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Memo to Huckabee: It's Time to Take Some Risks

If you've been paying any attention to the political world over the last few days, you know that Mike Huckabee is reaping political rewards from his surprising second place finish at the Ames Straw Poll over the weekend.

Mike Huckabee
No time to smile, Gov. Huckabee! It's time to capitalize on that strong showing in the Iowa GOP straw poll. (AP)

In the last few days, Huckabee has appeared on "Hardball with Chris Matthews," "Kudlow & Company," "Hannity & Colmes," CBS's "Early Show," "Your World with Neil Cavuto" and the Laura Ingraham radio show. That's more television time than Huckabee received in the first six months of the year.

All of that media exposure is the short-term benefit of Huckabee's second-place finish. Most voters -- even Republicans in the early states -- probably hadn't heard of Huckabee until this past weekend. The former Arkansas governor has not run any paid media (radio or television advertising) because, frankly, he didn't have the spare cash. Thus, exposure via a series of interviews on cable and broadcast television is invaluable.

But if all Huckabee gets out of Ames is a bunch of television interviews, he will have squandered the opportunity that his runner-up status affords him.

What Huckabee needs -- and needs badly -- is money and organization. The good news for him is that his campaign is already taking steps to build both.

Since Saturday night, Huckabee has split his time between media appearances and calling major donors who were on the fence about making a contribution or raising money through their own networks. The campaign said it has added roughly 1,000 new donors since Saturday night.

The message? "We need help to continue the momentum," said Huckabee campaign manager Chip Saltsman. The result? "Nobody has told him 'no' yet."

Saltsman is also working the phones, having made more than 100 calls to donors over the past few days. Saltsman, a former chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party and a Bush Pioneer, has been working to line up some of his fellow Pioneers and Rangers ("whales" in Fix parlance) behind Huckabee's candidacy. Many of these people view backing a candidate as an investment, and up until Ames there was little evidence that Huckabee was the sort of investment that had the potential to pay off. Now Saltsman can make the case that Huckabee is the hot stock, urging donors to get in on the ground floor when it's still cheap.

The campaign also took a calculated gamble that now seems destined to pay off -- sending a large amount of donor prospecting direct mail last week in advance of the straw poll. The campaign was betting that by the time potential contributors were opening the mail, Huckabee would be riding high off his surprising showing at Ames.

Huckabee -- and Saltsman -- MUST find a way to convince more donors to sign on if the former governor hopes to be a serious contender next year. While his shoestring budget paid dividends at Ames, the universe of voters was tiny (14,000 or so). In a broader electorate, money equals television advertising and a skilled get-out-the-vote operation.

At the end of June, Huckabee had raised a paltry $1.3 million for the race (a sum several of his opponents can collect in a good week), and he had just $437,000 to spend. It's unreasonable to think that Huckabee will ever match Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney in the money chase, but he cannot be out spent by tens of millions of dollars and expect to stay competitive.

The other major area in which Huckabee must find a way to translate his Ames momentum into real results is in staffing and organization. Saltsman all but ordered all hands on deck for Ames, moving people from the Little Rock campaign headquarters to Iowa while he himself spent weeks on end preparing for the straw poll. Huckabee won't be able to do that in the compressed primary schedule that faces all the candidates next year. He must figure out ways to broaden his staff (that means raising more money) and recruit influential endorsers in places like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

As for those who have already endorsed Huckabee, it's likely that they will get much more actively involved in the coming weeks and months. Many endorsed out of a sense of loyalty or friendship to the governor but now see a real opportunity to be major players in what is now a hot campaign. Expect people like former Gov. David Beasley (S.C.), who traveled with Huckabee in Iowa last week, and Gov. Mike Rounds (S.D.), who can be an influential voice in the heavily Republican western half of Iowa, to step up their level of activity on behalf of Huckabee.

While Huckabee and his campaign appear to be following the traditional routes to viability following his strong straw poll finish, it might also behoove him to take advantage of some less traditional methods of getting better known nationally.

Neil Newhouse, one of the most respected Republican pollsters in the business, suggested that Huckabee really think outside the box by appearing on "The Colbert Report" -- the wildly popular show on Comedy Central starring Stephen Colbert. It would expose Huckabee to an entirely new group of potential voters, drive media buzz and allow him to show off his sense of humor -- a trait that the New York Times's Adam Nagourney largely credited with Huckabee's straw poll success.

We tend to agree. Huckabee is unlikely to win by running a traditional campaign. His Ames performance has given him a moment in the limelight; he now needs to professionalize his campaign and take some risks to ensure he's not quickly forgotten

By Chris Cillizza  |  August 15, 2007; 2:49 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Comments

May I suggest all you folks so impressed with The Huckster read up on his history here in Arkansas by John Brummett and Max Brantley. He took tons of gifts from rich folks here and saw no conflict of interest. If you like FOI, he's not your guy. At the end of his term, he had all the hard drives of his inner circle physically destroyed. And just wait til you meet his family!

