“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

What States Can Huckabee Carry in a National Election?

President George McGovern

Not: Ohio, Pennsylvania, California, New York, Michigan, and Florida for starters.

Huckabee basks in success
By Stephen Dinan Washington Times
December 11, 2007

MIAMI — Mike Huckabee jokes that if he's not the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, someone better tell the other campaigns to turn their fire elsewhere.

While he's not quite comfortable with the term front-runner — "I would like to say we're 'emerging,' " he said yesterday — the former Arkansas governor finds himself facing near-smothering press attention and the concentrated attacks from other campaigns. But whatever he's called, his emergence means the former two-man race between Mitt Romney and Rudolph W. Giuliani is now a lot more complicated.

Mr. Huckabee spent the morning in Miami yesterday picking up the endorsement of one of Florida's most powerful politicians, House Speaker Marco Rubio, the latest in a line of substantial backers Mr. Huckabee is amassing.

Mr. Rubio said he had planned to stay neutral in the race, but in the past few weeks had felt compelled to back Mr. Huckabee as the candidate who best communicates a pro-life, conservative-values message. Mr. Rubio said that's what helps Mr. Huckabee spar with far better-funded campaigns.

"There's a difference between a campaign and a movement," Mr. Rubio said. "When you're leading a movement, all you need is people. And he's leading a movement."

That movement, though, will have to brave Mr. Huckabee's past, which is increasingly scrutinized. From paroles issued during his 10 years as governor, to his presiding over a net tax increase to his past comments on Christianity and AIDS, Mr. Huckabee is now on the hot seat.

Yesterday, he defended his stance as governor on immigration, when he protested federal immigration authorities' workplace raids. He said his concern then was that citizen children were in effect "abandoned" because social services wasn't alerted to the raids beforehand.

"A raid is a legitimate thing to do. But what is not legitimate is to do it without the cooperation of local authorities," he said.

And in earning the endorsement of Mr. Rubio, the top-ranking Cuban official in the state, Mr. Huckabee said he was wrong five years ago when he called for an end to the embargo on the island nation.

The big-name endorsements have been accompanied by a strong surge in polls.

A new CNN poll has Mr. Huckabee trailing Mr. Giuliani nationally by only two percentage points, the tightest survey yet. And state-by-state surveys show him expanding his lead over Mr. Romney in Iowa, taking the lead in South Carolina and surging in Michigan and Florida, though Mr. Huckabee does not fare as well in New Hampshire.

Florida Senate Majority Leader Daniel Webster, a Republican who has also endorsed Mr. Huckabee, said the former governor's base of support is likely to weather the attacks because many of them chose him even before he seemed to be a viable candidate.

"They had to make a decision to say 'I'm going to take my vote, and even though this vote may not be for the winner, I'm going to do it.' So they had to make a decision, and that makes it hard to pry away his base vote," he said.

That will soon be tested.

Fred Thompson's campaign appears to be making Mr. Huckabee its chief focus, with Mr. Thompson himself questioning Mr. Huckabee's flip-flops yesterday. And Mr. Romney last night announced that he will begin running an ad in Iowa attacking Mr. Huckabee's immigration record.

"Huckabee is peaking right now," said Paul Pate, Mr. Giuliani's Iowa campaign chairman. "The longer people look, though, they obviously start picking at your warts and blemishes. I think Huckabee's going to have a few slides on his poll numbers."

He said despite Mr. Huckabee's rise, Mr. Giuliani's strategy — counting on strong showings in the big states later in the season, and hoping to capture an early state or two along the way — still looks sound.

"The run for the presidency is a long distance race, not a short one, even with all the early hurdles, the front-loading of all these caucuses and primaries," he said.

Paul Erickson, a Romney backer who was political director for Pat Buchanan's 1992 campaign, said Mr. Huckabee's ante won't carry him very far.

"It's not only that the Huckabee campaign is unprepared for what they're about to go through this month, but as a practical matter, there is virtually no way to build an operation between a strong showing Jan. 3 and the de facto end of the primary season Jan. 19 in South Carolina," he said.

"The highest electoral hope of the Huckabee candidacy seems to be to provide the necessary confusion to nominate Rudy Giuliani for the presidency," he said.

But Mr. Huckabee's supporters say there was a built-in set of voters looking for another candidate to emerge, and Mr. Huckabee is the conservative-values candidate they were looking for.

"There always was a cry out there for a fourth candidate, from the beginning, and the question was who was it going to be," Mr. Webster said.


  1. The "evangelical right", those conservatives with compassion will not be easily swayed.

    Certainly not by Mr Thompson, or his second, trophy, wife.
    Not by Mr Romney and his flip flopping on abortion, despite his having five sons, none whom have ever worn the uniform of the Republic.

    Mr Huckabee reaches those that have historicly supported the Christian Right, Mr Pat Robertson's constituentcy from years past. He has a track record of conservative compassion, proved by his parole errors, as well as the sixteen executions on his watch as Arkansas Governor.

