Last night, my wife and I had the privilege of attending a Huckabee rally in Plano, TX. We got there about an hour early and there was already a long line of people waiting to get in. They decided to open the doors early because so many people were lining up in the halls of the community college that students and faculty could barely get by for their classes.
We all crammed into a rather small room and stood for a full hour while we waited for the rally to start. I overheard someone say that they were going to simulcast the rally in an adjoining room because of the huge crowd that had shown up. They ended up pulling up two walls, effectively quadrupling the size of the room so that everyone could get in on the rally. Even with the extra space, people were still standing shoulder to shoulder for the entire rally.
The estimates for the size of the group range from less than 1000 to over 2000. I would argue that it was closer to the larger number. For a candidate who supposedly doesn’t have a chance, he drew a large and enthusiastic crowd.
I wish everyone could have a chance to hear Mike Huckabee speak in person. Hearing him speak renewed my conviction that he should be the next President of the United States.
A candidate has won primary elections in twelve states, and only gotten 50% of the vote in three of them, and the majority of voters in his home state which knows him best chose someone else to be their candidate. And we are told at this hour that the Republicans party must unite behind him, even though he has not yet won the requisite number of delegates. We are told we must unite and start the general election campaign, when the Democratic campaign should last at least until May.
John McCain has got to be the overwhelming favorite at this point, but it is not over. There are other choices and I’m ready to make an endorsement with some reservations.
I have issues with Governor Mike Huckabee and the way his campaign has run and his record, particularly on immigration. Those who’ve read my columns and blogs know that. Yet, I should note that Huckabee has mended his ways on immigration and has convinced Jim Gilchrist and Duncan Hunter of his sincerity, while McCain has convinced no one.
Mike Huckabee is more reliably pro-life, and yes federal funding of embryonic stem cell research is a pro-life issue (for those who insist on claiming John McCain is 100% pro-life.)
Huckabee is also for the Fair Tax, which would eliminate the IRS and give us control of our own money.
Huckabee is not without faults. His campaign has often come off as using class warfare rhetoric. But behind that rhetoric is a great truth: Republicans must appeal to people at all income levels because conservative ideas are powerful. They help the poor, the rich, and the middle class if consistently practiced. The Republican Party needs to be the party of the everyman because freedom is ultimately good for everyone.
Mike Huckabee is as true of an outsider as there is in this campaign, which brings me to one of my key reason for endorsing him. The Establishment of the Republican Party has gotten us where we are today. They gave us the Rudy McRomney trilemma and now they’re pushing consolidation behind John McCain. The establishment are State Party bosses, puppet pundits, and their money men.
This establishment, for whom nothing but the next election matters, is the enemy of true conservatism. The establishment will pander, promise, but in the end will do what it takes to win. They are short-sighted and as long as this bunch rules our party, they will be shortchanged.
There is hope, and it comes from Camp Huckabee. The hope is not so much Huck himself, but rather his dedicated volunteers, many of whom are homeschooled kids in their first campaigns. I would even venture to guess that many of his core supporters are to the right of Huck on many key issues. And these young supporters are the key to our nation’s future.
John McCain may win the day, but his day will pass. The future lies in Huckabee’s grassroots Army, and until Delegate 1191 is won, I’ll remain in that Army.
Huckabee supporters: these are the undecided voters we have to reach. This proves it can be done. Let’s give Mac a run for his money!
Mike Huckabee has landed one of conservative politicians most coveted endorsements. This endorsement will undoubtedly help him pull in even more social conservatives as Dobson is one of the nations strongest pro-family voices. Huckabee must now try to get the brands of conservatism behind him. If Huckabee can get the conservative base behind him, he may have a shot at knocking McCain out of the top spot, a long shot, but a shot nonetheless.
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.
Until now, Dobson had never endorsed a GOP presidential hopeful during the primary campaign. But he ruled out front-runner John McCain in a blistering commentary on Super Tuesday, and on Thursday the fight for the GOP nomination narrowed to a two-man race between McCain and Huckabee, who is far behind in the delegate count but pledged to fight on. Mitt Romney, a third hopeful trying to claim the conservative label, dropped out of the race Thursday.
