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Analysis: Huckabee's 2nd-Place 'Win' in Ames

AMES, Iowa -- The biggest political event of the 2007 calendar year gave former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney a victory, but the biggest winner may well be former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who placed a surprising second.

Mitt Romney
Romney's big bet on the straw poll paid off. (Reuters)

Romney's 4,516 votes were roughly 2,000 more than Huckabee received. Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback came in third with 2,192 votes. Rep. Tom Tancredo (Colo.) placed fourth, while Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) was fifth. Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, who said he would likely leave the race if he didn't finish first or second, came in sixth. (Full results are available here.)

The turnout was far lower than in 1999, when 23,685 votes were cast and George W. Bush was the winner. The turnout may have been suppressed by the fact that three of the biggest names in the GOP race -- Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson and John McCain -- chose not to attend the event. Republican voters have also expressed their dissatisfaction with the current field in any number of public polls.

The delay of more than an hour in announcing the results led to whispers of impropriety and chicanery -- all unconfirmed. Rep. Steve King (Iowa) sought to downplay any talk of double-dealing in the moments before the results were announced, praising the "tremendous amount of integrity" in the process.

The ripple effect of today's vote won't be known for at least 24 hours, but here are a few of our initial thoughts about what to expect in the days to come from the Republican field.

* Romney did what he needed to do at Ames -- WIN! There will be the inevitable debate about whether he should have won by more given the resources he threw at the event. But that seems to us to be an argument for political junkies, not the average voter. A win is a win. And Romney's victory should cement him as the frontrunner heading into January's caucuses.

* Huckabee knew his back was against the wall, and he pulled out the surprise of the night. On the ground it was evident that Romney and Brownback had spent the most money courting straw poll voters, while Huckabee was working with a far smaller budget (his campaign spent $150,000 or so, according campaign manager Chip Saltsman). No matter how it happened, he got it done. Huckabee's campaign was looking for a spark and they seem to have gotten it tonight. He must -- and we repeat MUST -- turn this surprise showing into campaign cash or it will be for naught. But today is Huckabee's best day as a candidate by far.

* Brownback invested a lot into the straw poll and got little return. Finishing third behind Huckabee makes it tough for the Kansas Senator to make the argument that he is the most viable social conservative candidate in the field. This is a major setback for Brownback and could well lead to his departure from the race in the near future.

* Tancredo's fourth-place finish could well be a triumph for his campaign, which has been mired in the one or two percent range in most of the polling we've seen. His strident opposition to illegal immigration found a ready audience here in Ames, and Tancredo effectively turned that into votes. What does it mean for the future of his candidacy? Probably not much. But all of the frontrunners should heed the power of the immigration issue among Republican base voters.

* Paul's problem in this race was on vivid display here in Ames. While his supporters were fanatically loyal (and loud), not enough of them were from Iowa for him to make a major impact on the race. Paul has a rabid national following fueled by the Internet, but the nominating fight remains a state by state affair.

* Thompson (Tommy, that is) seems to have reached the end of his campaign. The four-term governor never seemed to hit his stride on the campaign trail, struggling to push out his message in a field of better-known, better-financed and more charismatic candidates. If he doesn't drop out in the next few days, we'd be stunned.

* Duncan Hunter finished behind two candidates -- Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani -- who didn't actively participate in the Straw Poll. Need we say more?

The biggest unknown of the race is Fred Thompson's candidacy. Thompson had a small, unofficial presence at Ames, but he is not yet an official candidate and won't be one until after Labor Day. There was some talk here today that Thompson had missed a golden opportunity to slow Romney's momentum in the state by not participating. Maybe. Thompson will be in Iowa next week and we'll wait to pass judgement on his chances here until he has been in the race for a month or two,

Thanks for sticking with us through this great week in Iowa. That's all folks!

By Chris Cillizza  |  August 11, 2007; 9:53 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Straw Poll Results: A Win For Romney
Next: Tommy Thompson Is First Victim of Iowa Straw Poll


Anybody check to see how much money it cost "Mr. Flipper" per vote in the caucus???

I'll bet it is in the many thousands per vote. So much for democracy ! ! !

Posted by: swanie | August 13, 2007 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Hey guys!! I will check back on this thread for your thoughts on the Dr. Sam Shepard case history on Wikipedia. I went back to read it again and find it truly amazing.

Posted by: lylepink | August 13, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

What we need as a Manifest Destiny for the New Millenium. Forget going West. Its time to expand laterally. Moving the northern border 60 miles would annex something like 90% of the Canadian population, so we might as well just swallow up the whole country. Except maybe the Quebecois. Going south has different math, but for one thing, building a fence along the Mexico-Guatemala border would be a lot shorter & cheaper than from Texas to California. Shoot, maybe go all the way to Panama & resume control of the Canal, to boot.

Posted by: bsimon | August 13, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

lylepink - Yes, I saw that, too. This is going to be a very contentious issue and there are good arguments for both sides. There is no doubt that the modern intrepretation of he 14th Amendment amounts to an attractive nuisance and attracts millions of illegals here and there is no doubt that the shere number of illegals here now constitute social costs that we simply cannot afford and they have had an enormous impact towards lowering wages and benefits for working Americans. At the same time, we all feel some sympathy and even responsibility for the plight of these desparately poor people.

Posted by: MikeB | August 13, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

MikeB: I saw something about this about two weeks ago, and there was the question about anyone born in the US was automatically a citizen. I think this was in Ca. because of the number of pregnant women crossing just prior to the expected delivery date.

Posted by: lylepink | August 13, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Dave - I am not a Ron Paul supporter, but I can take a "swing" at your 14th Amendment question. The 14th Amendment was passed during Reconstruction specifically to grant citizenship to the children or former slaves. It was designed to overrise the Supreme Court decision in the Dred Scott Case.

Now, until quite recently, the children of illegal aliens in this country were not granted automatic citizenship, although that was inconsistantly applied. The Supreme Court has never heard a case addressing this matter, but there are plenty of legal scholars who believe that the 14th Amendment does not extend automatic citizenship to those children. Moreover, in the Plyer vs. Doe Decision, the consevatives on that court overwhelmingly voted to not require publicly funded social services for illegals and "warring" footnotes indicate that the conservatives did not think that the 14th Amendment applied to the children of illegals at all.
(referenced here:

So, what some groups, opposed to illegal immigrants, are proposing to do, is to bring a case, challenging the "modern" intrepretation of the 14th Amendment before the Supreme Court. I believe that many Paul supporters are in this group, as are many pro-labor Democrats.

Posted by: MikeB | August 13, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

For all of those considering Huckabee as potential presidential candidate should seriously examine what he did to the state of Arkansas over the past 10 years. It's not as pretty or rosey as his campaign wants you to believe. Also, he has the thinnest skin of any politician I've seen in many years.

Posted by: CentralArkansan | August 13, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

drindl writes
"I just read that Susan Ralston, Abramoff's former assistant before she became Rove's [she who is under investigation for her uhh, activities] was 'learning to sing' as it were, and that was the reason for Rove's sudden departure.

It was also felt that Rove was too 'toxic' for anyone in '08 to wnat to be publicly involved with. Which considering how many crimes Rove is under investigation for, and how much of a paper trail there is, is possibly true."

This line of thinking may have merit. Though if Ralston is really going to pin Rove with nefarious deeds, it is odd that he will take a month to leave. After avoiding an indictment in the Plame affair by the skin of his teeth, is he working on another near-miss with the justice system? Or is he really just retiring to spend time with his family?

Posted by: bsimon | August 13, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

lylepink, ...sorry for the spelling error. I never learned to type and was writing that post from my MacBook at home where the keyboard is so cramped I make extra spelling errors.

In any event, I did mean Browning. I believe the shotgun is an A5 model. It is a semiautomatic shotgun using the mechanical recoil of the shell to autoload the next round. What it accomplishes, though, is to minimalize the felt recoil, making for more comfortable and accurate shooting by trap shooters. My 86 year old father has one and it enables him to trap shoot at his age. Also, an AR14, one of the more popular guns used for competition shooting, was banned under the Brady Bill and I find that ridiculous. Likewise, limiting a Glock Model 22, one of the more popular target pistols, to a 10 round clip presented all sorts of problems for competition target shooters. The law was badly written, ill conceived, and based on bad (and sometimes faked) information. Now, there ARE guns that are used by gang members and most are what people call "assault rifles". These are almost always cheap imports like the Chinese SKS and various AK47 knock offs. These have no legitimate sport use, to my mind, and about the only people who would legitimately want one would be a collector. So...use the Consumer Product Safety Commission. These guns are rattletrap junk and would fail almost any basic test for safety and reliability. If the NRA, or someone with a genuine interest in safe shooting, has a legimate reason for not using the CPSC, then they can help set up an agency or board that would ensure only safe, reliable firearms be available for consumers.

