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Mike Huckabee: Placing Faith in a Hopeful Message

Yes, that Mike Huckabee: The Arkansas governor who went from fat to fit, from munching to marathoning, from political unknown to a man profiled by the nation's leading news organizations.

Gov. Mike Huckabee
Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says he isn't interested in separating his personal faith from politics. Above, Huckabee speaks May 9 to listeners of his monthly radio call-in show. (AP)

Huckabee's wild ride has not only transformed him physically but also politically. A few years ago he was best known as the second most famous politician from Hope, Arkansas. Now, Huckabee is mentioned on the short list of candidates for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, alongside names like Sen. John McCain and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Whether Huckabee can keep pace with these national notables depends on one question: Does he have the political heft to get voters to focus beyond what he's currently best-known for nationally -- his significant weight loss and adoption of a rigorous physical exercise and healthy eating regimen -- to his broader vision for the nation?

"A lot of people have sort of tied me to, 'Gosh, he's the guy that lost the weight and wrote the book," acknowledged Huckabee in an hour-long interview last week in Washington, D.C. "But that then usually leads to, 'Is there anything else about you, or is this it? Is that all you've got?'" (Read the full transcript of the interview here.)

Huckabee would like voters to know about the successes he says his administration achieved in Arkansas, and in the interview he ticked off what he claimed were significant improvements in education and transportation as well as a committment to environmental conservation. But when it gets down to it, what animinates Huckabee most is his faith, and it's his background as an evangelical Christian from the South that could very well distinguish him from the rest of the GOP pack.

Asked whether he considers himself to be more "preacher" or "politician," Huckabee insisted that it is impossible to separate the two. "I would say that my faith has everything to do with my politics," he explained. "The reason I care about people in poverty, the reason that I care about people who live in substandard housing, the reason that I was moved to compassion [for the victims of Hurricane] Katrina without any doubt was because of my faith."

Educated at Ouachita Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Huckabee spent the 1980s as a Baptist minister in Pine Bluff and Texarkana. He rose to prominence in the state as the head of the Arkansas Baptist Convention, which boasted a membership of nearly half a million people. After a failed run for Senate in 1992, Huckabee was elected lieutenant governor in 1993. He began running for Senate again in 1996 but dropped from the race and assumed the governorship in July when then Gov. Jim Guy Tucker (D) resigned following a guilty plea on charges of arranging fraudent loans.

Huckabee said his faith leads him to take positions on issues -- like immigration -- that "tend to be a little unconventional." On immigration, Huckabee aligns himself with President Bush rather than more conservative elements of the Republican Party, favoring a "pathway to citizenship" for those who at one time entered the United States illegally.

"To think that we're going to go lock up 12 million people or even round them up and drive them to the border and let them go might make a great political speech but it's not going to happen," said Huckabee.

He downplayed the political consequences of the issue, insisting that while there is a segment of people who are "truly exercised about this and virtually nothing but this," the vast majority of voters are not up in arms over the idea of offering illegal immigrants a chance to be citizens. "I just don't believe that at the breakfast table in most homes in Arkansas the first thing that happens is the man throws his cereal spooon down and says: 'Let's talking about immigration, honey,'" said Huckabee.

Huckabee's insistence that faith should guide how government helps Americans struggling to make ends meet is creating some tensions within the national Republican Party. He drew considerable flack for his decision to sign a miminum wage increase into law last month. The D.C.-based Club For Growth, a leading opponent of government regulation of the economy, decried that decision, saying Huckabee is "no true conservative" on the organization's blog.

While Huckabee's faith at times leads him into conflict with the Republican base, it also makes him the poster child for social conservatives on hot-button issues like abortion. Huckabee said he would have signed the strict abortion law enacted recently in South Dakota had he been that state's governor. "If I'm going to err, I am going to err on the side of life," he said.

In his decade as Arkansas governor, Huckabee said he has signed "every kind of pro-life legislation that we can sign under existing law," but added that ultimately the change should be "more in the hearts of people than in the laws of people." That transformation, said Huckabee, comes from a reassessment of the culture in American today; "I think we need to recognize that we have had a cultural shift, and it hasn't necessarily been all that positive."

Huckabee rattles off a series of statistics to back up that claim. If an individual graduates from high school, holds a job for at least five years and gets and stays married (and remains monogamous), there is a 91 percent chance that person will not spend a single day in poverty. On the other hand, an individual who marries before age 18, does not finish high school and is not regularly employed has an 86 percent chance of spending the majority of his or her life in poverty.

"If you just look at the sheer statistical numbers from a dispassionate perspective, there has been in fact some real consequences as there has been a growing instability of the family unit," he said. Huckabee's solution is a refocusing -- on a personal and public policy level -- on rebuilding communities.

That rhetoric, coupled with Huckabee's evangelical background, could make him an appealing choice for conservative voters who tend to assess candidates through a religious lens, especially in the Iowa caucuses where that type of voter predominates. Of the current top-tier candidates in the 2008 Republican race -- McCain, Sen. George Allen (Va.) and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney -- none has a resumé to match Huckabee's when it comes to courting voters whose first voting priorities are abortion and gay marriage. And another fun fact -- three of the last five U.S. presidents (including the current president) were committed evangelical Christians and governors from the South.

Huckabee's political philosophy is not simply a parroting of positions favored by social conservatives; rather, it is an attempt to fuse social and fiscal concerns. "There are a lot of people in the Republican Party who think there is this total disconnect between fiscal responsibility and social responsiblity," said Huckabee. "I've never matched it up quite like that."

The best example of the intermingling of the social and the fiscal, according to Huckabee, is on health care -- on which 16 percent of America's gross national product is spent. To hear him tell it, 75 percent of health care costs are caused by chronic disease, and the root causes of chronic disease are overeating, smoking and inactivity. "Change those three behaviors and there's a dramatic shift," argued Huckabee. "The one thing that will really change America is to go from a disease focus to a health focus."

There's little question that Huckabee has the rhetorical chops to keep up with the likes of McCain, Romney and Allen, but he has yet to prove he can stay within shouting distance financially.

Huckabee formed Healthy America in July 2005 (now recast as Hope for America to show the governor is more than a one-issue candidate), incorporating it as a 527 committee that can accept unlimited contributions but must disclose donations with the Internal Revenue Service. In the last five months of 2005, the committee raised $117,000 and collected another $64,000 in the first three months of this year, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. (In May, alone, however, Hope for America took in $25,000 from FEQ Investments, $20,000 from SPH Investments and $10,000 from Dr. Fred E. Wilson.)

"I think I can raise the money," said Huckabee. "I spent my life raising money for both church, charitable, causes, as well as political. I don't mind doing it, but I darn sure want to look someone in the eye and if I'm going to ask them to contribute something, that's because we really need a contribution."

For the moment, Huckabee says he is not running for anything, although he is considerably more forthcoming than many of his potential rivals about his interest in a run for president in two years time.

"This is an endeavor that ... I am obviously thinking about," he said. No decision on a 2008 presidential run will be made until the end of this year when Huckabee completes his second term as governor.

