As Super Tuesday ends and the February 12th “Potomac Primary” in Maryland, Virginia and D.C. approaches, I’d like to express my support for Governor Mike Huckabee and ask Republican primary voters to cast their ballots for him to be our nominee for President. His qualifications, principles, oratorical skills and his message of optimism and hope are what this nation needs to come together as a people and face the challenges ahead.
Archive for the ‘Mike Huckabee’ Category
Kathleen Parker wrote a blog article for Townhall.com entitled “Christians for Self-Defeat.” I fully expected her to chide the evangelical leadership for their hand-wringing over their choices for the 2008 Presidential election, and she did that – sort of. Her opening statement, however, made me blanch:
“Evangelical Christians never had it so good, but they seem not to know it. Instead of supporting the candidate who most shares their values — Mitt Romney — they seem hell-bent for the proverbial cliff.”
I like Kathleen Parker from her days as a local columnist with the Orlando Sentinel, but I disagree with the statement she makes about Governor Romney.
Let’s set aside his Mormonism for a moment, although I’ll acknowledge right up front that his religious denomination is a deal-breaker for many evangelicals. His compatibility on values is questionable to me because it appears contrived. I’ve no doubt that he believes in them personally because of his faith, but for me, the number and nature of the conversions Governor Romney has made in his public life are too much for me to overcome. He comes across as opportunistic and inauthentic as a result.
Further in her column, Ms. Parker writes:
“And then there’s Mike Huckabee. If Dobson really meant what he said in his op-ed — that winnability shouldn’t be the deciding factor in supporting a candidate — then Huckabee should be receiving bouquets of Ben Franklins with his morning beignets. A southern Baptist preacher, the former Arkansas governor is a human checklist of conservative values, as well as being personable, likable and funny. What Huckabee doesn’t have is the golden coffer, which means that electability is, in fact, a Christian concern.”
This is where Ms. Parker speaks the unvarnished truth. The evangelical leadership betrays us with their dishonesty and fear. By elevating electability over principle, they put their trust in the world and not in the Lord. If they lined up as one behind Governor Huckabee, who is making a slow and steady rise in the polls even without their help, his fortunes would skyrocket overnight. Not only is he consistent in his values, he is eloquent and not angry or strident in communicating them, and as a person from a modest background who pastored in and eventually governed a poor state, he has genuine empathy for the working poor, and he’s demonstrated it in his statements and policies.
He not only cares about the sanctity of life and marriage, he cares about children’s health, education in the arts and families battered by the pace of change and globalization. He was one of five governors, only two of which were Republicans, to be named among the best governors in America by Time Magazine. He was the overwhelming winner of the straw poll taken at the Values Voters Debate with 64 percent of the vote.
His only liability is that he doesn’t have a national network or the name recognition to raise copious amounts of cash. I admire that he is competitive in the polls in spite of that fact. His campaign is being very judicious with the money they have raised, and I believe the way he gets maximum value out of every dollar is reflective of how he’d manage the federal budget. If the evangelical community, which comprises a third of the Republican base, put their weight behind his candidacy, his money woes would disappear.
I’m reminded of the old joke about the man trapped on the roof of his flooded home who repeatedly refuses help because he declares the Lord will save him, only to drown when the waters rise too high. When he’s in heaven and asks the Lord why He didn’t save him, the Lord replies, “What are you talking about? I sent you two boats and a helicopter.”
The evangelical community doesn’t need a third-party candidate, nor do they need to compromise their beliefs for electability. They need to open their eyes and see what’s right in front of them, waiting for them to agree to be rescued. They need to trust in their own beliefs and bestow electability on Mike Huckabee with their time, talent and treasure.
I watched my first forum/debate of the political season last night (yes, this is the first one I actually took the time to watch – I’ve been content to this point to read about them the next day) and Governor Huckabee delivered yet again. My reasons for watching were twofold. First, there had been a lot of press about it because of the minority audience it was designed to reach and the number of GOP no-shows, all of whom were accused of ducking the forum because they didn’t think it worth their time to woo black and Hispanic voters. I’m going to address that topic in a subsequent post.
The other reason I watched it was in anticipation of a reception the next day where I was to meet Governor Huckabee for the first time. Princella Smith, a dynamic young woman from Arkansas who now lives and works in Maryland, is a personal friend of the Huckabee family and she arranged to get me in the door so I could meet the Governor. As you can see from the photo below, I accomplished my mission – I also got him to sign my copy of “From Hope to Higher Ground,” a book I recommend that all undecided or conflicted Republicans read before they make a decision about who to support for President in 2008. He’s as friendly and approachable as others have described him and as we talked about my first run for public office last year, he encouraged me to keep striving toward my goals – he signed my book with the words, “Go the Distance!”