And, BTW, we agree on the death penalty and the reason for doing away with it. There are just too many instances of innocent people being found on death row. You have to wonder how many innocent men and women have died at the hands of society simply because they cannot afford good legal help or because some prosecuter, a victim bent on revenge, fabricated evidence, or some mistake was made.

Posted by: MikeB | August 13, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

JimD in FL & Mark in Austin: Use yahoo web search, Dr. Sam Shepard. enter, will get you to Wikipedia, then instruction to the murder case, it is quite a long piece and I HIGHLY suggest everyone take a few minutes to read it.

Posted by: lylepink | August 13, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I just read that Susan Ralston, Abramoff's former assistant before she became Rove's [she who is under investigation for her uhh, activities] was 'learning to sing' as it were, and that was the reason for Rove's sudden departure.

It was also felt that Rove was too 'toxic' for anyone in '08 to wnat to be publicly involved with. Which considering how many crimes Rove is under investigation for, and how much of a paper trail there is, is possibly true.

Posted by: drindl | August 13, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Agree with you, Mark, about the categories. I think it would make our judicial system a lot more fair if their weren't such vast disparaties in the way different states treat their accused, but I wouldn't know how to address that--there would surely be howls of outrage over states' rights.

JimD, my bet is that Rove goes with Rudi/Judi or Fred/Jheri. Interesting that these guys' wives play a MUCH bigger role in their husband's campaigns--and would certainly play a much bigger role if their presidency -- than Hillary Clinton ever did, and no one on the right seems to have a problem with it. Lack of consistency there?

Posted by: drindl | August 13, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

'Dr. Paul, in a one-on-one contest, will make Romney look like a babbling idiot.'

2 babbling idiots.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 13, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Question for Ron Paul supporters--
1) Do you believe the 14th Amendment is legitimate. If yes, how do you interpret it with regard to federalism?

Posted by: Dave | August 13, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Can anyone explain how a socialist like Romney (who is responsible for a law that mandates health insurance payments by everyone in Massachusetts) is so popular among free-market conservatives in the Republican Party?

It's possible that most Republicans are simply ignorant of Romney's socialistic track record.

And, consider this. Add the votes for Tom Tancredo, Tommy Thompson, and Duncan Hunter (all of whom are more fiscally conservative than Romney) to Ron Paul's votes. The result is a true conservative, Dr. Paul, would be a very close second to Romney at this stage in the contest.

Tommy Thompson has already quit the race. When Tancredo and Hunter quit, Dr. Paul will be running neck-and-neck against Romney. Dr. Paul will then have an opportunity to expose Romney for being the flip-flop neo-conservative that he really is.

In addition to socialistic health care, Romney was pro-choice before he was pro-life. Romney doesn't have a clue about federalism (the U.S. Constitution's Article I, Section 8 limitations on the powers of the federal government combined with the 9th and 10th Amendments).

Dr. Paul, in a one-on-one contest, will make Romney look like a babbling idiot.

Posted by: Steve | August 13, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

drindl, the sleeping lawyer case was, indeed, from Texas.

Not one the proud events in Texas jurisprudential history.

When we try to limit the death penalty we cannot do it by relative outrage in a meaningful statutory way. We mist define categories of crimes.

A typical list would include:
murder for hire [either payor or payee];
felony - murder [during kidnap, child molestation, bank or armed robbery, burglary, etc.];
any subsequent murder in a serial killing spree;
murder of a prison guard while serving a life sentence;
and murder of a police officer or a firefighter in the course of duty.
These are considered the murders that do not arise from an instant impulse or a one-time malice; they require foreplanning and knowledge of the consequences.
Most murders [family and friends, bar fights, etc. are not included].

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 13, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse


It will be interesting to see if Rove surfaces as a campaign adviser to one of the Republican front-runners.

Posted by: JimD in Fl | August 13, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I'm not against the death penalty in all cases either, particularly in case of child murder. In fact, I'm sort of a mind that the death penalty should be available as a recourse for cases of serial sexual abuse of children.

Although, like JimD, I'm really appalled by how unfairly different states treat the situation --I've read that a lot of folks who were executed during Bush's tenure as governor of Texas had lawyers who literally slept through their client's trials. Is that true, Mark? Your state seems to fry people at a pretty good clip.

Hey, Karl Rove quit. I'm surprised. He must have felt the noose tightening. Anyone have any thoughts on that?

Posted by: drindl | August 13, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Mitt Romney spent approximately $400.00 per vote in Iowa. Huckabee spent a tenth that amount. Huckabee's second-place finish will undoubtedly make it easier for him to raise funds so he can spend more in the future. Who really wins the straw poll?

Mitt Romney is a stuffed suit.

Posted by: Mark F. | August 13, 2007 10:20 AM | Report abuse

And, I should not let it go without saying that the "felony-murder" rule allows prosecutors great leverage in plea bargains with co-felons. Murder committed during a felony is attributable to all the co-felons, not just the one who committed the homicide.

When a murder during the commission of another felony carries the death penalty, co-felons become more pliable to the bargain.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 13, 2007 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Jim, I too am not opposed to the death penalty in all cases. I worked as a prosecutor out of law school. Cops were insistent that in certain cases of "rational" crimes - like burglary, armed or bank robbery, and kidnapping for ransom - the threat of the death penalty deterred murders before they occurred. In isolated cases, the police or the FBI actually get to negotiate with the criminal, and reminding the criminal of the death penalty
if anyone dies during the commission of the felony may have some effect. That has always made sense to me.

It is also in those cases that the conviction evidence will usually be strong, coincidentally.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 13, 2007 9:48 AM | Report abuse


I am not opposed to the death penalty in all cases. However, I am appalled at the application of it in the US. The disparity among states and jurisdictions within states is extreme. Of course, the poor and uneducated and minorities are far more likely to be executed for the same crime.

Sometimes wealthy white lawyers even get a death sentence. I actually knew one personally - although not well and many years before the incident. We went to the same college, he was two years ahead of me, and we served on a student government committee together.

Posted by: JimD in FL | August 13, 2007 9:33 AM | Report abuse

JimD, exactly. I should have expressed that of the more than 9 of ten who plead guilty there have always been those who could not risk a trial because of their prior convictions coming into evidence if they testified on their own behalf, or because they could not afford to defend themselves, or because the risk of losing at trial was so far greater than the sentence offered on the plea.

The phrase "usual suspects" is common in police precincts.

"Actual innocence" is not widely accepted as a post conviction ground for habeas corpus largely because, as you point out, most prosecutors oppose it. Thus, DNA might implicate another man in a closed rape case, but under the currently widespread preclusive standard, the convict cannot show that he was not ALSO a rapist. Actual innocence standard asks whether a conviction could have reasonably been obtained if the evidence known NOW was available THEN.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 13, 2007 9:17 AM | Report abuse


It has been a long time since I read about the Shepard case. I remember in particular the local press was campaigning to have him arrested. I was far too young to remember it contemporaneously (I think it happened in the early 50's and I was born in 1952). I also recall that many people involved felt he had been freed on a "technicality" and that he never fully recovered his reputation. I vaguely remember something about the mysterious intruder being identified but it might have been after Dr. Shepard died. If you have a source for more info, I would be very interested in it.

Mark - A number of those freed on DNA evidence pleaded guilty for a variety of reasons. I have read far too many cases where prosecutors bitterly fight against any evidence of innocence that arises post conviction. Some can't seem to admit they were wrong. Also, it is very difficult on family members of the victims in murder cases. I have seen numerous interviews with family members saying it was all a "ttechnicality" or a miscarriage of justice, etc. Of course many of the falsely convicted have long criminal records and the attitude of many people seems to be - well, if they weren't guilty of that crime, they were guilty of lots of others for which they never got caught.

Posted by: JimD in FL | August 13, 2007 8:56 AM | Report abuse

"F Lee Bailey came to prominance as Dr. Shephards atty, and to read about this, follow instructions provided."

lylepink - no instructions were provided! Sorry if I did not address your specific question. I may not have understood it because I could not find your reference to the Shephard case [which I also remember from contemporaneous reports and Bailey's book in the 60s].

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 13, 2007 8:38 AM | Report abuse

MikeB: I am glad to see you are off your stupid visa issue and are finally getting to issues that effect almost everyone in this country. The "Brady Bill" did restrict the "Browning" not "Brown" shotgun to a degree. Other "Assult rifles" mainly restricted the semi-automatics that could easily be made fully automatic and the # of rounds in a clip.

