Monday, October 15, 2007

Will N.H. like Mike?

Found this at SeacoastOnline, some highlights.

  • Talk about your trials and tribulations. Consider Mike Huckabee and his journey as a presidential candidate.
    Huckabee is a very popular former Republican governor of Arkansas (a rare species indeed), with no shortage of faith (a Baptist preacher), quips and potential political star power — it's not every presidential candidate who sits with a rock band and plays bass for an hour as Huckabee did recently in Londonderry.
    He's also got plenty of brains ("big ideas") and a relaxing public composure that suggests "come to my revival tent and sit for a spell."
    He's got a conservative populist perspective and has even risen to the level of getting that double-edged sword of legitimacy: favorable and respectful coverage from that dreaded mainstream media.
  • But more importantly, Huckabee seems to me to represent the man of the hour for the Republican Party (yes, I know some would consider that faint praise), a seductively charismatic leader who could realize the GOP "big tent" ideal. With the exception of a few conservative heresies in terms of small tax hikes in Arkansas, Huckabee is pleasantly pro-life, anti-gay marriage, loves the Second Amendment, and sincerely questions the concept of evolution. He's on board for the most part with the GOP thinking on Iraq, the war on terror, Iran, and Guantanamo Bay (though he admits that not talking with bad guys is rather self-defeating).
  • Huckabee, who underwent a dramatic life-transforming weight-loss experience a few years ago, has also gone out of his way to remind Republicans that a third party candidate would be unnecessary and do for Hillary Clinton what Ross Perot in 1992 did for Bill Clinton — hand the Dems the election.
    "There's no need for a third party if I'm the candidate," Huckabee said.
  • While there's no shortage of pundit proclamations about how the races will turn out, the reality is we know a bare minimum about what's going to unfold. Huckabee doesn't fit into a predictable mold. In some ways, he talks funny for a Republican Party used to more clear-cut language of heroes and villains.
    Huckabee talks about renewable energy and education in life-changing rather than factory-delivery analogies. He's the only candidate in either party who talks consistently about wanting to enhance music and art programs as important for education, the economy and life. He also speaks in populist tones, which can frighten away Wall Street conservatives. At the debate in Michigan, he didn't buy the du jour GOP dogma that the economy is a golden river of fortune. It's going, in Huckabee vernacular, "not quite so swimmingly well."
  • "We're losing jobs here. That's why people in Michigan are going — looking for something to do. And that's what has to change and it's not being changed. And this party is going to have to start addressing it or we're going to get our britches beat next year," he said at the debate.
    This doesn't mean a return to New Deal liberalism. One of Huckabee's big ideas is to tear down the current tax system and replace it with the fair tax — a qualified 23 to 30 percent national sales tax on retail items. It's controversial (regressive or progressive for most Americans?) and highly theoretical. It's also a great debating start line.
  • More than any other candidate, Huckabee has prompted the media herd to ask: Why hasn't he caught fire? Perhaps it's a fire that can't be seen until the first votes are cast.

Read the full article here.

1 comment:

Ian said...

Fred, Fred, where's your cred?
Will you let me keep my bread?
FairTax, Yes! 'er FairTax, No!
Just another politico?
Hope for tax reform, I see,
Will be voting HUCKABEE!