Posted by: carolanne | August 17, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Caw! Caw! Caw!

Posted by: Sam Brownback | August 17, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Sam Brownback took a beating from Tancredo on tv and radio - by name - in Iowa and the Fair Tax crowd bought 1,000 tickets and bussed in people to the Ames Straw Poll with "Huckabee good, Brownback bad" flyers in hand. And he still finished third just behind Huckabee. Senator Brownback is the social conservative with the best foreign policy experience. He chaired the US Senate sub-commmittee on the Middle East and the sub-committee on Southeast Asia. He was in Iraq and Afghanistan in December/early January, meeting with Shiah, Sunni and Kurd leaders and US military leaders. He actually has plans for improving Border Security/Immigration and the War in the Middle East. Brownback is a grass roots candidate and Iowa, NH and South Carolina are grass roots states. Look for the "top tier" and "best of the rest" to continue to attack Brownback to try to stop him. Once his campaign starts to take off,it won't stop. Join it now.

Posted by: Jim | August 17, 2007 12:52 AM | Report abuse

CHARLES FROM BERLIN, I understand. I have explored all candidates' websites -- and I so disagree with so many things that Huckabee says. HOWEVER, it is clear that he is a good man - despite his politics. Ergo, I say, if a Republican had to win, I would want it to be Huckabee. At least he respects honest atheists and doesn't believe that anyone has the right to force their beliefs on others.

So while I don't want him to win, I do want him to be the nominee, so that, just in case Hillary doesn't win, it's at least a seemingly genuine, kind man who does.

I think that both Giuliani and Romney are pathetic panderers. McCain is too old, and he's begun to sound like a madman in recent months, e.g., "Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran..." -- and Fred Thompson? Give me a break. The ultimate opportunist who won't commit until he's certain -- either that or he's so damned manipulative (and clever) that he'd rather wait to announce so that more people can see his "LAW & ORDER" character - which, to me, says that he believes the American public is so stupid that they'll think the character is him! I don't mention the other Republican candidates (except Ron Paul - the Dennis Kucinich of the Republican Party) because they haven't got a prayer.

God, how I wish CRITICAL THINKING courses were required prior to graduation from high school. Some of these posters - esp. those who refuse to put any kind of identity - make such idiotic statements that I can't help but wonder how they ever graduated from high school! (I make this assumption because they clearly can read!)UGH.

Posted by: FemaleNick | August 16, 2007 11:12 PM | Report abuse

I cannot help liking Huckabee, whatever his politics. I'm not sure what the "fair tax" proposal exactly entails, but I have to say I'm rather wary.

In any case, Huckabee seems to be a true compassionate conservative and not a partisan hack like Thompson or Giuliani, nor a slick opportunist like Romney.

Huckabee, McCain and Brownback seem to me the most thoughtful and most independent-minded Republican candidates.

I have to say I also was impressed by Brownback, who I once heared on the BBC (on a matter not connected to the presidential campaign). He's a worthy senator, but since he failed to gain momentum in Ames, I doubt there is any other opening for him out there. So yes, I'd say he should drop out and endorse another similarly-minded candidate (e.g. Huckabee).

Posted by: Charles from Berlin | August 16, 2007 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Let me just say that although I find him appealing on the surface, Mike Huckabee is the worst possible candidate from my perspective - socially, he's very conservative, economically, he taxes and spends.

Posted by: Venicemenace | August 16, 2007 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Hey, this article was just on the front page of Google News. Nice job Fix

Posted by: Venicemenace | August 16, 2007 8:25 PM | Report abuse

I ask you, does this really threaten anyone?

She flies so graceful
Over rocks and trees and sand
Soaring over cliffs
And gently floating down to land
She proudly lifts her voice
To sound her mating call
And soon her mate responds by singing
Caw Caw Caw

Come with me
Lesbian Seagull
Settle down and rest with me
Fly with me
Lesbian seagull
To my little nest
by the sea
With me, that's where you belong
with me, I know I can be strong
when you're
with me

She skims the water
At the noon time to seek
Her fish and she emerges
With one squirming in her beak
(Squiming - in - her - beeeeak)

She plays among the waves
And hides between the swells
She walks the beach at twilight
Searching for some shells

Come with me
Lesbian Seagull
Settle down and rest with me

Oh fly with me
Lesbian seagull
To my little nest by the sea

With me, that's where you belong
with me, I know I can be strong
when you're ---
you're with me

And in the evening
As they watch the setting sun
She looks at her as if to say
The day is done
It's time to find their shelter
Hidden in the dunes
And fall asleep together to the
Music of the moon

You and me
Lesbian seagull
You just watch the world oh my
Just you and I
Lesbian seagull
Side by side with me 'till we die
('Till we die)

You and I
We can make it if we try
Our love will keep us flyin' high
Until we die...

