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Huckabee's Big Test


Mike Huckabee and Chuck Norris rock out at the Val Air Ballroom in Des Moines. (AP).

DES MOINES -- All the leading presidential candidates will close out the penultimate day of campaigning in Iowa with late-night rallies here in the state's biggest city -- all except Mike Huckabee. The former Arkansas governor will spend caucus eve in Burbank, Calif., trading one-liners with late-night host Jay Leno.

Huckabee hardly needs another opportunity to tell jokes. He long ago retired the "Entertainer of the Year" award among the presidential candidates this year. No one else in the field -- in either party -- is having more fun or exuding more charm than the Baptist rocker from Hope, Ark.

The Val Air Ballroom in Des Moines -- a throwback to the Buddy Holly era -- was crackling with energy Tuesday night at a "Huck and Chuck" rally that featured the candidate on bass guitar, "tough-guy" Chuck Norris as straight-man and a huge crowd of people who, like Huckabee's rise here, came out of nowhere in frigid temperatures to take a look.

Huckabee's campaign is testament to the power -- and limits -- of personality. His rise in November and December was remarkable. His performance in the final week in Iowa has been erratic. Whether he is ready for success here on Thursday night is an open question.

Against a field of flawed candidates, Huckabee's individuality has lapped the field. John McCain captivated the media and many voters in 2000 with his straight talk and sense of outrage against the ways of Washington. In this campaign, Huckabee has displayed a combination of humor, humility and the common touch that has proved especially appealing at a time when the Republican Party is suffering an image meltdown on many fronts.

Bill Clinton says it best of his fellow Arkansan: "He's the only guy on their side who can give his piece and tell a joke."

President Bush has turned off many Americans who once were receptive to the Republican message. Rudy Giuliani has spent his campaign time putting the country on high alert against terrorist attacks. Mitt Romney has offered Republicans the cool efficiency of a corporate turnaround artist. Fred Thompson has tried to make a virtue out of slow walking through Iowa with a hang-dog look on his face. Even McCain, until recently, projected a grim face to the voters.

Given that collection of characters, it's no wonder Republican voters in Iowa have responded so favorably to Huckabee. And perhaps a few minutes with Leno late Wednesday night will add another highlight reel for Huckabee's low-budget, grassroots campaign.

But Huckabee and his campaign have shown signs of serious strain in the past few weeks. The appeared unsteady on foreign policy after the assassination of Pakistan's Benazir Bhutto. He has not fully answered questions about his record and there are ethical issues that will return depending on how successful he is here. His call for radical overhaul of the tax system has received little serious scrutiny. His attacks on Bush's foreign policy open him up to sharper inquiry about his own views and experience.

The campaign and the candidate already have suffered through a crisis of conscience over how to deal with Romney's attacks. Huckabee's decision to hire veteran strategist and former Reagan campaign manager Ed Rollins, seen as a brilliant catch by a candidate with only a few seasoned advisers, produced one of the most bizarre moments of the 2008 campaign.

Rollins strongly urged Huckabee to fight back against Romney's negative ads and the candidate agreed. Huckabee flew back to Arkansas, cut an attack ad, returned to Iowa, and called a press conference to unveil the new strategy. What unfolded next is well known: A performance in which the candidate took the high and low roads simultaneously -- to the laughter and disbelief of the reporters he had assembled in the room.

I caught up with Rollins by telephone Wednesday morning. He was on a bus in northern Iowa. "There's no problem whatsoever," he said of his relationship with the man who rejected his advice. "I love the man. I hope he loves me."

Rollins claimed there is "no friction" at the top of the Huckabee campaign and argued that Reagan would have done the same thing if he had brought the same ad to him under similar circumstances. Huckabee, he said, plans to finish the campaign in Iowa the way he started it, and Rollins plans at his side to the end.

"I was up at 4 a.m. this morning and on the bus," he said. "I'm going to California with him and flying back. And I'll be on a bus with him at 4 o'clock tomorrow morning."

But the strain is evident, despite Huckabee's upbeat demeanor. What has been a campaign built around a conservative message and a cult of personality will soon face critical decisions about how to expand and whether that expansion will alter the character of the operation.

"Certainly we've got to expand as we go to New Hampshire and South Carolina and beyond and they're more than willing to do that," Rollins said. "[Campaign manager] Chip Saltsman has done a remarkable job with very few people [but] you can't go all the way that way and that's what's I've got to pull together."

Give credit to Huckabee and Saltsman for running the operation on a shoestring and for maximizing the assets the candidate brought to the campaign. But the road up to now may look easy compared to the road ahead.

Huckabee already has exceeded expectations, but things will change dramatically if he wins here on Thursday. Personality and good humor will help, but Republicans will want to know far more about him than that. Will he be ready to pass that test?

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 2, 2008; 11:56 AM ET
Categories:  Dan Balz's Take , Mike Huckabee  
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Next: Courting Free Media an Art for Huckabee

Comments

After that little rant, you are so sure that the "ideologie" who is not in the pocket of big business/big money, who cares for the "common" people, who wants to keep good paying jobs from leaving, and who wants to SEAL THE BORDER is certain to lose to a "Dumbo"? Interesting.

Posted by: JakeD | January 3, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

To all you Huckabee supporters, I can only hope that the Huckster wins the nomination. Not that I think it will happen, even if he does win Iowa and New Hampshire. If Huckster wins both of these states, it will just go to prove even more that the stranglehold these two have, has to end. Anyway, Huckster winning the nomination will guarantee a Dumbo win for the Presidencey. There is no way this country will elect another religious nut-job like Bushie again. The right-wing religious nuts can get out and vote all they want, there just won't be enough of them to overcome the people voting against him because of his fanaticism. While I am no fan of the Dumbos, I cannot stand the Repukes even more. As far as I'm concerned, there really isn't much difference between the two other than a few ideologies. Both parties are in the pockets of big business/big money and none of the officials at the Federal level (and also top State levels) care one bit about and/or for the "common" people. In fact, both parties do their best to keep us fighting with one another over petty stuff, hoping (and it works for the most part for most people) that we don't notice that they are looking out only for themselves and lining their pockets at our expense. Meanwhile, good paying jobs continue to bleed from this country, being replaced by low paying, no-benefits "service" industry ones. Both parties continue to give lip service to the ILLEGAL aliens, but neither one has any intention to do anything about it. As I said, they both are to into all the money they get from big business to continue to make sure they have cheap labor and to make sure that real wages continue to stagnant and/or even lag.