Posted by: lylepink | August 13, 2007 3:03 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: | August 12, 2007 11:12 PM - You are exhibit "A' as to why the Bill Of Rights doesn't mean sqat any longer. Look, I can tell by your post that you would be opposed to most or all of the phony terrorist legislation rammed through our compliant Congress by the Bush White House. But, then, you turn around and assault the 2nd Amendment. Oh, you call it "reasonable" gun legislation, but it isn't. The stupid Brady Bill banned things like the Brown semiautomatic shotgun, something that has a long history of use in trap and upland game hunting and for which no replacement exists. And, those "assault rifles" banned? The AR14 has a huge number of people who shoot it competitively and internaional 300 meter events. Is this just a casulty so you will "feel" safer? Then, the recent evesdropping laws are something other people feel are "resonable" limits on our right to privacy. It's such a small thing, really, and it makes some people just "feel" safer. I could point out that the statistics by the Brady Foundation are so obviously just inventions (DOJ statistics for *all* homicides in 2005 were 15,000 but the Brady folk claimed there were 19,000 gun murders? Mathematically challenged morons that can't even lie well! I've got some news for you, you are as much a Nazi as the Bushies. Neither of you has any respect for the Constitution, for individual liberties, for the Bill Of Rights. Either *ALL* of the Bill Of Rights means something or none of it does. Either Free Speech, Freedom Of Assembly, the Right To Privacy, and the Right to keep and Bear Arms all mean something or none of them does.

Posted by: MikeB | August 13, 2007 2:09 AM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin: I am against the death penatly period!! The DNA used to free so many, is a brainchild of Barry Sheck, [not sure of the spelling] One of the lead attys in the OJ case. Still wondering.

Posted by: lylepink | August 13, 2007 12:22 AM | Report abuse

JimDinFL: I'm not sure if you are referring to the old news accounts and stories, but I suggest you look at what I refer to, this gives an account of what happened, before, during, and after the first trial. What happened to the folks involved, family members of both, is almost beyond belief. If you have trouble finding it, I am going back to get you a reference point, let me know.

Posted by: lylepink | August 13, 2007 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Ron Paul only spent 11 days total in Iowa before the straw poll and only $200,000 on while raising $110,000 last week alone online to pay for most of it. How many campaigns do you know of have volunteers who will give their money to pay for full page newspaper ads and radio ads? How candidates had supporters pay for 600 tickets to the straw poll out of their own pockets? That what Ron Paul's supporters did before the straw poll.

Hell, Mitt paid as much for logistics at Ames as Paul spent for the poll itself. Maybe he he hand't cut back on his expenditures, he might have gotten 8,000 votes for $10 million spent. I hope he gave his paid flunkies the minimum wage.

Chris is right, Paul is more of a national cadidate right now than a one state candidate. Tommy Thompson was a one state candidate and it got him booted right out of the race and Thompson spent more time in Iowa than Paul did. As Paul rises nationally, he'll rise in Iowa too. After a week's camapaigning across the state, he garnered more than what he polled beforehand and remember, a seperate poll of Iowa GOP county leaders said Paul would finish dead last in the straw poll. Shows what they know.

Paul is like stock with growth potential. When people hear what he has to say they support him. He proved it in Iowa. Who knows what he could have done if he spent more time and resources there? With the campaign moving to actual real votes now instead of phoney ones, he has plenty of time to get that message out now

Yes Romney won but his campaign is all rank and no file. Ask yourself what is Romney selling that you haven't heard from a 100 GOP candidates before? If he was that popular he certainly would have gotten more people to turn out. Don't you think its strange that after purchasing 10,000 ticket more than half the people who did voted for someone else? Huckabee did have a very good day but with Thompson's entry into the race and unless Brownback gets out, Huckabee still is constricted in how high he can go unless he raises a ton of money (although he's done no worse than probably be the GOP's vice presidential candidate) Tancredo had a good day by taking advantage of the immigration issue but a divisive, negative driven message is not going to win the nomination. It never has. Also, Brownback is pretty much flat broke after this weekend and will probably be put under a lot of pressure by so-called social conservatives to get out to unite behind Huckabee. But we'll see how stubborn old Sam is, he's said he's in this to the caucus and that's fine by me.

Here's another thing in Paul's favor. Take the avreage median age of a Paul supporter and compare them to the other GOP candidates and you find a very telling statistic, the GOP is literally becoming a party of old people. Look at all the Romney and Tancredo suporters who had to be carted into the Hilton Coliseum from the aprking lots. Fewer people voted in this straw poll than the two previous ones and if look at the GOP vote at the Iowa caucuses itself, it's been on downward trajectory ever since 1988. Ron Paul is the only candidate who can inject youth and vitality into a dying party because he represents a lot of young voters. Hell the voting booths were right next to the Iowa State campus. What if school had been in session, who do you think would have done better?

Like any guerrilla army, you job is to live to fight another day until conditions are ripe for you to attack and win. Paul lives to fight another day by finishing fifth out of 11 candidates on the ballot, in the TOP TIER. That is what's important.

Posted by: Sean Scallon | August 12, 2007 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Well, in my view, this is a certain and decisive victory for Mitt Romney. He won the Ames straw poll after pulling back resources on it after Guiliani and McCain opted out. He knew he had the win, and with this win came talk shows on Sunday morning and free national press that would have cost millions to have. This win should really boost his poll numbers on a national level, as well as continue to mount up support for him financially.

In my view, this was also a huge win for Huckabee and Tom Tancredo. 2nd and 4th, in their circumstances with as little money as they have, is very impressive. Now, can they turn these strong finishes into campaign cash? Either one could be a serious competitor if they have the cash to compete.

Now, for the victims of the Ames straw poll. Sam Brownback, Tommy Thompson and Duncan Hunter should all drop out of the race now. Brownback spent all of that money only to be beaten by Huckabee who spent much less but garnered great grass roots support. Brownback wants his political career to continue, and that can happen after his retire from the US senate in 2010. There will be an open governor's race in 2010 in Kansas, that's a race Brownback could win. But as for this one, he should drop out now. Tommy Thompson and Duncan Hunter should also drop out now, as they have no chance to win.

1 other campaign this hurts will be one of Romney's cheif competitors: Fred Thompson. With Romney's victory, free press and drawn support for free through the press, Thompson gets dumped in the cold. Big victory for Romney and it makes life more difficult for F. Thompson.

This doesn't affect Rudy Guiliani, who is running a national campaign in the big states that he feels he must win. The Iowa Straw Poll doesn't affect Rudy at all.

Posted by: reason | August 12, 2007 11:19 PM | Report abuse

You may not have heard of Mike Huckabee, but he is running for president of the United States of America. Huckabee served as the Governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007. He's a social conservative that served as chairman of the National Governors' Association and chairman of the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission. He doesn't have much money or name recognition but he just scored a strong second place in the Ames, Iowa Republican Straw Poll. By besting Sen. Sam Brownback, he can expect to take up the banner of anti-women extremists within the Republican Party. It could be enough for him to win the Iowa caucuses and make some waves in the presidential race. Noam Scheiber has some analysis in The New Republic, but the most interesting part was his description of the attitude of the press to Huckabee's strong showing.

A final thought: The political press is absolutely head over heels for Huckabee. (There were high-fives all around when it became clear he'd finish second.) He's a genuinely endearing guy who can banter with the best of them--watching him with reporters brings to mind the old black and white footage of Babe Ruth jawboning with sportswriters. When you add that to the political media's general affinity for underdogs, you can see how Huckabee's about to enjoy some serious media afterglow, which will only further boost his profile.

I would really like it if Noam Scheiber would name names. Which reporters were exchanging high-fives over Mike Huckabee's success? Who are these people and what the hell is wrong with them?

Look at this dude:

# I first became politically active because of abortion, when I helped pass Arkansas' Unborn Child Amendment, which requires the state to do whatever it legally can to protect life.
# As Governor, I did all I could to protect life. The many pro-life laws I got through my Democrat legislature are the accomplishments that give me the most pride and personal satisfaction.

Repeat after me: Mike Huckabee is a W-I-N-G-N-U-T. Don't believe me? Look at this:

# I consistently opposed banning assault weapons and opposed the Brady Bill.
# As Governor, I protected gun manufacturers from frivolous law suits.

# I was the first Governor in the country to have a concealed handgun license.

Like his position on abortion and guns? How about gay rights?

# I support and have consistently supported passage of a federal constitutional amendment that defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
# As Governor of Arkansas, I led the successful effort to pass a similar state constitutional amendment in 2002.