Posted by: same sex marriage | August 16, 2007 8:00 PM | Report abuse

bsimon and FemaleNick are arguing about the logic of an emotional response voiced by some discredited third person. Sounds like the "Spock" character on "Star Trek".

"That is not logical."

Posted by: Anonymous | August 16, 2007 7:20 PM | Report abuse

BSimon - I don't think it's an issue of "different things sticking out to different people." I was looking at EVERYTHING she wrote - and we were in complete agreement on her faulty logic. That she noted her occupation just made it all the worse to me for, in theory, attorneys have had time to hone their critical thinking skills. Certainly, they should be able to articulate them in writing! Hell, they spend most of their time researching and writing briefs. Her occupation made her final comment about not being able to articulate her dislike for Hillary doubly lame.

Posted by: FemaleNick | August 16, 2007 7:14 PM | Report abuse

JimD pointed out that Bob Graham's health at 72 is a serious issue, so I again agree with him completely - Wes Clark for VP for the Ds.

bsimon and JimD agree that the Ds have the ability to lose their current advantage at any time - and proud made the point on the newer thread that if the Ds in Congress thwart border enforcement and the enforcement of current laws against hiring undocs they will be on the unpopular side of the two illegal immigration issues upon which there seem to me to be a growing national consensus.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 16, 2007 6:12 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP--Truly shocking indeed that some capitalist bastard would try to take advantage of people trying to do the right thing.

Posted by: roo | August 16, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

femalenick writes
"GEEZ LOUISE. Where's the logic in that? Proof that a law degree does not equate to critical thinking skills. While I don't expect women to support Hillary based on being female alone, I do expect reasoned men AND women to be able to articulate why they don't support any candidate, regardless of party affiliation. A "female attorney" to write "I just don't like her" sounds juvenile and high schoolish."

Its funny how different things stick out to different people. You pick out that she can't articulate a distaste for hillary as a flaw, where I thought the premise that she felt she 'should' support Hillary as a fellow female attorney was evidence of faulty logic.

Posted by: bsimon | August 16, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Blarg,

Sorry, I meant creationism. Creationism, alone, defies science. Just like the existence of a supreme being defies science. It doesn't do anything to prove God exists, but scientifically it's impossible to believe that one being knows and sees all.

What most people don't like is the idea that Creationists ignore reason (not science). I'm saying that belief in any supreme being ignores reason.

Posted by: Joel | August 16, 2007 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Anndeegh, re: "I realize that I have left Hillary out of the mix, but I don't like her - no real reason I can articulate. As a fellow female attorney, part of me feels like I should be supporting her, but I just can't." -- all I can say, is GEEZ LOUISE. Where's the logic in that? Proof that a law degree does not equate to critical thinking skills. While I don't expect women to support Hillary based on being female alone, I do expect reasoned men AND women to be able to articulate why they don't support any candidate, regardless of party affiliation. A "female attorney" to write "I just don't like her" sounds juvenile and high schoolish. It's like watching a bad "made for TV" movie. That kind of statement I can't ignore.

Posted by: FemaleNick | August 16, 2007 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Heaven forbid that a Republican should be elected in '08, but were that to be the case, I would want it to be Huckabee.

I may not agree with most of his positions, but his statements at the Republican debates suggest that he practices what he preaches. He's the only one of the Republican candidates who lives by the true Christian principles of kindness, compassion, and respect for those whose views differ from his. And from a pro-choice gal, he is the ONLY Republican who has pointed out that his respect for life does not end in the womb. He's also the only Republican who has even uttered the struggle that a pregnant teenager faces or the choice that some seniors have to choose between medications and food -- which, in my mind, makes him a decent human being. So while I wouldn't cast a vote for him, he's the only Republican of those aiming for the nomination that I can accept in the White House.

Posted by: FemaleNick | August 16, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Joel, evolution "defies science"? I think you're a little mixed up. Evolution is a scientific theory supported by all available evidence. Creationism defies science. (Religion in general does not defy science; science says nothing about whether or not God exists.)

Posted by: Blarg | August 16, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

I can see the true nature of Mr. Huckabee's campaign. Attack other candidates. Stop shooting flaming arrows at others and drive your own campaign. Either change or you will not become a popular candidate. When you are number one, everyone wants to shoot at you. What will you say when you are number one? I doubt not much of substance.

Posted by: Bryant | August 16, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

"The offset is among the most unusual of commodities. Its substance is intangible, the absence of something. Some pollution would have existed, somewhere, sometime, the seller says, but now it won't."


What was that P.T. Barnum phrase?