Posted by: toppcatt71 | January 3, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I have been a GOP voter ever since I was old enough to vote--more than a few presidential campaigns--and hold strong GOP ties. But after seeing Mike Huckabee's campaign tactics and his foreign policy gaffes, I will vote for Hillary Clinton or any other Democratic candidate over him.

In my opinion he has been dishonest and cruel all the while saying he is taking the high ground. If he claims to be a Christian, I would like to see it in a good, honest campaign. If, as he says, "it's a big boy's game" (paraphrasing) then I expect him to be a "big boy" and not a good ol' boy.

Posted by: carolandmatt | January 3, 2008 7:47 AM | Report abuse

I am a woman, I vote Republican because the Democrats usually don't have anyone whom I will would vote for. Someone misquoted the Bible to smash Huckabee or all Christians. The Bible states that the man should love the woman as Christ loves the church. If the person was a Christian they would know what true submission was about, it is not about putting someone under their thumb. We should be submissive to those in authority over us because God has allowed them to be in authority. I would have liked to see Fred Thompson do better at the polls. He would be my number one pick. But I am considering Huckabee and if necessary, Romney. May God bless you all, and have you ask in deep thought, who would be the best person for our Country. A country falls from within and that is exactly what we would do when we vote for people like Clinton, either one.
I know of someone who has 4 children from 2 different illegal aliens and they don't pay support. Why because they are illegal aliens. She is living with another illegal alien. Where is the government in this? All illegal aliens should be deported and allowed to enter the country legally. Please get them out.
I , also, know of someone who is a moslem. He said that eventually everyone will be moslem. Only in the last days. I would die before I would become moslem because I am Christian and there is nothing in common.

Posted by: ejdurcin | January 3, 2008 6:44 AM | Report abuse

Huck WAS superb on Jay Leno tonight! He made the correct decision not to slunk to Romney's level. And Huck's FairTax supporters are a power that is not fully appreciated by the media.

One hopes that, absent a Huckabee campaign effort, the media will counter Romney attacks by pointing out how, at Bain Capital, Mr. Romney used offshore corporations to avoid U.S. taxation, and he fee-milked acquired businesses before firing workers and taking them into bankruptcy ( http://snipr.com/romneyoffshore ), to amass his great $250,000,000 wealth.

Will Huckabee's supporters fall flat, and let Mr. Romney BUY THE IOWA CAUCUS?

I'm giving Huckabee: 40% Romney 27% and a stronger than expected finish by Ron Paul.

Posted by: ih2005 | January 3, 2008 1:49 AM | Report abuse

I like Huckabee. I'm not a Christian. I'm not a republican. And I'm not a man. And only after my own due diligence of ALL democrat and republican candidates, meaning, not relying solely on the words of political populists, journalists, right-wing or liberal radio personalities' opinions, sound bites and skewed information but researching the FACTS and life history of each candidate. And so far, I find that Mike Huckabee has great leadership ability, real common sense and a genuineness, along with a depth of compassion that's missing in most politicians .. well, missing in most humans I might add. Though my vote won't count until Feb 5th, if I had to choose today , it would absolutely go to Huckabee.

The truth is out there - don't let the agendas of others think for you.

Posted by: traveladdict78 | January 3, 2008 12:16 AM | Report abuse

I'm watching Huck on Jay Leno right now and he is knocking them dead. Any estimate of his personality to date is an underestimate. This man resonates with the average American. We need some politicians without long faces and firm, frowning jaws. He sure is looking better than grim Rush who puts him down all the time.

Posted by: TrueHawk | January 3, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Even if Romney or Huckster wins in Iowa this is far from over. If Good Ole Huck wins (unless it is by a dozen points) then he is still got an uphill battle. Romney is prepared to go to several more states and take them as they come. Huck and his side kick (Mr. Norris) , pardon the pun, have the most riding here.

Posted by: SkitheRockies | January 2, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

SORRY IF I Confused any Huckster Voters with the facts above. I know we are supposed to "just vote" Huck because he is a down home guy.

Posted by: SkitheRockies | January 2, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

randysmiller:

I believe every tax increase you've noted as a) court-ordered, or b) approved by a majority of the voters.

jmhuntsman1 and montrealslim2002:

I am currently supporting Romney as well, but in case Romney loses the nomination despite the three of us supporting him, or Huckabee is Romney's running mate, I think it would be best to abide by Reagan's 11th Commandment ; )

Posted by: JakeD | January 2, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

According to The Club for Growth: Under Governor Huckabee's watch, state spending increased a whopping 65.3% from 1996 to 2004, three times the rate of inflation (Americans for Tax Reform 01/07/07). The number of state government workers rose 20% during his tenure (Arkansas Leader 04/15/06), and the state's general obligation debt shot up by almost $1 billion, according to Americans for Tax Reform. But McCain isn't any better:
Senator McCain not only voted against the Bush tax cuts, he joined leading liberal senators in offering and voting for amendments designed to undermine them. All in all, Senator McCain voted on the pro-tax side of 14 such amendments in 2001 and 2003. These included such odious measures as:

An amendment sponsored by Senator John D. Rockefeller (D-WV) to prohibit a reduction in the top tax rate until Congress enacted legislation to provide a prescription drug benefit[10]
An amendment sponsored by Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) against full repeal of the Death Tax.[11] This vote is in keeping with Senator McCain's 2002 vote against repealing the Death Tax[12]
An amendment sponsored by Tom Daschle (D-SD) and co-sponsored by Senator McCain to limit tax reduction in the top tax bracket to one percentage point[13]
Finally, John McCain recently claimed that he has never voted for a tax increase,[14] but the congressional record tells a different story. As Chairman of the Commerce Committee in 1998, he sponsored and voted for an enormous 282% tax increase on cigarettes.[15] Contrasted to Mitt Romney: Governor Romney's record on spending must be considered within the liberal political context in which he governed. The Massachusetts Legislature was (and continues to be) dominated by Democrats more interested in raising taxes than cutting government programs. Throughout his tenure, Romney's proposed cuts were met with opposition while the vast majority of his vetoes were relegated to the graveyard of overrides.