Dobson released a statement Tuesday that criticized McCain for his support of embryonic stem cell research, his opposition to a federal anti-gay marriage amendment and for his temper and use of foul language.
He said if McCain were the nominee, he would not cast a ballot for president for the first time in his life.
Dobson had left open the possibility that he would vote for either Romney or Huckabee, but endorsed neither.
Throughout the unsettled GOP race, Dobson picked his spots to signal that some candidates simply didn’t meet his standards. Dobson wrote on a conservative news Web site that he wouldn’t support former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani should he win the Republican nomination. Dobson called Giuliani an “unapologetic supporter of abortion on demand” and criticized him for signing a bill in 1997 creating domestic-partnership benefits in New York City.
At one point, Dobson said he’d consider voting for a minor-party candidate if faced with Giuliani as the nominee.
Later, Dobson ruled out former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson for his stands on issues. Dobson also said Thompson “has no passion, no zeal, and no apparent ‘want to.'”
Dobson emphasizes that when he endorses candidates, he is doing so as a private citizen and not as a representative of Focus on the Family, a tax-exempt organization.
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 . They all said “The Huckaboom is just temporary.” by a hefty margin
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!
Duncan Hunter announced today that he was going to endorse Mike Huckabee for President of the United States. The endorsement comes at a critical time for the Huckabee campaign as they tighten the purse strings and batten down the hatches for the rapidly approaching Super Tuesday primaries.
The endorsement has/will undoubtedly cause a stir among the conservative talking heads who have been quick to criticize Huckabee on everything from his tax record to his supposed lack of foreign policy experience. Hunter was one of the most conservative candidates in the field when he was running. Two of the things that he touted while campaigning were his tough stance on illegal immigration and his foreign policy credentials from his experiences on House Armed Services Committee. His decision to endorse Huckabee will allow the governor to shore up his platform in those two areas that have often been perceived as two of his weaknesses.
Huckabee has had a relatively quiet week as the focus has shifted from him to Rudy, Romney, and McCain and the race in Florida. The endorsement from Hunter and the debate tomorrow night give Huckabee the opportunity to turn the negative momentum of the last couple of weeks into positive momentum that can carry him into Super Tuesday.
After the disappointing finish in South Carolina, many felt that Huckabee was finished. Indeed, the polls after the SC primary showed him losing votes. There was a sense of dismay among many supporters. However, as soon as this endorsement was announced, the mood immediately changed. It appears that Huckabee supporters are once again ready to do battle to carry their candidate to victory.
Following is the announcement of the endorsement from CNN:
January 23, 2008
WASHINGTON (CNN) — California Rep. Duncan Hunter, a former presidential candidate, announced Wednesday he is endorsing Mike Huckabee’s White House bid.
“I got to know Governor Huckabee well on the campaign trail,” Huckabee said in a statement. “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.
“Along with these issues of national security, border enforcement and protecting the U.S. industrial base, I see another quality of Mike Huckabee’s candidacy that compels my endorsement,” he added. “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.”
It’s the big day. I was driving around town, running a few errands this morning, and I was listening to talk radio. It was interesting to hear some of the hosts say that Iowa is not really that important and is not representative of the rest of the country.
I honestly don’t know if the talking heads are right or wrong, but it seems that part of the reason they are dismissing Iowa is because of Mike Huckabee’s position in the polls. Huckabee has very few allies in the conservative media and they would like nothing better than to see Huckabee lose or to diminish the importance of a victory.
All of the polls suggest that Iowa is too close to call. Huckabee fell some in the polls these last two weeks because of a broadside of attack ads that Romney sent his direction. However, the latest polls this week show that Huckabee has been able to bob and weave around Romney’s punches and has regained a slight lead.
Granted, I’m not putting much stock in the polls. It is all about who can turn out the vote. Romney has superior organization, but Huckabee has supporters who appear to be a lot more motivated. One thing is for sure, it will probably be close and it will be interesting to see how Huckabee and Romney handle their final position after the votes are tallied.
These next few weeks will make or break most of the candidates. Huckabee needs to make strong showings, increase his support base, and increase his fundraising so that he can take the campaign national. Iowa will play a large role in giving him the momentum necessary to do those things.