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | August 16, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

This is just too funny. And I thought libs were smarter than this...

"With a click, a credit card and $99, visitors can pay a Silver Spring nonprofit group, Carbonfund.org, to "offset" a year's worth of greenhouse-gas emissions. Whatever the customer put into the atmosphere -- by flying, driving, using electricity -- the site promises to cancel out, by funding projects that reduce pollutants.

The business of selling carbon "offsets" to individuals who want to minimize their footprint on the environment didn't exist 20 years ago.

However, the market is chaotic and unregulated, and some researchers say offsets don't always deliver what they promise. (Ya think?)

Sites such as Carbonfund.org, offering absolution from the modern nag of climate guilt, have created a $55 million industry...duping guilt-ridden urbanites.

But in some cases, these customers may be buying good feelings and little else.

Shocking, truly shocking.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | August 16, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

pacman writes
"I think I detect a surprising dose of overconfidence from those who favor Democrats. If the Republicans nominate either Romney or Guiliani, either will have a sizable money advantage."

I agree with your first sentence, but your second doesn't match the facts. Both Clinton and Obama have each raised more money than Giuliani & Romney combined. Romney's 'advantage' is that he has a sizable personal fortune that he could potentially use for a campaign for President. But would he? Would he spend $20 million on his campaign to match what Obama or Clinton raised in one quarter? That is not at all clear.

Posted by: bsimon | August 16, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who questions a candidate who believes in evolution should question any candidate who believes in God. Most Creationists believe there was some sort of devine intervention that started the evolutionary process. I don't know it for a fact, but I'm quite sure that's where Huckabee stands.

Either way, religion in general and evolution are both principles of faith, both defying science. So if you knock him for being a creationist, start knocking every candidate out there for believing in a man who lives in the clouds and can see and hear everything.

Posted by: Joel | August 16, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Although Gov. Huckabee and Gov. Richardson are the closest candidates to "normal" people in the race, that just doesn't translate into donations.

Huckabee needs to capitalize on the Ames' results, much as Richardson will need to take advantage of a possible victory in Nevada. But it still won't get them the big money needed to compete nationally.

Frankly, I think I detect a surprising dose of overconfidence from those who favor Democrats. If the Republicans nominate either Romney or Guiliani, either will have a sizable money advantage. And like the Ames' poll, that translates into votes.

Yes, those of us paying attention now may know better, but the ad buys that those well-financed candidates can make will unfortunately persuade a lot of people.

Posted by: pacman | August 16, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I disagree, plamonica. Huckabee's personal beliefs are an issue, even if he doesn't make policy based on those beliefs. The fact that he doesn't believe in evolution shows that he has no interest in science or rational thought; he obeys his faith instead of information about the real world. Huckabee's disbelief in evolution says a lot about the way his mind works, and that's not the mind I want in the White House.

Posted by: Blarg | August 16, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

i see so many post on here about huckabees faith. okay, so he doesnt believe in evolution. that is his personal belief, i think that the main question is can he govern without letting his beliefs get in the way of what is best for the people. maybe someone with some faith (not someone who wants to have a war with other religions like w) wouldnt be so bad.

Posted by: plamonica | August 16, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

JimD in FL writes
"One can never underestimate the ability of the Democrats to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory... [W]hile the population is fed up with the Republicans, they are not enamored with the Democrats. Should the nomination contest force the eventual nominee to go too far left to win the nomination, it could backfire in the general election."

I agree. My percpetion is that neither party really knows what they stand for right now. The Dems are largely running as "not Republicans", which is an understandable tactic, but doesn't seem like a good long term strategy. Once the Republicans figure out what they are, the Dems will have to come up with a real message. Of course, since the Republicans apparently don't yet want to distance themselves from Bush, they don't seem very will poised for electoral success either.

Posted by: bsimon | August 16, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

bsimon,

I just read the article myself. It is very interesting. "The Republicans have failed the most important test of any political movement ..(governing).. successfully. They have botched a war. They have splurged on spending. And they have alienated a huge section of the population. It is now the Democrats' game to win or lose."

One can never underestimate the ability of the Democrats to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. The one thing that would galvanize Repbulicans of all stripes is Senator Clinton as the Democratic presidential nominee. Also, while the population is fed up with the Republicans, they are not enamored with the Democrats. Should the nomination contest force the eventual nominee to go too far left to win the nomination, it could backfire in the general election.

Posted by: JimD in FL | August 16, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Mark's link to The Economist worked for me. It is certainly a thought-provoking piece.

Posted by: bsimon | August 16, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Huckabee is just too much of a rube to compete nationally.

