supporters from 2000 and the amount of money Mitt Romney had spent, Huckabee pointed out, South Carolina was “a pretty good showing for us.”
“You know, no excuses. We did well. We wanted to win. But it doesn’t put us out of the game by any stretch of the imagination...This is a long haul. It’s still wide open”
The recent loss has transformed the strategy of winning early into a "long haul" plan of running the distance and acquiring delegates. Asked if he would consider a partnership with John McCain if the nomination came down to the convention, Hucakbee said, of course. “If he was in that position and was willing to broker things together, he can be my vice president.” Huckabee said it wouldn’t get to the point of a vice versa deal.
At the fund-raiser, Huckabee walked his supporters through the new game plan.
“By the time we get to Feb. 5th, there still won't be a decisive winner,” he said. “The votes will be split among several of us; I still am second in the delegate count. We've surpassed many of the candidates who were supposed in the nation. What may happen, is that, when we come to Texas on March 4th, it will all be in the line in Texas”
Huckabee continued. “Now I'm going to tell you something, I'm really going to have reach down deep to swallow my Arkansas pride. And its taking everything within me to save this. But folks, Texas may just have to save this Arkansas boy and put us over the top in March. And when that happens, I'm afraid I'd be forced to stand on the stage and say, 'Go Aggies! Hook 'em Horns! And Go Bears!’"
We came so very close in South Carolina last night. I am extremely proud of our team and the effort everyone put in. Thank you! While we would liked to have finished in first place, we will take a second place finish and focus on the next miles in this marathon race. Florida is next on January 29 and Super Tuesday only days later on February 5. We need to re-focus on the primaries ahead and everyone needs to pitch in. Here is what you can expect of us in the hours ahead:
1) A national call for volunteers in Florida. Whether you live in Florida or you are from out of state, we need and welcome your support. We made this announcement on the campaign blog earlier this evening and you can read it here.
2) Launch of online headquarters in every Super Tuesday primary state. We will need bloggers in each state to help organize our grassroots efforts. We will send state specific emails discussing our goals in each state.
3) A national drive to increase the size of our list of campaign supporters. Clearly every vote counts and the growth of our supporter list is critical. We will set a specific goal and encourage everyone to recruit their friends to our team.
4) A fundraising drive to raise money to help fuel our efforts in Florida and many of the key Super Tuesday states where we have a deep base of support. I said last night and I meant it, running for President is a process. Today we reset ourselves, recharged and we are ready to hit the campaign trail with a new burst of energy.
John Stemberger, a leading voice in the conservative movement of Florida has switched his personal endorsement in the race for the Republican presidential nomination from former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson to former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.
Stemberger will be co-chairing the Mike Huckabee Faith and Family Values Coalition for Florida, it was announced today after he informed the Thompson campaign of his decision.
"Governor Huckabee is without question the best candidate to breathe new life and fresh hope into a nation and its people who are fed up with scandal, corruption and big-money power politics. Mike Huckabee is a proven leader with executive experience and a solid record as a champion for pro-life and pro-family values", Stemberger said. “As a result, he has won the trust of more social conservative leaders across America than any other candidate. He has also proven that he is a viable candidate who can take us all the way home by winning both the primary and the general elections.”
Stemberger is the founder of the Institute for Conservative Studies at Florida State University and has been one of the leading pro-life, pro-family advocates in Florida over the past 25 years. He was a lobbyist for Florida Right to Life and served as the Political Director for the Republican Party of Florida during the final campaign of former President George H.W. Bush.
Like Ronald Reagan before him, Mike Huckabee can restore common sense conservative leadership to America both at home and abroad,” Stemberger said. “He will re-envision us to once again become ‘one nation, under God’ while ensuring “liberty and justice for all.’”
Stemberger is a member of the Council for National Policy, the Arlington Group in Washington, D.C., and serves as the state chairman of Florida Marriage.org, the official sponsoring committee for the Florida Marriage Protection Amendment.
“John is a strong voice in the pro-life community. I welcome John’s support and help in getting out my message that I have been a consistent voice for the right to life,” Governor Huckabee said.
Yankee Great Endorses Huckabee
Columbia, SC – Baseball Legend and Sumter, SC native Bobby Richardson endorsed Mike Huckabee for President at a campaign rally at the Black River Electric Co-operative in Sumter, South Carolina today.
