February 6, 2008

"We're still on our feet, and much to the amazement of many, we're getting there, folks, we're getting there."

Huckabee reemerges.

He won the South. Did he win it because of something about the South, or because he has so little money that he had to concentrate it somewhere?
Ed Rollins, Huckabee's chief political strategist, said he would be astonished if Huckabee has spent more than $10 million on his candidacy....

But Huckabee focused his limited resources almost exclusively on the Southeast, with old-fashioned, retail politicking. He presented himself as the only true social conservative in the race, jabbing at Romney as a flip-flopper as he pulled conservatives disenchanted with McCain into his orbit.

"Conservatives had the opportunity to pick a real conservative in the South," Rollins said. "And they did."

Even as McCain was claiming the mantle of front-runner in his victory speech last night, he was compelled to congratulate Huckabee on his sweep of the South. "Not for the first time, he surprised the rest of us," McCain said.
So McCain is handling this gracefully. Meanwhile, Romney has been a clod about Huckabee:
Over the past weeks, Romney has said repeatedly that Huckabee was more a nuisance than a threat, a candidate who should drop out of the race and leave it to the only two Republicans who could reasonably claim to be contenders for the nomination. Huckabee complained during last week's California debate that he was being treated as a third wheel....

Romney supporters and aides continued to show Huckabee little respect despite the Super Tuesday victories....

"He deserves credit for hanging in there and being the winsome personality he's been. We've all enjoyed him," said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), a Romney backer. "But everybody knows Mike is not going to be in the final two. That hasn't changed."
Coming from a campaign that isn't doing very well, that haughtiness is ridiculous. "We've all enjoyed him"? That's so patronizing. It's got to push the religious conservatives even more strongly toward Huckabee. And it gives Huckabee more material for his folksy jokiness:
"I've got to say that Mitt Romney was right about one thing — this is a two-man race. He was just wrong about who the other man in the race was. It's me, not him."

46 comments:

MadisonMan said...

The front page of the Wisconsin State Journal (I tried, but failed, to find an image to post of it) has pictures of Clinton/Obama and McCain/Romney, clearly suggesting a two-way race for both parties. I guess that makes for good symmetry, but I was left wondering why Huckabee is being ignored.

Jonathan said...

Huckabee does well in the press.

Bob said...

It seems obvious that McCain bought Huck to spoil Romney's chances. Huck may not have been promised the VP spot by McCain, but he's definitely going to be in a McCain administration.

Simon said...

Does this mean that we're stuck with a McCain-Huckabee ticket, as a practical matter, or is there someone else that McCain can pick as veep that will be able to not only have the credibility to carry the south for themselves, as Huck did, but for McCain, an altogether taller order?

Middle Class Guy said...

Huckabee is a true son of the South. He resonates with Southern people and knows what they want to hear. They feel comfortable with him.

He is also the Ralph Nader of the Republican Party; he is the spoiler for Romney. Romney was never embraced totally by the party and now has a real problem. But, McCain is losing the far right base, as Clinton is losing the far left.

The race is boiling down to an old nag, an old gray mare, a young filly, and two also rans.

fstopfitzgerald said...

You guys are so screwed.

Hint: Huckabee is Goldwater in 64. He and his Dominionist buddies -- whose goal is a Christian theocracy both here and abroad -- are in this for the long haul, and they're coming to take over your party.

Enjoy the Rapture!!!!

Ben (The Tiger) said...

Everyone keeps on saying that Huckabee hurts Romney by stealing votes.

It simply isn't true. McCain expands his lead over Romney without Huckabee in the race.

I'd be fine with a McCain/Huckabee ticket, but people would have a field day with the evolution questions.

A smarter choice would be Mark Sanford, the governor of South Carolina.

JDAXC said...

Oh fstopfitzgerald, relax.
You see a cross or a Christian and you go ape$hit.
Do you have the same reaction to a crescent a hammer or a sickle??