W is pretty much the outer limit of the acceptable range of rubeness to a national audience. W had the advantage of the fact that everyone knew he was really a Connecticut blueblood PRETENDING to be a rube, so they discounted his rubeness by a certain amount. Huckabee doesn't have that in his favor, and the public is a little sick of W's corn pone shtick, so that works against the "little bit country, little bit rock and roll" gig Huckabee is trying to run.

And that whole "the Earth is 6000 years old" thing might help with the Republican primary electorate of semi-retarded people, but it won't help with independents. The only man currently running who could humiliate us more overseas than Bush has is this guitar-playing medievalist.

Posted by: Fluffy | August 16, 2007 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Mark & lyle,

I think Clark is far and away the best choice for Senator Clinton if she is the nominee. He would appeal to constituencies that do not normally go Democratic but are fed up with the Republicans. He would help innoculate the ticket against the inevitable "soft on national security" charge. Senator Clinton wants to highlight experience and competence in her campaign and Clark would surely reinforce those themes. Clark also has a following among the net roots who are suspicious of Senator Clinton.

Posted by: JimD in FL | August 16, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I like Bill Richardson and Mike Huckabee for the same reason: both have been the head cheese, albeit in small states. I just don't know how much any senator, with no executive experience, will have any idea of how to hit the ground runnning. There will be no time for a learning curve.

I realize that I have left Hillary out of the mix, but I don't like her - no real reason I can articulate. As a fellow female attorney, part of me feels like I should be supporting her, but I just can't.

Posted by: Anndeegh | August 16, 2007 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Bob Graham will be 72 in November 2008 and has had heart trouble in the past. I am not sure if he would want to do it at this stage of his life and not sure if he would make a good VP candidate. He remains very popular in Florida but he certainly did not mount a very impressive campaign for president last time around.

Posted by: JimD in FL | August 16, 2007 9:42 AM | Report abuse

For Your Information Hukcabee had to raise the taxes!! those taxes were approved by 80% of the voters!!! They needed to repair the roaed because the raods in arkansas were the worst!!..... He raised the taxes to fix arkansasa infrustructure, something minnesota shouldve done.

Posted by: I Like Mike | August 16, 2007 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Giuliani vs Clinton or Huckabee vs clinton means the same-two fights from the 'same' states ! Obama Vs any one from GOP would be more ideal.

Posted by: Arun Mehta | August 16, 2007 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Don't overlook a sense of humor, (esp. about ones'self)in appealing to the base as well as the average voters in the early primaries. (Remember the squirrels outnumber the voters in places like NH, SC, IA, etc.. and they LIKE it that way). Reagan went a long way on little managerial talent, lofty conservative values, and a great sense of humor about himself, and everyone around him. As far as being from Arkansas is concerned, what governor from that state hasn't had ethical problems? I thought it was one of the pre-requistes for the job.... If the Huck can raise some serious $$$$ over the next 4-6 weeks, he will be a serious contender by October. The Repubs could do a lot worse.

Posted by: L.Sterling | August 16, 2007 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin: Gen. Clark would be a good pick as well, but I kinda think he will be the Defense pick. I hadn't thought of Graham much since he left the Senate, and Rendell of Pa. came to mind when I added Pa. to my Electoral total. WVU may be a big suprise, along with Ohio State.

Posted by: lylepink | August 16, 2007 12:48 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Bokonon, but would add that Wes Clark or Bob Graham are strong VP choices for any possible D nominee.

There is an excellent "Economist" article -
an overview of the shift in American politics - at

http://www.economist.com/world/na/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9619083&CFID=15321411&CFTOKEN=85618478

but I do not know if it is available to non-subscribers.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 15, 2007 11:06 PM | Report abuse

yeah, lyle... I know we have some friendly disagreement about the relative merits of the 2 named Democrats, but I think you would agree that neither one would want to be #2 on the ticket.
Yes, Mark Warner is good for VP, if he doesn't run for the Senate. But if John Warner stays in, he (Mark) has said he will not run against him. There is also some talk of MW running for gov. of VA again tho... and MW doesn't have much experience in government (1 term as VA governor) - and none on the national level. He would be an OK pick for Hillary, less so for Obama.
and in re: Evan Bayh, he won't turn anyone on. I think Wes Clark would be a better choice, or former Sen. Bob Graham of Florida. Graham voted against the original Iraq resolution, AND he was strong on foreign policy, so he would be an excellent choice for either Obama or Clinton... and he might put Florida in play. Does anyone know anything about what he's up to now?

Posted by: Bokonon | August 15, 2007 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Bokonon: I think you are 100% accurate about Obamaa as VP, no way. I am inclined to think Mark Warner of Va. or Senator Byah from Indiana is the most likely choices, no matter who the dems choose as their nominee. Both have A+ reps., and I know of no scandels either of them have been connected with.