That decision, he said, will revolve around four factors -- message, machinery, money, motivating volunteers. "If you can do those...four things then you can run," Huckabee said. " If you can't do those four things, then you can't."

Time will tell whether the Arkansas governor can satisfy his own criteria and make the race. If he does run, expect his rhetoric to draw heavily on his own personal experiences -- a positive message mixing fitness and faith.

"Fear is a very explosive emotion, but it has a short life span. It's the sprint," says Huckabee. "The marathon is hope."

Read The Fix's past Insider Interviews with potential 2008 presidential candidates:

* Sen. George Allen (R-Va.)
* Sen. Evan Bayh (D-In.)
* Former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.)
* Gov. Tom Vilsack (D-Iowa)

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 23, 2006; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008 , Insider Interview , Republican Party  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Conn. Senate: Lieberman's Primary Fight Getting More Interesting
Next: Chris Dodd's White House Surprise

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Look at the Huckabee record in Arkansas. He has accomplished a lot in 10 years as governor. He passed the first tax cut in state history. The Legislature went from what taxes will wwe raise this time under Clinton to what taxes will we cut this time under Huckabee.

We need to put a REAL MAN FROM HOPE in the White House in 2008.

Posted by: Walt Gibson | May 26, 2006 6:42 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: ps. charlatan... | May 24, 2006 8:24 PM | Report abuse

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as they reduce veterans benefits...

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Posted by: how about debunkin | May 24, 2006 8:22 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: BSR | May 24, 2006 2:30 PM | Report abuse

King Zouk: Sock brokers aren't going to profit from a national 401k account. We're not talking about giving people carte blanche access to their money, we are talking about giving people ownership of their accounts to disperse to certain FUNDS managed by professional brokerage houses. While these houses are right to expect a fee for this service, the fee would ultimately be less than the current infrastructure costs.

Rokkyrich, OhioGuy, thanks for the input. This is honestly the first I have heard of success stories from a social medicine country.

Posted by: Dan W | May 24, 2006 12:05 PM | Report abuse

They say no change comes until the previous generation dies off. I can't wait for all those old geezers in the Senate to turn over the reins. all those good ole boys were raised in segregated southern america in the 50s. we are not that america any longer. teach YOUR children.

It is just so easy to spout off "facts" about how much things cost and how effective they are. this does not make them so.

the shortcoming of the Canadian et al system - no research and development. they are just using American drugs and procedures. why do all the rich worldwide come to the Us for thier helath care and education? It takes tremendous capital outlay to develop life saving drugs and thay all don't make it.

List of lies:
Bush has borrowed more than all other presidents combined
Only HMOs profit from private health care
Only stock brokers profit from privitization
charter schools are expensive and ineffective

when the facts go against you just make some up. this is why Dems just can't be taken seriously on most issues. If you weren't such a waste of time I would post citations for each of these claims,. but your point of view seems to be not open to persuasion so why bother.

Posted by: king of zouk | May 24, 2006 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Thanks FH,

Believe me, I have said more in this blog than I have said in public in a long, long time.

I just get tired of pushing change even if it is "the right thing to do". Pushing change is exhausting. And, I commend any politician who honestly wants to reform the system and make it better. The powers that be will fight them tooth and nail to keep the "Status Quo". So many politicians put themselves and the system before the actual people they are supposed to represent. If the people we elect don't care about us, who will care about us ? The everyday average Joe is left to defend for himself. As you can see this average Joe is quite used to defending himself. If you think government is going to come in like a shining knight on a white horse and fix everything - think again. Change is in the power of the average Joe - it is the big secret that big government and politicians don't want us to know. The average Joe needs to take back our government from the present government that has been hijacked by self-serving politicians willing to sell America and its people to the highest bidder. Maybe, we can make a difference. God, I hope so.

Posted by: Wells | May 23, 2006 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Wells: Only an extremist deals in absolutes. I have never met a white southern male that doesn't have a little redneck in them. I was born and raise in the deep south, and I can honestly say that race relations here have improved more than you can imagine in my lifetime. Are there rascists...absolutely. What do you say to them? I don't even acknowledge them when they use the "N" word. You know why? You can't argue with them or change them...and you're right...if you argue with them they just call you a N-lover. I'm telling you, though, things are getting better. I see so many kids around here playing with kids of different races. They are the ones who are the future. One of my kids best friends is black and I plan on giving him every opportunity to keep that relationship going. Lastly...let me say, the two most rascist people I ever met were when I was in the army. They were from Philly and NJ respectively. So, it is not just a Southern problem. Wells, I know from reading your posts that you are a passionate advocate for your positions, and generally a well spoken one at that, but don't let some issues you are having with some guys at work lead you to condemn an entire region of the country.

Posted by: FH | May 23, 2006 9:47 PM | Report abuse

To: FH

I have lived in Fort Pierce, FL for the last 10 years.

Prior to that I lived in the in West Palm Beach, FL for 30 years.

That is why the racism in Fort Pierce hit me like a brick. The two places are only 40 miles away from each other, but they light years socially from each other in terms of racism. Ft. Pierce is like you stepped back in time 30 years ago with its racism.

FH be honest. Do you know a southern white male with a confederate flag bumper sticker ? Are you telling me that you have never heard a white southern male refer to a black person as a n-igger. I find that hard to believe because I hear this crap everyday.

I don't like when a white southern calls a black person a n-igger in front of me. So, I'm judgemental and I'm an extremist ? FH, what about the bigots that call people n-iggers ?

I think you do not want to deal with this issue because it makes you feel uncomfortable. Well, its real and it happening today. Yes, they are people I work with, eat lunch with, and have a beer with. I do my best to deal with the racism that is going on here in Ft. Pierce, FL. But, I don't know if you can change people who have been taught this type of stuff since the day they were born. How is "what I say, going to have more impact on a racist white person than what they have heard from their own Father and Mother for years". One person can only do so much, its so much easier just to sit there and say nothing - day after day after day. Don't confront it and you will not have to deal with it.

So, FH what is your advice on what to say to a white person that calls a black person a N-igger ? You know what I am talking about.

I am sorry if the subject matter makes you feel uncomfortable. But, this is the truth whether we want to look at it, see it, or deny it. No matter what - its still there in the morning until you face it.

Or, I guess you run away.

Posted by: Wells | May 23, 2006 8:38 PM | Report abuse

What the right in the U.S. needs to accept is that health care is not the same as any other commodity. The people most in need will never be able to pay their fair share they must be subsidized by the majority. The Can system is far more equitable. Remember any one is just an illness or accident away from economic disaster

Posted by: rokkyrich | May 23, 2006 7:38 PM | Report abuse

I live in Canada (American citizen but permanent resident). I have AIDS. I was at deaths door in 1997 but have recovered. I pay $400 dollars a year deductable fort drugs that cost $1500 a month in Can. I am living proof of the superiority of the Canadian system. I see a doctor almost every month (no charge). I see a extremely highly regarded imunologist at university med center about every 2-3 months or as needed (no charge). I am treated with respect in every office I am a patient. There is absolutrely no comparison between the health care of our two countries

Posted by: Rokkyrich | May 23, 2006 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Wells: I find it hard to believe you have lived in the South all your life. You talk like a transplant, or maybe you have lived in the Tampa, or Orlando areas all your life. (Hardly the South) If you did live in the South all your life, some of those people with Conf. flags on their cars would be the best friend you grew up with...or your father-in-law...or the neighbor you have the occasional beer with...or the guy who you shot pool with the other day. Don't be that guy who judges everybody...that sounds like a very extremist position. You're not an extremist...ARE YOU?