On balance, his record comes out more positive than negative, especially when one considers that average spending increased only 2.22% over his four years, well below the population plus inflation benchmark of nearly 3%.[18]

Governor Romney receives credit for actual spending in FY 2003, even though he entered office halfway into the fiscal year, because of the tremendous spending cuts he forced down the Legislature's throat in January of 2003. Facing a $650 million deficit he inherited from the previous administration, Romney convinced the unfriendly State Legislature to grant him unilateral power to make budget cuts and unveiled $343 million in cuts to cities, healthcare, and state agencies.[19] This fiscal discipline continued in 2004, in which Romney continued to slash "nearly every part of state government" to close a $3 billion deficit.

Posted by: SkitheRockies | January 2, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

The Real Huckabee Please Stand Up (as per The Club for Growth): It is true that Governor Huckabee fought for an $80 million tax cut package in 1997 that was passed by the Arkansas legislature (Cato Policy Analysis No. 315, 09/03/98); cut the state capital gains tax in 1999 (The Commercial Appeal 02/29/99); and passed the Property Taxpayers' Bill of Rights in the same year, limiting the increase in property taxes to 10% a year for individuals and 5% per taxing unit (AP 03/16/99). However, his record over the rest of his ten-year tenure tells a starkly different story.


Immediately upon taking office, Governor Huckabee signed a sales tax hike in 1996 to fund the Games and Fishing Commission and the Department of Parks and Tourism (Cato Policy Analysis No. 315, 09/03/98).
He supported an internet sales tax in 2001 (Americans for Tax Reform 01/07/07).
He publicly opposed the repeal of a sales tax on groceries and medicine in 2002 (Arkansas News Bureau 08/30/02).
He signed bills raising taxes on gasoline (1999), cigarettes (2003) (Americans for Tax Reform 01/07/07), and a $5.25 per day bed-tax on private nursing home patients in 2001 (Arkansas New Bureau 03/01/01).
He proposed another sales take hike in 2002 to fund education improvements (Arkansas News Bureau 12/05/02).
He opposed a congressional measure to ban internet taxes in 2003 (Arkansas News Bureau 11/21/03).
In 2004, he allowed a 17% sales tax increase to become law (The Gurdon Times 03/02/04). By the end of his ten-year tenure, Governor Huckabee was responsible for a 37% higher sales tax in Arkansas, 16% higher motor fuel taxes, and 103% higher cigarette taxes according to Americans for Tax Reform (01/07/07), garnering a lifetime grade of D from the free-market Cato Institute. While he is on record supporting making the Bush tax cuts permanent, he joined Democrats in criticizing the Republican Party for tilting its tax policies "toward the people at the top end of the economic scale" (Washington Examiner 09/13/06), even though objective evidence demonstrates that the Bush tax cuts have actually shifted the tax burden to higher income taxpayers.

Finally, Governor Huckabee opposed further tax cuts at a 2005 gathering of Iowa conservatives (AP 09/17/05). On January 28, 2007, Governor Huckabee refused to pledge not to raise taxes if elected President, first on Meet the Press and then at the National Review Conservative Summit. The evidence suggests that his commitment to protecting taxpayers evidenced in his early gubernatorial years may be a thing of the past.

Posted by: SkitheRockies | January 2, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee is a three time Governor who actually got something done for his state he's not a talker(exaggerator) like Romney Huckabee is a doer! Romney is only a one time Governor that was afaired to run for a second term because he would have lost even the Gopers in Ma. hate Romney! If you want experience vote for Huckabee!

Posted by: gfsurrette | January 2, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

By emphasizing his qualification for office as a "Christian leader," the Huckabee campaign, however, has implicitly, and some of his supporters have explicitly, promoted a religious test for office. This threatens to tear this religious coalition apart. And if evangelical Christians legitimize a religious test for public office, they will pay the heaviest price. The liberal elites have long sought to drive people of faith from the public square. They view Mormons as a curiosity, like Christians on steroids, but they loath and fear evangelicals. If a religious test is legitimate for public office, then the Democrats will drive evangelicals out of our democracy.

So will the Huckabee campaign be the stake in the heart of the Reagan coalition? It is apparent that the Democrat National Committee hopes so, as Huckabee has largely escaped their criticism. Mitt Romney, however, has been the focal point of their attacks. That is because he is a full-spectrum conservative who will reunite the Reagan coalition. This is the Republican voter's choice, are we to unite together, or will some of us simply "go by the wayside?"

Posted by: montrealslim2002 | January 2, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm-- let's compare.......A hypocritical evangelical pastor/entertainer (Huckabee) vs. an experienced, supremely intelligent presidential candidate (Romney). We are voting for a president to represent and run the most powerful country in the world. The future of America and the direction it is headed in is an extremely important and serious matter. I want the best, most qualified person leading us, not a clownish amateur that doesn't have a clue. I can see why all the respected, true conservative talk show hosts, journalists, bloggers, etc. have come down so hard on Mike Huckabee and John McCain (have you read the list--including Rush Limbaugh's latest statements today) on Iowansforromney.com?). Huckabee's latest wacko mis-statements and publicity stunt fiasco on Monday just reiterates why I'm voting for competence.
Go Mitt!