Huckabee is an assault gun loving religious extremist. He's also a nice person that makes friends easily with reporters...kind of like Babe Ruth. It's hard to overstate how inappropriate it is for print journalists to be high-fiving each other over the political success of any politician. But a gay-bashing, woman-hating, assault-rifle toting, religious nutcase? I want names.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 12, 2007 11:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad Tommy Thompson finally spared all of us and got out. I used to live in Wisconsin and I never understood the guy. He kept getting elected as governor but he just wasn't a smart guy. Maybe that's why Bush picked him for a cabinet position.

Posted by: JP | August 12, 2007 10:01 PM | Report abuse

lylepink - the justice system is prone to human error. If statistics are helpful, I offer these:

More than 9 out of ten indictees in every court system plead guilty.

Most of the remaining indictees are convicted.

Some of the convicted are not guilty of the crime - and JimD is correct, DNA is helping in correcting some of these miscarriages.

But we may never have a "perfect" system.
Two suggested improvements would be to limit the death penalty to very few cases
and to make "actual innocence" a plea that can be raised after final conviction, based on new evidence. Where actual innocence cannot be raised, the burden on the convict is to absolutely prove that it was not possible for him/her to have been guilty in the first place.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 12, 2007 9:44 PM | Report abuse

While "President Ron Paul" could never convince Congress to shut down the Federal Reserve Bank and institute a bimetallic standard, he wants to do just that. Ask a Paul supporter if s/he understands what it would mean to collapse the money supply by a factor of 25 or so and you will get a blank stare. As my wife the tax specialist CPA says, "these doctors do not understand finance or taxes." And neither do his followers, apparently.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 12, 2007 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Bob North Smithfield - A dirty little secret. Seantor kennedy, at th behst of hi-tech corporate interests added a provision to the recently defeated immigration bill that would have removed all limits for H1-B visas. Those are the visas corporations use to hire cheap Indian workers, essentially indentured servants, to displace Amercian engineers and computer programmers. Senator Kennedy was joined in this by Ms. Clinton, who also owns stock in companies that outsource jobs and, in a recent trip to India, was called by anindian government official "the Senator From India". Don't go counting on labor to help Senator Kennedy in the future and don't count on any of us supporting a rat like Hillary Clinton in her bid for the Whitehouse.

Posted by: MikeB | August 12, 2007 9:11 PM | Report abuse

At the risk of wrecking my reputation for seeing the dark side of things, I think this is very good news. There is a chance that the Republican's just might nominate Romney and the Democrats Clinton. These are the two most polariing and awful choices we have had as presidential material in modern history and would likely spark a third party movement across the country that would overthrow the strangehold the nitwits from the left and the right have had on Amercian politics. Imagine, not just a moderate for President, but Congressional moderates, an end to two faced and clueless swine like Kennedy and Pat Robertson.Imagine a Congress hat actually listens to voters instead of corporate lobbyists. It's enough to make one actually hopeful.

Posted by: MikeB | August 12, 2007 9:04 PM | Report abuse


When Mitt was running against Ted Kennedy for the Senate, Mitt, for many many weeks was AHEAD of Ted in the polls.

Ted, turned the race around, on a dime, when he began to air tv spots featuring workers Mitt had "layed off".

Mitt made most of his money, with Bain Capital.

Bain bought companies, layed off most of the workers, outstourced most of the work to Mexico and made millions when Bain sold the companies.

How Mitt and his lovely wife Muffy, (who employed illegal aliens to work in her garden) will handle this "inconvenient truth" will be most interesting.

Do Americans want to elect a President, who outsourced jobs to Mexico will laying off thousands of American workers to personally make hundreds of millions of dollars?

I see blue skies and blue states forever!!

Mitt, Muffy and son Tagg.
Osama trembles in fear of the killer preppies from Boston!

From Enlightended New England

Posted by: Bob North Smithfield | August 12, 2007 8:37 PM | Report abuse

I am starting to see homemade Ron Paul signs in a number of spots here in NE Florida. This is a solid Republican area. I cannot tell how broad his support is but his supporters seem to be more passionate than those of most other candidates.

Posted by: JimD in FL | August 12, 2007 8:17 PM | Report abuse

The result is bad news for Brownback, who was relying on at least a strong 2nd place to vault into the top tier. I think he's done.

Its also bad news for FDT. This race is shaping up as a three way race between Romney, the "electable alternative", and the "true conservative".

The former is definitely Rudy, the latter was either FDT or Brownback. The choice between two solid conservative Senators would favour FDT, who is easier to listen too, and better known. However, now the race for the "true conservative" slot is between FDT & Huckabee. Huckabee is charismatic, has executive experience, and is from the South. He may well take the tag off Thompson.

Posted by: JayPe | August 12, 2007 8:13 PM | Report abuse


I've read about the Shepard case. We see new examples almost every week or so of someone in prison or death row being exonerated by DNA evidence.

Posted by: JimD in FL | August 12, 2007 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin & Others: I am watching the movie "The Fugitive" and searched for the trial and other aspects following it, Amazing!!.F Lee Bailey came to prominance as Dr. Shephards atty, and to read about this, follow instructions provided. I welcome thoughts on this because of the problems in our justice system that can convict the innocent and acquit the guilty.

Posted by: lylepink | August 12, 2007 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee - nice guy, good speaker, believes the world was made 6,000 years ago
Brownback - Stern religious disciplinarian who believes the world was made 6,000 years ago
Tancredo - wants to bomb Islamic holy cities if the US experiences a "terrorist" attack, Osama has already scheduled that terrorist attack on Tanc's inauguration because that would inflame 1 billion Muslims to make the US a funeral pyre. Also thinks the world was created 6,000 years ago.

Ron Paul believes in science & reason, has been married over 50 years (to the same woman), is a devout Lutheran who's allegiance is to the Bill of Rights, has a record of fiscal & constitutional conservatism of 20 years in Congress. Ron Paul has integrity. Peace at home and abroad, non-violence, trade & prosperity, a strict limit on government power, exhaltation of individual rights as guaranteed in the documents of The Founding Fathers. Ron Paul is here, now, for your consideration.

Posted by: Marc Scott Emery | August 12, 2007 7:53 PM | Report abuse


"August 12, 2007
Democrats worry Clinton could hurt party
Senator Hillary Clinton, D-New York.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Looking past the presidential nomination fight, Democratic leaders quietly fret that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton at the top of their 2008 ticket could hurt candidates at the bottom.

They say the former first lady may be too polarizing for much of the country. She could jeopardize the party's standing with independent voters and give Republicans who otherwise might stay home on Election Day a reason to vote, they worry.

In more than 40 interviews, Democratic candidates, consultants and party chairs from every region pointed to internal polls that give Clinton strikingly high unfavorable ratings in places with key congressional and state races.

"I'm not sure it would be fatal in Indiana, but she would be a drag" on many candidates, said Democratic state Rep. Dave Crooks of Washington, Ind.

Unlike Crooks, most Democratic leaders agreed to talk frankly about Clinton's political coattails only if they remained anonymous, fearing reprisals from the New York senator's campaign. They all expressed admiration for Clinton, and some said they would
publicly support her fierce fight for the nomination -- despite privately held fears.

The chairman of a Midwest state party called Clinton a nightmare for congressional and state legislative candidates."

I have been saying this for a long time - she might win the nomination and even the election,narrowly, but her candidacy would definitely be a drag on Democratic candidates in swing districts and red states.

Posted by: JimD in FL | August 12, 2007 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Anonymous at 2:46 says, "If America's liberal wolfpack press and their followers want to continue with their negative sterotypes of this man and his family so be it."

-Mitt will simply strap the liberal wolves to the roof of his car and drive them to Canada.

"Mitt has no skeletons in his closet"

-No, they're in his garage.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 12, 2007 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Golgi, your point is well taken.

Not only should we know what Huckabee claims as foreign policy experience, we should see how he treated science and science education in Arkansas.

For instance, did he have science advisers from the Med School at UA-LR? Or were his science advisers creationists with a notion to teach "Intelligent Design" in HS biology classes? This should be relatively easy to learn.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 12, 2007 7:05 PM | Report abuse

What's up with this?

"This is a major setback for Brownback and could well lead to his departure from the race in the near future."

"Tancredo's fourth-place finish could well be a triumph for his campaign...."

So the Tanc triumphs at fourth place, but Sam Brownback should drop out because he came in a lousy third? Nice bias.

Posted by: Psycheout | August 12, 2007 6:39 PM | Report abuse

I think that the most interesting showing was Tancredo's. The next most interesting was that Guiliani ran behind both Thompsons. Perhaps Iowa Republicans prefer someone who plays Law and Order on TV over someone who plays law and order in real life.

Posted by: NoVA | August 12, 2007 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Romney is not qualified for dog catcher.