Posted by: FH | May 23, 2006 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Dan -

My mother was born in Canada, lived there for the first 25 years of her life, and remains a Canadian citizen to this day. For the past 41 years she has lived here under our health system. She says there is no comparison in terms of quality and efficiency. They do it better and they do it for less. REPEAT: THEY DO IT BETTER AND THEY DO IT FOR LESS. To prove it to you, I will look up what Canada spends per capita on health care and what we spend on it. I will also look up the numbers on how many of their citizens are obese, have heart disease, etc. etc. etc. I don't know why it is so hard for people like you to just admit that countries like Canada, England and Holland to name just a few have health care systems that our vastly superior to our own while spending LESS money on them. None of these countries have a privatized system and people like yourself would do well to pick up on this fact that in the area of healthcare a free market does not produce the best results.

Posted by: Ohio guy | May 23, 2006 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Would someone from Canada (I know you read this board) please tell us how wonderful and efficient the Canadian Medical system is. Since I have never heard a good thing about it, I will hold off until someone in the system can bring us up to speed on it.

Ohio Guy: The biggest cost in privatizing Social Security is the repayment of the vouchers held by congress. That money is going to have to be repaid to the SocSec system eventually anyway.

National 401K accounts would benefit more than just the investment and financial firms. It would benefit everyone who wants a guarantee that their money will not be stolen by congress to pay for some lame brained program.

National 401K accounts also provide the benefit of Inheritability. When you and your spouse die at 61, you never claim SocSec benefits. Your children receive nothing from all the years you paid into the system. With 401K accounts, the money goes to your beneficiary(ies).

National 401K accounts eventually end the SocSec fiasco. They provide a mechanism by which SocSec can be phased out over time.

We don't need to increase the military, we need to transform it. Sorry but we need a military more than we need just about any other government agency.

Posted by: Dan W | May 23, 2006 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Something else jsut occurred to me zouk -

"6. transform health care into insurance industry (like car insurance)"

My God that is stupid. Are you going to raise someone's health insurance rates if they get sick? What if they get cancer? Will the insurer be allowed to drop people b/c they are considered to high-risk or expensive to cover? Did you even think about that idea for 2 seconds before you wrote it down? Wow, what a very Christian solution coming from a group of people (Republicans) who claim to to be the party of morals and values.

This is why a universal system is such a good idea and why it is unbelievable that the U.S. is one of the only first-world countries to not have such a system.

Posted by: Ohio guy | May 23, 2006 6:09 PM | Report abuse

That's great zouk, but I asked what the REPUBLICAN CONGRESS'S legislative agenda is, not yours. But as long as you listed your agenda:

Limit governement and spend less? This Congress has increased government more than ever and spent more than ever, this president that you love has borrowed more then the previous 42 presidents combined.

Eliminate socail security - b/c it worked out so great when Bush tried to do it huh? What about the cost of transitioning from a federal to private system? I heard estimates as high as $2 trillion. Are you going to raise taxes to do this? Not to mention that the whole idea of privatizing social security would be disastrous for everyone except the investment and financail firms.

"transform health care into insurance industry (like car insurance)"

In my opinion, in an area like healthcare, I don't think it is in everyone's best interest to simply have health insurance with the insurer who will cover you for the least amount of money. The free market will never solve the healthcare problem in this country, we should go the way of countries like Canada. Private health care in this country is wildly expensive and a collosal failure. Canada spends less than half of what we do in this country per person on healthcare, has universal coverage, and that is b/c their system is extremely efficeient and is driven by public health, not greed for profits. Again, your "solution" would benefit a few giant HMO's and the health of the Americna people would suffer.

"make education work for the kids by radical restructuring - market forces"

Another terrible idea. This from the same people who gave us the idiotic ideas of vouchers and charter schools. Both of these "solution" proposed by republicans have driven education costs UP, when repubs constantly harp about spending too much on public education. Charter schools are far more expensive than regular public schools and so far have shown little or no difference in how well they educate their students. If all of the public schools were closed and we had charter schools instead, it would require the largest tax increase in history to fund them b/c these schools are run by private companies which make MILLIONS in profits from and their profits come form the TAXPAYER. Again, education is an area where a profit-driven system is just an unbelievably bad idea and would do nothing(and HAS done nothing) to address the disparity in education between affluent areas and poor areas.

"Increase military"

Sure, zouk, if you want to pay the higher taxes yourself, go ahead and increase our already bloated military which spends billions upon billions of taxpayer money on private firms like Halliburton who pay mercenaries in Iraq above $180,000/yr when a U.S. soldier makes around $30,000 or less.

Posted by: Ohio guy | May 23, 2006 6:00 PM | Report abuse

King of Zouk: "I would assume that those individuals may be motivated by limited government and other historically southern ideals. I don't know any openly biggoted persons."

Wells: That was going to be my next line, thanks for the intro. I have heard some republican say that southerns are using the flag to say they are againt federalism or big government. The confederate flag is a southern state's right of what against big government. The confederate flag is a symbol of a southern state's right to own a black slave, to deny black person the right to vote, to strip a black person of all their civil rights, and to outlaw the principle that "all men are created equal under God". Are those the Confederate state rights against Big Government you are talking about.

"King of Zouk" says "I don't know any openly biggoted persons." There are only way this could be a true statement.

1) You are liar.
2) You do not know anyone.
3) You are black or a minority so nobody has told you to your face.
4) You do know what the word biggoted means.
5) You have never been to the south and live in Canada.

King of Zouk do you live in a southern state?

I live in Florida and there are white guys with confederate flags bumper stickers at my work that call black people n-iggers. I can only imagine what it must be like in Alabama. I try to stop it; but I am only one white man against an army of confederate soldiers. And, they just laugh at me and call me a n-igger-lover. This is real life and this is cold-hard reality. This is what it is like to live in the Good Old South in America.

Posted by: Wells | May 23, 2006 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Colin: Flag burning as a means of free speech would be fine, except that it is TOO much of an inciteful action. "To ensure domestic tranquility" we sometimes have to limit the free speech of people. Want proof: Call the radio station of your choice and drop an F-bomb. If your call makes it to the air, it will be edited (Bleeped at minimum). They have to do this by law. And flag burning is more offensive than casual f-bombs. Heck (and theres another one) I can't even say it in this post.

I'll tell you what, I will support flag burning if you agree to not prosecute anyone who injures the burner while in the process of putting out the fire.

Posted by: Dan W | May 23, 2006 5:34 PM | Report abuse

dude, the flag thing was a joke. Is this something that is so rampant we need to bother?

Posted by: king of zouk | May 23, 2006 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Just wanted to weigh in on the Flag Burning/First Amendment issue that was brought up.