P. Rich said...

The Huckster cannot, repeat not, win the Party nomination or the Presidency. He and his handlers know this, so the question becomes, "What is his purpose in continuing to run?"

Usually the answer in this situation is, "To be able to influence the final outcome when it comes to the convention."

Is there any doubt how that will play out? A vote for Huck truly is a vote for McCain - if not now, then later. And that final outcome? Whatever Huck can get for Huck. Be proud, little Hucksters.

Roger said...

It seems to me that the Huck genuinely dislikes Romney--I have no idea why, but my wife who is a Jack (Jill?) Mormon thinks it's the fundamentalist Southern Baptist part of him who regards LDS folks as the antichrist. I have no idea if thats true or not with respect to the Huck; but, I am aware that there is some prejudice toward the LDS.

Roger said...

Fstop: I apparently missed the memo on dominionists--who are they?

fstopfitzgerald said...


Blogger JDAXC said...

Oh fstopfitzgerald, relax.
You see a cross or a Christian and you go ape$hit.
Do you have the same reaction to a crescent a hammer or a sickle??


Do you even know what a Dominionist is?

Back in 1998, when he was still serving as governor, he [Huckabee] helped write "Kids Who Kill," a short book purporting to analyze the outbreak of school shootings by teenagers. His coauthor was George Grant, a well-known militant Christian reconstructionist author, activist and educator. That same year, the libertarian Reason magazine published an exposé of reconstructionism titled "Invitation to a Stoning," which identified Grant and quoted him on the movement's ambition for "world conquest." Scorning the moderation of other conservative Christians, Grant explained, "It is dominion we are after. Not just a voice ... not just influence ... not just equal time. It is dominion we are after."

These guys are coming for your party.

Good luck with the Rapture.

Simon said...

Ben - Mark Sanford was someone on a list of names I floated after the last election as someone worth looking at for the nomination this year (although granted there were a lot of names!). Good credentials (Class of '94; kept his promise only to serve three terms, Governor since '02), might appeal both to Hucks and Paulistas. Not a bad idea at all.

dbp said...

One should be able to safely assume that the goal of much commentary here is to be persuasive. Going on about Dominionism (whatever that may be) makes you sound like a lunatic. Once labeled as such, commenter's will just scroll past, leaving your ravings mostly unread.

Ben (The Tiger) said...

I wish I could say it was my idea, but Sanford was the guy Pat Toomey and Tony Perkins picked in a conversation on Hardball.

But Sanford's great. He was a McCain guy in 2000. He was so fiscally responsible that he didn't even rent an apartment in DC during his time as a congressman (slept in a cot in his office). He's hardcore libertarian (and very pro-life).

And his stunt with the piglets and his (Republican) legislature a few years ago was really funny.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The race is boiling down to an old nag, an old gray mare, a young filly, and two also rans.

Thats about the best summation of this slate of candidates I've heard yet.

Do you even know what a Dominionist is

No, are they people who are fanatical about Dominos pizza?

You know, I picture fstop/Lucky as that character that Mel Gibson played in Conspiracy Theory. Lives in a one bedroom apartment over a auto body shop and works nights at Steak and Shake mumbling how the black helicopters piloted by Christofascists are coming to get us all.

fstopfitzgerald said...

Huckabee and the Christianist movement.
http://www.salon.com/opinion/conason/2008/01/18/huckabee/

You guys can laugh all you want,but last night already legitimized him.

He and his followers aren't going away. In fact, they're coming for your party.

Like I said -- Goldwater in 64.

fstopfitzgerald said...

Hoosier Daddy said...
You know, I picture fstop/Lucky as that character that Mel Gibson played in Conspiracy Theory. Lives in a one bedroom apartment over a auto body shop and works nights at Steak and Shake mumbling how the black helicopters piloted by Christofascists are coming to get us all.


That's interesting.

I picture you as a morbidly obese Jabba the Hut type living in his parent's basement surrounded by Cheetos wrappers and a slightly soiled inflatable love doll near your PlayStation.

Hey -- I'm a romantic.