Richardson stated, "As someone who always wore the number 1 on my jersey, I am here to let everyone know that Mike Huckabee is truly Number 1. I hope voters all across South Carolina hit a homerun on January 19th by voting for Mike Huckabee in the South Carolina Republican Primary."
Huckabee stated, "I am excited to have Bobby Richardson on my team and appreciate his support. As a lifelong baseball fan, I am truly proud to have the support of various baseball greats including Bob Feller and Bobby Richardson and urge all baseball fans and voters alike to join Bobby Richardson in voting on Saturday, January 19th."
Richardson, a seven-time All-Star and the 1960 World Series MVP won five Gold Gloves and three World Series rings while starring at Second Base for the New York Yankees. After hanging up his glove in 1966, Richardson coached baseball teams at Liberty University, Coastal Carolina University, and the University of South Carolina, where he led the Gamecocks to their first ever College World Series in 1975. Richardson is also a highly sought-after motivational speaker, is a national leader within the Fellowship for Christian Athletes and was a 1976 Republican nominee for Congress.
The Best Endorsements
Conservative columnist joins Huckabee
By: Mike Allen and Jonathan Martin
James P. Pinkerton, a well-known conservative commentator and veteran of the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, has joined Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign, a campaign official tells Politico.
Pinkerton resigned as a Fox News contributor and gave up the column he has written for Newsday and other newspapers since 1993.
"I went from one thing I loved doing to something else that I felt called to do,” Pinkerton said.
Pinkerton started Thursday, with the title of senior adviser. The campaign official said he will work at the intersection of policy and strategic messaging. In other words, he will help beef up Huckabee’s policy proposals, which until now have been less detailed than those of some of his rivals.
Pinkerton was lured to the Huckabee team by Ed Rollins, the campaign’s national chairman. Both men are Massachusetts natives. In 1982 and 1983, Pinkerton worked for Rollins when he was President Ronald Reagan’s director of political affairs.
Rollins sold the job to him as a chance to help “restore the Reagan coalition,” Pinkerton recalled. “I thought, ‘I’m not going to turn THAT down,’" he said.
The addition of Pinkerton is the latest sign that Huckabee’s once-shoestring campaign for the Republican presidential nomination is moving into the big time.
(CNN) -- Until this week, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee had not run a single ad in Michigan, and had no paid staffers in the state.
Mike Huckabee is hoping evangelicals and Fair Tax advocates bring him another win in Michigan.
He did not have a campaign office. He had not sent out a single piece of direct mail.
Meanwhile, his rival Mitt Romney -- who announced after his second-place New Hampshire showing that Michigan was his top priority -- has run nearly $3 million dollars worth of television ads in Michigan.
And John McCain, fresh off his New Hampshire win -- and with the backing of two of the state's largest papers, the Detroit News and the Detroit Free-Press -- has been keeping pace in recent polls with the well-funded Romney effort.
But just as in Iowa, a grassroots network of conservative Christian activists and fair tax proponents are, improbably, keeping Huckabee in contention for the top spot in the GOP primary here.
"We laid the groundwork," says Gary Glenn, one of the leaders of the movement. "The fact that he's even in a position to threaten Mitt Romney in his native state is a real statement to the depth of support he has here."
Huckabee's been riding a months-long wave of good news in Michigan. Just before Labor Day, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers made him their pick in his party's presidential primary -- a rare nod to a GOP candidate that might not mean much in other Republican contests, but carries some weight in this heavily unionized state.
The Fair Tax movement -- which has given Huckabee its enthusiastic backing -- announced a major political push in Michigan in 2008, looking to get an anti-tax measure on the ballot this fall.
LaMar Lemmons, the Detroit state representative who helped organize the successful Democratic crossover effort that helped McCain beat Bush here in 2000, recently launched Democrats for Huckabee -- the sort of group that can make a real difference in a state where the lack of party registration allows for large-scale crossover voting.
By Dean Barnett The Weekly Standard
Huckabee deftly parried Thompson's aggressive and spirited attacks early in the debate. It was a battle on terrain that was unfriendly to Huckabee, and Thompson attacked with skill. And yet Huckabee got out of the exchange unscathed.