1. Burning the US flag is disgusting and I have a real problem with anyone that does it;

2. People should absolutely have the right to take that disgusting action any time they want to.

The primary point of the First amendment is to protect political speech - whether it is wise, foolish, or offensive. As Justice Brandeis famously wrote:

" Those who won our independence believed that the final end of the state was to make men free to develop their faculties...Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."

Seems to me he got it just about right.

Posted by: Colin | May 23, 2006 5:08 PM | Report abuse

you may be correct but there may be instances where you are not. are you prepared to assume the worst of everyone you meet?

I would assume that those individuals may be motivated by limited government and other historically southern ideals. I don't know any openly biggoted persons. they must hide this for some reason. all those voter stereotypes had limited validity in the last election.

Posted by: king of zouk | May 23, 2006 5:05 PM | Report abuse

RMill, if Reagan slashed social programs as much as you say, the only way he did it was with the approval of the Democratic Congress of the time. Presidents only propose, not dispose. And you really don't believe that wars should be run based on the latest public opinion polls, do you?
Jeri, abortion past the first trimester is a loser, and even early abortion only wins by a bare majority. Even Justice Ginsburg has ruminated in public that Roe was not very wise, even though she agrees with the outcome. I've been waiting for 25 years for the gender gap to benefit the Dems, but the dirty little secret is that the real gender gap is that white men won't vote for Democrats. But the media doesn't talk about that, do they?

Posted by: butchie b | May 23, 2006 4:57 PM | Report abuse

King of Zouk,

I have lived it the south all my life. And, I have never meet any southern white male who has a confederate flag bumper sticker on his car because he is a history buff. You find me a southern white male running around waving a confederate flag, and I will show a racist beneath the surface. Why do you think the real reason a southern white male would parade the confederate flag around in public in the South ? Because he cares so much about history and tradition, or is it code - for I hate blacks if you feel the same come talk to me. These Southern White Males, I have meet, who have a confederate flag bumper sticker do not give a damn about history or tradition. What southern history or tradition - lynching a black man ?

Posted by: Wells | May 23, 2006 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Please describe in detail the contradictions for further exposition.

Posted by: king of zouk | May 23, 2006 4:43 PM | Report abuse

the market is now sending the signal that oil and gas are becoming too expensive for the marginal consumers. time to invest in alternative methods. when the price was $1.50 everything was OK. this is the market working perfectly fine. In a few years we will drill shale and have electric cars. what exactly is the problem?

you are going back to Carter and Reagan for examples of program cuts? and using claims about homelessness. You can do better if you want to convince me. I known there is a famous wall street journal ongoing joke about the coverage of homelessness (D v R admin)and they have said the rate is fairly constant. I couldn't find and stats on the rate over time though. If you point me to them I am willing to consider this.


Campaign donations are actually overwhelmingly given by individuals. and by industry the order is:
Lawyers, Retired, real Estate, Health, Securities, PACs, Insurance, Lobbyists, banks... all the way down to 37 for the first defense related one.
http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/mems.asp

this is not a partisan website. Your turn.

Posted by: king of zouk | May 23, 2006 4:40 PM | Report abuse

To certain Republicans - get over it - women are not going to support gun-toting,
sexist, anti-choice(abortion was decided many, many years ago by women and confirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973)OR the pretend woman Condi Rice. I support Republicans when they are good and run against wing-nut Democrats (see above). The notion that women are not capable of decision making and directing their own lives has to come from the mind of a cave-dweller and their attached spousal unit.

Posted by: jeri rasmussen | May 23, 2006 4:35 PM | Report abuse

To: King of Zouk

Your 8 Point Agenda has contadictions within itself. You like most Republicans try to mix a Northern Republican (Libertarian) philosophy with a Southern Republican Ideology. On surface they seem to be the same, but deep down they are diametrically oppose to each other. Republican can not have a unified message when their inner-factions contradict each other.

This is the reason why 90% on the competitive republican house seats are in the North and the Northern Mid-West. Northern Republican (Libertarians) are rejecting their Conservative Southern Republican Counterparts.

Posted by: Wells | May 23, 2006 4:29 PM | Report abuse

How are those market forces working out for us in oil and gas? Enron?

What social program hasn't been cut? When Carter left office, the combined budget for low income housing an mental health care services was $33 B. Reagan slashed it the first year in office to under $10 B. That is why we had a homeless population explosion in the 80's.

The problem with ethanol is that it costs more energy to refine and process than the energy we rece4ive from it. But the Iowa Caucuses are important so they get their subsidies from both parties.

And you and I may be willing to forego some of these overseas luxury items (not so sure about the beer, let's not get crazy), but the majority of Americans like their Sony TV's and DVR's.

Miltary for the common good. I would debate that. Their use in Iraq is seemingly out-of-step with the majority public sentiment right now. Common defense is one thing but... and this is the biggest special interest there is. Defense contractors and lobbyists provide campaigns with more moeny than anyone.

Posted by: RMill | May 23, 2006 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Wells: you have the audacity to speak for the entire southern male establishment and evoke racist sentiment to them all. the confederate flag means different things to different people. your simplistic stereotyping exhibits a true ignorance of history, human nature and fairness. but your true personality has seeped through and we all can see the miasma which is your existence.

Posted by: king of zouk | May 23, 2006 4:13 PM | Report abuse

"The next pres. needs to be able to talk for all Americans not the 29% or so who think Jim marrying John will bring on the apocalypse."

Actually, TheIrishCurse, one of the many things our timid and polite media is loathe to inform you is that these evangelicals actually eagerly anticipate the Apocolypse, for it means the "Coming of Christ". This is why these self-destructive Bush voters so enthusiastically support any aggression of ours in the world that will increase hatred toward us. War is a good thing. Bible says so.

Posted by: B2O | May 23, 2006 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Ahhh, but the military is the one government function that I can go along with, since it is for the common good - meaning everyone. there is not much of a special interest here to be fed.

The unfunded mandates need to be killed off. If you can't afford it, don't pass the law. Of eliminate something else to cover it. there is no pile of money which will supply all wants in this country. It is time to say enough in certain cases. When did we get so greedy and self-centered. I am willing to forego imported beer and a new TV if my kid doesn't have to support me in the old folks home.

Market forces are not infallible - true, but they have proven over and over to be more trustworthy than meddling bureaucrats. Example - compare the response to the hurricane from government vs private organizations.

Free trade - why is ethenol so difficult - partly due to sugar monopolies and trade barriers with Brazil. the zillions of signals inherent in a free market can't be analyzed efficiently to create proper prices for commodoties. this is the markets strength and needs to be utilized. The soviets might not agree on what caused their demise, but look here first.

Which social programs have been reduced. I must have missed that.

It is ignoring the market forces which is threatening SS. What is the average stock market return over x years and what is SS return? Strip off the insurance part and hand over the retirement part.

Posted by: king of zouk | May 23, 2006 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that Huckabee is starting to get a fair bit of ink, while the other evangelical 2008 presidential hopeful, Sen. Sam Brownback (Kansas) is still back in the shadows. I would have expected it to be the other way around. I guess someone is greasing someone's palm appropriately.