Simon said...

dbp, I don't want to be taken as defending fstopfitzgerald, but to be fair, while "dominionism" is often thrown around as a canard, in Huckabee's case, even a broken watch is right twice a day, and it might well apply to Huck. Ordinarily, militant atheists - the Freedom from Religion Foundation, Michael Asshole etc. - use it as a meaningless slam against politicians whose politics are influenced by their faith. But Huck has explicitly endorsed changing the Constitution to bring it in line with (his perception of) God's law. If the shoe fits...

Zeb Quinn said...

It seems to me that the Huck genuinely dislikes Romney--I have no idea why, but my wife who is a Jack (Jill?) Mormon thinks it's the fundamentalist Southern Baptist part of him who regards LDS folks as the antichrist.

That's exactly right. It's Huckabee who initiated the hostility between himself and Romney with snarky and disparaging comments about Mormonism, tapping into and trafficking in anti-Mormonism amongst some evangelicals to build his base.

So to those who think it's "ridiculous" that Romney and his minions are "haughty" and "patronizing" towards the Huckster, understand that if you understand nothing else.

Middle Class Guy said...

Hoosier Daddy said...
No, are they people who are fanatical about Dominos pizza?


They are actually an international touring team of Domino Players who are part of the Tri-Lateral/Council on Foreign Relations conspiracy to take over the world and replace our Judeo-Christian values with the game of Dominos. Churches and Synagogues will be turned into Domino parlors. Dominos will be the official national pastime and the rules of Dominos will replace the United States Constitution.

Roger said...

It is rather a mystery to me why the only coverage of the Huck's blatant nepotism and play for pay-shakedown tactics as Arkansas governor have only been covered in the British Press (the Guardian to be precise). Its almost like the MSM didnt want to talk about that...hmmmmmmm.

dbp said...

Leaving aside speculation of Huckabee as some kind of Dominionist, how ever far-fetched that may be: This was only part of my point.

A) We elect a President not an emperor. A President can have all kinds of crazy ideas and I would prefer one who doesn't. The President can't just re-write the constitution.

B) Huckabee doesn't have a prayer of getting nominated (or rather that is about all he has--a prayer)

So the idea that some scary dominion-thing is coming to get us is pure tin-foil hat territory.

IMHO

Hoosier Daddy said...

I picture you as a morbidly obese Jabba the Hut type living in his parent's basement surrounded by Cheetos wrappers and a slightly soiled inflatable love doll near your PlayStation.

Actually they're Twinkies wrappers and I have an Xbox 360.

Hey -- I'm a romantic.

Stay away, I'm not your type.

former law student said...

Social conservatives don't trust the "born-again conservative" Romney, expecting him to flip back to his natural Governor-of-Massachusetts position for the general election. In contrast, Huckabee has been delivering a consistent conservative message. And even McCain has a certain amount of social conservative street cred from his long-term opposition to abortion.

fstopfitzgerald said...

dbp said... We elect a President not an emperor Huckabee doesn't have a prayer of getting nominated (or rather that is about all he has--a prayer)...
So the idea that some scary dominion-thing is coming to get us is pure tin-foil hat territory.


After Goldwater's loss in 64, everybody knew the conservative wing of the Republican Party was dead.

Oh wait, they went on to take over the party and make Reagan president.

Huckabee is the jeebus freak Goldwater.

And BTW -- there's already serious talk about his being McCain's veep.

You guys are so screwed....

Middle Class Guy said...

Roger,
If they went after Huckabee for his Arkansas politics, they would have to go after Clinton too and that is a taboo for the press.

Arkansas politics has been plagued with nepotism and pay to play for generations. It is just the way it is done down there. Bill Clinton's political tutors and evnetual sponsors were some of the most corrupt politicans in the country.

It has been that way in the past and it will be that way in the future. Arkansas is just that way.

Simon said...

dbp:
"We elect a President not an emperor. A President can have all kinds of crazy ideas and I would prefer one who doesn't. The President can't just re-write the constitution."