    He is no Michael Dukakis, to be "Willie Hortoned", that role fits Mr Romney better, just another liberal Massachusetts Governor.

    The talking heads say he has no organization, but there are 44,000 churches with 16.3 million members in the Southern Baptist Convention.

    Looks like an organizational base with depth, to me.

    Not one that could carry the General Election, though.

  2. WASHINGTON (CNN) -- While presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee is surging in new polls of GOP candidates, a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released Tuesday shows he would lose to all three leading Democratic candidates by double digits in hypothetical contests.

    In head-to-head matchups -- the first to include Huckabee -- the former Arkansas governor loses to Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York by 10 percentage points (54 percent to 44 percent), to Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois by 15 points (55 percent to 40 percent) and to former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina by 25 points (60 percent to 35 percent).

    Please nominate this man.

  3. We need to immdediately amend the Constituion, returning to the practice during the FDR years when a beloved Predident could keep serving at the people's pleasure, allowing us to retain a
    Surging President Bush

  4. In Mosul, the airport opened for the first time in 14 years for commercial aviation flights. In a region of the country long associated with violence, Iraqi Airlines is now open for business. While there is always a potential for violence to flare up, Iraqi civilians have returned home to provinces all around the country that had previously been strongholds held by terrorists and Saddam loyalists.

    Political stability long thought to be an elusive dream is becoming a daily reality across Iraq.
    From the surge in Iraq, vindication with his stem cell position and strong economic development on the home front, President George W. Bush has hit his stride and is surging rather than limping into his last year in office. For those who have counted him out, the president remains resolute, perhaps comfortable in the knowledge that history, rather than bitter partisans in Washington, will favorably reflect on his two terms in office for waging an effective war against terrorism while demonstrating capable stewardship and remarkable domestic accomplishments during a time of war.

    There you have it folks, all except that little issue of immigration, and failing to stop the Iranian bomb.

  5. bobal, bobal, bobal,

    I guess you missed the NIE report - da Iranian bomb be gone courtesy da Bush. Immigration, no problem bro, gotta keep some folk about willing to do the dirty work and the fence she's growin' pretty! Hail King Bush!!

  6. He'd do better than Mr McGovern, then.

    But not, I think, as well as Mr Goldwater.

  7. This might be one of those 5% Nights at Coast-To-Coast
    Reputable author and scientist to discuss his ideas about what it might all be about.

    Rasmussen and Zogby are on Hannity.

  8. Oprah is a big deal, they say. Pulling the girls away from Hillary.

    Hillary might be able to win, in the general, Obama probably not, they say.

  9. who's "they" bobal? Diehard Repubs seem to relish a battle with ole Hillary, Obama seems to scare 'em.

    That stuff on Bush reminded me of a joke I stumbled across the other day. It went something like:

    A glass half full is sitting on the table. A Democrat sees it and thinks it is half full. A Republican sees it and thinks it is half empty and wonders who took half the water to which they weren't entitled.

  10. This story about the Dems and Mr Huckabee @ Drudge cuts both ways.

    The Dems say nothing bad about Huckabee, hoping the GOP should be so foolish as to nominate him.
    The GOP remains quite about Obama for the same reason, "An Easy Kill", should the Dems be so foolish.

  11. Does anyone here read the Cook Report?

  12. "A glass half full is sitting on the table. A Democrat sees it and thinks it is half full. A Republican sees it and thinks it is half empty and wonders who took half the water to which they weren't entitled."

    You've got your wires crossed.

  13. What if the glass if half filled with wine? i will ponder that and google "cook report"

  14. "even though a few dangerous militants can be found among adherents of almost any religion"

    That kinda cooks the Cook Report for me, though it's now on my favorites menu.

  15. I will say that this George Will piece made me think more of Mr Obama's political infighting abilities.

    Concerning the Federal Election Commission

    Four Senate Democrats decided to block the Republican, Hans von Spakovsky. Republicans have responded: "All three or none." If this standoff persists until Congress adjourns, the three recess appointments will expire and the FEC will have just two members -- a Republican vacancy has existed since April. If so, because four votes are required for all official actions, the commission will be prohibited from such actions including the disbursement of funds for presidential candidates seeking taxpayer financing.

    In other words, the FEC will not be able to distribute Federal funds to the candidates that are suckling that Federal teat.

    ... The Post wants von Spakovsky confirmed only to keep the FEC functioning. He is being blocked because four senators have put "holds" on his nomination. One of those four who might be responsible for preventing the FEC from being able to disburse taxpayer funds to Democratic presidential candidates Joe Biden, Chris Dodd and John Edwards is ... Barack Obama.

    Anything to win, well worthy of the Oval Office.