Posted by: jmhuntsman1 | January 2, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

roydale91:

Both Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan were political geniuses, "rockstar" Presidents (in their day), and "well-qualified men of humble means". What's your question again?

Posted by: JakeD | January 2, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

The elite media and republican surrogates are "dancing in the street together" as they slam Huckabee every chance they can. It's like watching someone who came from the wrong side of the tracks crash an elite social party in a well-to-do side of town.

Up with Huckabee! Down with the elite republicans and their talk show hosts attacking their own!

Posted by: d_shoup | January 2, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee = political genius? a "rockstar President?" a "well qualified man of humble means?'

what are you all on?

Posted by: roydale91 | January 2, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

We'll find out soon enough if Huckabee wins Iowa tomorrow.

Posted by: JakeD | January 2, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee is a political genius the ad controversy kept his name in the news not fading like Thompson and Rudy I think it helped him! and the Leno appearance again more genius sound bytes and video bytes will be all over the morning radio and tv shows as far as broadening his appeal if you look at the susa poll 12/18 in South Carolina Huckabee has a lead in all the demographic catagories Huckabee is a pragmatic moderate he already has broad appeal! Its a win for Huckabee tomorrow otherwise Romney wouldn't be attacking him today in tv ads Romneys fading!

Posted by: gfsurrette | January 2, 2008 7:17 PM | Report abuse

ATTENTION, READ ALL ABOUT IT!

Mike
Huckabee
is
leading
this
country
up
to
higher
ground.

Mike
Huckabee
is
creating
a
new
American
spirit.

Mike
Huckabee
leaps
two
to
one
over
Mitt
Romney
in
the
latest
Iowa
poll.

Mike
Huckabee
is
the
Rockstar
President
Iowa
voters
are
thrilled
to
support.

Iowa
voters
are
taking
a
ride
on
the
Huck-a-bus
increasing
their
speed
to
Huck-a-boom
speed!

GO MIKE GO!!! GO MIKE GO!!! GO MIKE GO!!!

Posted by: vote4mikehuckabee | January 2, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

That stunt Huck pulled (no ad/ad) on Monday was atrocious.

This guy is as DISHONEST as they come.

I hope Romney beats his sorry butt.

Posted by: mindstretch1 | January 2, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

I think Governor Huckabee is well qualified because he has been a man of humble means that worked hard for the American dream. As a pastor he has a true understanding and empathy for peoples troubles. He was a great Governor of Arkansa according to experts. He is the only pro-life canidate among the top tier candidates, Gov Romney (signed $50-co-pay for elective abortions); Sen McCain (in favor of killing unborn babies for stem cell research); and Sen Thompson(thinks abortion is a state issue).

Posted by: thomas.e.eudy | January 2, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

There are 9 reasons why Huckabee is a terrible choice, perhaps the worst choice, in the nomination race:

1. Soft-on-crime Governor who went on a pardon/commutation spree

2. Pro-instate-tuition for illegal aliens and for other giveaways - his record on immigration stinks

3. Fiscal liberal Tax-and-spender as Governor

4. Dissembled about his record when challenged

5. Not a conservative, hurt conservatives in Ark.

6. Ethics issues, taking public money for private use

7. Flipflopper, on immigration, Cuba and other issues. He thinks we are racists and bigots for wanting our border secure and our laws enforced??

8. An incompetent Jimmy Carteresque boob on foreign policy

9. Will get beaten easily by the Democrats


http://travismonitor.blogspot.com/2007/12/huckabees-arkansas-betrayal.html

Let's hope IOWA is not so brain dead to fall for his Clintonesque routine.

Posted by: pollytix101 | January 2, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

To my fellow Americans
Vote for Ron Paul! If you love the United States, and are sick and tired of the lies that many politicians offer us these days, and want a good, honest, hard working President, vote for Ron Paul. Your vote counts! As a descendant of two Presidents: John Adams, and John Quincey Adams. I congratulate and fully endorse Ron Paul as a keeper of all of our Fore Fathers vision for a great nation. Ron Paul is trying to help his countrymen & women keep their freedoms he is a great Patriot and would do any thing in his power to protect our constitution and our country.
God Bless!
Sincerely Jesse

Posted by: jesse.n.parent | January 2, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee's Pakistan response was lame. It reminded us that he's an ignorant goober on foreign policy. DANGER --- Chuck the Huck!

Huck is completely ignorant on foreign policy, and when he talks about it, he sounds like Jimmy Carter. And we know what a disaster he was. IT's too dangerous to hand the country over to such a goober.

He will be a disaster, and closing Gitmo and stopping waterboarding is not the toughness we need:
"This is the kernel of Huckabee's foreign policy. He wants to anthropomorphize international relations and bring a Christian commitment to the Golden Rule to our affairs with other nations. As he told the Des Moines Register the other day, "You treat others the way you'd like to be treated. That's to me the fundamental issue that has to be re-established in our dealings with other countries."

This is deeply naïve. Countries aren't people, and the world is more dangerous than a Sunday church social. Threats, deception, and -- as a last resort -- violence must play a role in international relations. Differences cannot always be worked out through sweet persuasion. A U.S. president who doesn't realize this will repeat the experience of President Jimmy Carter at his most ineffectual."

Posted by: pollytix101 | January 2, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

You were never voting for Mike Huckabee, I have seen your other comments dajace. Keep lying like the candidate you support.

We support Mike Huckabee 100%

Posted by: marinepatriot | January 2, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

WELL MIKE...You just blew it with me...I was rooting for you all the way up to the point when you crossed union picket lines and decided to go on the Jay Leno show...SCABS don't make good Presidents...America is for all...not for just the select few who happen to be in power...sincerely, Dajace.