That's true, but it reveals something about Huckabee's character and views. He may not be able to re-write the Constitution to bring it in line with God's law, but his desire to do so may bespeak a broader desire to operate government in line with his perception of God's law (another example of the same is his serial abuse of the pardon power in Arkansas). And as President, there is an arena in which he can (and thus may) try to bring matters into line with his perception of God's law: "the pyramidal executive structure mandated by the Constitution allows the President to direct all Executive branch activities." It's hard to litigate establishment clause claims against the executive branch (all the more so now the court has - in my view correctly - slammed the door on extending Flast to cover executive activities), which suggests that particular care and discretion is needed in selecting Presidents who understand that their obligations under the Constitution come before and above their obligations under God. Follow God's command to the limit allowed by the Constitution, yes -- and I am fairly latitudinarian about where that limit is -- but no further. Any public official who can't accept that mandate must resign, and no one who can't accept it should seek office.

fstopfitzgerald said...

Middle Class Guy said...
Arkansas politics has been plagued with nepotism and pay to play for generations. It is just the way it is done down there.

It has been that way in the past and it will be that way in the future. Arkansas is just that way.


And you know this because of your long residence in the state? Or from reading the drivel the American Spectator published in the 90s?

The notion that Arkansas is some kind of Third World backwater peopled by inbred but somehow devilishly clever pols unlike those anywhere else in the country is boilerplate Clinton Crazy paranoid horsehockey.

Next thing you'll be telling us about how Bill smuggled cocaine into the state with help of the CIA.

Huckabee's a dangerous theocratic nutcase, but the idea that he's especially evil because he's from Arkansas is stupid even by your debased standard.

JDAXC said...

And BTW -- there's already serious talk about his being McCain's veep.

Serious talk? Like around your bus-stop this morning??

garage mahal said...

Any candidate that speaks of imposing his/her own religious views on me is the height of arrogance. One, no religion has ever been proven as "true" as far as I know. Two, given that fact, I might have a different religion than the candidate. The biggest unreported story on Huckabee isn't that he paroled an obviously deranged sexual predator who killed again, it's why he paroled him. And he did because of Clinton Derangement run wild. But the press can't report that because they've been part of it the whole time.

peter hoh said...

Hatch on Huckabee:"We've all enjoyed him"

My sense is that the same can not be said about Romney.

If Huckabee had dropped out last week, I doubt that Romney would have taken half or a third of the states that Huckabee took on Tuesday.

Sanford -- I've been saying that he'd be McCain's best pick for VP. That would thrust him onto the national stage.

Richard Dolan said...

"He won the South. Did he win it because of something about the South, or because he has so little money that he had to concentrate it somewhere?"

The political vortex makes even Ann sound a bit too much like Wolf Blitzer. All the talking heads last night were saying things like this, but mostly it was just filler for all that airtime. I think the problem is that, except for true addicts, the topic just doesn't have the depth or interest to sustain all the endless analytical chatter.

Elsewhere Ann says that she's more interested in the rhetoric of the campaigns than the results. A turn of phrase in her opening line caught my eye. "Something about the South" -- what a strange way to put it. Think of all the cliches about "the South" that it calls to mind -- Bible thumpers, revival tents, Faulknerian weirdos, to name a few. No region offers a richer list.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The notion that Arkansas is some kind of Third World backwater peopled by inbred but somehow devilishly clever pols unlike those anywhere else in the country is boilerplate Clinton Crazy paranoid horsehockey

Funny cause I thought that was how the Left viewed most of the South anyway.

Sheepman said...

The Huckster cannot, repeat not, win the Party nomination or the Presidency. He and his handlers know this, so the question becomes, "What is his purpose in continuing to run?"
The answer is to be the leading figure in the evangelical movement. Falwell's dead and Robertson is passé.

Roger said...

"The notion that Arkansas is some kind of Third World backwater peopled by inbred but somehow devilishly clever pols unlike those anywhere else in the country ...." Everybody knows that is Louisiana we are talking about...some if just drifted north on the prevailing winds.