Posted by: lylepink | August 15, 2007 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Hey "Clinton/Obama" -

in the 1st place, Obama would not run as Hillary's VP.
In the 2nd place, I am a committed Democrat who supports Obama. (I can see you now, holding your head as curls of smoke and a frantic beeping alarm fill the air. DOES.NOT.COMPUTE .... BEEPBEEPBEEPBEEP *&%&^%$)
In the third place, contrary to your simplistic formulation, I will not vote for Hillary to be nominated. I will, however, vote for her in the general election if she is the nominee.

Posted by: Bokonon | August 15, 2007 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Let's get serious folks...

Your're either WITH the Democrats or AGAINST them...

Hillary is FIRST among Democrats...

So... The FACT is...

You're either with Hillary or against the Democrats!

This is the wave of the future! GO HILLARY!!!!! The repubs are a dying race!

Posted by: Clinton/Obama 08 | August 15, 2007 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Rev-gov Huckabee was involved in several questionable ethics violation investigations during his tenure in Arkansas, most of them having to do with appearances of greed and favoritism. He championed a murdering rapist's early release from prison, who went on to rape and murder again. His son received publicity for engaging in animal cruelty. He has something of a reputation for being thin-skinned, grudge-holding, and petulant. Never mind his political positions, folks REALLY need to look at this fella's pattern of behaviors before assuming he's some god-sent saint. All these things are a matter of public record.

Posted by: little gilbert | August 15, 2007 7:22 PM | Report abuse

John S. Maine - I am a Massachusetts resident and voter, and I can tell you that Mitt Romney was only marginally able to put across his BS with a reliably Democratic Legislature.

He did NOT balance the budget, and he DID raise taxes (he just called them "fees.")

And the Mass. health care was passed OVER his veto, because he was initially unwilling to require businesses to contribute to a pool to fund care.

Thankfully, he was overridden by the Democratic Legislature.

So to sum up, in his 3 years as MA governor (last one largely spent on the road mocking the state and its residents!), Romney was able to sow a lot of division and resentment. Didn't accomplish much, though. Unfortunately, the bad example shown him over the past several years in DC has given him the mistaken impression that that kind of $h1t will also fly on a federal level.

Posted by: Bokonon | August 15, 2007 6:54 PM | Report abuse

What's the big deal. someone had to come in second. It wasn't going to be rudy or Mccain (showing up is half the batttle) so by default it had to be some third tier guy. why is this so surprising, unless any result is surprising. the MSM is just so out of touch they can't predict a simple result like this. It wasn't going to be Paul or tancredo or Fred so there were really only two possibilites and they both were close.

big Yawn. Why do I care what Iowa or NH thinks? nice tradition but outdated now.

anyone who doesn't think it is going to be Rudy vs the witch (PIAPS) is not dealing with a full deck. If they, the Libs win, we will have an all effeminate elected class - Hill, harry and nancy.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 15, 2007 6:48 PM | Report abuse

i TOLD YOU, DIDN'T i. i TOLD THE gop REAL GOAL WAS TO SILENCE THE INTERNET.

"Internet is "the new Afghanistan": NY police commissioner


NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Internet is the new battleground against Islamist extremism because it provides ideology that could radicalize Westerners who might then initiate home-grown attacks, New York police commissioner Raymond Kelly said on Wednesday.

"The Internet is the new Afghanistan," Kelly said, as he released a New York Police Department (NYPD) report on the home-grown threat of attacks by Islamist extremists. "It is the de facto training ground. It's an area of concern."

The report found that the challenge for Western authorities was to identify, pre-empt and prevent home-grown threats, which was difficult because many of those who might undertake an attack often commit no crimes along the path to extremism.

The report identified the four stages to radicalization as pre-radicalization, self-identification, indoctrination, and jihadization, and said the Internet drove and enabled the process."


If the democrats are terrorists, like the RNC says, does this mean they want to silence liberal voices? I think so. This is why 9/11 happened. The gop fear of the internet.

Posted by: RUFUS | August 15, 2007 6:42 PM | Report abuse

In the coming months, our national attention will be shifting from political pork to political crow. Democrats have put themselves in a position where they will be eating a lot of it, as it now appears there is a chance of victory in Iraq. All those on the left who have been advocating surrender will have pie on their face or crow on their plates.

The unacceptable fact that Bush may have been proven right is not something Democrats can comprehend, much less acknowledge. The only way to live with this wholesale refutation of their worldview is complete denial or utter revision. I expect most will opt for revision.

With liberals' proven skills in redefining reality to their own specifications, I expect the coming 'repositioning' will prove more entertaining than American Idol. By this time next year, the wholesale Democrat opposition to the Iraq war will have been flushed down the memory hole. Airbrushed, sanitised and revised.

What also qualifies for reality is the fact that the Democrat party, with the aid of the old media, has been actively aiding and abetting our enemies by advocating surrender, undermining troop morale and doing anything and everything to undermine America's struggle with Islamic terrorists, both at home and abroad.