Posted by: dajace | January 2, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

I am "dancing in the street" watching the elite media slam Huckabee every chance they can. It's like watching someone who came from the wrong side of the tracks crash an elite social party in a well-to-do side of town.

Go Get'um Huckabee!

Posted by: d_shoup | January 2, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

It's great to have Mike Huckabee getting back on course. Putting principles before politics. People who try to put their belief into action everyday in ordinary situations know how hard it is not to give in and retailiate when you've been treated unjustly. It's human nature to strike back. Mike is taking the high road.

Posted by: Nanellen | January 2, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I am shocked, SHOCKED, to see that no Ron Paul supports giving tons of comments about Ron Paul on this article.

Well as one who does not support Ron Paul's positions, but do admire his spunk, I will say that I hope Huckabee destroyes the panderer in chief of Rommney, who would sell his children's soul to win the race. Huckabee is twice the leader that Romney could ever be, even though I disagree with him on a ton of issues.
I just hope Iowans see that...

Posted by: johnplauche | January 2, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

All you people who are paid by the big money interests to write anti-Huckabee comments can go home now. The business-as-usual campaigns of the establishment candidates fooled nobody. The comment of American1 above was right on target. The people are getting ready to take control of their country again, just as they did 225 years ago.

Posted by: Andersod7 | January 2, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I am making a comment on the post by TRACIETHEDOLPHIN the Dems have not done anything because the do not have the majority like the gop had passing everything bush wanted. When they have a majority in the senate then judge in they have done anything or not.Democrats will have a majority but won't have either the 60 votes to stop a filibuster in the Senate or the 2/3 vote need to overcome a veto.

Posted by: marji123 | January 2, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I am making a comment on the post by TRACIETHEDOLPHIN the Dems have not done anything because the do not have the majority like the gop had passing everything bush wanted. When they have a majority in the senate then judge in they have done anything or not.

Posted by: marji123 | January 2, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Huck should not advertise that he will not go negative, for that is like saying to a mugger, "I don't fight back." Romney, teamed up with Drudge and Rush in an obvious collusion of sorts (which begs for a congressional investigation of media alliances), have relentlessy hammered Huck. There is really only one reason. He dared to steal the spotlight from Richie Rich Romney. If they take Huck down he will become, (sweet irony), almost overnight, the number one radio talk show host in America. What a consolation to send former social conservative Rush packing! Rush is Benedict Limbaugh to real conservatives.

Posted by: TrueHawk | January 2, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse


lindalovejones wrote, "I think, that everybody can be happy with and a very human, human-being! I like Mike!!!"
________

Are you insane? I would be humiliated if this bible-thumping, backwards hick was our president. Anybody who *actually* believes that Adam and Eve were two real people who lived a few thousand years ago is not intellectually or rationally capable of running a country. Look what a mess the last loony religious nut who thinks God wispers in his ear made!


Posted by: sequoiaqueneaux | January 2, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Rat-

Why on earth would anyone be scared of you? You haven't said anything remotely intelligent in any of the above posts.

Just call people a few names and argue that you're a champion for conservative or middle class causes. Nice. Fox & Friends are calling...they want their material back.

It's this just this kind of bluster and rhetoric that's going to leave you (and the candidates you support)on the losing end this time around.

Posted by: dan.pingree | January 2, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Chip Saltsman?!?!?

That Karl Rove is a master of aliases...

Posted by: errinfamilia | January 2, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I think Mike Huckabee will be one of America's next Great Communicators - like Ronald Wilson Reagan.

America meet, Mike Huckabee the next President of the United States who will lead the modern-day conservative political movement to a great victory! It might be the great battle of (Hillary) vs. (Mike) Race in America in 2008.

Who better knows among the GOP how to battle Hillary than one guy who is from Hope, AR. The same hometown as the infamous Bill Clinton. A state that is democratic controlled, He won as Governor twice among the democrats.

Huckabee is recognized as a national leader, Governing Magazine named him as one of its 'Public Officials of the Year' for 2005, Time Magazine honored him as one of the five best governors in America, and later in the same year, Huckabee received the American Association of Retired Person's Impact Award. Huckabee is past chairman of the National Governors' Association (NGA) and chairman of the Education Commission of the States.

As former chairman of the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission, Huckabee worked with the 37-state coalition to develop energy policy and lobby Congress on energy matters, such as the regulation of oil and gas production. He also is known nationally for his focus on technology in state government. He created an automobile license renewal system that's become a model for states across the country. Huckabee directed the creation of other advancements that have made Arkansas a technology leader among the states.

The efforts of over four hundred plus "dedicated" bloggers who had committed to circulating and defending Huckabee's reputation in the blogosphere continues to grow.

Who better knows how to communicate to the American People than Mike Huckabee?
What he might lack in money and experience in foreign policy, he will make up in communication, honesty, commitment and shear intellect.

A guy that we all can trust, and a guy who will not lie............unlike the infamous Clintons. A guy from the very same hometown as the slick willie, BUT 180 degrees different. From the same state, but opposite in every way.

Not like the endless trail of lies, and scandals, and women that the infamous Clinton's have left America!

American is sick of the Clintons and this man will bring a Great Change! At least we won't have to worry about our National Treasures and Computers being stolen from the White House when he leaves.

Todd Priest


We Love Mike Huckabee




Posted by: tspriest | January 2, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

An old Spanish proverb fits Huckabee and his close association with Rovian spinmeister Ed Rollins: Show me who you are with and I will tell you what you are.

Posted by: coloradodog | January 2, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Dan.Pingree-READ! I am able to post on Dan Balz's Page, because unlike the WEAK Joel, Mr. Balz is not scared of me!

I have even biten him once or twice!

Maybe little Joel would be less intimidated if he was aware RAT, comes from Surf Rat!

Then again, I think he already is aware it is also "CONSERVATIVE Champion of the Middle Class Surf Rat"!

LOL! Libbies!