Posted by: Seamus | August 12, 2007 5:11 PM | Report abuse

'This was a great win by Mitt Romney who is probably the most qualified candidate to ever run for President of the USA. '

This is your brain on Hate Radio. Probably one of the stupidest comments I have ever read. Incredible. But's that your dittohead of today.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 12, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee's comments on people who care about his comments on evolution are NOT reassuring to me. Does he not comprehend why a presidential candidate's statements about science are important? What kind of advisers would he appoint?

It is alarming to me that Huckabee doesn't even grasp that this is a big issue. Is he just faking, or is he actually that shortsighted?

Huckabee said, "And typically what would happen, we'd get in these debates and they'd do one of two things, they would spend an overwhelming time on an issue like Iraq, which there was very little separation among at least nine out the ten Republican candidates or we would get off these completely ridiculous topics like do we believe in evolution, I'm trying to think of some other really peripheral issues that absolutely have nothing to do with..."

Posted by: Golgi | August 12, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I would like to hear more about Huckabee's thoughts on science. This is someone who said he doesn't believe in evolution. Does that, or does that not, mean he will fail to listen when his science advisers give him important information?

Posted by: Golgi | August 12, 2007 3:50 PM | Report abuse

2:46 claims "This was a great win by Mitt Romney who is probably the most qualified candidate to ever run for President of the USA"
This puts Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Grant, Eisenhower,, the list just keeps going - in a VERY interesting perspective. Of course, he is the first candidate we know of with magic underwear, so maybe 2:46 is onto something. Or on something, like crack.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 12, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

you confuse yourselves if you think any part of IRAQ or AFGHANISTAN IS ABOUT ANYTHING EXCEPT....

bushCO and CRONYISM....

cheney is trying to outsource the Pentagon, so he doesn't have to ask permission to invade, and he gets paid for it too....

one reason private armies were illegalized has to do with using them to control IN_COUNTRY populations... there used to be a law called the "Pinkerton Law," that kept companies like BlackWater from being formed...

why are George H.W. Bush and Richard Cheney interested in AFGHANISTAN????

Just as the Iran-Contra scandal evolved to include drug smuggling, the Iraq War also is closely related to drug smuggling. While the Bush regime has so far managed to keep the drug smuggling aspects of the war from reaching the media, evidence is beginning to emerge. The evidence comes largely from a former FBI translator turned whistle-blower, Sibel Edmonds. Hired to translate intercepted messages soon after 9/11 this Turkish lady first blew the whistle on the FBI for dragging its feet. She has state emphatically that she has seen documents that prove the Bush administration was fully aware of the terrorist attack before 9/11. While ATTORNEY GENERAL JOHN ASHCROFT, has imposed a gag order on her, this courageous lady has only been able to speak in generalized terms. However, she has repeatedly stated that when viewed as an international drug smuggling operation the picture becomes clear.

Sibel Edmonds has provided a huge clue in her generalized statements, a clue that points directly at the BUSH FAMILY and DICK CHENEY. Haliburton the oil services company formerly headed by CHENEY has a long history of involvement in drug smuggling and gunrunning especially through its Brown and Root subsidiary. Brown and Root also has a long history of providing cover for CIA agents. In the late 1970s Brown and Root was implicated in drug smuggling and gunrunning from oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico built by Brown and Root and using ships owned by Brown and Root. In the 1990s Brown and Root was implicated in smuggling heroin to Europe through Russia. The heroin originated in Laos.

The Russian incident surfaced in 1995 after thieves stole sacks of heroin concealed as sugar from a rail container leased by Alfa Echo. Authorities were alerted to the problem after residents of Khabarovsk, a Siberian city became intoxicated from consuming the heroin. Alfa Echo is part of the Russian Alfa group of companies controlled by Mikhail Fridman and Pyotr Aven. The FSB, the Russian equivalent of the FBI firmly proved a solid link between Alfa Tyumen and drug smuggling. The drug smuggling route was further exposed after the Ministry of Internal Affairs raided Alfa Eko buildings and found drugs and other compromising documentation. Under Cheney's leadership of Haliburton, Brown and Root received a taxpayer insured loan through the Export-Import Bank of $292 million dollars for Brown and Root to refurbish a Siberian oil field owned by Alfa Tyumen. The Alfa Bank is also implicated in money laundering for the Colombian cocaine cartels.

THERE IS $80 BILLION IN UNRECORDED PROFITS IN THE FIRST STEP OF AFGHANI OPIUM COLLECTION, refinement...three steps later it could be worth $400 BILLION, in unrecorded profits...

doubt me? think I am crazee or a liberal???

SEARCH on Gary Webb, Parry, crack cocaine, Letter of Understanding...

read the letter of understanding between DoJ and the CIA about AFGHANISTAN.

.unrecorded profits!!!! FREEEEEEEEEEEE MONEY!!!!!


Posted by: cheney is a shunt... | August 12, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

realize something.

neith er Huckabee or Romney is a Republican candidate...

they are insider Washington Candidates.

they sit at the front of the bus, while the real people running the show, sit behind them or drive or handle them...

they are nothing.

image with no substance.


Posted by: it's important to | August 12, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

"Because if we'd gone to Baghdad, we would have been all alone. There wouldn't have been anybody else with us -- it would have been a US occupation of Iraq. None of the Arab forces that were willing to fight with us in Kuwait were willing to invade Iraq. Once you got to Iraq and took it over, and took down Saddam Hussein's government, then what are you going to put in its place? That's a very volatile part of the world.

And if you take down the central government in Iraq, you could easily end up seeing pieces of Iraq fly off. Part of it...uh...the Syrians would like to have in the West. Part of the eastern part of Iraq the Iranians would like to claim, fought over it for eight years. In the north, you've got the Kurds. If the Kurds spin loose and join with the Kurds in Turkey, then you threaten the territorial integrity of Turkey. It's's a quagmire, if you go that far in trying to take over Iraq.

The other thing was casualties. Uh...everyone was impressed with that fact that...uh...we were able to do our job with as few casualties as we had. But for the 146 Americans killed in action and for their families, it wasn't a cheap war. And the question for the President in terms of whether or not we went on to Baghdad and took additional casualties in an effort to get Saddam Hussein, was how many additional dead Americans was Saddam worth? And our judgment was not very many, and I think we got that right."

Posted by: cheney in 1994 | August 12, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

This was a great win by Mitt Romney who is probably the most qualified candidate to ever run for President of the USA.
Mitt won the Iowa straw vote with 31.5% of the vote in 1999 George Bush won by a slightly smaller percentage at 31.3%. Mitt's margin of victory was even greater than Bush's in 1999. There Mitt's margin of victory was 13.4% and Bush's was 10.5%.
Mitt also was impressive in that his average polling number in Iowa to date is at 24.8% according to Real Clear So taking nearly 32% of the vote shows that conservative Iowans like Mitt Romney's message and where he stands on the issues. Mitt worked hard for this win and Americans like it when public officials work hard, he deserved to win. The fact that Rudy, John, and Fred were scare to compete with Mitt is going to send a message to all Americans that their organization and passion to win and compete in all States is lagging.
The Romney's would make a great First Family and I believe if Americans liked Ronald Reagan they are going to love Mitt Romney!

If America's liberal wolfpack press and their followers want to continue with their negative sterotypes of this man and his family so be it.
Mitt has no skeletons in his closet and is as "solid" a candidate this country has seen in a long time.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 12, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

America's 'war tsar' has called for the nation's political leaders to consider bringing back the draft to help a military exhausted by wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In a radio interview, Lieutenant General Douglas Lute said the option had always been open to boost America's all-volunteer army by drafting in young men in the same way as happened in Vietnam. 'I think it makes sense now to consider it,' he said. Lute was appointed 'war tsar' earlier this year after President Bush decided a single figure was needed to oversee the nation's military efforts abroad.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 12, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

The anecdotal evidence on the ground confirms what others - prominent among them General Colin Powell, the former US Secretary of State - have been insisting for months now: that the US army is 'about broken'. Only a third of the regular army's brigades now qualify as combat-ready. Officers educated at the elite West Point academy are leaving at a rate not seen in 30 years, with the consequence that the US army has a shortfall of 3,000 commissioned officers - and the problem is expected to worsen.

And it is not only the soldiers that are worn out. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have led to the destruction, or wearing out, of 40 per cent of the US army's equipment, totalling at a recent count $212bn (£105bn).

But it is in the soldiers themselves - and in the ordinary stories they tell - that the exhaustion of the US military is most obvious, coming amid warnings that soldiers serving multiple Iraq deployments, now amounting to several years, are 50 per cent more likely than those with one tour to suffer from acute combat stress.

The army's exhaustion is reflected in problems such as the rate of desertion and unauthorised absences - a problem, it was revealed earlier this year, that had increased threefold on the period before the war in Afghanistan and had resulted in thousands of negative discharges.