Posted by: Mark | May 23, 2006 4:03 PM | Report abuse

To: Tina

If Conservative White Southern Men have a choice between

A) A Black Woman President ( Condi Rice )

or

B) A White Woman President ( Hillary Clinton )

They will chose Hillary over Condi any day of the week.
That is just the way it is in the South. I live in Florida; and you would not believe how many pickup trucks drive around with a Confederate Flag bumper sticker.

Posted by: Wells | May 23, 2006 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Increasing the military increases size and cost of government.

Feds are trying to send most programs back to state and local governments already, but without any or sufficient funding (Unfunded mandates).

Market forces are not infallable and I would rather not risk the future well-being or education of our next generation of leaders to amorphus and de-regulated market forces.

Not even Republicans want a free market. I think we would like to see a fair market or one we can manipulate to our benefit.

Social programs have been reduced non-stop in lieu of a larger military budget ($511 B now I think). Add that with entitlements, balooning interest on the ever growing national debt and the amount of discretionary spending for "social programs" is pretty much gone.

Social security is on track to be eliminated (bankrupt) by poor planning and current market forces.

Posted by: RMill | May 23, 2006 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Actually it was Hillary that jumped on that flag thing. and go out and buy yourself a sense of humor.

My agenda: can't speak for Republicans, take on as many of thes issues as you like, or even provide your own for open discussion.
1. Limit government and spend less
2. increase military
3. promote free market through decreased regulation
4. send most federal programs back to the states
5. eliminate social security and replace with market system
6. transform health care into insurance industry (like car insurance)
7. reduce social programs and promote responsibility
8. make education work for the kids by radical restructuring - market forces

How's that for a start?

Posted by: king of zouk | May 23, 2006 3:48 PM | Report abuse

In fact I attempt to provide outside sources for the ideas I post. I don't come back the next day to retort to overnight denizens of the net and I generally don't respond to ill-mannered leftists who offer nothing of substance and think that insults and empty rhetoric is a substitute for analysis and thought. but I am prepared to respond to any issue you care for which you offer something solid. but you have never done that.

for example - everything you wrote here today. go back and take a look and compare it to things that respectable posters offer - like RMill.

Just because you disagree doesn't alter the facts. what you called the Secretary of State is misogynous and despicable. this tripe is just not suitable and you don't get it. but I suppose you will have some more hate-speech for me after this.
And you wonder why you all can't win elections.

Posted by: king of zouk | May 23, 2006 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Do the republicans have any legislative agenda besides gay-bashing and passing an anti-flag burning amendment?

Posted by: Ohio guys | May 23, 2006 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Rmill God help us if Lou Dobbs runs for anything. Also can anyone explain to me why he is so against immigration? The guy makes Pat Buchanan look moderate on this issue.
Also Condi is not going to run. Period. She is an academic at heart and I just don't think she wants to deal with the Posturing that is the presidency. I see her as the president of the University of Alabama in four years.

Posted by: Andy R | May 23, 2006 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Why isn't any candidate bringing up the issue of flag burning? this has become such a hot topic and has been steadily decreasing our ability to conduct free speech in this country. I am positively incensed at an individuals arrogance when defiling this important symbol. we are all at risk if this epidemic continues. Please write to your congressmen and urge them to expend whatever time and effort it takes to amend the constitution and get this through the states before another "old Glory" is harmed.

Posted by: king of zouk | May 23, 2006 3:33 PM | Report abuse

To: King of Zouk

That will be the day you debate ideas.

You makeup 75% of the stuff you write.

I have read your stuff and commented of the errors; and you ignore anybody comments or questions about your facts or substance.

This is typical behavior for a facist republican who is not used to being held accountable for what he says.

Posted by: Wells | May 23, 2006 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Unless Jeb or Cheney ends up running, I expect Bush to stay out of it. He can't afford to lose his legislative legacy by pissing off McCain, Hagel, Brownback, Frist and whomever else by backing Condi Rice for President. Just won't happen.

Posted by: RMill | May 23, 2006 3:31 PM | Report abuse

A little.

Posted by: king of zouk | May 23, 2006 3:30 PM | Report abuse

If we all stuck to our day jobs than no one would be posting here except us poor out of work blue collar Democrats displaced by the shrinking Bush economy and his tax cuts for the rich or effette Republicans who are independently wealthy and don't need to work anymore because of Bush tax cuts for the rich.

By the way, I don't think any of you are funny at all.

(C'mon, that was at least a little humorous...no?) DISCLAIMER: For those who can't tell, this is all in the spirit of good humor and fun. No real insults were used in the formation of this post.

Posted by: RMill | May 23, 2006 3:26 PM | Report abuse

As I think I stated earlier somewhere, there are over 5,000 people across the nation who are part of the effort to promote Condi for president. I am just a volunteer, and since I have access to a computer, I get to post just like everybody else who comes in here, it is what you all enjoy, free speech. Now I wonder how much the Hillary people are paid for promoting her in chat rooms and on blog discussion? Heaven forbid that a person could be expressing their support without having to be paid to do it. GEEEZZZ!!!

RMill: says VP posturing (especially if HRC is in) may also draw out Gov. Jodi Rell CT and US Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchinson TX and Elizabeth Dole NC.

Yes, that is possible, but Condi brings the most assets as VP. And if she decides to run for president in 2007, maybe she will resign, but if she runs, it will be with the full support of President Bush. That clears the field of lesser-known and less supported candidates.

Posted by: Tina | May 23, 2006 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I thought Andy was telling us that Lou Dobbs from CNN was running for President (he has a bigger following than Dodd of CT)

Posted by: RMill | May 23, 2006 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't disputing your ability to attempt to write humor, I was pointing out that is just had no funniness about it. Insulting accomplished people for partisan reasons is hardly ever worth a smirk.

typical of Dems when they are challenged. "I have a right to my opinion" or "don't question my patriotism"

easier than actually debating some ideas.

Posted by: king of zouk | May 23, 2006 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I lived in Little Rock for about 6 years and 2 Clinton presidential elections and the whole Tucker governor fiasco. I am a democrat and I like Huckabee and I like his wife. The so-called Christians who voted for a president who sent young men and women to their deaths would still vote for a so-called Christian candidate just because he says he is against abortion and gay marriage. These voters would rather be swayed by their ministers on moral issues rather than have someone who can save the economy and their jobs which are differnt moral issues. At least Huckabee sounds intelligent (current president can't) and he seems to be generally interested in the people (he had a plan before Katrina ever hit to accomodate the influx of evacuees he knew would come). But, I think he would make a better VP at this time.

Posted by: DLL | May 23, 2006 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand why Chris writes so many articles on President for 2008.

It almost seems like a fear of not wanting to deal with Nov. 2006. We are now 5 months away form November and we rather discuss what is going to happen November 2008 ? Why ?

So Mike Huckabee lost some weight and wants to be president. If everyone who lost weight ran for President, Ophray Winfrey would of been re-elected for her third term. (I know, you can only be elected two terms. It's a joke.)

Posted by: Wells | May 23, 2006 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Rob,

Who really knows, but I can't imagine that Hillary would want to run as VP. She seems like someone who would want to have a bigger role, which she would have by keeping her Senate seat.