The Dingleberries of Politics! ;~)

Posted by: rat-the | January 2, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

This guy is as big a joke and as dangerous a liar as Bush!

Huckabee (Huckster) is trying to hide his stance that illegal aliens should be allowed to leave for a day and then quickly return legally, which is really 'touchback' amnesty.

Gheen, Gadiel, and Smeriglio will be working with others that represent the 84 organization leaders that have released a letter rebuking the endorsement of lone Minuteman Jim Gilchrist and Huckabee's deceptive amnesty plan. (Letter Copy at ALIPAC.us)

"Mike Huckabee cannot escape the truth and if the voters know the truth, his surge will collapse," says William Gheen of ALIPAC. "If you look at Huckster's website, he wants you to believe he will make illegal aliens leave the country in 120 days! Strange how he does not mention the part of his plan which allows them to return the next day. Mike Huckabee is a liar and the last thing we need is another liar in the White House!"

While Mike Huckabee's promoted immigration plan appears tough on immigration enforcement, his campaign statements and website omit the part about the fast return of illegal aliens. Mike Huckabee stated on Fox news December 9th that illegals should be able to apply for the path to citizenship like a "credit card" and be back in a matter of days! He has since refused to discuss this position with the press.

Further controversy erupted last week, when 84 Leaders of immigration enforcement organizations quickly rebuked lone Minuteman Jim Gilchrist and the Huckster for trying to trick voters into supporting a pro-Amnesty candidate.

"We are launching an extensive effort in Iowa to try and repair the damage and to warn Iowans about this trick that is being played on them by Huckabee and Gilchrist," says William Gheen. "Mike Huckabee has one of the worst records on immigration enforcement out of the GOP candidates and what makes him the bottom of the barrel is his willingness to lie to the nation. He lied about his theology degree and he is lying about his immigration enforcement promises."

Posted by: jude3 | January 2, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

This guy is as big a joke and as big a dangerous liar as Bush!

Huckabee (Huckster) is trying to hide his stance that illegal aliens should be allowed to leave for a day and then quickly return legally, which is really 'touchback' amnesty.

Gheen, Gadiel, and Smeriglio will be working with others that represent the 84 organization leaders that have released a letter rebuking the endorsement of lone Minuteman Jim Gilchrist and Huckabee's deceptive amnesty plan. (Letter Copy at ALIPAC.us)

"Mike Huckabee cannot escape the truth and if the voters know the truth, his surge will collapse," says William Gheen of ALIPAC. "If you look at Huckster's website, he wants you to believe he will make illegal aliens leave the country in 120 days! Strange how he does not mention the part of his plan which allows them to return the next day. Mike Huckabee is a liar and the last thing we need is another liar in the White House!"

While Mike Huckabee's promoted immigration plan appears tough on immigration enforcement, his campaign statements and website omit the part about the fast return of illegal aliens. Mike Huckabee stated on Fox news December 9th that illegals should be able to apply for the path to citizenship like a "credit card" and be back in a matter of days! He has since refused to discuss this position with the press.

Further controversy erupted last week, when 84 Leaders of immigration enforcement organizations quickly rebuked lone Minuteman Jim Gilchrist and the Huckster for trying to trick voters into supporting a pro-Amnesty candidate.

"We are launching an extensive effort in Iowa to try and repair the damage and to warn Iowans about this trick that is being played on them by Huckabee and Gilchrist," says William Gheen. "Mike Huckabee has one of the worst records on immigration enforcement out of the GOP candidates and what makes him the bottom of the barrel is his willingness to lie to the nation. He lied about his theology degree and he is lying about his immigration enforcement promises."

Posted by: jude3 | January 2, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee's style reminds me of Richard Nixon, especially during the "Checkers" speech. He even looks a little like Nixon.

Posted by: blue.heeler | January 2, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

What is this American obsession with charm? The media fell in love with Bush and pushed the image of him as "charming" and "natural," words only used for GOP candidates and never for Democrats, who are always scored for being "fake." Look where that so-called charm got us. Huckster would be an even worse disaster: he's utterly corrupt; justly hated in his state; a liar or ignorant; and can't even get his facts straight. Mitt Romney didn't have any executions during his tenure as Governor because there was no death penalty (though Romney pushed for one to be reinstated, as other governors before him had). Do we need another fact-challenged President?

Posted by: LevRaphael | January 2, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

We have an arrogant, incompetent, illiterate, and inept fool in the White House, a demoralized and decimated military, plundered treasury, trashed world standing, trampled rule of law and Constitution while the nation is flooded with millions of Illegal Aliens slopping at the trough of Public Welfare while Killing, Robbing, Raping 10,s of thousands of American Citizen each year. . In all, my country, a potential benefactor and beacon for all the world - is headed right off a cliff and to an third world status!

Senators? We as a nation can survive fools in our White House. What we CANNOT survive is fools in our Congress where most of our Presidential candidates reside.

In my view - and evidently in the view of many Americans - this has all come to pass because you, the elected and sworn stewards of this country, have allowed it to happen. Surely you should have known better...when you refused to abide by the Constitution or enforce our laws and disgraced your oath of office. The only way this nation is to recover is for the lot of you to be gone from those hallowed halls of Congress that have become a house of paid party-bound prostitutes swirling amidst the rubble of your own malfeasance - taking the country right down with you.

As a proud and concerned American that proudly served by Country in time of War as did my Father and by two brothers I am appalled at what self severing, corrupt politicians have done to my country!

Posted by: american1 | January 2, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Mike Huckabee's victory tomorrow in the Iowa caucuses will be the greatest political accomplishment since Abraham Lincoln beat his "team of rivals" in 1860. It will have been accomplished on a shoestring budget and by a skeleton staff against big money interests who place profits above honor. It will restore faith that America still belongs to the people, and that what one believes is more important than how much money somebody else has. God bless Iowa and God bless America.

Posted by: Andersod7 | January 2, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

good article.

