The Wrong Diagnosis

February 1, 2008

When he first threw his hat in the ring a year ago, they declared the campaign stillborn. The pundits ignored him because they knew he’d drop out before summer.

Summer came and went, and he was still campaigning hard, gaining support, and earning endorsements. But his campaign was still “dead on arrival” and wouldn’t amount to anything.

Then he started spiking in the polls and “out of nowhere,” won Iowa by a hefty margin. They all said “The Huckaboom is just temporary.”

Now he’s polling at first or second in most major states, he has a healthy number of delegates, and several major competitors have dropped from the race. He’s still in, and they are claiming he’s out.

The media is declaring our candidate’s campaign dead without checking for a pulse. His political obituary is, yet again, all over the news and talk radio. Don’t buy it.

It’s a lot tougher to knock out an Arkansan than that. He’s still alive and kicking. Don’t let the media determine your vote. Demand a second opinion!

Demand Huckabee ’08!


Huckabee: This is Not a Two Man GOP Race

February 1, 2008
From CBS News’ Joy Lin:
SAN DIEGO — Conservative, conservative, conservative. That was the word Mike Huckabee used again and again with reporters to emphasize his credibility as a contender for the Republican nomination. The usually light-hearted Arkansan spoke in a deliberate tone, a manner that barely masked his frustration about how the race was being framed.“There has been somewhat of – almost a national media spin that this race is a two man race,” said Huckabee. “And if so, I’d like to say that John McCain and I will definitely duke it out until the very last vote. Last night, the CNN debate was very frustrating for me. There seemed to be an unequal level of time that was allocated – and if people look at the delegate count…one has to have 1,191 delegates in order to be the nominee. So far, no one has even broken a hundred; there’s only 8% of the delegates have yet been tabulated, and we’re all fairly close to each other in the amount of delegates that any of the three of us have.”

Huckabee accused the “Romney people” of circulating the notion that a vote for Huckabee would contribute to a McCain win.

“I want to be make it very clear: a vote for me is a vote for me. A vote for Romney is a vote for Romney. A vote for McCain is a vote for McCain. Anybody who suggests otherwise is trying to put a spin on it.”

Continuing, Huckabee questioned Romney’s quest to claim the conservative mantle: “If people are looking for a true conservative, somebody who hasn’t had a recent change of opinion to become one, I would be the logical choice -in fact the only choice they have.”

Although he would have “loved” to have Arnold Schwarzenegger’s endorsement, Huckabee seemed to undermine it by challenging the California governor’s conservative credentials, and implicitly, McCain’s.

“I would never have expected the governor of California to endorse me and, frankly, I’m probably a lot more conservative on a lot more issues than he would have been comfortable with – whether it’s the second amendment, or pro-life issue, or marriage amendment issue or any number of things.”

Huckabee later said that receiving former Republican candidate Duncan Hunter’s endorsement last week probably meant more in the conservative hotbed of San Diego than Schwarzenegger’s endorsement of McCain.

He added that he has no intention of quitting the race even though he hasn’t won a state since Iowa.

“I am not a quitter,” said Huckabee. “I did not get to where I am in life by quitting. Sometimes you can’t win the game but the only way you can surely lose it is by walking off the field before the clock ends,” said Huckabee

“I was in it when nobody thought I could be, I stayed in it when nobody thought I could. I continue to march on even when the de-facto-absolutely-guaranteed-frontrunner-going-to-win-the-nomination-going-to-be-the-next-president-kind-of-guys were so out in front of me that people didn’t take me seriously.”

“But today, Rudy Giuliani is not in the race, Fred Thompson is not in the race … A bunch of folks have fallen to the wayside, and I’m still here. So, I plan to still be here.”

Meantime, Huckabee said he had raised an additional $3.5 million in January after starting the year with just over $650,000 on hand. He emphasized how much the campaign had done with so little money. Huckabee also skewered Romney for spending “tens of millions of dollars to have the same market share as me.”

“Under anybody’s business model, that’s not a very efficient or effective operation,” he said. “If you have an MBA from Harvard, and you believe in trying to figure out the best way to build market share and you spend an enormous amount of money and you have a competitor spends a very small amount of money, but he’s able to reach the same market share, it may say that that person has a more sellable product than you do. So maybe it would be appropriate to go out of business and merge your business with the one that has the more efficient model.”

Huckabee Responds to AIDS Criticisms

December 8, 2007

Mike Huckabee has recently come under fire for some statements he made concerning AIDS  while running for senate in the early 90’s. He suggested that AIDS patients be isolated as a medical precaution and also said that homosexuality presented a public health risk.