That said, I think the only way a sitting senator gets on either ticket is in the VP spot.

Posted by: rkb | May 23, 2006 2:57 PM | Report abuse

To: King of Zouk

I am entitled to a little humor after reading all the garbage that you write. At least my humor has more basis in FACT than what you write "King of Zouk" .

FACT: Dick Morris got in trouble with sleeping with prostitutes in DC while his wife sat at home taking care of the kids. ( That is a FACT ) . Fact number two, Dick Morris wrote a Book pushing Condi for President. Why - no one else was mentioning her name for president ?

Posted by: Wells | May 23, 2006 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Zouk, I implied that Warner does not fit the far left ideological profile when I stated that Feingold would balance out his ticket and keep the far left from defecting. Warner defines himself as a Democrat based on economic issues, not social ones.

And, while Virginia has not trended blue in national elections, how recently has one of their own been on the ticket?

Posted by: The Caped Composer | May 23, 2006 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't say Warner turned VA into a swing state.
1. He is not much of a Dem, examine the issues he ran on and try to tell me he sounds like someone the move-ons will like
2. Remember doug wilder - VA has always been a very centrist state when it comes to governors. Not so with presidential prospects.

Posted by: king of zouk | May 23, 2006 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Andy, I don't think Dodd has any place on the national ticket. Part of the whole purpose of picking a vice presidential candidate is to bring a swing state into your column. Gore should've picked Bob Graham instead of Joe Lieberman-- Connecticut was going blue anyway, and Graham's presence on the ticket would've swung Florida.

And Kerry must've been seriously drugged when he picked Edwards. A one-term senator from a very red state who was so unpopular, he didn't even bother running for re-election to the senate!

In 2008, the Democratic party needs candidates who are very popular in their swing states, as those from solidly blue or solidly red states are strategic disasters. Nominating an old white senator from the northeast as either president or vice president will do absolutely nothing for the Dems. Bayh might qualify as a popular swing-state candidate, although Indiana is so red, it might not swing for him. Plus, he is so bland, the general populace would never get energized about his candidacy, resulting in a firebrand like McCain or Allen steamrolling him.

Warner and Richardson are probably the strongest two swing state candidates-- Warner singlehandedly turned Virginia into a swing state, and Richardson, with his demographic appeal, has the potential to bring several swingy western states into the blue column. Feingold is from a swing state, but he's something of a wildcard-- a bit too far left for the nation to elect him. He might be a good veep candidate for centrist/conservative Warner, though, since Feingold would prevent the far left from defecting to a Nader-type candidate.

Schweitzer won't run this time around, but keep an eye on him for the future-- I wouldn't be surprised to see an Obama/Schweitzer ticket in '12 or '16.

Yikes! I certainly do ramble!

Posted by: The Caped Composer | May 23, 2006 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Rob - the idea of having Hillary as the VP candidate b/c of her fundraising has crossed my mind also. A Warner/Clinton ticket would be a fundraising powerhouse, they would start off with Warner's $200 million and the $25 million(at least) Clinton will have going into the '08 primaries. But, I still would rather have Clark, Richardson or Feingold as the VP, despite Hillary's cash.

Posted by: Ohio guy | May 23, 2006 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Wells - is that your idea of humor? Pretty pitiful. and you thought it soooo clever you posted it three times. Keep your day job.

Posted by: king of zouk | May 23, 2006 2:32 PM | Report abuse

To: Jaytee

That's hilarious. I am going to go look up Huckabee's wife now on the internet.

Posted by: Wells | May 23, 2006 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee falls out of contention as soon as America meets his wife. Count on it.

Posted by: Jaytee | May 23, 2006 2:22 PM | Report abuse

The only person I have know to push Condi for President is Dick Morris. You know Dick Morris the guy who quit his job because he was running around with prostitutes in DC. Why is Dick Morris the prostitute loving playboy endorsing Condi Rice. Hmmmm ? What does Dick Morris know about Condi that we don't ? Does Condi give Dick Morris a discount ?

Posted by: Wells | May 23, 2006 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Everything we talk about now can change after the mid-term elections.

The American people should not let the media annoint its candidates anymore: between the media and big business, they pretty much gave the GOP nomination to Bush, and then some regretted it and tried to focus on McCain, but it was too late. Now it might be McCain who gets the early favorite buzz. Some are already wary.

It should be a fun 2 1/2 years.

Posted by: Yankee GOP | May 23, 2006 2:20 PM | Report abuse

The only person I have know to push Condi for President is Dick Morris. You know Dick Morris the guy who quit his job because he was running around with call-girls in DC. Why is Dick Morris the call-girl loving playboy endorsing Condi Rice. Hmmmm ? What does Dick Morris know about Condi that we don't ? Does Condi give Dick Morris a discount ?

Posted by: Wells | May 23, 2006 2:19 PM | Report abuse

The only person I have know to push Condi for President is D. Morris. You know D. Morris the guy who quit his job because he was running around with call-girls in DC. Why is D. Morris the call-girl loving playboy endorsing Condi Rice. Hmmmm ? What does D. Morris know about Condi that we don't ? Does Condi give D. Morris a discount ?

Posted by: Wells | May 23, 2006 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Tina needs to disclose if she gets paid to push Condi Rice for President. Come on, there is as much of a ground swell for Condi as there is for Barry Bonds for President.

Posted by: Wells | May 23, 2006 2:13 PM | Report abuse

This is the stupidest piece I have ever seen. Is the Washington Post really dumb enough to think that Huckabee is somehow unique because he is a fundamentalist Republican from the South?

Posted by: Ian | May 23, 2006 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Actually having Dodd in the race is a good thing. I'm not sure when the CT or RI primaries will be held, but with Dodd in the race it means Kerry won't win them hands down.

Thought I still prefer Bayh or Clark, one thought that crossed my mind would be to have Hillary be the VP. The ticket could use that fundraising ability.

Posted by: Rob Millette | May 23, 2006 2:03 PM | Report abuse

The absolute LAST thing this country needs in '08 is another religious right-winger leading a country of 300 million very diverse (and by the way, mostly moderate)people. Our country has historically denounced theocracies, (look how concerned the current administration is with insuring that the government in Iraq is not controlled by one particular sect of Islam, or by the religious elite as it is in Iran), and yet it seems that is what is happening here. I dont need the government telling me what my values and morals ought to be; relgion does not belong in our government. Our founding-fathers did not want the American people being ruled by the church, and neither do I.

Posted by: KB | May 23, 2006 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Composer,
I couldn't agree more. I don't see what Dodd brings to the table. He has been in office for like 30 years and just doesn't strike me as that exciting. My thinking is that he is putting his name in the ring to raise his exposure for the VP role or Sec. of State. He might not be a bad (not a good one either) choice for someone like Warner who could use him as a balance on his lack of experience.

Posted by: Andy R | May 23, 2006 1:47 PM | Report abuse

tina said "The polls show strong support for Condi to run, and even Ed Gillespie stated at the US Chamber of Commerce meeting in DC that she will be on everyone's short list for VP.
Can you imagine the excitement of having this dynamic woman on the ticket in 2008?"