The good news is, the tide is turning in Iraq. The good news is, the left has not been ultimately successful in its efforts to undermine America (Bush). The good news for Democrats is, they still have a willing media available to enable them to redefine a 180 degree about-face into an act of political courage.

Posted by: we be flip floppers | August 15, 2007 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Mike Huckabee is an appealing looking candidate on the surface. If you peel away the veneer you find a liberal rino. Mike Huckabee has won of the worst records when it comes to taxing and spending. Bill Clinton was more conservative financially then Huck thats just the facts! Mitt Romney is the real Governor who cut taxes and reeled in an out of control Democratic Legislature! If you want real leadership, with a true conservative record, you got to vote Mitt Romney!

John S. Maine

Posted by: John S. Maine | August 15, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse

"John Kerry Vulnerable in '08 Senate Race Just 60 days after forming an exploratory committee to defeat John Kerry for the US Senate in 2008, a Zogby poll shows shows Jeff Beatty to be in a virtual tie with the former presidential candidate."

so the moral of the story is if you are a Dem/Lib, don't advertise your positions, you will lose the next election if you do. Instead, be more like Hillary with secret methods and sealed records. No sense telling the voters what you actually think. the result would just be that they don't vote for you. so you Dem/Lib candidates, please continue to obfuscate, spin and lie. all the campaign promises will be ignored, just like last time. we really don't expect anything from you anyway.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 15, 2007 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Judge, I see what you're saying. Huckabee comes across as a kind harmless ex-fat guy, but he reliably drinks the GOP Kool-aid down to the last drop, on every issue.

Posted by: Bokonon | August 15, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Spoke too soon. Huckabee's a nut on a number of issues. He certainly doesn't wear his religion like a cheap suit unlike most GOP nominees.

http://www.mikehuckabee.com/index.cfm?FuseAction=Issues.Home

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | August 15, 2007 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Can Huck please tell us more about his evolution denial? Pleeeeease?

http://political-buzz.com/

Posted by: chrisfl | August 15, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

One thing the MSM hasn't told us... just what kind of voter supported Huckabee in Ames?

The FEC is looking into possible irregularities in the coming days, and has already been investigating the role a homeschooling 501c3 organization played in political activity on Huckabee's behalf.

Huckabee doesn't believe in evolution, doesn't support the use of stem cells for research, wants the unfair national sales tax Fair Tax plan, and promotes home schooling.

And, speaking of the Fair Tax, instead of renting buses for his supporters to use to get to the Straw Poll, he encouraged them to catch rides on the Fair Tax buses.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | August 15, 2007 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I see many comments about evolution with regards to Huckabee, but I believe he muted those objections with his beautifully crafted answer at the following debate. He effectively answered that he believed the question was a referendum on the belief in God, which puts him in the mainstream of America.

Posted by: FH | August 15, 2007 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Colbert would like to tell Huckabee about how much he agrees with Huckabee's anti-evolution stance.

Posted by: JGG | August 15, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Just another Huckleberry!

Posted by: The Scooter | August 15, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Also, will the American people elect another guy from Arkansas so soon, regardless of party? I just can't see it.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | August 15, 2007 04:55 PM

do you mean hillary?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

It occurred to me that seeing Huckabee and Obama debate in the general election would certainly restore my faith in our political process. Which means that it definitely won't happen.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | August 15, 2007 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Since McCain's candidacy seems to be firmly in the toilet Huckabee is perhaps the next least worse choice. Depending on the phase of the moon, McCain seems to have an unacceptable position on abortion; Huckabee's is more reasonable. I like the progressive national retail sales tax but Reason is correct: the corporate puppeteers that control the GOP will never allow Huckabee's nomination. Look for Swift Boat tactics that target Huckabee with the standard baseless allegations. A person having such heartfelt convictions doesn't stand a chance of getting the GOP nod.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | August 15, 2007 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Also, will the American people elect another guy from Arkansas so soon, regardless of party? I just can't see it.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | August 15, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Mitty will spend $100 million if need be to crush this guy.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | August 15, 2007 4:52 PM | Report abuse

As a progressive Democrat, Huckabee scares the heck out of me as a candidate b/c he inspires the religious base but can still appeal to the middle of the electorate. However, the business-oriented side of the GOP hates him b/c he raised taxes in Arkansas and actually expanded some social programs there. Accordingly, I question whether he would be able to raise enough money to win a general election even if he did manage to get the nomination.

All that being said, Huckabee would be a tough match-up against all the Dem candidates -- so I truly hope he doesn't get too much momentum.

Posted by: Colin | August 15, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Please do not acknowledge or engage the trolls, ignore them completely.