'They are scraping to get people to go back and people are worn out,' said Thomas Grieger, a senior US navy psychiatrist, told the International Herald Tribune in April.

Posted by: x | August 12, 2007 2:41 PM | Report abuse

A week later, in the northern city of Mosul, an officer talks privately. 'We're plodding through this,' he says after another patrol and another ambush in the city centre. 'I don't know how much more plodding we've got left in us.'

When the soldiers talk like this there is resignation. There is a corrosive anger, too, that bubbles out, like the words pouring unbidden from a chaplain's assistant who has come to bless a patrol. 'Why don't you tell the truth? Why don't you journalists write that this army is exhausted?'

It is a weariness that has created its own culture of superstition. There are vehicle commanders who will not let the infantrymen in the back fall asleep on long operations - not because they want the men alert, but because, they say, bad things happen when people fall asleep. So the soldiers drink multiple cans of Rip It and Red Bull to stay alert and wired.

But the exhaustion of the US army emerges most powerfully in the details of these soldiers' frayed and worn-out lives. Everywhere you go you hear the same complaints: soldiers talk about divorces, or problems with the girlfriends that they don't see, or about the children who have been born and who are growing up largely without them.

'I counted it the other day,' says a major whose partner is also a soldier. 'We have been married for five years. We added up the days. Because of Iraq and Afghanistan we have been together for just seven months. Seven months ... We are in a bad place. I don't know whether this marriage can survive it.'

Posted by: Anonymous | August 12, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Hanna and his men are not alone in being tired most of the time. A whole army is exhausted and worn out. You see the young soldiers washed up like driftwood at Baghdad's international airport, waiting to go on leave or returning to their units, sleeping on their body armour on floors and in the dust.

Where once the war in Iraq was defined in conversations with these men by untenable ideas - bringing democracy or defeating al-Qaeda - these days the war in Iraq is defined by different ways of expressing the idea of being weary. It is a theme that is endlessly reiterated as you travel around Iraq. 'The army is worn out. We are just keeping people in theatre who are exhausted,' says a soldier working for the US army public affairs office who is supposed to be telling me how well things have been going since the 'surge' in Baghdad began.

They are not supposed to talk like this. We are driving and another of the public affairs team adds bitterly: 'We should just be allowed to tell the media what is happening here. Let them know that people are worn out. So that their families know back home. But it's like we've become no more than numbers now.'

Posted by: the truth | August 12, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

'Exhaustion and combat stress are besieging US troops in Iraq as they battle with a new type of warfare. Some even rely on Red Bull to get through the day. As desertions and absences increase, the military is struggling to cope with the crisis'

where are the war supporters who should be lining up to join?
where are the chickenhawks and cheerleaders? sitting on their fat butts drinking beer and watching baseball, while our troops die in the desert.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 12, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

PERUGIA, Italy -- In a hidden corner of Rome's busy Fiumicino Airport, police dug quietly through a traveler's checked baggage, looking for smuggled drugs. What they found instead was a catalog of weapons, a clue to something bigger.

Their discovery led anti-Mafia investigators down a monthslong trail of telephone and e-mail intercepts, into the midst of a huge black-market transaction, as Iraqi and Italian partners haggled over shipping more than 100,000 Russian-made automatic weapons into the bloodbath of Iraq.

As the secretive, $40 million deal neared completion, Italian authorities moved in, making arrests and breaking it up. But key questions remain unanswered.

For one thing, The Associated Press has learned that Iraqi government officials were involved in the deal, apparently without the knowledge of the U.S. Baghdad command _ a departure from the usual pattern of U.S.-overseen arms purchases.

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Why these officials resorted to "black" channels and where the weapons were headed is unclear.

The purchase would merely have been the most spectacular example of how Iraq has become a magnet for arms traffickers and a place of vanishing weapons stockpiles and uncontrolled gun markets since the 2003 U.S. invasion and the onset of civil war.

Some guns the U.S. bought for Iraq's police and army are unaccounted for, possibly fallen into the hands of insurgents or sectarian militias. Meanwhile, the planned replacement of the army's AK-47s with U.S.-made M-16s may throw more assault rifles onto the black market. And the weapons free-for-all apparently is spilling over borders: Turkey and Iran complain U.S.-supplied guns are flowing from Iraq to anti-government militants on their soil.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 12, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

R Congressman Bill Sali:

"We have not only a Hindu prayer being offered in the Senate, we have a Muslim member of the House of Representatives now, Keith Ellison from Minnesota. Those are changes -- and they are not what was envisioned by the Founding Fathers," asserts Sali.

Sali says America was built on Christian principles that were derived from scripture. He also says the only way the United States has been allowed to exist in a world that is so hostile to Christian principles is through "the protective hand of God."

According to Congressman Sali, the only way the U.S. can continue to survive is under that protective hand of God. He states when a Hindu prayer is offered, "that's a different god" and that it "creates problems for the longevity of this country."

Posted by: r's hate religious diversity | August 12, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Wanker of the Day

Anne Kornblut.

'President Bush came to office after the so-called "Seinfeld" election -- the mindless campaign of 2000, a race filled with chatter but fundamentally about nothing, like the hit television show.'

The mindless chatter was coming from you and our very serious journalists. Thanks for Iraq, Anne.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 12, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Major lenders are repossessing homes in Southern California much faster than they can sell them, a development that could set off a downward spiral of price cuts and more foreclosures.

At some point -- maybe this fall, maybe in 2008 -- the lenders' inventories will grow so large that they will have no choice but to start aggressively cutting prices, many agents and analysts predict.

That, in turn, will put more pressure on individual sellers, who will have to reduce their own prices if they want to find a buyer.

As values fall, more people could lose their homes, which would swell the lenders' inventories anew.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 12, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Some of those Americans who warned they'd desert the U.S. For Canada if George Bush was re-elected in 2004 appear to have kept their word. New statistics show that U.S. Immigration to Canada in 2006 hit a 30-year high.

According to the Toronto Star, an analysis of immigration statistics by the Association for Canadian Studies showed the number of Americans who moved to Canada in 2006 was almost double the number who moved north in 2000 when Bush was elected for a first term as U.S. president.

The analysis also showed that most of the American migrants are highly educated people who may be moving to Canada for quality of life and social reasons.

The day after Bush was re-elected president, there were 191,000 hits on Canada's immigration website, six times its average traffic, most of it from the U.S.

The increase is symbolic, Jack Jedwab, the executive director of the association that analyzed the statistic told the Star. "Given that most of these immigrants are university-educated or better, you can assume they can find work in the U.S., so the move must be based on other reasons.''

He cited politics, healthcare, social issues, and possibly even the strengthening Canadian dollar as lures drawing Americans northward.

Tom Kertes, who moved north last April from Seattle, Wash. did it because he wants to marry his male partner.

He said he moved to Toronto with his partner Ron Braun and they plan to marry, something they could not do in Washington state. He added the war in Iraq and the torture of Iraqi prisoners by Americans -- and the failure of the Bush administration to clearly disavow such practice -- as contributing factors behind his migration northward.

"Moving countries is not done lightly,'' he told the Star, explaining that he found the tolerance of Toronto welcoming and he thought Canadians were proud of their reputation for tolerance.

The Star suggested that the most surprising aspect of the study is the attention it has received here in the U.S. where it was first reported by abcnews.Com.

Wrote the Star, "It has become a hit on the blogosphere where many Americans have reacted with venom to those who have left the country and some 80,000 persons voted on whether they would move to Canada within hours of the question being posted on an AOL.Com site.

The newspaper quoted one blogger as writing "If every American who didn't like George W. Bush left the country, there would be no one here but illegal immigrants.''

Posted by: Anonymous | August 12, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

'Washington Post reporter John Solomon is single handedly seeking to torpedo the candidacy of former Sen. John Edwards,

The overblown 'controversies' over John Edwards' $400 haircut, hedge fund work and real estate dealings are largely the product of one reporter at the Washington Post who hides his grudges behind so-called 'fair and balanced' journalism.

Solomon's profile of hair stylist Joseph Torrenueva, is one proof of the Post reporter's vendetta against Edwards.

The Torrenueva profile didn't offer 'some kind of commentary' on the state of American politics so much as it offered insight into the peculiar priorities of its author, Post money and politics reporter John Solomon.

Although practically dripping with innuendo that Edwards had been involved in a sleazy land deal with known criminals and then lied about it, the article noticeably failed to contain any dirt. The article basically reported that Edwards had bought a house in D.C.'s booming real estate market, fixed it up and sold it three years later for a profit. The banality of these facts did not stop Post editors from placing the article above the fold, alongside the latest news from Iraq.

