Thursday, January 31, 2008

CNN Debate: Romney Reveals Big Business Bias

Governor Mitt Romney, who has only recently been touting his support of the Second Amendment, is obviously not too experienced in the use of firearms. Am I the only one who noticed him pull that big fat gun out of his pocket and shoot himself in the foot last night?

He was, in fact, being asked a question about his record in Massachusetts re: taxes. Specifically, he was asked to defend his raising fees by hundreds of millions of dollars; to explain why those did not constitute tax increases. To defend his record, he gave as an example increasing the fee for McDonald’s to put a sign on the Massachusetts Turnpike to advertise their restaurant from $200 to $2,000.

Well, that’s just fine and dandy, if you’re a big multi-national corporation like McDonald’s. But what if you’re just a Mom & Pop family restaurant struggling to compete with places like McDonald’s? Forget it, Mom & Pop, says Governor Romney, you have to pay the 900% fee increase! Thus does Romney reveal that he cares about Wall Street, but not Main Street. And I’ll just bet that there were plenty of Moms and Pops out there in TVland who got his message, loud and clear.

Leave it to Mike Huckabee to define the divide between two different strains of economic conservatism with the Wall Street v. Main Street distinction. But since so many people—including Rush Limbaugh—seem not to get it, I’ll expound on it a bit more here. Because Mike Huckabee has the audacity to talk about the proverbial little guy and to criticize genuine examples of corporate greed, conservatives like Limbaugh conclude that Huckabee is a liberal and opposed to business; i.e., he can’t be a real economic conservative. They need to listen a little better to what Mike Huckabee has to say.

What liberal Democrats do is complain that the little guy is being crushed by the interests of big business. Hence, they justify greater taxation, regulation and litigation. And of course, that punishes all businesses, large and small, and drags the whole economy down.

On the other hand, Gov. Huckabee complains that small business is being crushed by excessive government taxation, regulation and litigation, and that this needs to be reversed (and the implementation of the Fair Tax would do it in one fell swoop). But big business can safeguard its profits against big government by outsourcing jobs and moving its capital offshore. This has the same ultimate effect of dragging down the national economy, and with it, ultimately, our national security. This process is, however, more insidious because, at least in the short run, profits—and therefore, tax revenues—keep rolling in, even as whole industries keep moving out overseas.

Mike Huckabee understands that most of America’s industry and most of its jobs are generated by small business—not big business. And just as importantly, he understands that what is good for small business is good for all business, big and small.

Unfortunately, Mitt Romney just doesn’t get it. He obviously believes that if we take care of big business, small business will benefit also. That ain’t necessarily so, as I have pointed out above.

Now how does this all play out in the political calculus of the current presidential election? Hmmm, it seems to me that there are plenty of billionaire industrialists (Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, George Soros come to mind) who are eager to throw in their fortunes with liberal Democrats like Hillary. Ever wonder why that is?

My point here is that if you want a President in the White House who will just take care of big business, you don’t need a fiscal conservative of Romney’s stripe or even a Republican. Hillary will do just fine.

But if you want a President in the White House who is a real conservative—fiscal and otherwise—you need to help elect Mike Huckabee!

(And as for all you guys who want to post, on this blog site, pleas for Mike to withdraw from the race because he’s hurting Mitt Romney’s chances, you can forget that. And if you’ve taken the time to read this post all the way through, now you also know one reason why.)

Monday, January 21, 2008

A Conservative's Conservative Speaks About the GOP Candidates

Amid charges and counter charges about who's the real conservative, John McCain has been severely and appropriately challenged, for everything from his opposition to the Bush tax cuts to McCain-Feingold. But the conservative talking heads--from Anne Coulter to Rush Limbaugh to Rich Lowry--have, with few exceptions like Michelle Malkin--been savaging Mike Huckabee for no apparent reason that this writer could find or imagine.

Today, at 5:20 pm on the Sean Hannity Show, we heard from a real conservative who's not in the race; one who's walked the walk and fought the fight for conservative principles over the years: Tom DeLay. After DeLay criticised McCain--not personally mind you, but purely on issues, and concluded that he could not support McCain's candidacy, Sean Hannity asked him if he would pick any of the others in the race. Glaringly, Hannity left out Mike Huckabee's name, as he asked DeLay what he thought about Romney, Thompson and Giuliani. Making it clear that he had no clear favorite at this point--not having to make up his mind until the March primary election in Texas--DeLay said that Thompson had "walked the conservative walk", Romney has "talked the conservative talk", and Giuliani, although he has "problems with him on social issues, I (he) could still support him against Hillary Clinton."