Middle Class Guy said...

fstopfitzgerald said...
Next thing you'll be telling us about how Bill smuggled cocaine into the state with help of the CIA.


OK, Clinton smuggled cocaine into the state with the help of the CIA. Happy now.

Do you honestly believe that you are the only person in the whole world who reads history or political history? Are you really that big of an intellectual idiot and Mensa moron? Your anger issues are causing you to have some real problems with your perception of reality. I suggest you get assistance immediately. Cranial surgery is moving forward at a very fast pace. They can cure your ills with little down time. They now have surgery which will kill and remove the squirrels juggling knives in your brain with no damage to brain tissue. I would have this done before Hillary care outlaws it because it violates PETA standards.

Paddy O. said...

"The answer is to be the leading figure in the evangelical movement. Falwell's dead and Robertson is passé."

He's a follower, not a leader, in the movement. He's not a kingmaker. If he wants this role then he needs to step up in his media presence. But that's pretty difficult because as he does that he's then encroaching on already established territories. It's like drug dealers. They support the lifestyle, and will promote the media masters of that lifestyle, but don't want them on their corner.

Huckabee has no established base. He's dependent on the support of other kingmakers. He's not a writer, he's not a radio personality, and he's no longer a pastor. He's got himself stuck, and I don't see him pushing for any ideas that might indicate he's anything more than a temporary choice of convenience, built on the rejection of social conservatives earlier in the election cycle when Rudy was the favored candidate.

Note also that Huckabee's big problem is money. Evangelicals have a lot, a lot of money, but it's not getting to Huckabee. Meaning the support is shallow. I'd be real surprised to see him with any influence after this.

Evangelicals are fickle. And I don't see Huckabee having what he needs for staying power.

B said...

In several states that Huckabee won last night, the evangelical vote was split almost in thirds, proving again that evangelicals are not a monolithic voting block, as so many bigoted commenters suggest.

I agree with Constitutional Law Professor and Radio Host Hugh Hewitt. Hewitt is a Romney supporter and McCain detractor, but he still this morning had the forward-looking sense to say that he will work all out for McCain as the nominee.He encourages others to do the same.

Why? Seven reasons:
There are seven reasons for anyone to support the eventual nominee no matter who it is: The war and six Supreme Court justices over the age of 68.

Folks who want to take their ball and go home have to realize that even three SCOTUS appointments could revolutionize the way elections are handled in this country in a stroke, mandating the submission of redistricting lines to court scrutiny for "fairness."

"It is undeniable that political sophisticates understand such fairness and how to go about destroying it," Justice Souter announced in his diseent in Veith v. Jubilerer, the Pennsylvania redistricting case in which the Court declined by a vote of 5 to 4 to immerse itself in the details of the partisan redistricting of Pennsylvania.

If Democrats control the White House and gain even one of the five seats held by the center-right majority of current justices, this and many other crucial issues are up for legal grabs. When activist judges are more than willing to rewrite rules of long-standing, periods of exile should never be self-imposed "for the good of the party." Exiles can go on a very long time indeed. Ask the Whigs.

They can go on indefinitely when enforced by courts.

The GOP as well is the party committed to victory in Iraq and the wider war. A four year time-out would be a disaster, a period of time in which al Qaeda and its jihadist off-shoots would regroup in some places and continue to spread in others. Iran, even if punished in the months before November, would certainly continue and accelerate its plans under the soft pleadings of a President Obama or Clinton 2.0.

These aren't the years to wish a pox on your primary opponents' heads beyond June.

Sheepman said...

If he wants this role then he needs to step up in his media presence.
PaddyO:Who in the evangelical movement is getting more media presence than him now? Has an evangelical candidate ever done as well as he has?

My impression is that there is a generational shift in the evangelical movement. Though the old guard hasn't supported him,Huckabee seems to be doing well with young evangelicals. Can't he use that as a power base after the election?

John Thacker said...

Has an evangelical candidate ever done as well as he has?

