First an apology…I am really busy at the moment on several fronts. It will stay that way for the next few days. However I wanted to make this point today. It’s a very important one that needs to be expressed three weeks out from Iowa.
It’s time to think big picture. I am no Republican. I am an independent. However there is nothing I would dislike more than a liberal Democrat in the White House. We’re on the verge of that happening in January of 2009. HOWEVER We have a chance to prevent that from happening. In fact call it a HOPE. That “HOPE” is Governor Mike Huckabee. Let me explain…
This is the landscape we’ve had in the past twenty-five or so odd years. In 1980 we were blessed with the election of Ronald Regan. After 8 years we elected his Vice-President George H.W. Bush. For all intensive purposes Bush was a continuation of Regan. However Bush Sr. ran into a tanking economy and a split electorate in 1992. That brought us Bill Clinton (no thanks to Ross Perot) and his two terms in office. After the scandalized presidency we elected another Bush and the White House switched parties again. We’ve had 8 years of Bush, the son. As time ticks away on his presidency we look back on that with trepidation. His party was thrown out of their majority in Congress. Any observer would tell you we are headed towards another shift in political power.
So what has the GOP come forward with to try to keep the White House. The field is very interesting. While the Democrats are quite diverse (an African American, A woman, A Hispanic, etc) they all basically agree on ideology and they all come from the extreme left. Meanwhile the GOP candidates are all basically white males with very diverse ideas. Ideologically speaking you could say that they cover the center and go to the right from there.
So what should the plan for the GOP in 2008 be? Well it looks obvious to me but it doesn’t seem to be clicking with many in the Republican Party. No matter who the Dems throw out there the candidate is going to be a hard lined leftist. He/She will not even stray close to the center. There is a huge opening and tons of votes to be had out there. The GOP nominee should be able to cater to those voters with someone that is acceptable to the conservative base. That’s all the party has to do to sweep to victory.
So the next question is who is best fit to fill the voter vacuum? Naturally that nominee should be able to not only attract conservative Democrats, Moderates, and Independents but also the base of the Republican party at the same time. Mayor Guiliani is a very smart man and would serve us well in a pinch, but he just can’t excite the conservative electorate with his almost-libertarian views on gay marriage and abortion. Mitt Romney is more conservative but he has more flip-flops than the Pancake House on those issues. Fred Thompson is an even better fit but can you really trust someone who used to be a paid lobbyist? Duncun Hunter and Tom Tancredo are very smart men and would both make a great president but they are just too far to the right and would scare off the people at the center just as fast as Hillary and Obama would. John McCain is a great man and quite honorable but he just pissed me (along with the rest of the base) off once too many with his views on Amnesty and his stupid , insane, and UNCONSTITUTIONAL Campaign Finance Law he got passed. And no Ron Paul just won’t cut it either. He’d make a great Governor (I’d vote for him for that position in a heartbeat) but the base just won’t tolerate his foreign policy views.
So that leaves us with one man, Governor Mike Huckabee. His campaign has been a very interesting one and one that will be written about in political theory books for decades hence. In a primary process in which candidates on the GOP side are having to move to the right to get votes Mike Huckabee has been moving to the Center to get attention. It’s almost like he is running his campaign like he has already won the nomination already. He has spoken in front of audiences that no other Republican would dare to speak with (AARP, NEA, Bill Maher, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Environmental groups, Lance Armstrong’s Cancer Forum, etc). He is trying to earn their respect and support. Mike’s cross-party appeal is unmistakable!
Mike is definitely the most socially conservative candidate out there. Agree with them or not (I don’t) he gets a big check mark on all their key issues. He has a 100% Pro Life record. He wants constitutional amendments to ban Gay Marriage and abortion. Plus Huck is a former Baptist minister to boot!
However Mike does not scare off the Independents. His rhetoric on his Pro-life stance is is unlike any other Conservative. Mike believes that life begins at conception but that it does not end at birth. He also believes that we should honior and treasure every human life from conception until death. Mike does not come off as a Zealot like other Christian Conservatives.
On the fiscal side Mike Huckabee is definitely not the perfect fish in the sea. I will admit that right now to you. However do remember what the Governor had to deal with in Arkansas and the political environment was there. Mike had to deal with a stacked deck that was not in his favor. He did cut taxes over 90 times but there were times he had to raise them. For example there was a point in time where he had to increase spending on Education because the courts required him to do so. And there was a budget crisis one year in which the Democrat state assembly would not accept anything other than tax increases to balance the budget (the polar opposite to what Michigan just went through a few months back). At that point Governor Huckabee faced raising taxes or shutting down state government. What would you do in that situation?
Back to my main point. Why is Mike Huckabee the only HOPE for the Republcan party next year? If 2006 is any indication 2008 is still going to be a difficult time for Republicans. That’s just an outside observation based on what I have seen and what I know to be true. However I see 2008 possibly being 1994 all over again (but the White House being in play). Let me explain. Mike Huckabee has a trump card in his pocket and it is called the FairTax. While many of GOP Presidential candidates are on board it is Mike who is leading the charge on it. The primary process is front loaded. The GOP will likely have its nominee decided on February 6th. The convention is not until September. There is seven months (a Political eternity) between those two dates. If nominated and if the party unites around him I think Mike can do some damage in November. Mike is a great campaigner and one of the best communicators I have ever heard. All he has to do is go around to the areas that have contested Senate and House seats and he can raise money for those GOP candidates and campaign for himself at the same time! Not only do I think that Mike could win the White House but I think he has the potential to give the Senate back to the GOP and close the gap in the House.
Unlike the other GOP candidates Mike offers a very positive message for Americans that harkens back to Ronald Regan in 1980. Not only that but Mike caters to vertical politics. That is not concentrating on left vs. right but on things that are important to every American regardless of their background. He is not about cutting people down but lifting them up! If there is anyone that can take America back to Regan’s “Shining light on a hill” it is Governor Mike Huckabee. No other candidate on either side can even stand close to that.
So my message to the GOP today is this. Do you want to keep the White House? Would you also like a shot at winning back Congress? You would be wise to get behind Mike Huckabee before it is too late. Never mind his perceived shortcomings. Ronald Regan has some of the same shortcomings and he turned out to be one of the finest presidents and leaders we have ever had. Don’t make the same mistake twice! Remember the Carter years? That’s what you got for not getting behind Ronald Regan until it was too late and you nominated Gerald Ford to go against Jimmy Carter in 1976. If you thought Carter was bad just imagine Hillary or Obama in the White House. I shudder when I think about it. I REPEAT DON’T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE!! The other Republican candidates are fine people but Mike is the only one who can unite our nation again like Regan did. Follow my advice and the mapnext Election Day in November ’08 will be filled with Arkansas Red as it was in 1980 and 1984. Trust me!