Then Tom DeLay volunteered: "And frankly, Huckabee. I have no problem with Huckabee."
A genuine conservative--Tom Delay--knows a genuine conservative--Mike Huckabee when he sees one. Hallelelujah! If Mike Huckabee could be the magnificently successful governor of a state for over ten years--vastly improving roads, schools, cutting taxes and leaving the debt-ridden state of Arkansas with almost a billion dollar surplus--a state controlled by an overwhelming Democrat majority, mind you--and still be considered, on his record, to be a conservative by a conservative's conservative like Tom Delay, that speaks volumes. Are you listening Rush? Anne? Rich? GOP voters?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Some Other Blogs of Interest

The official web site ( lists well over 600 blogs....actually closer to 700 blogs and counting.

I've checked out a few blogs from the campaign's official web site and would strongly recommend the Florida for Huckabee blog ( They've got the inside scoop on the action in the next major contest.

Here's another blog that comes highly recommended: The Roebuck Report ( The author is a journalist out of Arkansas and he's got some good insights into Arkansas politics and the Arkansas media outlets (especially as the national media considers them all as gospel--and we know all newspapers are not created equal).

If you find other blogs that are worth my precious blog scanning time, I'd appreciate a heads up with a comment!

Huckabee's Appeal and Media Objectivity

I recommend you check out CNN's Election Center some time and bring along your salt shaker because many items require a lot more than a grain of salt! Although the election and poll number are "accurate," you do need to ask yourself, what question (s) the media is not asking in their entrance and exit polls. Bottom line, the media would like to characterize Mike as a one-note evangelical candidate.

The data suggests a broader base of support. For instance, if you shift through the South Carolina exit poll data (, you'd find out that Mike polled well among people who considered themselves very conservative (41%) and somewhat conservative (30%). Further, Mike won the Republican vote (South Carolina being an open primary) with 32% (Giuliani 2%, McCain 31%, Paul 2%, Romney 16%, and Thompson 17%) and finished second among independents (25% compared to McCain's 42%). Mike also took the lion's share of those who identified immigration as their number 1 issue (taking 33% of those voters). He tied McCain with 32% of the people who identified the economy as their top priority. Mike was also tops for people earning under $50,000 a year (two categories: $15-30,000 and $30-50,000). He was the second choice of the people in the categories of $50-75,000, $75-100,000, and $100-150,000. He was top among voters who characterized their family financial situation as being "Getting Ahead" and "Falling Behind." (Second among those saying "Holding Steady.") And finally for the 71% of the electorate which feels abortion should be illegal Mike won their support overwhelmingly!

So to generalize, Mike could be called the candidate of the average conservative/conservative leaning, Republican middle-class American, who cares about issues like immigration, the state of the economy and the right to life for the unborn. Hey, that's me and I'm Roman Catholic. Go figure!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Late Night 2: Conan's Chicken or the Egg Question

Mike doesn't appear on the show, but Conan's monologues (on two separate nights) pose one of the biggest questions of the current political season:: Which came first the Colbert Bump or the Walker Texas Ranger Lever? As McLaughlin would say: The answer is Mike Huckabee and free media are forces of nature....they are two great things that go great together. Check it out if you want a good laugh: and

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Late Night with Mike Huckabee

Mike's been omnipresent on the late night talk show circuit from the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson to David Letterman (the Dave shaves his beard episode) to the Tonight Show with Leno to the Stephen Colbert Report.

The Governor's always on point when issues come up. He's always personable, charming and disarming of his hosts. He's also always entertaining to boot.

But in case your devotion for Huck doesn't extend to staying up past 10 p.m., here are some highlights (with some links) of the night owl Gov:

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno:(In 2 parts: and

Best quote when asked about how Bill Clinton and he both come from Hope, Arkansas and whether they knew each other. Mike explained that Clinton was nine years older than he and that Clinton's family left Hope for Hot Springs, AR when Bill was 7. Mike then quipped that Clinton only proclaimed his Hope hometown allegiance when he ran for president. Mike:
"When he (Clinton) ran for President it just didn't sound right to say "I believe in a place called Hot Springs" can understand that. We all can understand this!"

Mike gives a strong explanation of his Fair Tax proposal (worth watching just for this)!

