Posts Tagged ‘Mike Huckabee’

2012 Odds and Ends

December 8, 2009 Leave a comment

I take a great interest in primary fights and how they help define our party. This is certainly the case with the 2012 fight. However, not every little thing I read is going to lend itself to a full post, and sometimes I’ll post a compendium of recent news from the various contenders. This is one of those times.

–Former PA Senator Rick Santorum told ABC News yesterday that he is “absolutely” looking at running in 2012. I still believe that Santorum is not the candidate we need right now, but he will certainly shake the race up for social conservatives if he gets in. However, he also mentioned fiscal issues as part of his “traditional values” platform:

“I think I’ve been very clear that you know, we need to stand foursquare on the traditional values. When I say traditional values people think, ‘Oh that means, you know, social conservatism and the family. It also means the free enterprise system and that government shouldn’t be large and controlling things — I mean, those are all core Republican principle.

–Sarah Palin signed books in Fairfax (a county where she and Senator McCain were clobbered in 2008), and the enthusiasm that has been noted at previous stops continued in full force. From the WaPo:

Palin fan Greg Williams, 46, of Springfield said he hasn’t felt so strongly about a politician since Ronald Reagan. He spent Friday night in a tent rigged with a tarp to keep out the rain, to make sure he got his chance to see her Saturday. He joined several other campers until about 7:30 a.m., when Fairfax County police made them break down their tents so people near the front of the line could cross the street and stand closer to the store entrance.

One has to wonder how Palin would have been received at the Advance. As Chairman Mullins pointed out, though, this past weekend was for Virginia, though two names that have been floated for 2012 spoke: Minority Whip Eric Cantor (and as even he’ll say, far too prematurely) Bob McDonnell. However, I expect we’ll see her raising money for a Virginia politico very soon. Palin also experienced a good weekend in the polls. CNN has Palin at 46% favorable to 46% unfavorable. This is up from 42% in mid-October.

–Mitch Daniels was in Chicago raising money for Indiana pols. That prompted Race42012 to right this about the burgouning My Man Mitch movement:

While Public Policy Polling has yet to post the results of its online poll of second-tier Republican candidates from earlier this week, Daniels was coming in a strong second just before the polls closed, beating better-known Republicans like Dick Cheney and Rudy Giuliani while only Pawlenty edged out Mitch for the top spot. Daniels’ assumed, effortless conservatism combined with his ability to apply his philosophy to the issues of the day, all packaged in a personality that provides voters with a stark contrast with President Obama, may mean that Mitch Daniels is in the perfect position to re-assemble the Fred ‘08 movement, only this time led by a candidate who can actually go the distance.

–Finally, outgoing Minnesota Governor and 08 Veep mention Tim Pawlenty has hired a finance director. Pawlenty would certainly make for a solid choice policy wise, but does he really have the charisma for the national stage? One can make a case that Daniels would make it because of his down to earth nature and modesty that real people can relate to. Pawlenty, though, seems to have the ambition and policy chops without a real defining character trait–probably the reason he was passed over for Palin in 2008.

–Finally, Race for 2012 has a chilling recount of Huckabee’s clemencies as governor, including an unusual 12 murderers. In his time in office Huckabee granted more clemencies more than every surrounding state combined.

Shake-up for Huckabee

November 30, 2009 Leave a comment

Mike Huckabee appeared to many to be prepping another White House run. However, one could argue that Huckabee’s newly minted celebrity status as a Fox News host and an author could very well be far too profitable and fulfilling for Huckabee to really want to deal with the headache of another presidential run. However, this past weekend he stated that he’s currently leaning against another run. From the Associated Press:

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says he’s leaning slightly against running for president in 2012 but says it’s far too early to say what he will do.

Huckabee says how the 2010 congressional elections turn out will affect his decision. He also will be looking at whether the Republican Party is willing to unite behind him as a candidate. Another consideration, Huckabee says, is the status of his weekly TV show on Fox News.

Given those factors, Huckabee says mounting another presidential bid is “less likely rather than more likely” at the moment.

However, that was before the news broke that a man that that Huckabee pardoned in 2000 is being sought in the slaying of four Washington State police officers. The Seattle Times has the story. (H/T

“Maurice Clemmons, the 37-year-old Tacoma man being sought for questioning in the killing of four Lakewood police officers this morning, has a long criminal record punctuated by violence, erratic behavior and concerns about his mental health.

Nine years ago, then-Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee granted clemency to Clemmons, commuting his lengthy prison sentence over the protestations of prosecutors.”

The fact that this is actually the SECOND clemency that has gone wrong for Huckabee (an issue that Romney used in the Iowa caucuses) does not inspire much confidence in the Governor’s judgement. Certainly oversights and poor decisions occur during the clemecy process in any state (Dukakis anyone?), but two will start a narrative that Huckabee  will find it difficult to escape from.

With bad news and good fortune, Huckabee will probably be smart to sit this one out, particularly with Palin’s backers chomping at the bit to get her in as the social conservative candidate. At any rate, one hopes that Huckabee sends his condolences to the grieving families of the police officers.