If Solomon can keep getting away with his brand of 'fair and balanced' journalism, John Edwards and the rest of the Democratic presidential candidates are in for some trouble as the primary race heats up this fall.'

Business as usual.

Posted by: wapo war on edwards | August 12, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

/Huckabee is the Authentic Christian Populist Conservative ... even KOS suggested that Democrats have much to fear in Huckabee.'

Maybve he just wants to encourage a fracture in the rpeublican party. I say go for it, Huck!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 12, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Much of the commentary about the Straw Poll displays a basic misunderstanding of what it takes to win in a caucus state.

The Straw Poll is a vital test run of organizational strength and message, not just celebrity with the eastern media.

Posted by: The Real Sporer | August 12, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I think Romney got rich by becoming an orphan. He's a trustapharian much like George W although he hasn't failed in nearly as many businesses as "Dub."

Posted by: cali voter | August 12, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Romney spent several million dollars and didn't get enough votes to win a City Council seat in Iowa City. When the national media began taking the Iowa Caucuses seriously, it lengthened the political calendar and provided some genuine insight. Taking the Straw Poll seriously leaves us knee deep in fried Twinkies.

Posted by: Eric Kramer | August 12, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

How about Huckabee vs. Richardson, a "presidential" race between two worker bees. Who would be the queen behind the scenes?

Posted by: worker bee | August 12, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

This straw poll sums up the republican party perfectly. you get to buy your votes, and there are "issues" with the voting machine.

Way to go repubs!!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 12, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

A man named Huckabee is clearly a product of his mother and brother.

Posted by: Schvenzlerman | August 12, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

lye, was it on "Mitt's soapbox speech?"

I saw that. Thanks.


Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 12, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm an independent voter who leans towards Obama right now, with Edwards as a second choice, but I have to say that Ron Paul's success in the straw poll is being underplayed severely; media expectations until a day or so before Ames essentially had Paul finishing tenth ahead of John Cox. Finishing fifth means Paul beat expectations more than any other GOP candidate, even Huckabee; the fact that some reporters started hedging their bets when they got to Ames and saw all the Paul signs does not affect how the long-term expectations of Paul were exceeded, and that's what matters, just like a sudden concern about Romney the very day of the poll would not have softened the blow had he lost, given the long-term media expectations.

Furthermore, Romney, Brownback, and to a lesser degree, Tancredo all had buses; just as Huckabee deserves credit since he had no buses, so does Paul, if not moreso since Paul only has visited Iowa three times this year. And yet, he beat out the one candidate who has spent more time in Iowa than any other Republican, Tommy Thompson.

Whether we agree with Paul or his supporters is irrelevant to reporting that success, and so is our interpretation of his fans in comparison to vicious dogs, unless we are to use that language equally across the board where it applies; all the Republican candidates have had some "rabid" supporters, and Bush has had plenty of them for eight years, but I haven't had the pleasure of reading such characterizations about them in the mainstream media. One starts to wonder, if you guys were as hard on the neocons as you are on everyone else, maybe the country wouldn't be in the sorry shape that it's in.

Posted by: Shadow | August 12, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I'm concerned about Romney. I believe Democrats, bloggers and progressives with access to the media should begin to define him now. If I understand correctly, Romney got rich by buying up companies, laying off a lot of workers and outsourcing their jobs. Combine that with his recent inane comment about his sons' sacrifices being equivalent to soldiers' sacrifices, and you have a clear story about a rich twit who doesn't care about the average American.

If Romney gets defined now, he'll be an easy mark in a general election. But it needs to be done before it's too late.

Posted by: mwitten | August 12, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

so if democrats have much to fear from huckabee, does that mean republicans are too stupid to realize who their best candidate is? As a democrat, I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see a Huckabee/Brownback that would truly be a blessing from God :-)

Posted by: wonderer | August 12, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin: My answer to your Prez hypo is on one of the past threads. Truth Hunter: Good job keeping us informed, I really like the voting machine [Ha! Ha!]. Nothing unexpected, unless McCain decides to pack it in earlier that I have thought, and this could just be a way for him.

Posted by: lylepink | August 12, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

What does Mr. Huckabee know about foreign policy? Has he been engaged at any level?
I am not asking rhetorical questions; I do not know the answers.

In stark contrast, Biden has demonstrated the clarity in foreign policy that experience provides.
His appearance on Charlie Rose last week was the essence of unscripted ability to engage in depth. However, the Democratic Primary voters must not consider foreign policy
as very important, from their polling responses to Biden's candidacy.

Republicans claim an interest in foreign policy issues, but they have rejected
McCain in their polling and seem to favor candidates with merely local experience
[Romney, Giuliani,and now Huckabee].

I keep sending money to Joe Biden in the hope that he will catch on. But if
wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

Do not misunderstand me. I find Huckabee pretty easy to listen to.
I have not ruled him out. But I want a President who will be able to
deal credibly and competently in and with the world. Could he be one? Why?

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 12, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Huckabee speaks and thinks well--(yes, some of us with Mensa IQ's believe in Creation, although we accept evolution in some form too). But I fear he would keep us mired in war. So if I were voting Republican I'd vote for Ron Paul. He, too, is a Christian, in case nobody noticed.

As for me, so far I lean toward Biden, who is a Christian too, although some Protestants don't think Catholics have the nod from Jesus.

My biggest fears are Fred Thompson (Bush clone, or worse) or Guiliani.

Posted by: Mariel | August 12, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Looks like some candidates' supporters are trying to spin the blog.

If Huckabee manages to graduate to the first tier, it hurts Fred Thompson more than anyone else. Both Huckabee and Thompson could be expected to drain social conservatives from Romney. Between the anti-Mormon bias of some evangelicals and suspicion of Romney's recent conversion to social conservativism, there is definitely an opening for Huckabee - if he can put a better organization together.

Overall, the emergence of another major candidate appealing to social conservatives is good news for Giuliani. The longer it takes for the race to come down to two candidates, the better his chances. In a 3 or 4 candidate primary, Giuliani can win by taking 30% or so of the vote.

Posted by: JimD in FL | August 12, 2007 9:00 AM | Report abuse

What a great showing for Mike Huckabee and the Fair Tax. Both campaigns are growing.
Thanks Mike!

Posted by: Charles Swift | August 12, 2007 8:01 AM | Report abuse

What a great showing for Mike Huckabee and the Fair Tax. Both campaigns ae growing.
Thanks Mike!

Posted by: Charles Swift | August 12, 2007 7:59 AM | Report abuse








Posted by: Mr. Ben Franklin | August 12, 2007 2:29 AM | Report abuse

I am a new Republican. I was recently spurred to take political action after years of watching my country and my constitutional rights quickly being eroded before my eyes.

From my research, and my own opinion of course, I think Republican would have to be "nuts" not to choose Candidate Ron Paul to be their man for the white house.

With recent polls showing that some 70+ percent of Americans want out of this war, how can we expect to have a chance at winning the white house by supporting a Candidate who is just picking up where Bush left off?

Reality check people. The president and congress have the lowest approval ratings in Gallup Poll history!

Do you understand what that means? It means people are looking for change. Isn't that why the Democrats won the house?

Anyone who doesn't take Ron Paul seriously needs to take a good look at where our party stands in the spotlight of public opinion.

I think one of the greatest things the GOP needs are an influx of passionate supporters in order to breath this dying beast back into life. And one thing that people can't overlook is that Ron Paul's message speaks to people. He wouldn't have such a massive widespread grassroots following if that weren't true.



Posted by: Bob Dylan | August 12, 2007 2:27 AM | Report abuse

Glad to see Mike Huckabee believes in protecting the 2nd amendment, but too bad he's in favor of a National ID Card. Perhaps when I have my next child he'd like to have him or her chipped to protect us from ourselves.

What's more alarming is that he's also on board with merger of the U.S., Mexico and Canada. Known to those of us with a higher intelligence as the "North American Union" or the complete destruction of our sovereignty. You fools get what you deserve. They are going to tank our economy (which is happening now), merge our countries together little by little and introduce the new currency "The AMERO" to compete with EU. Next world government.

Read it for yourselves:

Dr. Paul is still my candidate of choice.

Posted by: Anti-NWO | August 12, 2007 1:52 AM | Report abuse

YES, Go Huckabee!!!

Huckabee is the Authentic Christian Populist Conservative ... even KOS suggested that Democrats have much to fear in Huckabee.

A great win in Ames!

Posted by: Anteater | August 12, 2007 1:31 AM | Report abuse

I hope that this results in a half dozen other states leapfrogging Iowa. What a joke. 14,000 total votes. Rockville MD has 4 times that many residents. Iowa does not deserve to go first anymore.