Posted by: dhiresh | January 2, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Rat-

Nice to see your postings continue to get blocked. What's this, posting #4 for the day?

I think you'd find an open ear at the NYT as well. Didn't you see that they hired your buddy Bill Kristol to write weekly op ed pieces.

And, in case you need a spelling lesson, it's Barack Obama. If you ever want to engage in intelligent debate with people online, calling people names like 'Obasama' just make people dismiss anything you have to say as complete nonsense.

And, on your Romney point: he's way too smart to appoint the likes of Tancredo to his cabinet. Of course, it's a moot point anyway because he will never win.

My hope for you is that you enjoy the next 8 years beginning in 2009 as much as I will have enjoyed the last 8.

Posted by: dan.pingree | January 2, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

McCain, Heckabee, all of the Democrats, the Media and the rest of the open Border pro-illegal Aliens supporters false compassion for Illegal Aliens is sicking. This Nation has 47 millions citizens without medical insurance, Million of our elderly chose between food and medicine every day. Millions of American children live in poverty with no chance at the American dream. Our vets. return from the war that came about by lies from Politicians without proper medical care or treatment. Yet they shower rewards on the Illegal Aliens, free medical, free schooling for their many children, no reward is too great or price to high for the American citizens to pay, for the ones that break our laws, invaded this country and demand their rights while Slaughtering, Raping and Robbing thousands of American Citizens each year.

The Corrupt Politicians and Media try to get the public to believe they are Compassion, & Wise for wanting open borders and amnesty. While American Citizens are racist & xenophobe if we request that our Constitution and Immigration laws be followed and enforced for all law breakers irregardless of race or nationally!

It is the money they get from business from supplying them slave labor with 20K worth of benefits paid each year by the tax payers and the Latino votes with the promise of millions more if we give them amnesty that they are really after.

If they really are Compassion and Caring there are Millions of American Citizens that have played by
the rules, payed their taxes, obeyed the laws, fought the wars and built this Nation that are in great need. The Politicians could use American Citizens to show their Compassion. But Compassion for American citizens or legal Immigrants does not get Money and Votes for our Corrupt lying Politicians.

Posted by: american1 | January 2, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse


Yeah, Huckabee is a really nice religious extremist wackjob.

Posted by: sequoiaqueneaux | January 2, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I support Mike Huckabee.

He is a true leader and great guy. Finally we have a candidate that will stand up for the people of America.

I am excited to see him tonight on Leno. Mike has been running a completely positive campaign, and people see him for the authentic leader he is.

Mike Huckabee has my support 100%

Dan Campbell
Sgt., USMC

Posted by: marinepatriot | January 2, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

diabloquick.wa:

To be fair, Hugo Chavez makes Wall Street and Fox News foam at the mouth too ; )

Posted by: JakeD | January 2, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Newageblues-LOL! Funny how everyone cries about any Epithets towards Barack Hussein, but Billary never gets a single comment!

Or, Shrillery, or Hitlery, or even "Pretty Boy" for that matter!

Your "Sensitvity" about your Happa Haole(Half WHITE) candidate is Nauseating!

He is a POLITICIAN, and open season! Get some thicker skin, or be ready for some really cruel realities if he does get elected!

For example, People thought Bush looked "Chimpish"? LOL! ;~)

Posted by: rat-the | January 2, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

How can you not love the Huck? Anyone who can make Wall Street AND Fox News foam at the mouth must be doing something right.

Posted by: diabloquick.wa | January 2, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

What the heck are you implying with "Bain Capital - Comunist [sic] China"?!

Posted by: JakeD | January 2, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Romney - Bain Capital - Comunist China ?

Posted by: sunroomman32 | January 2, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Need to post a correction. The fly over by idiot george was on the return from finding the WDM in Iraq and placing them is a child safe container until a suitable puppet could be located to run Iraq. The capture of obasama actually occurred well before the seizure of the WMD. It was around the time of stabilizing energy prices, and just before cleaning out the justice department and the CIA with some novel and clever tactics.

Conrad Elledge

Posted by: conradelledge | January 2, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Once victorious in Iowa, Mr. Huckabee will prove unstoppable. As a matter of fact, his campaign is readying the financing of billboards at thousands of truck stops calling them "Huck Stops". Commercials with The White House filling the background will feature the superimposed phrase "The Huck Stops Here!" to the tune of "The Hucklebuck."

Posted by: filoporquequilo | January 2, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Go Huckabee!

Posted by: d_shoup | January 2, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and Dan-Tancredo dropped out of the race for being President. THAT is Mitt's Job, with Huck as Number Two!

There is absolutely nothing preventing Mitt from using his current "Supporter", in his Cabinet! See, in organizing the effort to crack down on Illegal Employment, and set changes throughout the Immigration System, Tancredo could get a lot more done without having to do all the tiresome Exectutive duties the Statesman does!
The Exact same could be said for such dedicated and talented people as McCain, Giuliani, Dr. Ron Paul, and Thompson!

Flash back to 911. The President in a School Room, reading My Pet Goat. Would'nt it have been real nice to have had the above collection sitting in the White House that day?

The Exectutive Statesman NEEDS Competant Full Time supporters! Able to function without the distractions the Exectutive faces!

Posted by: rat-the | January 2, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee has talked enough to expose his true nature. He presents as a man of faith - but his actions speak louder than his words.
Ohg.
http://thefiresidepost.com/2008/01/02/huckabee-exposed-ambition-overrules-compassion/

Posted by: glclark4750 | January 2, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

You know how, in vaudeville caricatures, a big hook will emerge from the curtains and yank a guy off stage? Huck, your 15 mins are up. Still wondering how anyone, let alone a follower of Christ, can fault Romney for "no executions", especially when no one had been sentenced to death.

Posted by: jhbyer | January 2, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Isn't obasama the person idiot george caught when he was flying around in that navy plane? I thought that is what the mission accomplished banner was all about.