More Endorsements in AG Race

With just a little over a month to go in the AG’s race, the endorsements are now coming fast and furious. This morning, Ken Cuccinelli announced that he has been endorsed by Fred Thompson, former Senator from Tennessee, ex-Presidential candidate, actor, and radio personality. Not to be outdone, John Brownlee announced the endorsement of former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating and Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama.

Now what to make of these endorsements? Frankly, most endorsements plus a buck fifty can get you a cup of coffee (and not a very good cup, at that). Very few voters vote based on the “scorecard” of endorsements. Perhaps at a very local level they can help, where people have a personal relationship with the endorser, and when the endorsing candidate has a “cult of personality” that follows them on every issue. However, where they are important are where they change or aid perceptions about a candidate and when they come with material gain.

Although I certainly did not expect Keating and Sessions to get involved in a Virginia nominating contest, their endorsement of Brownlee is not entirely surprising. Both are former U.S Attorneys, just like Brownlee. I have a great deal of respect for Frank Keating, and would have supported him for POTUS in a heartbeat. However, I also know that USAs have somewhat of their own fraternity, so it makes sense for them to endorse Brownlee. In that sense, their endorsement reaffirms what we already know about Brownlee–that he is Virginia’s “conservative prosecutor.” I hardly expect, though, that the attachment of their name will send anyone clamoring into Team Brownlee, as neither men has organized a campaign in Virginia. (Although I did find it intriguing that the email pointed to both as fiscal conservatives, a heretofore absent issue during the Brownlee effort)

Thompson’s endorsement, however, may have a bit more lasting impact. Thompson ran in 2008, and two of his most top level surrogates in the state were former Governor George Allen and current GOP Gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell. Additionally, although Thompson did not make it to the primary, between that race and his PAC he almost certainly must have an email and fundraising base in Virginia that can aid the Virginia effort. In short, Thompson has far more cachet with Virginians, but more importantly he has resources that the Cooch can use. Additionally, his endorsement means that he now has two ’09 contenders in his camp (he was previously endorsed by Mike Huckabee). If this is any indication, Cuccinelli is quickly building an unsoalition of fiscal, social, and “across-the-board” conservatives that may simply be unstoppable on the first ballot come May 30th.

The Road to Des Moines runs through Richmond

March 31, 2009 1 comment

We noted last week that Mitt Romney will be speaking at the RPV Commonwealth Gala on May 29th, which is being held in conjunction with the State Convention. While as of right now no other potential 2012 candidates are slated to appear at the convention, a number will be making swings through Virginia in support of our ticket. 

Bobby Jindal has already endorsed and helped raise money for the man he hopes to join him in the Republican Governor’s Association, and today Mike Huckabee did the same, focusing on the rural Virginia strongholds that he carried in the primary last year. Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich will be joining Bill Bolling at his official campaign kickoff on April 17th.

Being one of only two games in town for potential 2012 candidates to show off their political muscle and test their networks, plus given the fact that it may very well find a key place in the calendar once again (recall that in 2008, while being the site of Huckabee’s death throes, was a key post-Super Tuesday victory for Senator Obama that carried him through the Jeremiah Wright controversy and showed momentum was on his side), Virginia is sure to see alot of the potential contenders this year.

The Huckster Endorses The Cooch

February 11, 2009 Leave a comment

At this point this is old news, but I still wanted to comment on it. Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas Governor/Presidential Candidate/Populist TV crusader has endorsed Ken Cuccinelli. From the Washington Post:

“Ken Cuccinelli is a rare breed of leader who boldly stands up for conservative principles,” Huckabee wrote in an email. “I would have been honored to have served alongside a leader like Ken.”

Huckabee mentioned that Cuccinelli is “pro-life” and drafted the Senate parental consent law, which passed in 2003, supports the Second Amendment and will fight for lower taxes and to slow down the growth of government.

“Virginia is blessed to have such a capable and proven leader like Ken,” Huckabee wrote. “I am committed to doing what I can to help make sure the people of Virginia have Ken as their next attorney general.”

It’s interesting to see Huckabee get involved in a downticket race in a purple state. As the “last man standing” amongst the more conservative (i.e. non-McCain) candidates, Huckabee earned a reputation as a kind hearted but opinionated populist. The odd thing is that Huckabee is not exactly a fiscal conservative–he earned the wrath of The Club for Growth for his actions during Arkansas own fiscal crisis. However, he is extremely popular right now and seems to be reforming on that front, particularly railing against the stimulus. Indeed, he was the talk of the bus on the trip to Richmond with AFP. 

Will the race for 2012 run right through Virginia, or is this simply a coup by the Cuccinelli campaign? Only time will tell. 

Also of note is the fact that Southwest Virginia was Huckabee’s strongest pocket of support in last year’s primary. Southwest Virginia is also believed to be Brownlee’s biggest base. Will the Huckster’s endorsement count? 

Again, time will tell.