The exchange with Thompson came early in the debate, and Huckabee was just getting warmed up. For the first time in this campaign, Huckabee looked like a credible commander in chief when the conversation turned to those Iranian speedboats. His normal joviality vanished, replaced by an appropriate gravity.
Then he got even better. He seized on a characteristic piece of Ron Paul idiocy to give a spirited speech defending America's commitment to Israel. Again, he looked credible as a commander in chief. But this was also an extremely shrewd piece of politicking. Conservative foreign policy types obviously loved it as did pro-Israel people. But Huckabee's core audience of conservative Christians, a much larger segment of the society than either of the other two groups, adored it also.
Mike Huckabee's an exceptional politician whose package of skills is often sold short. He's a lot more than an affable dispenser of one-liners who only knows how to play to the home crowd. For people who might be inclined to dismiss Huckabee, compare his response to Thompson's adroit offensive with McCain's blundering into the climate warming thicket. These two are the likely finalists, and one of them is much better at politics than the other.
Here's what I said on November 28, the night of the YouTube debate, the night that catapulted Huckabee to his huge lead in Iowa: "Was this a seismic night? I'll give that one a big yes. Tonight heralded the arrival of Mike Huckabee as a force in this race. Not a spoiler, not a wildcard, but a force."
Although fewer people watched last evening's festivities, tonight was even bigger for Huckabee. For the first time, it was not only possible but easy to imagine Huckabee as the leader of 300 million people. He combined this newfound authority with his old standbys of off-the-charts likability and a deft way of tapping into aspirational politics.
In the race for the Republican nomination, Mike Huckabee is going to be tough to beat.
January 08, 2008 - 10:10 PM
Third In New Hampshire!
by Mike Huckabee
I just finished speaking to our supporters in new Hampshire before heading off to South Carolina. We are running a strong third place finish as I write, our rivals had a long history in New Hampshire, deeper organizations and millions of dollars of advertising in the state. Just weeks ago we were polling 5th and 6th in the state. Tonight we finished strong and came in third. A special thanks to the people of New Hampshire! Thank you to the volunteers on the ground and our dedicated campaign staff that made this happen.
Our ideas are resonating: our strong support for life and marriage, securing our borders, preventative health care, energy independence and massive tax reform all helped propel us here.
Lets keep it going. Important primaries in Michigan, South Carolina and Florida are ahead of us and we must be prepared.
Tonight I ask you to do three things to help us build on our momentum:
1. Make an immediate contribution of $10, $25, $50, $100, or $500 tonight. We have proven tonight that we can continue to compete, and that we know how to effectively invest your contribution. Will you make a contribution tonight and show the world, the pundits and voters across this country that we have the momentum and it is sweeping us onward. [Use the Ranger button above!]
2. Share the success story of our campaign with friends and family. If there are friends or neighbors that doubted our campaign, or are undecided, please encourage them to visit our website tonight, tomorrow and over the next few days and learn more.
3. Consider becoming more involved in our campaign: Volunteer, Join a Meetup or start a Grassroots Meetup Team, Join our Myspace group, our Facebook group and our LinkedIn group.
Three ways to help us keep the momentum going: contribute, share the news and become more involved. Again, I cannot adequately express my profound thanks to you.
When people ask you tonight and tomorrow why you think we did so well in a state where only weeks ago we were polling 5th and 6th, please tell them because we believed in some important ideas and we stand by those ideas, and we do so together.
Support for Giuliani, who chose not to compete in Iowa and has been shut out of the media spotlight, has also dropped, from 27% to 20%. Fred Thompson and Ron Paul are essentially holding steady at 12% and 4%, respectively.
Huckabee's five-point advantage over Giuliani and six-point edge over McCain still fall within the poll's margin of error, so from a strict statistical perspective, the three are essentially tied.
While Giuliani has reached his low point, Huckabee is now enjoying his highest level of national support since the campaign began. Huckabee's rise is reminiscent of other dark-horse candidates who rose from low single digits in the national polls during the early stages in the campaign to become real factors -- if not winners -- in previous nomination campaigns. Some of these candidates include Jimmy Carter in 1976, George H.W. Bush in 1980, Gary Hart in 1984, Michael Dukakis in 1988, and Bill Clinton in 1992. Carter, Dukakis, and Clinton all went on to win their party's nomination, while Bush and Hart seriously challenged their party's front-runners although both eventually lost the nomination. Huckabee was in the low single digits in the national polls throughout much of 2007. He did not reach double digits until mid-November.