What tina doesn't know is that not only is America not ready for a strong woman to run, it is especially not ready for a strong black woman to run on a republican ticket. Why, most conservatives mask their business/pseudo-christian/libertarian ideals in the republican party of today with its xenophobic approach to immigration and civil rights. Which is at best a loosely gathered coalition of those ideals, each having their own motives and desires that do not agree in principal, nor total.
I have come to analyze these ideals from a very strict Southern Baptist upbringing, all are contrary to REAL Christian ideals.
Today's focus is only on big business and not enough on the success of small business and the individual. So why continue to payoff the wealthy? The eye of the needle does not get any larger with the influx of hedge funds.
The comment made by Brittain33 is totally correct in the description of the last "three evangelical" presidents. And if I remember correctly, the republicans made "fun" of Jimmy Carter for being "born again", now they seem to now need the image of being born again to attract conservative minded voters. Morality is not just conservative.
Now the libertarians are seeing the true nature of the republicans they aligned with, they are selfish, money hungry, spending just like they accused the democrats of. The difference is that only their companies reap the benefits, not everyone. The government still gets bigger because they believe in HUGE Military Presence, Massive Weapons, Enormous Hummers, etc. (Freud would love them). I often wonder what shortcoming they are trying to make up for with all of the guns and ammo?
But back to Condi Rice, she could not even get elected to office in Alabama for governor, yet. It's just a fact, the vast-right wing will not vote for a black woman, or hardly any women, YET.
As we say in the South, Condi has a tough row to hoe.
Liberal is not a dirty word, it is mentioned in the Bible, yet the word conservative is not. KJV 1611
However rush is a four letter word.

Posted by: smokinq72 | May 23, 2006 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Ohhh! Senator Dodd, D-CT!

Greeeeeeat . . . just what we need, another New Englander vying for the Democratic nomination . . .

Where are the Westerners, for cryin' out loud?

Posted by: The Caped Composer | May 23, 2006 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Sorry I meant Dodd from Connecticut. HE announced today in the Hartford paper

Posted by: Andy R | May 23, 2006 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I hate to agree with Will in Seattle but I think he's right about the country souring a bit on evangalical politicians. I think the GOP is much more likely to turn toward a NE moderate like Romney or a so-called maverick like McCain. Although, I would not be surprised to see his name as a VP candidate just to shore up the base.

On a sadder note, I would just like to send out a fond farewell to Lloyd Bentsen...a moderate Dem who was a great statesmen (something it would be nice to see more of today) who had one of the best lines of all-time in a debate "Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy, I knew Jack Kennedy, Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you are no Jack Kennedy." referring to Dan Quayle!!!

Posted by: FH | May 23, 2006 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Andy, who is Senator Dobbs? And what state is CN? Or was that a pun I didn't get?

Posted by: The Caped Composer | May 23, 2006 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I think America's gone sour on evangalical "Christians" and their lying, immoral, money-grasping ways that rebuke Christ's teachings and actions in oh so many ways.

You'd be better off trying to push Rice as a candidate, which is beyond insanity.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | May 23, 2006 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Just a little point I wanted to bring up. I wrote on this blog about four weeks ago or so about creating an "orange card" for immigrants as kind of a step to the green card. And today Senator Feinstein came out with a proposal for you guessed it an "orange card" for the new guest worker program. I guess someone out there does read this thing after all.

Also Senator Dobbs (D-CN) is running for President.

Posted by: Andy R | May 23, 2006 11:55 AM | Report abuse

hows about reality based,

this is like a friggin shell game in Central Park....


if the threat that they

are protecting us from is _manufactured_,


false,


bogus,


bs,


then any conclusions about what they need to do


to protect us from that manufactured threat


are

false,

bogus, bs

and equally manufactured....


the real threat is to the stability of our


United States of America,


by international pirates, destruction of life liberty and happiness, as your country is sold outfrom under you

and your jobs and money shipped overseas.


as _your_ country is sold to friends of this


complicit congress, they are passing the laws that they want to (bridge to nowhere),

as your poverty stricken mulitply and they give your blue collar jobs to Mexicans...

and

the Executive branch of government, who should be arrested,


their properties (gained through illegal manipulation of the government) seized,


OH NO, NOT THE MONEY I've SWINDLED!!!!


and have them ride the twister of texas...at about 200,000 volts, and 75 amps...


while wearing funny little hats and with a damp sponge underneath of it...


thanks so much, hope there's a video...


send them home tonight

.

Posted by: faith based? | May 23, 2006 11:45 AM | Report abuse

As the bumper sticker says......."God save us from your followers"

Posted by: Janet in NC | May 23, 2006 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I think Huckabee is a great story of a guy who deep down cares about people and thinks he is doing the right thing. I disagree with him but at least he seems genuine. However, I just don't see him being able to hang with the big boys like McCain, and Romney. I wouldn't be suprised to see him as a VP for either of those two men. He appeases the base without frightening away middle of the road voters. Say what you will about the political prowess of preachers; people trust them.

Also Mitt Romney doesn't know SQUAT about how to run an economy. He has run the State of Massachesetts like Enron. HE has shifted funds from local communities to the State government so that he could generate a paper surplus. The town of Springfield in western Mass is at risk of going Bankrupt. How does allowing a rather large town in your state go BANKRUPT make you a good fiscal manager. Trust the people of the commonwealth on this one, there is a Reason we don't want him back.

Posted by: Andy R | May 23, 2006 11:28 AM | Report abuse

YAWN! Self-psycho analysis from a wannabe from a dinky little southern state who cannot repeat the Clinton magic.

Chris, can you get on Senator Hagel's schedule? By far, he is the most interesting Republican of the group to me. McCain-Hagel would be a devestating ticket for Dems in 2008.

Tina-

Pretty comprehensive list.

Tancredo is a one issue wonder. Rice would have to resign, she can't run from inside the administration. Newt has pretty much said he won't run. Brownback has a lot of Abramoff money to explain, which will probably doom him from the get go but he'll continue to angle for ultra-conservative wing voters like Huckabee.

TOP TIER
McCain
Guiliani

MIDDLE OF THE PACK
Romney
Allen
Frist
Pataki
Ridge

FRINGE
Brownback
Huckabee

I think others are yet to emerge. Where are the Republican Governors. I don't think Jeb thinks the time is right. Mark Sanford of SC will give it a hard look. Maybe Mike Rounds of SD. Pataki isn't even the most popular Republican in NY.

VP posturing (especially if HRC is in) may also draw out Gov. Jodi Rell CT and US Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchinson TX and Elizabeth Dole NC.

Posted by: RMill | May 23, 2006 11:26 AM | Report abuse

i CAN ONLY HOPE PEOPLE WLL HOLD RICE ACCOUNTABLE FOR HER ROLE IN THE IRAQ CATASTROPHE AND HER ROLE IN THE AUGUST 2001 BUSINESS AS USUAL APPROACH TO THE RED FLAG WARNINGS WE WERE GETTING (SUCH A SHARP CONTRAST WITH CLINTON'S HANDS ON APPROACH DURING THE MILLENIUM BOMB THREAT CRISIS)

Posted by: MIKE | May 23, 2006 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Like we need another ignorant fairy-tale sucking theocrat in office.

