Thursday, January 31, 2008


Members of Congress, watch your punctuation!


A vote for Huckabee is a vote for Huckabee

Mark Krikorian suggests my vote in the Feb. 12 Virginia primary is a vote for John McCain, even if I'm actually marking the box next to Mike Huckabee's name.

I understand Mark's animus toward Sen. McCain, but I retain my right to vote for who I'd like to see as the party's nominee, even if Huckabee's chances have dropped significantly since the South Carolina primary. I am not personally responsible for Sen. McCain getting the nomination, just as my friends in South Carolina who voted for Fred Thompson are not personally responsible for preventing Huckabee from winning that primary. (A side note -- if Huckabee had won, Mitt Romney would be in a much stronger position right now.)

Sen. McCain is the front-runner and if nothing upsets the apple cart, he seems likely to win the nomination. And if you don't like Sen. McCain, blame your guy, whoever it is, for not beating him.


The Politico: Huckabee gets love from undecided GOP women

Debates are not Sen. McCain's strong suit, and this reaction from a focus group shows it. If he is to be the nominee, he better get some pointers from Mike Huckabee. Or better yet (one can still hope), the GOP should just go ahead and nominate Huckabee!  

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Military Vets-National Security

Erik Erickson of Red State, echoed and amplified by NRO's Jim Geraghty make a valid point about a key core of the GOP: vets and national security voters. Romney didn't have them, and they saved McCain in South Carolina.

One bit of personal insight: Ex-Gov. Beasley was urging the Huckabee campaign to make a major national security-oriented speech in military-oriented Charleston right after New Hampshire. The campaign wanted to, but it never got off the ground (the woes of having an underfunded effort). It might have been a credibility-building speech for Huckabee, perhaps enough to peel some votes away from Thompson. Huckabee would have never won Charleston, or the vets, but it might have done enough to broaden the appeal just enough.

Ah, well. If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we'd all be happy at Christmas. Oh, and buy Jim's book.


A Rudy Guy Makes the Case for Romney

Patrick Ruffini makes a cogent case for Romney, one the Romney campaign doesn't seem to spend a lot of time making itself. The Romney campaign's echo chamber seems less about who they think shouldn't be in the tent than about why their tent is the best. At least that's what it seems like to this Huckabee supporter.

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The What If? Game.

It's time to play the "What If?" game after Florida:

-- What if Mike Huckabee wins South Carolina instead of John McCain?
My hunch: McCain is crippled, Huckabee beats McCain in Florida but Romney wins the state and is the better funded candidate in a one-on-one battle against Huckabee.
-- What if Romney stays in South Carolina and fights? My hunch: a muddled result with anyone's guess as a winner. Romney is hurt, but McCain gets no boost and Huckabee is helped. Florida result hard to predict.
-- What if Giuliani really made a play for New Hampshire?. My hunch: McCain and Rudy split votes, Romney wins, giving him a boost into South Carolina.
-- What if Romney goes less negative on Huckabee in Iowa? My hunch: press boomlet for Huckabee is smaller, Romney diverts resources to neighboring New Hampshire and South Carolina.
-- What if Fred Thompson really took off last spring?. My hunch: not much air for Mike Huckabee. The battle becomes Romney vs. Fred.

Other than Michigan, very little that has happened in the race so far has helped Mitt Romney. I thought maybe the economic news would play to his strengths. But it did not. At least not enough to win.


President Bush Talks About His Addictions

He remains unpopular, but maybe because this part of him is hard to see: BALTIMORE, Jan. 29 -- President Bush plopped himself into a chair between two former prisoners, Thomas Boyd and Adolphus Moseley, and asked to hear how their lives had changed. But first, he wanted them to know something about him: 'I understand addiction,' he said, 'and I understand how a changed...

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Irrational exuberance about Obama's win

The margin is stunning, -- but let's put this sort of stuff in perspective: African-Americans made up more than 50 percent of the voters in today's primary. But the African-American voting age population is only about 27 percent of the total South Carolina voting age population.

This in part makes this somewhat silly. Obama won a historic victory, but he also had fewer serious competitors, more time to campaign, and a base of voters clearly united behind him. McCain and Huckabee had fewer days to campaign, an additional serious competitor and a base clearly uncertain about where to go.

It's a long time until November.

UPDATE: In 1988, Jesse Jackson won more than half the Democratic vote in caucus.


Thursday, January 24, 2008

At least they got fired

Some not-so-bright District of Columbia employees -- including some in Child and Family Services! -- got fired for accessing porn at work. These nine were apparently responsible for 20,000 hits. Amazing. Kudos to the Mayor for firing them. Though it still doesn't say a great many wonderful things about the quality of District employees.

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Pro-Life Rally

K-Lo does her usual wonderful best for the pro-life cause, pointing out some photos of a pro-life rally that probably don't fit a stereotype.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Are you wiser than a 13-year-old?

