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With Huckabee and the Band

By Joel Achenbach
HENNEKER, NH, 5:45 p.m. -- Mike Huckabee rocks! Some presidential candidates, such as Calvin Coolidge and (I'm pulling this from memory) Grover Cleveland, only played one or two songs before they delivered a stump speech. But Huckabee played four! He teamed up with a New Hampshire band called Mama Kicks. When he finished he said, "Do you think they have that much fun at Hillary's rally?"

Not this morning, that's for sure.

But wait: Musical performance finished, Huckabee then turned the stage over to Chuck Norris, the action star, who held forth for...let's see...13 solid minutes. That's more time than Fred Thompson has spent campaigning all year!

Finally, Huckabee took back over and talked about breathing in the "wind of change." This has been the Day of Change. Hillary talked about change, of course, and Obama had a huge banner saying Change We Can Believe In. Huckabee mentioned change repeatedly, though the specifics differ from the Democrats (he wants to get rid of the income tax and the IRS, for example, and institute a consumption tax).

Ken Leonard, 34, a stay-at-home father (he brought a baby for Huckabee to kiss) from Farmington, NH, said he likes Huckabee's conservative positions on abortion, gay marriage and gun control. "I think when you start breaking down the social and moral values, the whole society falls apart."

Not far away, Elisabeth Williams, 29, sat with all six of her children. She worries about what another President Clinton might do to America.

"It would be horrible for children. If she would have her way she'd take so many rights away from parents."

Neither Leonard or Williams have much faith in Mitt Romney, who will have to prove to New Hampshire that he's not as squishy on the social issues as some people think. He's somewhere stumping tonight. And more than one reporter tonight is surely ruing having missed Romney's appearance in Concord today at the Common Man Restaurant.

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 4, 2008; 6:29 PM ET
Categories:  Joel's New Hampshire Diary  
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