Other great line: “People are looking for a presidential candidate who reminds them more of the guy they work with rather than the guy that laid them off.”

Almost 14 minutes of Mike! A great national forum for Mike and his message of hope!

Late Show with David Letterman (

Discussion of Mike's early broadcasting career (Mike got an FCC license at the age of 14). Mike talks about Vertical Politics.

Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (no link)

I saw the taped show. Another strong showing by Mike, but unavailable on youtube. Although an out of context Mike remark about the U.S. Constitution is showing up on youtube. The complete context is Craig Ferguson's request for people to make him an honorary citizen and Mike's joking offer to make Craig a citizen of the U.S. Don't be surprised when Romney accuses Huckabee of being soft on illegal late night talk show immigrants!

Colbert Report (

The link is from the NY Times' The Caucus. Jodi Kantor suggests that the one cardinal rule for being on the Colbert Report is "never, ever, ever try to be the funny one." Kantor feels that Mike broke this rule. See for yourself, I know Kantor's wrong. Huckabee goes toe-to-toe with Colbert. The majority of the comments are from Democrats, Republicans and Independents who also disagree with Kantor.

Here's just one of the many funny parts:

Colbert: He (McCain) said he would hunt Osama Bin Laden to the gates of hell. Would you hunt Osama Bin Laden all the way into hell?

Huckabee: And beyond. I will charge hell with a water pistol if necessary.

Mike should be able to again cash in on a "Colbert bump," especially with parting advice like this from Colbert (the running mate his own mind): "Stay strong. Be brave. And remember stay a Huckabee not a Huckawas."

Rudy's Premature Tsunami in Florida?

In a new Datamar poll for the Florida Republican presidential primary (Jan. 29), Governor Huckabee bests the field including the former Mayor of NYC Rudy Giuliani, who once had a commanding lead in Florida but now finds himself 4th in the poll.

Huckabee 23.9%
Romney 19.5%
McCain 17.9%
Giuliani 16.4%
Thompson 9.4%
Paul 4.8%
Hunter .6%
Undecided 7.5%

The Datamar poll (, conducted between Januray 5-7, is further good news for Mike and bad news for Rudy. In May 2007, Mike was polling at 3.1%, while Giuliani was polling at 27%. Huckabee's numbers began to rise at about the same time in Florida that they did nationally. A 4th place finish for Mr. Giuliani would be a serious blow to his strategy of discounting Iowa and NH, while focusing on Florida and the competition on Tsunami Tuesday. What would also die in Florida is Mr. Giuliani much-touted claims of uber-electability. A Huckabee win in Florida will hopefully clarify for the political pundits that the Republican faithful are looking for a candidate that keeps faith not with any one religion, but with Republican core values--social and fiscal conservatism!

Monday, January 7, 2008

New Polls: Huckabee on top in US

A new USA Today/Gallup national survey of 1,023 adults was conducted 1/4 through 1/6, and it found that among 423 Republicans and those who lean Republican the results are:

Mike Huckabee - 25%
Rudy Giuliani - 20%
John McCain - 19%
Fred Thompson - 12%
Mitt Romney - 9%.

No other Republican got more than 5 %.

Rasmussen now has Huckabe in first with 20 percent followed by

McCain - 19%
Giuliani - 17%
Romney - 15%
Thompson - 11%
Paul -3%

The uptick continues.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Talker Mike Gallagher gets Mike Huckabee Wrong

In his blog today, in a piece called “Iowa is no Florida” talk show host Mike Gallagher criticizes all the vitriolic huckicide bombers (as I call them) for trashing Mike Huckabee.

But then he totally turns Huckabee’s message upside down himself, based on Huck’s appearance the other night on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

On the show (and you can link to the YouTube video of it via, Mike Huckabee spoke of why he got into politics, having considered being a clergyman being “in the stands”, rather than on the playing field.

Gallagher jumps all over this metaphor, attributing to Huckabee the belief that government is the solution to peoples’ problems. Gallagher actually called Huckabee a “big government liberal.”

I guess Gallagher must have turned the show off early. He must have, in order to miss the absolutely unmistakable Huckabee message that government is the problem—not the solution (like Ronald Reagan used to say).