I will post Huckabee’s response, but first, my thoughts on his comments from fifteen years ago. I was about nine years old when Huckabee made those comments. I vividly remember my Saturday morning cartoons being interrupted with public service announcement commercials concerning AIDS and HIV. I also remember a lot of media coverage of NBA star Magic Johnson and his contraction of HIV.

Needless to say, those were scary times. AIDS and HIV were really coming into the public spotlight for the first time and among the public there were still many unknowns about the disease, prevention, and how it could be spread. In light of the context, fifteen years ago, Huckabee was probably making a prudent statement reflecting the common knowledge of the time.

His statement about homosexuality is sure to come up again as this campaign moves forward. I happen to agree with the Governor’s statement. In my human sexuality class in college, we spent a good while studying STD’s. It is a readily available fact that HIV and AIDS are rampant among homosexuals, particularly men. I won’t get into details, but the information is easily accessible with a simple internet search. He will undoubtedly be criticized for the statement that homosexuality is a public health risk, but that does not make the statement wrong.

Here is an excerpt of the Governor’s response:

In the late 80’s and early 90’s we were still learning about the virus that causes AIDS. My concern, as a Senate candidate at the time, was to deal with the virus using the same public health protocols that medical science and public health professionals would use with any infectious disease. Before a disease can be cured and contained we need to know exactly how and with near certainty what level of contact transmits the disease.  There was still too much confusion about HIV transmission in those early years.

Full article here (link)

Huckabee Under a Microscope

December 5, 2007

Mike Huckabee is definitely a front-runner now. The way I get my Huckabee news is by googling his name and reading a variety of sources from all across the country. A few months ago, the majority of articles were focused on his status as a dark-horse candidate. Now, a growing number of articles are criticizing his lack of foreign policy experience and his role in the release of a rapist while governor of Arkansas.

The most recent criticism of his foreign policy comes after he could not answer a question related to the NIE report which stated that Iran suspended nuclear weapon development in 2003 (link). Here is my thought on the matter. Yes, Huckabee needs to be on top of the news so that he can engage reporters when asked about issues like this. A question about Iran gives him the opportunity to share ideas about foreign policy and help build up a perceived weakness in that area. However, I think that Huckabee should be offered a little leniency this time around. His campaign does not yet have the organization of the better financed campaigns so it is easy to see how someone who is constantly on the road, without a large staff monitoring news, and without having a chance to sit down and watch the news himself, could miss even something this big.

That being said, I hope this is a wake-up call to the Huckabee campaign that the Governor has to stay current on foreign affairs. He needs to build up his foreign policy credentials and he missed a critical opportunity to do so when he was asked about Iran.

The parole of the rapist I don’t think is the big story everyone is making it out to be. They are digging deep to find some dirt on Huckabee and this popped up. I think it will prove to be a non-issue as long as the campaign does not let the accusations go unanswered, which they aren’t. (link)

The increased scrutiny proves that Huckabee is truly becoming a viable competitor for the nomination. What he needs is more funds so that he can have the staff necessary to keep him up to date on the latest news and to refute negative reports about him. The group he has now has done an admirable job, but he will need more support around him as his popularity increases across the country.

Response to criticisms

December 2, 2007

I keep reading negative comments on various articles, but never take the time (like I know I should) to register for the sites to post rebuttals. If I ever did, here’s what I write:

I don’t like taxes, either, but if people would only realize that state government is different from federal government. You can’t borrow money to make up for budget shortfalls at the state level, like you can at the federal level. Arkansas faced a huge budget shortfall during 2001-2002 recession, a Supreme Court mandate, worked to fix their roads (one of the worst states in the nation), faced a Medicare crisis. The list goes on and on. Gov. Huckabee has said numerous times that the state had slimmed the budget as much as possible, and still had a shortfall.

Gov. Huckabee has also said at the federal level, he WOULD NOT raise taxes, and he’s signed the no new taxes pledge. What he has instead said is that the federal government has a spending problem, and needs some policy changes to correct this trend, not new taxes.

Finally, to say that a vote for Huckabee is a way to get Hillary elected, I hate to break it to you all, but Huckabee is the one candidate the Democrats and the Left fear. He has bipartisan appeal. Maybe not to fiscal conservatives, who live and die by privatizing every single service, but to a lot of independents and conservative Democrats who share the social conservative values of Huckabee and his economic populism positions.

America faces serious problems, overseas, but more importantly, here in our own yards. I want a President who is going to work to resolve those problems in any way he can, not just the politically expedient ones that a consultant says will get him reelected.

Finally, step outside the ideology blinders for a moment, both left and right, and take a look at what Mike Huckabee is actually saying. Americans have griped for decades that the political world is acrimonious. He keeps being given ample opportunity to attack his opponents, and almost everytime, he chooses not to. And the couple times he has, he does it in a very civil manner. Every election cycle, Americans say that want a civil politician. Here’s your chance — and Iowa’s first one the list that gets to decide!

