Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I Like Mike

I'm favoring Mike Huckabee in the 2008 Republican primaries. I'll give you my reasons why as well as any reservations I might hold. I support Huckabee because he is pro-life, pro-marriage, pro-family, and pro-faith by conviction and personal example. I haven't the slightest doubt what kind of judges he would nominate. Regarding "culture war" issues, Mike Huckabee not only says it—I actually believe he means it when he says it. Also, Huckabee has performed well in every debate and shows little in the way of campaign warts. He's right on the war and national security. He hasn't really been tested yet by the media, who will despise many of his policy initiatives and attack with full force if he breaks into tier-one politics, but I'm coming to believe that he'll stick to his guns and perform reasonably well if this unlikely scenario attains. As a final, more personal, incentive I offer this: I would love to see Arkansas send one of her many conservative sons to the White House. Now, for my reservations. Simple observation reveals that the GOP in Arkansas has not fared that well while Huckabee occupied the Governor's Mansion. Democrat Mike Beebe has succeeded Huckabee in my native state. One Democrat friend confided in me that Arkansas Democrats won the gubernatorial election without breaking a sweat, largely because of extremely poor GOP organization at every level from the precinct on up. According to him, it was almost like running Beebe without opposition. Missteps by GOP nominee Asa Hutchinson didn't help, but these do not explain the Republicans' 14.3% deficit at the 2006 gubernatoral polls. Friends in Arkansas also suggest that Huckabee is somewhat of a loner…a do-it-yourself-er…ineffective at coalition-building even among people who agree with him ideologically. Although some have criticized him as a tax-and-spender for his record in Arkansas, perhaps that's just the result of peer pressure from being in the Republican Party lately—maybe he's been hanging around with President Bush and our Republican Congressional delegations ;-). In spite of these potential deficiencies, I'm confident that other national GOP leadership will easily supplement whatever weaknesses Huckabee might have in the area of political organization and coalition-building. Furthermore, my political priorities lead me to support a values-conservative who may be squishy fiscally over a fiscal-conservative who may be squishy culturally. As a postscript, allow me to offer my opinion on Mitt Romney. I am a believer in religious liberty; therefore, I will not object to the abstract concept of a Mormon President. Romney loses my vote because of his demonstrated lack of conviction on my core issues. Whenever, in any aspect of your personal philosophy, John Kerry has been more consistent than you have, you know that you have problems. At this moment, while running for the Republican presidential nomination, is just a little bit too convenient of a time to have decided rather suddenly that you are pro-life after all. For all of these reasons, I will be pulling the Huckabee lever (or…rather…touching the Huckabee square on the touchscreen) in the Texas primaries. Furthermore, great anticlimax that the Texas primaries are, I will do so knowing full well that Huckabee will not be the eventual nominee.

17 comments:

Nathan Finn said...

Bart,

Agreed on all points, though without the inside scoop on Arkansas politics. I like Huckabee, and I am nervous about Romney for reasons other than his Mormonism.

Good post.
NAF

Anonymous said...

Bart

We Agree! I knew it would happen eventually

Jim Champion

Jeremy Weaver said...

I like Huckabee. I think he would make a great Vice-president for Fred Thompson.

volfan007 said...

bart,

i hope that you do know that i endorsed huckabee first on my blog. i've been wondering why our sbc leaders have ignored him, and have come out for a mormon? any thoughts?

david

Bart Barber said...

Nathan,

It always makes me feel more confident in my views if I learn that you and I agree.

Bart Barber said...

Jim,

Your agreement cancels out the effect of Nathan's agreement.


... ;-) Just kidding. I'm sure we agree on a lot of things.

Tim Guthrie said...

Good points and yes we agree. Plus, the slogan "I like Mike" is a good one to tie the past with the present. I just wonder how he can rise to the top?

TG

Bart Barber said...

Jeremy,

Is this one of the weeks that Fred Thompson is running for President?

Bart Barber said...

David,

You have been ahead of me in so many things…being born among them. :-)

Bart Barber said...

Tim,

It is the kind of slogan that a historian can really love.

gary l said...

Let me chime in with my "me too." Mike is the real deal and is little changed from my seminary days before he was famous.

Once the primaries sort out, it will likely be Romney or Guiliani. Before that we'll have to decide what level of squeamishness we can tolerate.

For me, Rudy over Hillary; Mitt over Rudy. Huckabee might be a viable VP candidate to moderate the ick factor for one of the front runners.

I'd love to vote for Mike for president. We've made a donation and wear the bumper sticker.

Hope, Arkansas deserves a second chance.

Bart Barber said...

Gary,

"Hope, Arkansas deserves a second chance"...you ought to be writing slogans for the Huckabee campaign. I'm going to use that, my friend, and you can bet that I'll try to take credit for it as though I thought it up myself. :-)

gary l said...

Freely I have received; freely I give

Jeremy Weaver said...

Bart,

Yes, I think it is.

Again, I like Huckabee, and if he is the nominee I will be happy to vote for him. I would just be happier if it were Thompson. Outside of those two choices I think I'll write myself in.

Bart Barber said...

David,

I missed your question earlier. My apologies.

Honestly, I suspect that some people are skeptical of Mike Huckabee because of past experience with him. I mentioned the political aspect of this phenomenon. I think that he has also had some past involvement in Southern Baptist politics with a similar aftertaste left in some mouths.

Bart Barber said...

Jeremy,

With talk like that, you might soon eclipse Colbert's numbers.

Jeremy Weaver said...

If he takes Steve Carrell as a running mate, I'll vote for him.