  16. This election may well come down to Chuck Norris versus Oprah Winfrey.

  17. In other words, the FEC will not be able to distribute Federal funds to the candidates that are suckling that Federal teat.

    Stick a fork in McCain, he's done.

  18. Yeah, bob, that line is mighty jarring. But I read 'im.

  19. Out of the GOP field, McCain polls best among Democratic voters.

  20. Big John likes to walk amongst the "little people" in New Hampshire and bask in the glow of the DC media.

    Keeps him out of trouble.
    Hope he retires in 2010

  21. Trish: Out of the GOP field, McCain polls best among Democratic voters.

    Many other Democratic voters hope that the GOP gives Huckabee the nod.

  22. Me, I've resigned myself to whatever the cat drags in.

  23. You know, Rat, ever since you said it here - and it's been awhile now - I cannot help but think of McCain as "that carpet-bagging son of a bitch."

    My mother liked that especially.

  24. "even though a few dangerous militants can be found among adherents of almost any religion"
    The Cook Report

    Lawrence O’Donnell, Jr., is MSNBC’s Senior Political Analyst and a panelist on “The McLaughlin Group.” He has won a reputation over the years for a volcanic temper, and has gained attention recently for an emotional attack on Mormonism. But will he speak out about the elements of Islam that Islamic jihadists are using to recruit and motivate terrorists? Don't hold your breath. Here he is with Hugh Hewitt, via Hot Air:

    HH: Would you say the same things about Mohammed as you just said about Joseph Smith?
    LO’D: Oh, well, I’m afraid of what the…that’s where I’m really afraid. I would like to criticize Islam much more than I do publicly, but I’m afraid for my life if I do.

    HH: Well, that’s candid.

    LO’D: Mormons are the nicest people in the world. They’re not going to ever…

    HH: So you can be bigoted towards Mormons, because they’ll just send you a strudel.

    LO’D: They’ll never take a shot at me. Those other people, I’m not going to say a word about them.

    HH: They’ll send you a strudel. The Mormons will bake you a cake and be nice to you.

    LO’D: I agree.

    HH: Lawrence O’Donnell, I appreciate your candor.

    Lawrence O'Donnell is emblematic of the cowardice of the mainstream media in the face of the biggest crisis of our age. He is no different in this cowardice from virtually everyone else in the mainstream media. The only difference is that he admits it.

  25. "Me, I've resigned myself to whatever the cat drags in."
    I feel kinda the same way.

  26. He's all that, trish.

    The Crown Prince of the Pacific married into the Budweiser beer family here in the Valley of the Sun.

    Securing his financial future, still living in the in-laws old home.

  27. You know, bob, I've pretty much been self-immersed in philosophy, ideology, and politics since I was in high school (I'm 41) but the last couple of years have left me increasingly tired of all that. For good and ill, and in perfect seriousness, I owe it to George W. Bush and OIF. (Which is not a recommendation to anyone here to simply be apathetic about all things, nor launch into stale Bush rant.)

    There's a wonderful song (for those of us who don't have Hamid Karzai's prescription meds) by a group called Modest Mouse. Has to be listened to, to really appreciate.

    Modest Mouse - Float On

    I backed my car into a cop car the other day
    Well he just drove off sometimes life's ok
    I ran my mouth off a bit too much oh what can i say
    Well you just laughed it off it was all ok

    And we'll all float on ok
    And we'll all float on ok
    And we'll all float on ok
    And we'll all float on any way well

    Well, a fake Jamaican took every last dime with a scam
    It was worth it just to learn some sleight-of-hand
    Bad news comes don't you worry even when it lands
    Good news will work its way to all them plans
    We both got fired on the exactly the same day
    Well we'll float on good news is on the way

    And we'll all float on ok
    And we'll all float on ok
    And we'll all float on ok
    And we'll all float on alright
    Already we'll all float on
    Now don't worry we'll all float on
    Alright already we'll all float on
    Alright don't worry we'll all float on

    And we'll all float on alright
    Already we'll all float on
    Aliright don't worry even if things end up a bit to heavy
    we'll all float on alright
    Already we'll all float on
    Alright already we'll all float on
    Ok don't worry we'll all float on
    Even if things get heavy we'll all float on
    Alright already we'll all float on
    Don't you worry we'll all float on
    All float on

  28. Check the 6:13, Ms T.

    Goes for the GOP and Senor Obama, too.

  29. Doug hates everything.........that's why we love Doug.

  30. I learned farming, Trish, after worrying the first few years, just do the work right, get it done, do all you can, then leave it up to the Lord. Worry really doesn't help, though sometimes its hard not to.

  31. Besides, you got to keep things in Perspective Like dad said granddad said, from 10,000 feet up it all looks the same.

  32. Libya outraces Iran to the finish line for Civilian Nuclear Power

    What a bunch of good guys those Libyans are, not a terrorist among them these days, they are off the terrorist list, accepting of our Ambassador, awaiting the influx of western tourists.