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Posted at 4:42 PM ET, 12/ 6/2010

Why doesn't Mike Huckabee get any respect?

By Jennifer Rubin

Mike Huckabee puts on his best Rodney Dangerfied routine, whining to Ben Smith and Jonathan Martin that no one shows him any respect as a 2012 contender:

"I just don't understand how it is that a person can read these polls day after day and the narrative is constantly everybody but me," he told POLITICO. "Whether I do it or not, the fact is that if one looks at the overall body of information that's available, nobody would be in a better position to take it all the way to November."

There are a few good reasons for this. Most important, he has a rather cheesy show on Fox News, so it's a bit hard to imagine him giving that up and stepping back into the political ring. Ah, but Sarah Palin has a show with bears and canoes, so why is breezy TV fare a barrier to a political career? Well, it may be, in part for Palin. And Huckabee is no Palin when it comes to juicing up the base.

Moreover, Huckabee never showed much appeal beyond a specific segment of voters -- evangelical Christians. They are an important constituency within the GOP primary electorate, but you have to win more than just those voters to get the nomination; Huckabee never did.

And finally,Tea Partyers' small government agenda doesn't match up all that well with Huckabee's record as governor. As his opponents were only too happy to point out last time, he spent an awful lot of money and raised a lot of taxes as governor of Arkansas.

Maybe he will run. But if he does, he'll have to show greater range than in 2008, be able to respond to criticisms from fiscal conservatives and develop some competency on foreign policy issues, something he lacked in the last go-around.

By Jennifer Rubin  | December 6, 2010; 4:42 PM ET
Categories:  2012 campaign, Mike Huckabee  
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Comments

Mike Huckabee is smoking some really good stuff. He is a big government Republican---and has next to zilch chance of winning the presidency. Huckabee is Obama lite when it comes to domestic policy. The man is obviously listening to people who tell him what he wants to hear. I also want to hear that Kobe Bryant is terrified of going one on one with me on a basketball court. We all have our fantasies.

Posted by: DavidThomson | December 6, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

This is an easy question. Huckabee is a blowhard if he comments affirmatively about Palin. His fiscal record is known and bad - makes him come off as a hypocrite. If he wears his religion on his sleeve, he turns off more people than he pulls in (don't talk about it, just do it). And I don't like to make fun of names, but President Huckabee has a hick sound to it.

Posted by: chris76543 | December 6, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee is actually a fairly smart reasonable guy. He has that air about him that he will say whatever is expedient for his audience on any given day. It's hard to imagine what is defining about him.

Posted by: 54465446 | December 6, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee is Bloomberg in evangelical's clothing. He has advocated for a nanny state regarding health, and you'd see no shortage of anti-smoking and anti-food legislation, and more involvement every aspect of daily health, under a Huckabee administration.

If Huckabee gets the nod, I'm voting for Obama. At least Obama seems to be, at heart, a wonk and a technocrat regarding his liberalism. Huckabees (admittedly closeted, for now, liberalism) is the product of his evangelical and moral position.

As C.S. Lewis said:

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."

I'm not worried about that with Palin at all.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | December 6, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

@54465446: "It's hard to imagine what is defining about him."

You'll find out if he's ever president, and it's going to involve the mandatory monitoring of your triglycerides. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | December 6, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee is a lot more polished and current with economic and foreign policy subjects than he was four years ago. I don't think he would run solely for the evangelical vote this time, but that would be his base. That's also Palin's base. If she runs, I don't think he will.

I hope neither runs. The Republicans need to run on competence and experience this time to draw a contrast with the failed incumbent, stressing limited government and fiscal responsibility, the issues responsible for the congressional landslide.

I think a wonkish conservative could be a strong candidate. After Obama, who wants another charismatic empty suit?

Posted by: eoniii | December 6, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Kevin:

Mine are high. Will you email me in dieters' prison?

Posted by: 54465446 | December 6, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Gomer Huckleberry?! [Gasp, wheeze] The guy who pardoned all those felons who went on to kill again? President? Oh, my goodness! The guy who aided Mexico with the illegals in Arkansas? The one who admitted roasting squirrels on a popcorn popper? The nanny state guy? The one who faked a diet and had bariatric surgery under the table? He's lucky Fox finds him to be an amusing clown and gives him a paycheck. Ever watched his show? Sominex with a sound track...

Posted by: sandbear | December 6, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Huck's got his own TV show every Saturday night which repeats on Sunday, he's on the radio 3 times a day. If he's not getting any attention it's because he doesn't say anything worth paying attention to. I suspect we will see a lot of media attention paid to him now, since it is obvious that the 2.5 years of attacks on Palin haven't worked so well, now they'll hype Huck, and see if they can get people to vote for Huck instead of Palin in the primaries.

Posted by: gatshanson1 | December 6, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse


Is Obama seriously COMPLAINING about the compromise he is making???


Seriously???


_____________________


Apparently so.