A bit later in the show, Huckabee gave the example of a voter he had met in New Hampshire; a factory worker who had signed on for an extra shift to help his daughter through graduate school at Cornell. The voter complained that working the extra shift put him in a higher tax bracket, so that most of that extra money went to the IRS. Huckabee then suggested that the man would make out better financially by quitting both shifts—stop working altogether—so that his daughter could qualify for government assistance for graduate school. Huckabee then rightly concluded that this was “nutty”.

Next, Huckabee talked about how difficult it is now for a man starting a small business, having to worry about his biggest competitor not being a rival business, but the government!

And let’s not forget that Mike Huckabee is the only one of the top five candidates who supports the Fair Tax: That is, replacing the income tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax, etc, with a single consumption tax on retail sales. And because the tax would only be on what you spend—not on what you earn—the government would no longer have any business knowing what you make, from whom and for what. Now, getting rid of the IRS—part and parcel of the Fair Tax plan—is about THE most effective way of getting big government out of our lives. (And by the way, Mike Huckabee found the time in his Tonight Show appearance to talk about that, too. And what applause from the audience at the idea of eliminating the IRS!)

So here’s a question for you, Mike Gallagher: How come all those other leading GOP candidates, who all like to call themselves real fiscal conservatives, are in favor of keeping the IRS intact?

No doubt about it: Mike Huckabee is a small government, low tax conservative. Just go back and watch the whole 13-minute tonight show segment, Mike Gallagher.

And when you’ve finished that, spend another half hour and watch Mike Huckabee’s appearance on Meet the Press, where he is relentlessly grilled by Tim Russert.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Memo to GOP Huckicide bombers: Don’t commit GOPicide!

This morning, I submitted to following letter to the Eagle, the online magazine of, an organ of the conservative wing of the GOP, in response to a vitriolic “Huckicide” piece published today in that journal by Bobby Eberle, President and CEO of gopusa. My letter also applies to the continuing stream of anti-Huckabee venom that continues to flow from the political right, even after Governor Huckabee’s decisive victory in the Iowa caucuses.

To the Editor:

How's this for a Conservative principle: "Though shalt not attack a fellow Republican."
That is often described as "Reagan's 11th Commandment". Even as your column yesterday stressed the importance of party unity, your column today totally trashes the victor in our own first electoral contest, with mudballs like "bad news for the Republican party", "socialist" and claims that the candidate who got the most GOP support in Iowa "simply does not warrant the support he has received."

Do you really think that it makes it all right, to conclude with the hope that "we will all rally around the nominee", after such vicious attacks from a voice of the party itself?

We are surely doomed if we chart such a self-destructive course. Isn't it obvious that there is great news for the GOP out of Iowa, in that turnout went from 88,000 in the last presidential election cycle up to 125,000? That's a real sign of health in the party. But articles like yours are a manifestation of suicidal ideation. Our "big tent" will surely not stand if we keep on hacking away at the tent poles.

Lessons from Iowa

First, a celebratory WHOOP!

But then back to earth.

The pundits -including many of the Conservative talking heads - are already trying to dismiss Mike's Iowa victory, saying it was due to the evenagelicals, and that he wouldn't have that kind of support elsewhere. (Conveniently ignoring many states where evangelicals are strong and will play a role.)

They also go on to distort and misrepresent his record and his proposals.

Three lessons for us come out of this.

First, Mike won with a minimal "official" staff, but with plenty of grassroots workers - like us. Some of the other candidates paid people to do the work, Huckabee supporters for the most part did the work because they believed in him.

In New York, where there isn't an official campaign structure yet, the work over the next few weeks is up to us. We are the ones who have to make the phone calls, get on the call-in shows, comment in the chat rooms and blogs, write the letters, talk to friends and neighbors. Now is the time to begin.

Second, part of our efforts must be to create truth squads of our own. When we hear the distortions on issues like immigration and taxes, we need to repond immediately with the facts. We need to write letters to the editor. We need to step up.

Finally, we have to make it clear that he is more than just an evangelical and has more that just an evangelical base. We need to get the focus on his practical experience as a successfjul governor and emphasize his many proposals on a variety of issues.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Electoral map

The folks over at Politics and Christianity have created the above state-by-state Repuiblican leader map
According to various polls, the site says Huckabee is currently leading in 10 states: Iowa, Montana, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
Of course, some of those polls are close and even shifting. On the positive side, there are several close states Mike could pick up - especially after an Iowa win, and if Thompson drops out (as is currently rumored).
New York, as expected, is in the Giuliani list. We have to hit the ground running to get ready for February 5.