He can go Huck off.

Posted by: GummyBearFiasco | May 23, 2006 10:58 AM | Report abuse

The Huckster wants to take life and death decisions out of the hands of the people and put them into the hands of the federal government. After the Schiavo fiasco, it's clear people don't want that. Here's what he said during that time (from Arkansas Democrat-Gazette):

"There's a larger issue in play and that is the whole issue of the definition of life," said Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, a Republican. "The issue of when is it a life is a broader issue than just a state defining that. I don't think we can have 50 different definitions of life."

Posted by: cotterperson | May 23, 2006 10:43 AM | Report abuse

"three of the last five U.S. presidents (including the current president) were committed evangelical Christians"

Well, that's how they chose to label and market themselves. Their church attendance and behavior say differently. Bush can repeat the feel-good-Joel-Osteen platittudes, but his knowledge of Scripture would likely flunk him out of Sunday School, and Clinton never struck me who worried too much about the afterlife. Carter is the only one who walked the walk.

Posted by: Brittain33 | May 23, 2006 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Short list of GOP names? Most names today are including those who have stated time and again they are not running even if the President thinks he would be great, which is Gov Jeb Bush. In fact the latest FOX poll released included Jeb Bush again.

McCain says he has not made up his mind and so has Rudy stated as much. So let's cut to the list which is nothing like short in any way.
McCain
Condi Rice
Rudy
Sam Brownback
Frist
Tom Ridge
Newt
Mitt Romney
Chuck Hagel
Huckabee
Pataki
Allen
Mike Pence
Tom Tancredo
Jeb Bush
That is 15 Republican names mentioned by the media or by groups trying to draft them, like Americans for Dr. Rice
www.4condi.com

The polls show strong support for Condi to run, and even Ed Gillespie stated at the US Chamber of Commerce meeting in DC that she will be on everyone's short list for VP.
Can you imagine the excitement of having this dynamic woman on the ticket in 2008?
I saw her in the 2000 convention on the stage speaking to the delegates and she had complete focus on helping President Bush.

The Democrats don't like her. So what else is new? I don't like Hillary or John Kerry or John Edwards and I doubt the Democrats would ever acknowledge that Condi is a self-made person, instead of having the door opened to her by wealth or family connections.

The debate right now is which of the 15 Republicans named above will be running in 2008, and which names will be put on the ballots by the people. My money is on the Draft Condi group, as they prepare for the Texas convention. Activists will put the name of Condi on state ballots, build teams of support and finance ads promoting her by donations. In fact, TV ads and radio ads have been running since February 2005. She is the Rock Star of the Republican party, and 20% of the nation wants her to run, (20% also wants Rudy and McCain to run)
Huckabee is way down on the list of support, like 5%, about the same as Frist.

Posted by: Tina | May 23, 2006 10:29 AM | Report abuse

If Republican Gov. Huckabee and Republican Gov. Romney had any substance they would be able to keep their own state governships Republican. But, since it is looking likely that Arkansas and Mass. are going to switch back to Governers who are Democrats what does that say about them ? ( They can't even keep their own states red.) After November, Huckabee's campaign and Romney's campaign go downhill.

Posted by: Wells | May 23, 2006 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Huckabee doesn't appear to know much about economics. The only likely GOP candidate for 2008 who really does is Governor Romney. Unless Guiliani or Gingrich is in the race, Romney is going to outclass the other GOP candidates on domestic issues.

Posted by: Mark | May 23, 2006 9:56 AM | Report abuse

The GOP needs Hope if it is going to win on this short list - the mood in the country is interesting and subject to change at a moments notice -

I know a young man who just came back from Iraq - 2nd tour - a week later he attended the funeral of his buddy - killed the day after he left Iraq - this young man drove his 8 cylander SUV to his buddy's funeral -
America is a funny place - lessons never learned - maybe there is Hope in Hope Arkansas.

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes
www.balancingtheissues.com

GO Richardson or Clark

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | May 23, 2006 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I met Huckabee the first time he ran for office in Arkansas and could tell by his haircut and handshake that he was a Southern Baptist preacher. He's a good guy when you sit down and talk to him, but makes some really bone headed decisions. Most of the state is ready for him to go away and leave them alone.

TC
www.tctheterrible.com./blog

Posted by: TC | May 23, 2006 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Chris had me worried there for a sec. When he named the "short list of gop candidates" there was no George Allen, but he re-deemed himself in about the sixteenth paragraph. Sad part of the whole gop landscape is we have 19 and 20 year old kids dying and being maimed in Iraq, a deficit with no frickin end to it, American jobs being outsourced every day of the week, etc., and the two biggest concerns they want to hash about is abortion and gay marriage. The next pres. needs to be able to talk for all Americans not the 29% or so who think Jim marrying John will bring on the apocalypse.....

Posted by: TheIrishCurse | May 23, 2006 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I live in Little Rock and have followed the Governor closely for years. His background prior to the governor's house was as a disc jockey and a Baptist preacher...enough said.

His problem as he enters national politics is that he has a very thin skin and short fuse. He is currently being sued by the major daily for not releasing information about a major resignation from a state commission. He is also refusing to give press notices to the local weekly since they have profiled his abuse of the state aircraft.

Huckabee is very glib and clever but underneath the hood is a disc jockey and a Baptist preacher. Most likely sometime after he loses his bid for the nomination if he runs, you will see him show up on the national media as a talking head(i.e. disc jockey and Baptist preacher).

Steve Davison
Little Rock
sdavison52@comcast.net

Posted by: STeve Davison | May 23, 2006 9:24 AM | Report abuse

An "evangelical Christian from the South," huh? Whoopie. Sounds like another "uniter." Yeah right.

Posted by: Mike 234 | May 23, 2006 9:02 AM | Report abuse

"This is an endeavor that ... I am obviously thingking about..."

Hmmm, 'thingking.' Does Mr. Huckabee have visions of ascending the throne of the Presidency? King Huckabee the First? As always, typos are a rich source of amusement.

On the other hand, with statements like ""There are a lot of people in the Republican Party who think there is this total disconnect between fiscal responsibility and social responsiblity" he has merely pointed out the truth and and as such made me sit up and take notice. An honest Republican? A smart Republican? A smart evangelical Republican? I was beginning to think that there "ain't no such animals," to quote an old teacher of mine.

Taken together, he'd never make it through the filter of the country club Republicans that still run the party today. Evangelism to them is a cheap suit that they put on and take off in the quest for power/money, GWB being the most recent example. Huckabee would obviously not fit in since his beliefs are genuine enough that they extend outside the standard hot button issues of gay marriage and abortion, crude tools that the GOP uses to manipulate evangelicals while lining the pockets of multi-millionaires. Both "fiscal responsibility and social responsiblity" are not just disconnected but in fact are long dead at the national level of the GOP.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | May 23, 2006 8:57 AM | Report abuse

He's a terrific story but we've already endured six years of a presidency more concerned with faith than reality. We don't need another.

http://www.intrepidliberaljournal.blogspot.com

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | May 23, 2006 8:13 AM | Report abuse

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