Posted by: CrabCakes | August 12, 2007 1:28 AM | Report abuse

Describing Ron Paul's followers as "rabid" says more about the author of this article than about what Ron Paul stands for.

Posted by: cognate | August 12, 2007 1:21 AM | Report abuse

this is exactly the outcome I was hoping for. Mitt Romney may have won the day but he fell far short of expectations on a straw poll that fell far short of 1999.

The stronger than expected second and third place showings for Huckabee and Brownback will allow them to continue forward. It will be interesting to see where the Tommy Thompson and Duncan Hunter supporters go as those 2 campaigns are effectively dead. If Huckabee and Brownback contiue to gain traction it will be at Romney's cost and that will only help Rudy Guiliani. The continued split of the conservative vote is music to my ears.

I still believe that Ron Paul will run as a Libertarian as he clearly has a decent amount of support, I would have never guessed he'd beat Tommy Thompson in the straw poll.

Posted by: Rob Millette | August 12, 2007 12:46 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to see some in-depth reporting about the effects of gastric-bypass surgery on one's health and energy level.

Posted by: robin Ficker of Robin Realty | August 12, 2007 12:40 AM | Report abuse

If he can raise the money Huckabee will become a top tier candidate.


Posted by: Rob | August 12, 2007 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Isn't Huckabee that knucklewalker who doesn't believe in evolution? Yeah just what we need.


Posted by: Chris Fox | August 11, 2007 11:38 PM | Report abuse

All in all, the straw poll accomplished one thing... it thinned the field.

All other hoped for benefits... busfulls of money for the Iowa GOP and increasingly strong grass roots support for GOP candidates... didn't happen.

Good try GOP, but Ames was two bases shy of a triple.

Posted by: Truth Hunter | August 11, 2007 11:31 PM | Report abuse

What about John Cox's surprise showing? I would not think that 41 people have even heard of him

Posted by: D | August 11, 2007 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Romney spent millions, didn't have his top tree competitors in the race and still got only 30-something percent. What a win indeed.

Posted by: Greg in LA | August 11, 2007 11:20 PM | Report abuse

I think that even if McCain and Guliani participated, Romney still would have won. But all their staying out did was garner more support for Huckabee and Brownback. The three of them are going to gain momentum from their showing, while John & Rudolph's campaigns grow stagnant

Posted by: Anonymous | August 11, 2007 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Once again, problems with Diebold Voting Machines....

Diebold: Endorsed By Dictators Everywhere

"Never Hold An Election Without Them"
V. Putin/Russia

"When Only The Best Results Are Expected"
H. Assad/Syria

"I Count on My Diebolds"
F. Castro/Cuba

"All My Elections are Diebold Certified"
H. Mubarak/Egypt

"Shucks. Cheney Says Diebolds Elected Me Twice!"
G. Bush/USA

Posted by: Bob North Smithfield | August 11, 2007 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Hopeful in Iowa wrote:
"I believe Huckabee wants to honor God. Our nation needs someone like that as our president."

Our nation HAS someone like that as our president, the worst one we've ever had. We can't survive two in a row.

Posted by: larry Maxcy | August 11, 2007 11:17 PM | Report abuse

I would argue that Mitt Romney was actually among the losers in today's Straw Poll.

Granted, Romney received the most votes, but there never were doubts he would win today; it would be the gap between him and the rest of the field - who were all second tier candidates - that would determine whether he was successful.

If you look at recent polls of likely GOP caucus-goers in Iowa, Romney has usually sat around 25%. With the extraction of supporters from Giuliani, McCain, and F. Thompson from the voting pool, you would expect Romney to draw a much larger percentage of support. In fact, he drew 31% of today's vote, which was only about a 20% increase from his poll numbers. In comparison, Huckabee, Brownback, Tancredo, Paul, and even T. Thompson (who will probably pull out of the race after today) showed significantly larger gains in today's vote compared to where they were polling - some of them even received twice the amount of support in today's straw poll than where they were polling.

What I am trying to say is that while Romney technically won, I think he expected to garner more like 41% of the vote with the other top-tier candidates in absentia. Since the straw poll was never about winning for Romney and only concerned margin of victory, I think, relative to the other top vote-getters, Romney had a mediocre showing at best.

Posted by: Brett | August 11, 2007 11:11 PM | Report abuse

I think Bill Maher comment during a second interview of Ron Paul is fitting after he had "Finally" listened to Ron Paul.
The first interview, he had kinda did as many other uninformed talk show hosts and news commentators had done of belittling and sarcastically down playing his candidacy.

The quote was.. "If America was a smarter nation, would you[Dr. Paul] be leading in the polls".

Any other candidate in either party is virtually the status quo of what we have seen for decades.
Minor differences of how much money will be fleeced from We the People, How much liberty one will take away from We the People, or how they will spend the money put We the People further in debt.

Dr. Paul is the only one speaking the plain simple truth that most of We The People either don't what to hear, or are afraid to hear.

Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Ben Franklin would all be proud of their colleague of posterity and Vote for Ron Paul.

Posted by: Brent Sr. | August 11, 2007 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee is the real deal. This man has the character, vision, values, experience, and ability to unite the Republican Party for a win in 2008. I am excited to see what he does in the caucuses. God said in the Bible, "those who honor Me, I will honor," I Samuel 2:30. I believe Huckabee wants to honor God. Our nation needs someone like that as our president.

Posted by: Hopeful in Iowa | August 11, 2007 11:03 PM | Report abuse

I think Bill Maher comment during a second interview of Ron Paul is fitting after he had "Finally" listened to Ron Paul.
The first interview, he had kinda did as many other uninformed talk show hosts and news commentators had done of belittling and sarcastically down playing his candidacy.

The quote was "If America was a smarter nation, would you[Dr. Paul] be leading in the polls"

Posted by: Brent Sr. | August 11, 2007 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Good for Huckabee; bad for Brownback, okay for Romney, curtains for Tommy Thompson. Huckabee's campaign chief discounted his chances beforehand by saying they couldn't bus in his supporters. If that was true, it's interesting.

Plus it's a great ad for weight-loss, as Huck has dropped over 100 lbs. Remember that other weird upstart from Arkansas?

Posted by: daveinboca | August 11, 2007 10:56 PM | Report abuse

This is NOT a win for Romney.

More straw poll analysis:

Posted by: matt | August 11, 2007 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Romney won the Ames straw poll with fewer votes than Steve Forbes had in 1999. What this truly shows is a defeated and apathetic GOP. (Forbes won 4921 votes; Romney won 4516).

Posted by: Dimitri | August 11, 2007 10:46 PM | Report abuse

A Republican Party practice event for forthcoming electronic voting machine fraud?

Posted by: Inquirer | August 11, 2007 10:39 PM | Report abuse

huckabees supporters will bombard blogs etc but if he doesn't get big bucks out of this (hardly impressive) 2nd place, then he's over too. And what's the reason he shoudl be president? Gastric bypass surgery? Forget ...the world does not heart's Romney's show form now on

Posted by: fo real | August 11, 2007 10:35 PM | Report abuse

This is a big win for Romney. He had a good testing of his mobilization effort in Iowa and it was good enough to win.

I think that Huchabee will still have problems raising money. He has done well in every debate and has not turned that into campaign dollars.

Posted by: George | August 11, 2007 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee has lacked the money necessary to compete. It would appear that this has all changed tonight! By the way, how many millions did Romney spend to get only 4516 votes?!?!

Posted by: Alex | August 11, 2007 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee is the obvious choice to anyone who has listened to people will get the oppertunity to hear him on the issues as he gets the recognition and media coverage that he needs. I am praying for team Huckabee!

Posted by: Rena Cook | August 11, 2007 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Way to go Governor Huckabee, you are the only true conservative in this race.

Posted by: Norman Smith | August 11, 2007 10:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm pleased to see that Huckabee had such a nice showing. He seems like an honest guy, and his tax plan is very appealing. This vote, and his good performance in the last debate, may launch him ahead of Romney in the national polls.

Posted by: Adam | August 11, 2007 10:05 PM | Report abuse

YOOOOOHOOOOOO!!! Go team Huckabee!! Great job in Iowa.

Fred Thompson can stay out, John McCain needs to get out and Giuliani needs to figure it out. It's down to Huckabee and Romney. Period.

Hopefully with these results, T. Thompson, Hunter and Tancredo will drop out immediately while Ron Paul and Sam Brownback (especially since he is from Kansas and threw more money into Iowa than Huckabee) will be on their heels.

Giuliani and McCain quit, so anything than this being played as a loss for them is a joke.


Posted by: Bruce Gresham | August 11, 2007 10:00 PM | Report abuse

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