Obama is a baby. Such a baby.


He committed himself to Compromise for the 4 years he is in office - and today's statement from Obama was nothing less than shameful conduct.


What is going on???


Seriously folks, if Obama is going to act like this, he should not be President. Clearly, Obama MISREPRESENTED himself to the American People in 2008. Obama is a fraud.


What is amazing is how many democrats are willing to back up Obama on his fraud - for the sake of their liberal agenda.


The democrats have destroyed their party - perhaps forever.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 6, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse


Is Obama seriously COMPLAINING about the compromise he is making???


Seriously???


_____________________


Apparently so.


Obama is a baby. Such a baby.


He committed himself to Compromise for the 4 years he is in office - and today's statement from Obama was nothing less than shameful conduct.


What is going on???


Seriously folks, if Obama is going to act like this, he should not be President. Clearly, Obama MISREPRESENTED himself to the American People in 2008. Obama is a fraud.


What is amazing is how many democrats are willing to back up Obama on his fraud - for the sake of their liberal agenda.


The democrats have destroyed their party - perhaps forever.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 6, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse


Who was Obama negotiating with ???


Nancy Pelosi apparently hasn't signed onto the deal.

Harry Reid's office says they will talk about it tomorrow.

Boehner's office says they will "look at the deal" - not exactly the words of someone who was just a part of negotiations.


Sounds like Obama told someone WHAT the deal would be, and then he announced it WITHOUT getting the agreement of everyone.


Why wasn't the Republicans with Obama at the announcement - all sharing the credit.


That is the ESSENCE of Compromise - sharing the credit.


Obama has TWISTED the meaning of Compromise into something that would give him a win, and everyone else gets nothing. Well, that is not Compromise, that is NOT bipartisanship


That kind of attitude actually PREVENTS Compromise.


And that is what Obama has become: an OBSTACLE to compromise.


It is amazing. It's not about Obama.


LET ME ASK YOU THIS:


In announcing the Compromise, how many times did Obama use the word "I" ???

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 6, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

There is no question in my mind that the GOP has within their power the ability to force Obama into being a one termer, but that is only if they get behind Governor Mike Huckabee. Not sure if he will run again , but it would be nice to have a true fiscal and social conservative (not to mention an adult) in the White House. Those who know him best support him the most. There is a reason for that. They know his real record, not the twist fest and nearly humorous distortions that even some "conservatives" engage in.

I personally know people who lived in Arkansas during his time as Governor. When Huckabee arrived, Arkansas was a corrupt state, with education, unemployment and infrastructure ranking among the lowest in the USA. And despite lowering taxes more than any Arkansas governor in state history, he has always answered for one significant tax hike to rebuild the state's foundational woes. What you don't hear much of, is that he signed the bill into law after the voters passed a ballot initiative in favor of the tax funded projects...by 80%!

Huckabee didn't raise taxes, the people did. And to say that the most visible advocate for the Fair Tax Plan in American politics is liberal with economic policy, seems more than a little odd. That is not a liberal vision regarding tax reform and economic recovery. It, like many of his ideas and accomplishments, is an example of thinking outside the box and being bold enough to enact creative solutions to big problems,without worrying what the polls will say the next day. He answered to no establishment. He was loyal to no lobbyist.

What his record shows as an executive leader, is that he is the most deserving person to credit for the literal modernization of the state. By the end of his era, Arkansas proved to be a model for restoration. It had a booming economy, low unemployment, better schools (went from 48th to 9th place), higher incomes and a relatively low tax burden compared to many states. And, though he arrived with the biggest state debt in history, he left with a surplus of millions.

Mike Huckabee is in a league of his own. He has the most experience of anyone in the GOP bullpen at this time and has a likeability factor that would run off of any chart. Plus, his communication skills would even be envied by Ronald Reagan. If Obama wins a second term, it won't be because of the liberals. It will be because many so called "conservatives" were so ill-informed and boneheaded where Huckabee is concerned that they failed to unite behind the wisest, most talented leader our nation has seen in a generation. Rush-Beck-Coulter-Malkin and their ilk offered up Obama for us the last time around , and it would appear they are gearing up for act two in 2012. Had they been honest with themselves and their audiences in 2007-2008, they would not be whining 24/7 today about the socialistic drain America is swirling down -- because it's quite possible Mike Huckabee would be President today.

Posted by: chalkart | December 6, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

RFR:

To what do you attribute the generally desultory nature of the posts today? I thought we had a couple of cracking good topics, but nothing much came of them.

Posted by: 54465446 | December 6, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Super Gigantic Network of Huckabee Fans!!!
Just google two words: Huckabee Fans

Posted by: vote4mikehuckabee | December 6, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

I am an Arkansan.
I will not vote if Mike Huckabee is the candidate

Posted by: MrMeaner | December 6, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

The TV Show that Ms. Rubin thinks is cheesy has some pretty high ratings for its spot on Saturday night last time I checked. It is much higher quality programming than watching a bunch of pre-marital sex dominated television that you can find if you want it on the tube.