Posted by: Zookeepress | August 15, 2007 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I agree that Huckabee does seem like an actual compassionate conservative. I caught his interview on The Daily Show, and his talk about education and life in general almost impressed me. But he said he does not believe in evolution, which makes me worry about another president that places religion above science. He is a minister, after all. I will never vote for a republican, but as a nominee they could do worse

Posted by: Simon | August 15, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I've seen Gov. Huckabee in a few debates and on Meet the Press. From what I've read and heard he sounds like a decent fellow (and to echo a previous poster) who cares about the average American. His fair tax proposal echoes some populist themes (although I question whether or not it would work). Regardless, I don't think he'll be the eventual Republican nominee. I think his position on evolution and his religious bona fides won't play well with Republican moderates and independents who can vote in Republican primaries. He suffers because of Bush's religiosity, which plays very well with many in the religious Republican base, but not so much with others. All that being said, I think the Romney camp has to be (or should be) concerned about Huckabee (so should F. Thompson). Huckabee is consistent in his political beliefs and, unlike Bush, seems to be a genuine "compassionate" conservative. Huckabee has executive experience and a life story that has much more in common with the average person than Romney. To top it off, Huckabee is likable, charismatic, and good in debates (he probably loves dogs too). If he can parlay his success at Ames into some more free press and notice he might surprise...

Posted by: Sean | August 15, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Romney and Huckabee were certainly the big winners in Ames. Per dollar, Huckabee killed the pack! But, when you factor in the free press for Romney's victory, how much does it really help/hurt his campaign? How well did he fair in his appearances? I think Huckabee fared best in his, saying "we did the best job with the fewest resources." That's powerful. Plus all of the free press he has. Huckabee is positioning himself as that "agent of change" by supporting the "Fair Tax". This is a risky and innovative move. Guiliani has already came out against the fair tax, and Romney and McCain doesn't seem keen on it either. This gives him an advantage in front of every day Joes. There is a problem, however. Big business doesn't like the fair tax and Huckabee's main issue right now is fundraising...touting the fair tax ain't gonna help him get big money from big business. If Brownback would drop the race and endorse Huckabee, he would then be a legite contender. Brownback should do just that, being that he has absolutely no shot of winning at all. Huckabee, it looks like, is getting the average everyday Republican with the fair tax and socially conservative agenda, albeit sharing the social conservative's with Brownback, and Guiliani is going to receive the endorsement of the Club For Growth, I believe. That leaves Brownback in the cold, and he should quit now. It would definately be in Huckabee's interest.

Posted by: reason | August 15, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

In raising money, it never hurts to have people know who you exist. Outside of Arkansas, Iowa, and Capitol Hill, who knows who Huckabee is? He needs to capitalize on the current media bubble around him, and then collect from donors.

Posted by: dry_fish | August 15, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I think he's perfect for the country. He's had his stomach stapled and he sounds like a movie title. He's the perfect vacuous, meaningless candidate this country deserves. Now if we had a pair we'd elect Ron Paul.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

He's already been on both "The Colbert Report" and "The Daily Show."

Posted by: MA | August 15, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Also Huckabee has been on the colbert report before, and you can see when he was on the Daily Show on Comedy Central's website.

Posted by: Andy R | August 15, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee I think is doing all the right things right now. I would expect him to bring in 5-10 million this quarter. IMO he is the only Republican candidate that could win the general election because he can play both his Conservative credentials without freaking out the Independents that the GOP will need to win. I disagree with Huckabee on most things but I do think he genuinly cares about his fellow americans and not just the corporate types that have been running our country for the past 16+ years.

Posted by: Andy R | August 15, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I disagree, Judge. Colbert would gladly have a Republican presidential candidate on his show. The interview would be more entertaining with a wingnut like Tancredo, but that doesn't mean Colbert wouldn't talk to Huckabee.

The Daily Show would make more sense for Huckabee, though. It's a more common place for presidential candidates to appear, and there's less risk of being mocked.

Posted by: Blarg | August 15, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I thought you were leaving Chris. BLogging about Huckabee is the equivalnet. does he have any chance? Nope. None. Get back to the beach buddy :)

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

"...suggested that Huckabee really think outside the box by appearing on 'The Colbert Report' "

Naah, they wouldn't take him. He's not enough of a blathering hypocrite.

Normally they like people who sound like O'Reilly so that Colbert can do his schtick of sounding like he's in total agreement until he brings up an inconvenient truth in a manner which still agrees with the guest.

They'd scarf up Romney in a red state second.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | August 15, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Frankly, Chris, I'd rather hear more about how you in the MSM keep saying bad things about Sen. Obama when the vast majority of the audiences at the competitive speeches thought he won.

We need you to stop trying to pick candidates for us. We know what America needs - and quite frankly, it's either Sen. Obama or Pres. Gore. Or both.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | August 15, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

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