Hannity & Colmes interview

November 15, 2007

Gov. Mike Huckabee appeared on Hannity & Colmes this evening, for almost 15 minutes of airtime. It was a great interview, where Mike was able to address the “immigration” problem (it’s academic scholarships for merit students who had to become citizens to get the scholarships), and ethics concerns, the tax-hike accusations, and the Wayne Dumond case. It was a great interview. Part 1 and Part 2 are available on YouTube. The best part of the interview was at the end, though. It’s why Mike is resonating with so many people. The transcript appears below:

Sean Hannity: One of the things that has really stood out, I think, in your campaign, I think that people have noticed that you have a pretty good since of humor. I mentioned that both Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson attacked you. You’ve had some pretty good one-liners about Hillary. You took a shot at Mitt Romney. You said I guess Romney would rather keep people out of college so that they can keep on working on his lawns, since he had illegals there.

Is that a part of your strategy to always sorta keep that sense of humor during this campaign?

Mike Huckabee: Well, it’s just who I am. You know, I take the issues very seriously, Sean. But I don’t take myself that seriously. I think one of the problems in politics people tend to think it’s all about them. It needs to be about the issues and about the people we serve. We don’t get elected so people can serve us. I think when we forget that, and we think it’s about us, we’re in trouble and our country’s in trouble.

SH: I think everybody, if they had that humility, I think it would serve the country well. Governor, good to see you. Thanks for being with us. Appreciate your time.

MH: My pleasure. Thanks to both of you.

And in other news, here’s a fabulous picture of Mike Huckabee playing Guitar Hero with a young boy. How great is that?? Can you see other politicians doing that?

Response to Huckabee concerns

November 13, 2007

A thread was deleted on Mike Huckabee’s Facebook group (login to Facebook to see the group page), before I could respond to some of the questions posted there. Here’s what I was going to write:

I’ve done some quick searching on the ethics charges. Go to following places for counterpoints on the Spectator article:

  • A huge thread of news articles on the ethics charges (articles from the 1990s and early 2000s from Huckabee’s campaign — a posted series of articles about the charges)

Stores don’t have housewarming as an option (only wedding or baby). I’ve seen the same type of registry used for a “post-fire” registry (setting up needs for a fire survivor).

On another subject, here’s Mike’s response to the John Fund article in the Wall Street back in late October few weeks ago

Several bloggers have written lengthy responses to the tax-happy and”liberal” fiscal positions that some think Mike has taken:

And just in case you were curious, a post about Wayne Dumond:

Someone on the discussion board was asking for personal commentary instead of Mike’s supporters posting links or passively people to go research Mike for themselves. You are right. We do need to articulate answers to your questions.

I, too, will admit being concerned after reading some of the attacks that are coming out against Mike, allegations, his record, etc. After reading all of the above, listening to him talk, each time my concerns are wiped away.

I see the allegations in several different lights:

1.) People are trying to come up any possible way to disenchant Huckabee supporters. Even gray-area claims that never amounted to anything. They are all turning out to be nitpicking.

2.) Any other politician, I’ll admit, I would be highly suspicious after this kind of behavior, but I believe that Mike has consistently shown in his actions, his words, his speeches, that he is trustworthy. He is not the typical politician.

3.) I take Mike as the whole picture. Not just soundbytes or positive or negative stories. I’ve listened to him. His rhetoric is completely different than any other candidate — even Ron Paul. It’s positive. Full of hope. And focused. He has plans that are different from any others presented before. For example, Mike sees that our country is facing a health crisis instead of a health care crisis — neither government or private health care is the answer to the problem. The answer comes from we, the people. Individual responsibility is the key in the health care crisis, according to Mike.

4.) Finally, no one is perfect. Period. We’ve all made bad decisions, or decisions that could definitely be spun in a very negative light. I give Mike the benefit of the doubt. I’m more concerned (and excited) that there’s actually a candidate is speaking about my concerns for our nation’s future, and has an extensive record that proves his words are not just campaign rhetoric that will disappear until the next election’s talking points.

I could write more, but it’s going to sound like a broken wheel or cop-outs. Read the above links, and contact me if you want to discuss things more. I wish I had more time or better skills to respond to your questions.

If you’re still a Huckabee supporter, don’t be discouraged. People are attacking him because they don’t want his message to get out, because they don’t want him in power. With Mike in power, in that White House, the politicians won’t have as much power anymore. The power will be back in the hands of the people.

Thanks for listening. I hope this has answered questions and concerns. I’ll be writing more (as I have time) in the coming days, especially once this semester is over.

Meanwhile, check out my delicious page on links about Mike. I try to update it a couple of times a day. If anyone ever finds links that I don’t have listed there, please leave them in the comments section of a post.