Huckabee's current front-runner status is bolstered by the poll finding that 33% of Americans, including 36% of Republicans, think he will win the Republican nomination for president. Eighteen percent each believe McCain or Giuliani will prevail, while 14% believe Romney will emerge as the Republican nominee.
New York Times Op-Ed Columnist
By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Published: January 7, 2008
Thank you, Senator Obama. You’ve defeated Senator Clinton in Iowa. It looks as if you’re about to beat her in New Hampshire. There will be no Clinton Restoration. A nation turns its grateful eyes to you.
But gratitude for sparing us a third Clinton term only goes so far. Who, inquiring minds want to know, is going to spare us a first Obama term? After all, for all his ability and charm, Barack Obama is still a liberal Democrat. Some of us would much prefer a non-liberal and non-Democratic administration. We don’t want to increase the scope of the nanny state, we don’t want to undo the good done by the appointments of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, and we really don’t want to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory in Iraq.
For me, therefore, the most interesting moment in Saturday night’s Republican debate at St. Anselm College was when the candidates were asked what arguments they would make if they found themselves running against Obama in the general election.
The best answer came, not surprisingly, from the best Republican campaigner so far — Mike Huckabee. He began by calmly mentioning his and Obama’s contrasting views on issues from guns to life to same-sex marriage. This served to remind Republicans that these contrasts have been central to G.O.P. success over the last quarter-century, and to suggest that Huckabee could credibly and comfortably make the socially conservative case in an electorally advantageous way.
Huckabee went on to pay tribute to Obama for his ability “to touch at the core of something Americans want” in seeming to move beyond partisanship. And, he added, Senator Obama is “a likable person who has excited people about wanting to vote who have not voted in the past.” Huckabee was of course aware that in praising Obama he was recommending himself.
I was watching the debate at the home of a savvy, moderately conservative New Hampshire Republican. It was at this moment that he turned to me and said: “You know, I’ve been a huge skeptic about Huckabee. I’m still not voting for him Tuesday. But I’ve got to say — I like him. And I wonder — could he be our strongest nominee?”
He could be. After the last two elections, featuring the well-born George Bush and Al Gore and John Kerry, Americans — even Republicans! — are ready for a likable regular guy. Huckabee seems to be that. He came up from modest origins. He served as governor of Arkansas for more than a decade. He fought a successful battle against being overweight. These may not be utterly compelling qualifications for the presidency. I’m certainly not ready to sign up.
Still, as the conservative writer Michelle Malkin put it, “For the work-hard-to-get-ahead strivers who represent the heart and soul of the G.O.P., there are obvious, powerful points of identification.” And they speak to younger voters who are not yet committed to the G.O.P. In Iowa, Huckabee did something like what Obama did on the Democratic side, albeit on a smaller scale. He drew new voters to the caucuses. And he defeated Mitt Romney by almost two to one, and John McCain by better than four to one, among voters under 45.
Now it’s true that many conservatives have serious doubts about Huckabee’s positions, especially on foreign policy, and his record, particularly on taxes. The conservative establishment is strikingly hostile to Huckabee — for both good and bad reasons. But voters seem to be enjoying making up their own minds this year. And Huckabee is a talented politician.
His campaigning in New Hampshire has been impressive. At a Friday night event at New England College in Henniker, he played bass with a local rock band, Mama Kicks. One secular New Hampshire Republican’s reaction: “Gee, he’s not some kind of crazy Christian. He’s an ordinary American.”
In general, here in New Hampshire he’s emphasized social issues far less than in Iowa (though he doesn’t waffle when asked about them). Instead he’s stressed conservative economic themes, seamlessly (if somewhat inconsistently) weaving together a pitch for limited government with a message that government needs to do more to address the concerns of the struggling middle class. This latter point seems to be resonating, as headlines in local papers announce an increase in the national unemployment rate amid speculation about a coming recession.