Yes, Jimmy Carter, 1976. He won a very large share of the evangelical vote for being "one of us."

Sheepman said...

Yes, Jimmy Carter, 1976. He won a very large share of the evangelical vote for being "one of us.
OK, but that was in a different historical context. JC would not be considered as a social conservative today. So let me rephrase the question; has a evangelical candidate coming from the social conservative/evangelical wing of the GOP ever done better than Huckabee in the modern era?

Paddy O. said...

PaddyO:Who in the evangelical movement is getting more media presence than him now? Has an evangelical candidate ever done as well as he has?

My impression is that there is a generational shift in the evangelical movement. Though the old guard hasn't supported him,Huckabee seems to be doing well with young evangelicals. Can't he use that as a power base after the election?


The question isn't who is getting more media attention. The question is who is getting more Evangelical media attention. And who will continue to get Evangelical media attention. If Huckabee does not have a clear media strategy after this election, and his finances make it seem like he won't, then he's gone. He's not a kingmaker. He is very popular in conservative Evangelical circles but almost entirely because "he's one of us" than because he has any real leadership, ideas, or continuing presence. The Evangelical world isn't really accepting applications for more kingmakers right now, and Huckabee isn't in a position to set himself up as one once the attention is gone. He didn't come into this race as a clear Evangelical leader and he won't leave the race as one. He's a tool, not a leader. I'd be real surprised if we hear too much from him again. However, the MSM might pluck him up as supposed spokesperson for Evangelism, like they did with Falwell. Though Falwell's influence at one point was very real, and made more sense.

Young Evangelicals are exceedingly not monolithic. Evangelicalism is nothing like the 1980s or 1990s. It is going through a massive transition right now, almost like an ice floe breaking into different pieces. They're floating a similar direction, but they're increasingly drifting apart.

When I was on the campus this last Fall of the extremely Evangelical college I graduated from the only signs I saw were for Ron Paul. For those in the emerging church movement, an increasingly influential renewal movement made up of mostly Evangelicals or former Evangelicals, I see an almost universal support for Barack Obama.

If you want to get a pulse for Evangelical media on this there's no better source than Christianity Today, which can be considered one of the primary foundations of the Evangelical movement when it began.

Note, though, that I'm a Californian with Evangelical roots, not a Southerner. Evangelicalism in the South has some different flavors from Evangelicalism everywhere else.

Sheepman said...

Paddy o.: Thanks for your interesting, first hand perspective.

Joe said...

Seems to me that Huckabee is running for vice-president and has always had that on his mind. He's been nice to McCain from the start and has proven his loyalty by attacking Romney and taking those votes (though Romney would still be trailing even without Huckabee on a purely mathematical level, though without Huckabee's anti-Mormonism, I think Romney would have done better.)

The irony is that if Romney doesn't pick up steam and Huckabee is McCain's VP choice, there's a good likelihood we'll end up with President Huckabee. Egads.

Cedarford said...

Joe - He's been nice to McCain from the start and has proven his loyalty by attacking Romney and taking those votes (though Romney would still be trailing even without Huckabee on a purely mathematical level, though without Huckabee's anti-Mormonism, I think Romney would have done better.)

NO Huckabee, perhaps Romney's early strategy to win the early states would have worked. And purely mathematical, Romney wins Iowa and Florida with no Huckster.

Joe - The irony is that if Romney doesn't pick up steam and Huckabee is McCain's VP choice, there's a good likelihood we'll end up with President Huckabee. Egads.

There is no good likelihood that we will end up with a Bob Dole 2.0 becoming President OR a creationist VP succeding him. Bush, Rumsfeld, the neocons, DeLay, Hastert, the Terri Schiavo Lives! theocrats, and Ted Stevens have pretty well destroyed Republicanism. Which appears to be likely to be far better off losing in 2008 and rebuilding the Party so it appeals to more than rich people, militarists, and theocrats. And that may mean ditching at least one, maybe all three of the above groups and becoming the Party of the middle class and national defense again.