Conrad Elledge

Posted by: conradelledge | January 2, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Dan.Pingree-I even went back to little Joel's Page and tried to post again!

STILL Blocked!

See, if you go to the "Preview" Tab, there is an explanation that the different editors each have their own Pages, and can selectively edit who gets to comment!

I stand by my Comments about Joel Achenbach!

Want's to be Heard becuase he believes everyone should have the right, BUT, just so long as it is what he wants to say!

The Leftist mantra and creed!

Weak!, and NOT worthy of the Washington Post-He should be shipped off to the New York Times-THEY live to selective screen comments!

Posted by: rat-the | January 2, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

The majority of americans, at this point, don't give a damn about personality, or image. We care about performance. The Bush administration and the republican controlled congress accomplished NOTHING good for america. Everything is worse now than when they took over in 2000. Of course, since the democrats regained the majority in both houses, NOTHING has gotten better. Nothing has changed. We evidently got rid of the Genovese's and got the Gambino's insted. The american people need to hear the collective pop. You know, that pop that occurs when your head suddenly comes out of your anal cavity, and realize that the pubs and the dems are the same. The only real choice for change is Ron Paul. Unfortunatly, as I have said before, the american people do not have the courage to make a real change. I guess I'll just have to invest in the company that makes glass bellybuttons.

Posted by: TRACIETHEDOLPHIN | January 2, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I REALLY like Mike Huckabee! He's the only candidate, I think, that everybody can be happy with and a very human, human-being! I like Mike!!!

Posted by: lindalovejones | January 2, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Have you ever wondered...

Why did Huck call a press conference to announce what a great guy he is for running a positive campaign when he had been attacking Mitt's character every chance he got?

Would Huck have gotten as much attention for his mean spirited ad by paying to run it as he got by pretending to pull it and then showing it to the press?

Would the press really have questioned whether he had an ad if he chose to take the "moral high ground" and not show it? Would that matter?

How many good people can ignore Huck's dismal record as governor when so much is at stake?

Judicialwatch.org: "[Huck's] career has also been colored by 14 ethics complaints and a volley of questions about his integrity, ranging from his management of campaign cash to his use of a nonprofit organization to subsidize his income to his destruction of state computer files on his way out of the governor's office."

Posted by: mflytrue | January 2, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

QUESTION: What do a Radical, Islamic Muslin Jihadist and a Right-Wing, American Evangelical Fanatic have in common?

ANSWER: They BOTH strongly support and religiously follow Mike Huckabee's statement that "a wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband".

I have no doubt that Huck will bring these two groups together.

Any woman with a brain and a sense of free will should be afraid - very afraid - of this Neanderthal.

Posted by: ImpeachNOW | January 2, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Hey "Rat-the": Anyone who uses a sicko phrase like 'Obasama' deserves worse than just being 'censored'.

Posted by: newageblues | January 2, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

New Dumond victim video at:

http://www.victimsvoice527.com/

Go to the link to contribute to put it on the air in SC.

Posted by: Razorback1 | January 2, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

this huckabee thing is all stageing . I will tell the republicans he will not win because all ron paul support will for sure shune him . but he will not get the nomination because he is exactly like bush. all lies ,smoke and acting. he would drive all people to a democrat . hillary ,obama,or john edwards. I personally would not vote for a fake like huckter because if you look at his record you will find he is not sound.all this so called charm , and walzing around on the stage will let america down when it comes to being a effective leader and america is tired from lack of leadership as it is .

Posted by: nobushyhair270 | January 2, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

You say that "rat-the" is a CONSERVATIVE? I thought he / she was a liberal posting "satire" as a conservative?

Posted by: JakeD | January 2, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Rat, two of your posts got through so you can quit your whining and stop playing victim.

And, just to let you know, Tancredo dropped out several weeks ago.

Typical conservative...never letting facts get in the way of his point of view.

Posted by: dan.pingree | January 2, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

To the tune of Onward Christian Soldiers (permission hereby granted to sing at services):
Onward Christian soldiers, marching off to war, to Huckabee the victory, watch his poll numbers soar!
Lo the tide turns outward, lo the angels sing, Merry Christmas one and all, Huckabee's christening!
Help the wayward Christian, those who sit the fence, bring them to the polling place, give them recompense!
Hark the canvass caller, hark the new debate, o'er the towns flies Huckabee, caucus in his gait.
Smote the heathen candidates, Huckabee is nigh, he will be the victor, power from on high.
Onward Christian Soldiers, marching off for thee, trumpets now resounding, President Huckabee!

Posted by: washpost3 | January 2, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Huck is exactly the candidate the Post wants the GOP to select . A superstitious nut case , election day train wreck . Don't Huck things up .

Posted by: borntoraisehogs | January 2, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

LOL! Folks, it seems Joel Achenbach censors out the RAT!

Wants us to hear HIS views, but in true libbie Fashion, only his views should be heard!

What a weak person!

WaPo-He is a disgrace to your organization!

Posted by: rat-the | January 2, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone doubt that Huckabee can reach more Iowa voters (for free) from Burbank, CA than all the other candidates combined will in Iowa today? Smart move, I think -- ee'll see tomorrow.

Posted by: JakeD | January 2, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Huck is a GREAT Candidate to SUPPORT a very competant Statesman like Mitt Romney! Anyone worried about Romney can take consolation he has a Baptist Preacher there to Evangelize him-or at least keep an eye on him!

After 8 Years of working for free, fixing a Country he truly Loves, Mitt can hand the reigns over, if Huck is not also worn out!

Meanwhile, we will have McCain, Giuliani, Dr. Ron Paul, Tancredo, and Thompson working diligently, and undisturbed by Ceromonial activities, in the most Competant White House Ever!

Ohhh, we will still have Billary, Biden, and Obasama!

In the Congress where they belong! ;~)

Posted by: rat-the | January 2, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

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