Some Democrats are licking their chops at the prospect of a Huckabee nomination. They shouldn’t be. For one thing, Michael Bloomberg would be tempted to run in the event of an Obama-Huckabee race — and he would most likely take votes primarily from Obama. But whatever Bloomberg does, the fact is that the Republican establishment spent 2007 underestimating Mike Huckabee. If Huckabee does win the nomination, it would be amusing if Democrats made the same mistake in 2008.
Not only are the Democrats fearful of a Huckabee win, Establishment Republicans are too.
Illinois legislators predict Huckabee will be overtaken
By Aaron Chambers, Rockford Register Star
What’s clear is that Republicans nationally are reeling over Huckabee’s decisive victory in Iowa on Thursday night. The Baptist minister and former Arkansas governor bounded from relative obscurity to GOP frontrunner in a matter of months — and without the help of an expansive, well-funded organization.In Illinois, Republican leaders — all of whom are working for other presidential candidates — doubt that ultra-conservative Huckabee will continue to win states such as New Hampshire and Michigan, which will vote ahead of this state’s Feb. 5 primary.
We Beg to differ!
It's time for a change in leadership . . . at all levels of Government.
Does Mike Huckabee have what it takes to win the Republican Party nomination? Not if you believe many of the experts, who, just days before the people of Iowa had their say on Jan. 3, downplayed the former Arkansas governor’s run for the White House.
The pundits have charged that Huckabee is too religious, too inexperienced, too conservative or--get this--too liberal. Huckabee surely did not help his stature with his numerous verbal gaffes in the closing stretch of the Iowa race.
Now that Huckabee is the Republican front-runner—at least for the next five days—he is bound to get additional scrutiny from the media. If there is anything that journalists love to do, it is to build up an underdog and then tear him apart once he moves to the head of the pack. It would not be the first time that the winner in Iowa failed to hold on to his momentum in later primaries. Nevertheless, it would be a mistake to write off Huckabee as a fringe candidate whose credentials and experience disqualify him from serious consideration.
Huckabee’s positions on religion and social issues are not that different from those of the current occupant of the White House, or even Ronald Reagan, for that matter. He hardly seems less experienced than a former Georgia governor, Jimmy Carter, or a former Arkansas governor, Bill Clinton. Speaking of Clinton, he struggled in Iowa but ultimately triumphed in the 1992 primaries and won two general elections even though anyone with even a half-working television set understood that the man was a cad and a skirt chaser. Nor did less-than-sterling credentials prevent former Texas Gov. George Bush from reaching the highest office in the country.
One thing Huckabee does seem to lack: an inability to get people to hate him. Whether one agrees or disagrees with his values and positions, he comes across as the type of person that many of us would not mind having as a neighbor. Maybe this is why he has climbed so quickly in the polls and why he left Iowa with a victory on Thursday.
Stop Lying About Huckabee and Evangelicals!
Posted by: Michael Medved at 10:59 AM
Predictably enough, most media commentators have totally misinterpreted the nature of Mike Huckabee’s big win in the Iowa GOP caucuses. Conventional wisdom says that he swept to victory based on overwhelming support from Evangelicals, but conventional wisdom is flat-out wrong. According to the exit polls used by major news networks, a majority of voters who described themselves as “evangelical” or “born again” Christians actually voted against Huckabee –with 54% splitting their support among Romney, McCain, Thompson and Ron Paul. Yes, Huckabee’s 46% of Evangelicals was a strong showing, but it was directly comparable to his commanding 40% of women, or 40% of all voters under the age of 30, or 41% of those earning less than $30,000 a year. His powerful appeal to females, the young and the poor make him a different kind of Republican, who connects with voting blocs the GOP needs to win back. He’s hardly the one-dimensional religious candidate of media caricature.
Dobson Says Huckabee Win Displays Power Of Christian Conservatives
Posted by Brian Montopoli CBS News
Ever since the 2006 midterm elections, there have been suggestions that the influence of Christian conservatives on U.S. presidential politics is waning.
But today Focus on the Family founder James Dobson said the Iowa caucus results suggested otherwise.
Mike Huckabee, a former Baptist minister, easily won the GOP vote in Iowa. Roughly 80 percent of his supporters identified themselves as born again or evangelical Christians.
`The results of the Iowa caucuses reveal that conservative Christians remain a powerful force in American politics. That had to be a great shock to those on the far left,'' Dobson said in a release, according to the Associated Press.
