Monday, December 10, 2007

Why Will Huckabee Win?

Huckabee will be win because he cares about the average person.

Who else on either party, besides Ron Paul, cares about the blue collar worker who is worried about the lowering of wages and losing their jobs because of Nafta and "fair trade."

Huckabee also understands that fathers and mother are worried about the gay mafia attacks on their children's faith and morals in the education system and media culture.

Fred You have blue collars who worry very much about so-called "free trade" and think there should be a movement toward "fair trade." If so, your man is Mike Huckabee who distances himself from Nafta and would insist on penalties for countries that wish to practice discrimination against our products while expecting we will do the same with theirs-reciprocity. .

Huckabee outrunning his GOP companions
By Scot Lehigh, Globe Columnist | October 24, 2007

Concord, N.H.

THE BEST description of what's happening with Mike Huckabee may just be the old joke about the two lawyers who are out on a hike when they startle a large bear. The first lawyer whips open his briefcase, removes a pair of running shoes, and puts them on.

"Do you really think you can outrun the bear?" the second asks.

His companion offers this, ah, grizzly reply: "I don't have to outrun the bear. I just have to outrun you."

Outrunning one's companions has long been the challenge for the second-tier presidential candidates in this large Republican field. It's a challenge Huckabee has steadily met. Consider the way things are breaking for this latest aspirant from Hope, Ark.

Last week, the campaign bear, having already devoured Jim Gilmore and Tommy Thompson, pounced upon Sam Brownback.

The departure of the conservative Kansan gives Huckabee, a Baptist minister by training, a clearer path to court religious voters.

On Friday, the former Arkansas governor got a favorable column from David Brooks, the New York Times's influential conservative. On Saturday, Huckabee finished close behind Mitt Romney in a straw poll of the Values Voter Summit, a group of Christian conservatives.

Meanwhile, a recent Rasmussen survey has him tied for second with Fred Thompson in Iowa, with neither far behind Romney.

Watching him on the stump, it's easy to see why Huckabee is winning notice. Down to earth and likable, he's also an engaging speaker, both smart and funny. And he seems more aware than his Republican rivals that the economy isn't working for everyone.

As a man who dropped more than 100 pounds after being diagnosed with Type II diabetes in 2003, he incorporates an unusual pitch into his speech: Americans need more exercise and better health habits.

But beneath his folksy veneer is the rhetorical ability, and the carefully honed arguments, of a trained seminarian.

To my eye, both he and Ron Paul, the Texas congressman, have the potential to surprise in the Granite State.

Paul's appeal is that he's a different kind of Republican, one willing to break with party orthodoxy and declare the Iraq war a mistake.

Huckabee, who says we must persevere in Iraq, resists saying the same.

"Just because we didn't find them [weapons of mass destruction] doesn't mean they're not there," he said in an interview, speculating, among other things, that they might have been secreted away to Syria. (The Iraq Survey Group found no evidence of that.)

As a candidate, he's feuded with the antitax zealots at the Club for Growth over his fiscal record in Arkansas, which included higher taxes. "Governors have to govern," he tells me. "You don't get the luxury of being a pure ideologue."

So why has he signed a pledge never to raise the income tax? Because he supports a consumption tax - the so-called Fair Tax - to replace the income tax altogether, he explains. It's a big idea, and one that will come under scrutiny if his candidacy grows.

And well it may: Follow Huckabee for a morning and you quickly conclude that, lackluster fund-raising notwithstanding, his stock has been badly undervalued.

But what does he say to voters who, after suffering through George W. Bush, a president whose stubborn certitude seems rooted in part in his religious beliefs, have grown wary of religion in politics?

"I don't think they're electing me to be their pastor," he says, "but I don't think they're offended by the fact that I have deep convictions." He continues: "What I find about New Hampshire people is, what they want is authenticity. If they don't agree with me, they at least want to know that I'm going to stand flat-footed and say, OK, don't agree with me, but here I am. They like that."

Do they really? One might well respect Huckabee's sincerity, but if you are a moderate Republican or an independent who, say, favors a change of course in Iraq or abortion rights or gun control or fair treatment for gays and lesbians, Huckabee is unlikely to become your candidate.

Still, the other side of that non-equivocation equation should help him. In a field where the leading candidates have thus far proved unpalatable or unconvincing to the Republican base, Huckabee is a true believer, a committed, consistent conservative.

Now that he's outrun his second-tier rivals, don't be surprised to see his candidacy take off.

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Personal Asides:

Posted: 07 Dec 2007 05:55 AM CST

This Man Huckabee.

As one who spent a good portion of my life managing political campaigns and/or strategizing how Republican candidates can get elected, I know what I believe but understand that to win one must have a ticket the appeals to a broader consensus than one man can. My preferred candidate for president is, as I have said, Mitt Romney. He is the person you would hire for president. His views on social issues, Iraq, economic issues square almost totally with my own. I am not bothered because he has shown deviations-especially on moral issues. After all, as my good friend and spiritual son Jim Leahy has said (in the Chicago Daily Observer) we are in this effort to convince people to join us, are we not... therefore we shouldn't be disturbed when they do and should stop trying to affix a length of time where they must believe as we do in order to be accepted by us. I remember full well Ronald Reagan's conversion to pro-life came after he signed into law the farthest reaching abortion law in the nation, ranking with the one signed in New York by Nelson Rockefeller.

There is enough room in the coalition that Reagan pioneered to embrace some diversity. That diversity could well come with Mike Huckabee. While I buy into most everything the "Wall Street Journal" prescribes, I know the coalition does not in every particular. You have blue collars who worry very much about so-called "free trade" and think there should be a movement toward "fair trade." If so, your man is Mike Huckabee who distances himself from Nafta and would insist on penalties for countries that wish to practice discrimination against our products while expecting we will do the same with theirs-reciprocity. .

For those who feel there should be some expressed compassion in the immigration question that has not been shown by the avid listeners to either Rush Limbaugh or Laura Ingraham, here is one who does not follow in slavish lockstep.

Those who support farm subsidies and an expanded federal role in health care have a champion in Mike Huckabee. While at the same time you have one who

Supports the concept of winning the Iraq War,

Supports every item of pro-life and opposition to same-sex marriage,

Supports appointment of strict constructionists to the federal bench,

Supports junking the Income Tax code and replacing it with the Fair Tax and substitute it with a 23% national retail sales tax on nearly all goods and services which while it hasn't been worked out sufficiently for my own consumption (will the state taxes when added to that approach 30% will the income tax repeal result in the unintended consequence of an income tax and a national sales tax?) these are bold initiatives, long considered, and now well worth talking about in a campaign.

But given his brilliance in debate and his general political attractiveness, I think the time has come when he should be first in line for vice president on a Republican ticket.

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At 11:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

huckabee loves trade agreements and democracing the world. his poll numbers went up after his CFR speech...


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