I know I'm not. Listen to how a young rancher in Nebraska explains to a Christian radio station how he's dealing with some hurt of his own.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Politico: Romney may give up on South Carolina

Mitt Romney, who has had staff in the Palmetto State since last summer in his effort to be the GOP front-runner, is now considering not contesting the 1/19 primary. Assuming this is accurate, this could be shrewd if the S.C. fight is thus between McCain and Huckabee -- Romney is no doubt hoping for Huckabee to knock off McCain, and then to use his superior resources to beat Huckabee. It is, however, an admission of defeat. Romney has been contesting the S.C. primary all along. Now that he's lost two that previously everyone thought he was going to win, he's trying to change the game. It might work, but I do wonder what kind of "medal" do you get for dropping out of a primary?

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Huckabee Makes Them Laugh At Furman

How many GOP candidates can make a joke about the "Don't taze me, bro" incident? As She Who Sighs told me this morning, "He's our pop culture candidate."

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Huckabee's new ad in Michigan


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Tonight -- and the future

When I wrote my first small check to Mike Huckabee last year, and talked to Gov. Beasley about endorsing his former colleague, I did not think the former Arkansas governor would really be the winner of the Iowa caucuses and a potential front-runner. Tonight, before the votes of New Hampshire are in, some bettors suggest that John McCain is now the favorite to win the GOP nod, and that Barack Obama is now the overwhelming favorite on the Democratic side.

I have no idea how that kind of race will turn out -- and of course I hope that Gov. Huckabee gets the Republican nod. But I certainly don't fear a McCain-Obama contest. With the way the two conduct themselves, with the way they talk about their opponents and the nation, I actually think that contest might be wonderful to watch.

The reason I am warming to McCain is the same reason that I like Gov. Huckabee and, even though his policy views are typical garden variety liberalism, Sen. Obama -- a hunger for a new kind of campaign and a chance to turn the page from the past 20 years of dispiriting trench warfare. It's a bigger and a better country than that.

If Mitt or Fred or Rudy win the nomination, I hope they'll show they believe it too. Unfortunately, I hold no hope that Sen. Clinton will execute an uplifting kind of campaign. One only has to look at this video to believe it.


Huckabee's "vertical" thinking

Apparently the anti-evangelical crowd is today in a tither about Mike Huckabee's call for "vertical" instead of left-vs-right politics. The Huffington Post has an interesting piece about the word's roots in Christian music. Actually I think it's a pretty fair piece. Others have more prejudiced ideas, like this guy, and of course Daily Kos gets into the act as well.

Well, I never.


I attend McLean Bible Church. I like some Christian rock bands. And I promise, someone forgot to give me the memo. They didn't give it to She Who Sighs either, even though she's the grandaughter of a conservative Protestant pastor and a regular visitor to a Christian summer camp since she was born.

We both thought the governor was talking about lifting people up, inspiring them, instead of dividing people into opposite camps. Would it be wrong if that's what he means? I thought that's what Sen. Obama is trying to do as well -- and I like it from him, honestly. So why the double standard?


Monday, January 07, 2008

Dave Ramsey and Mike Huckabee

I've been trying to sort out in my head the appeal of Mike Huckabee in a different way. And Dave Ramsey came to mind.

Ramsey is now on 300+ radio stations in the U.S., dishing off "the same advice your grandmother would, only we keep our teeth in." He's an unabashed Christian and a conservative, but in the latter, not predictably so. He is a free-enterprise-please-let-me-keep-my-money business owner, but he also Ramsey gives credit card collectors no quarter, calling them "scum of the earth." He doesn't hestitate to criticize what he calls "misbehavior" from other businesses, be they large or small. He urges husbands and wives to be active partners in their marriages. He is a guy's guy who also wins much admiration from women.

He's not perfect, and probably verbally shallower than perhaps some folks in Washington or New York who think they're smarter. But listening to Ramsey as I have for nearly two years, there's a basic decency and common sense to his approach. I think he's lot like Mike Huckabee, and maybe others like Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota. These are the types of people Ross Douthat of The Atlantic calls "Sam's Club" Republicans -- they are trying to get ahead but don't think anyone ought to get a step up at the expense of someone else, and they also want to make sure that the folks who really might need help get it (and that doesn't necessarily mean government help). They haven't forgotten that they may be the first in their family to graduate from college (like myself), or that the grew up in a rental home (like Huckabee).

Understanding the appeal of Dave Ramsey, Mike Huckabee and Tim Pawlenty could help whoever gets the Republican nomination.

And for what it's worth, I have no idea whom Dave Ramsey supports, if anyone, and I believe Gov. Pawlenty is backing Sen. McCain.


Friday, January 04, 2008

The former Boss with Chuck Norris

Gov. Beasley and Chuck Norris report in from backstage

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Now this is fun!

From The Politico:

The crowd of roughly 400 at the Huckabee victory party erupted in cheers as he walked off the stage to the theme of "Monty Python's Flying Circus."

This ought to thrill someone!


Thursday, January 03, 2008

Listen and give him a chance, or keep attacking?

That's the question for most of the conservative blogosphere now, as Mike Huckabee is a strong and surprising winner of the Iowa caucuses. Many didn't seem to want to listen, or give Huckabee a chance. Many even treated him with bigoted disrespect. Tonight that ought to change.

But the challenge for the Governor is bigger. It to demonstrate clearly that you are more than an attractive candidate. It is that you are a potential President of the United States.