He also won the highest % of voters in a Republican primary in Louisiana in 2008, which is no easy task given the state's religious and cultural diversity.

People forget Gov. Huckabee created the "Tax Me More Fund" to shut up the liberals in Arkansas who wanted to continue to raise taxes in a state where the state legislature was dominated by Democrats who were use to raising taxes all the time under Gov. Clinton and Gov. Tucker.

A President Huckabee would also have a much better relationship with our ally in the Middle East, Israel. He would not pander to countries just to be considered "cool" by the media elites.


Posted by: JDY1 | December 6, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

54465446 asks:

RFR:

To what do you attribute the generally desultory nature of the posts today?


_____________________________

It has to be Christmas Shopping and Baking Apple Pies.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 6, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse


It is amazing that everytime the democrats get in office, they jam-pack every budget with as much spending as they can.


AND then the democrats blame the Republicans for not making taxes high enough.


And the democrats give every excuse in the book - class warfare, taking money from the poor, hurting the unemployed.

Stealing from grandchildren....


Everything - EXCEPT admitting that the democrats increased the spending in the first place, and the spending needs to be cut drastically.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 6, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

I think he'd do a lot better if he converted to Judaism.

Posted by: ZoltanNewberry | December 6, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

For the last two years, Gov. Huckabee has won most of the national polls (Gallup, CNN, PPP, etc.). He has higher approval ratings, and lower negatives, than any other GOP contender for 2012...and consistently polls highest when matched up against Barack Obama. Ever since he came in second in 2008, Huckabee is building a great position for 2012.

I would like to respectfully disagree with Ms. Rubin's opinion piece:

>>>"Moreover, Huckabee never showed much appeal beyond a specific segment of voters -- evangelical Christians. They are an important constituency within the GOP primary electorate, but you have to win more than just those voters to get the nomination; Huckabee never did."<<<

That belief is widespread but inaccurate. Huckabee's votes came from voters of all persuasions. Many Catholics (who make up 25% of all Americans) like Huckabee because of his consistent pro-life record. Many non-religious people like Huckabee because of his support for the "Fair Tax" (NOT to be confused with a flat tax).

See Dick Morris' article from Nov. 2007, titled, "Mike Huckabee is a Fiscal Conservative." It is full of facts & figures.

Do your own research; don't let others make up your mind for you. This is too important to get it wrong. Read the candidates' books, yes....but even more importantly, check the candidates' records for yourself. The old saying is true: the proof is in the pudding.

Before he died, conservative scion Paul Weyrich -- a former Romney supporter -- told a convention of conservatives, "I was wrong." He said publicly that conservatives should have backed Huckabee, who shares our values "more than any other candidate in a lifetime."

Posted by: PayingAttention3 | December 7, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Mike Huckabee has won or came in a close second national 2012 Republican Presidential polls for over 18 months. To win these polls, Mike Huckabee had to have very high votes from Republicans, Conservatives, Independents and Moderates (yes, Mike Huckabee got the most votes from these two groups in many polls which proves he is not just an Evangelical candidate). Mike Huckabee also had the highest favorables and lowest unfavorables of all the Republican candidates in all the polls taken in the last 18 months.

He has won polls in all the south, IL, PA, came in 2nd OH, Montana, came in 2nd in TX, LA, NC, 2nd in SC, and won IA three times this year alone. Granted that doesn't mean he will win all of these states in the primaries, but what it says is Mike Huckabee has got a solid base in the South and Midwest which could make him a winner in the primaries of 2012.

Maybe lots of you have not paid attention to all of these polls in the last year, but it's the people in America who are voting for Mike Huckabee to be who they want to run against Pres. Obama.

Posted by: VoteforTruth | December 7, 2010 12:45 AM | Report abuse

Mike Huckabee was not only in favor of providing state services, including in-state tuition rates for illegals, he denigrated one of the few actual conservatives in this state, Jim Holt, and called him less of a Christian for opposing it.
That lying hick called Holt out on television,
He actually pulled a line from the late Michael Jackson, and accused Holt of "drinking a different kind of Jesus juice" than he.
I swear to God, that idiot said this.
Holt was also in a campaign against Blanche Lincoln for senate at the time.

Mike Huckabee is the worst POTUS candidate that has ever ran in a GOP primary.

You are not a conservative if you support him.
Period

Posted by: MrMeaner | December 7, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

If any doubt those facts;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Holt_%28Arkansas_politician%29

Posted by: MrMeaner | December 7, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

GREAT CLARIFICATIONS to the predictable, lame, anemic, uninspiring, stale, recycled half-truths (or less) we've grown to accept against Huck, the only guy who can actually beat Obama. If Huck runs, get ready to cut-and-paste your accuracies...alot.

Posted by: FairMark | December 7, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

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