Given my extensive research on his background and positions on the issues and my positive perceptions after meeting him, I am compelled to deliver a two-word message to all the evangelical voters who are wringing their hands over the choices they have before them for President in 2008 – wake up! Rather than allow the press or the political pundits to dictate to you which of these men are viable candidates for President, rally around someone who shares your beliefs and can communicate then in an inclusive, respectful and effective manner. I never thought I’d see the day when an ordained Baptist minister and successful two-term governor who consistently defended the sanctity of human life, traditional marriage and family values throughout his public life would be almost completely ignored by the very voters whose views he embraces without reservation or equivocation.
Friends, we are the most influential voting bloc in the Republican Party, particularly in the key early states of Iowa and South Carolina. We can make a difference in whether or not he ascends to the top tier of candidates simply by uniting behind him and declaring to the world that he is our man. None of the top tier candidates can match him when it comes to his authenticity and eloquence on the issues that matter to us. The electability argument doesn’t wash with me because he would become instantly electable if we coalesced behind him.
In spite of our flirtation with more glamorous names on the ballot, Governor Huckabee presses on with an optimism that is contagious to all who meet him, and his campaign has probably gotten more out of a dollar than any of the big-spending front-runners. He’s gaining ground in spite of the fact that the voting bloc most likely to find favor with him is apparently waiting for a knight in shining armor on a white horse to ride into town and save the day. I contend, however, that the person you’re looking for has been under your nose all along and could make you proud as this nation’s President if you’d just get behind him. There’s still time for you to set the agenda and not allow it to be set by others who don’t have our interests at heart.
I just finished “From Hope to Higher Ground: 12 STOPs to Restoring America’s Greatness,” by former Arkansas governor and current Republican candidate for President Mike Huckabee. I indicated previously that I am supporting him for President, and I’ve since become one of the “Bloggers for Huckabee,” proudly displaying my “I Like Mike” banner on my blog page. Now that I’ve completed his book, I am more convinced than ever that he should become our next President. He is a different kind of Republican and he stands out from the others in the race. He’s a prolific author and I’ve already got three more of his books on order because I think he’s a man of great character and integrity, and someone I’d like to emulate in my future political pursuits.
My wife teases me and says that if I were Catholic, my patron saint would be the one for lost causes (that would be St. Jude Thaddeus, by the way). She reminded me that I was for George H.W. Bush in 1980 when other Republicans were swooning over Ronald Reagan, I was a die-hard GeoWorks user when the world was going gaga over Microsoft Windows 3.0 (you’re thinking, “What’s GeoWorks?” Precisely!), and I was a Neil Diamond fan long after his prime. Oh, yes, I decided to run against Maryland political icons Steny Hoyer AND Mike Miller in the same election year. I tell her, “It’s not my choices that were bad; it was the system!”
That gave me the idea of sharing with you my process for picking a candidate – not that you’re going to rush out and apply it after I just divulged my track record for picking winners (grin)! Nonetheless, I think it will be instructive and, frankly, I wish more people gave their choices for elected office this level of thought. We’d have a better government for it, and I’m not saying that because I’m particularly smart. Every citizen, in my opinion, has an obligation to do their own research and make informed choices.
It frustrates me to no end how many people care so little about a process that will have a profound impact on their lives. They either make their selections based on emotion or image alone, or they allow themselves to be led around by the media, which handicaps the pursuit of the Presidency like a horse race and is more interested in promoting the biggest fundraisers or the annointed front-runners rather than the candidates with the best qualifications or performance. The media is supposed to be a check on “the system” but instead they perpetuate it. Perhaps that’s why most people aren’t interested anymore – the influence of the press on who gets the nominations of the respective parties is too great to overcome.
In any case, I’ve always tried to do my own homework when it comes to picking candidates to support. I’ve made a few of these points in the past, but this is a methodical explanation of my thinking. Read on!
I’ve read or I’m reading books written by the contenders for the office of President of the United States in 2008 who most intrigue me. I completed “The Audacity of Hope,” the best-seller by Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, and I’m currently immersed in “From Hope to Higher Ground” by former Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas. Despite the fact these men are on opposite ends of the political spectrum, I found that they share the same spirit of hope and optimism our nation so desperately needs in these angry, divisive times. I’m going to first offer my opinion of Governor Huckabee, and my next post will offer my thoughts on Senator Obama.