The AP reports that Dobson was critical of "media elites" for writing off Christian conservatives and suggested Huckabee's win "`was evidence of an energized and highly motivated conservative community."
The national influence of Christian conservatives in this presidential cycle is still yet to be seen, however. And a tough test for Huckabee will come in New Hampshire, the next state on the voting calendar. It is expected that a far smaller percentage of GOP voters in the Granite State will self-identify as evangelical Christians compared to Iowa, were entrance polls found that almost 60 percent of GOP caucus-goers described themselves as evangelical.
Hannity: "The Huckaboom continues!"
From a participant in a focus group: "Mike Huckabee is me!"
Jay Wagner Iowa Independent: Mike Huckabee, outspent by his main rival 20-1 and considered a dark horse candidate just a few months ago, won the Iowa Republican Caucus by a comfortable margin, several news organizations are reporting.
The number of Evangelical Christians voting in this year's caucus was nearly double that of previous years. But Ted Sporer, the Polk County Republican Chairman and the author of a popular conservative blog, said Huckabee's popularity cut across doctrines.
"If Huckabee holds onto his eight point win, then the media template that says this was all the doings of the Evangelical voter is way off," Sporer said.
34% Mike Huckabee
25% Mitt Romney
14% Fred Thompson
13% John McCain
Mike Huckabee was named the #1 Communicator of 2007 by one of the top communication coaches in the country (coaches Chuck Schwab, Olympians, and other leaders).
At http://www.deckerblog.com there is the Top Ten Best (and Worst) Communicators of 2007, and Mike Huckabee rightfully tops the list.
This year's List of Top Communicators highlights the best (and worst) from business, politics, entertainment and sports. Take a look to see how communications skills helped make or break these notable individuals.
1. Gov. Mike Huckabee - What but for communicating would get a presidential candidate so far so fast?
A few months ago Huckabee was almost an unknown. Now he is a front runner for the Republican Presidential nomination, and probably the fastest rise ever from relative obscurity to the cover of the weekly newsmagazines. Governor Huckabee is open in style, authentic, natural and amazingly great at thinking (and speaking) on his feet. He tells stories, and connects with people. (See more detail here.) Powerful tools when you have to build trust and credibility visually, quickly and mostly through TV. And powerful tools for a leader. Although he has a conservative constituency, they alone could not get him this far this fast. It is his communicating.
December 31, 2007 - 05:03 PM
Our Negative Ad
by Mike Huckabee
Yesterday, I flew to Little Rock to cut three new television ads with our campaign team. The first "Our Values" will air in Iowa and discusses my unwavering commitment towards a Human Life Amendment. The second ad which will air exclusively in New Hampshire called "Tax Cuts Matter" discusses the first broad based tax cut that I passed in Arkansas' history. You can view both ads here.
The third ad was a negative attack against Governor Romney. We prepared it, sent the ad to the television stations here in Iowa, and it was supposed to start running at noon today. This morning, I ordered my staff to pull the ad; I told them I do not want it to be run. If it was run at all, it would be until the stations pulled it off their schedules. And we are now committed, from now through the rest of the caucuses, that we will run only the ads that talk about why I should be president, and not why Mitt Romney should not.
Back in October when I stood in Washington, DC before the Values Voter Summit delivering a speech to the attendees I reminded them that "we stand for some things, we believe in some things..." We do indeed: I believe in the Human Life Amendment and will work tirelessly for its passage.
I believe the FairTax is the best way to unleash our economy in the 21st century.
I believe and have always supported the passage of a federal constitutional amendment that defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
I believe we must secure our borders, end amnesty and end sanctuary cities.
I believe our country must be energy independent.
I believe that we are currently engaged in a world war. Radical Islamic fascists have declared war on our country and our way of life.
I believe in the Surge.
And I believe that Americans aren't interested in politics that divide us, they want their leaders to focus on what will lift them up and make things better.
I almost forgot that today in the face of the withering barrage of criticism we have endured over the last few weeks from my rivals. I say almost, because our negative ad won't run.
I know we believe in the same things. It is these things, these ideas, that have bound us together in this campaign for President. These ideas are why you first became interested in me and these ideas are why I am running for President. Let everyone know, that we are campaigning for these ideas and that we are working overtime to lift America up.