Over the last several months, I have been leaning in the direction of supporting Mike Huckabee or Fred Thompson with Thompson getting the nod because of his electability. But he made a very poor showing this past weekend and didn’t seem to display any drive to be president much less represent the social conservatives.
I’ve also played devil’s advocate, if you will, with the threats from various Christian leaders to support a third party. Let me be clear that the only way I disagreed with these leaders was in deciding to support a third party. My impression was that these Christian leaders could not find a solid, social conservative presidential candidate, and were preparing for the worst. I now realize they were thinking of a certain presidential scenario (Rudy vs. Hillary), in which they either would have to either support a third party or not vote.
That said, I was very impressed with Mike Huckabee at this Washington Briefing. He was clearly the crowd favorite. I have decided to support him in this primary election because if Rudy does win, I will not be voting for him.
UPDATE: Chuck Norris endorses Huckabee.
The words of Star Parker, a speaker at the Washington Briefing, best say why:
While we [collectively] don’t yet know which candidate to support, we know we will not compromise on life. If Hillary is elected, it’s only a mere second in God’s time. Samuel Adams said, “It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.”
She echoes my premise that abortion must be quelled in the hearts of people before a politician. The strength, and simultaneous weakness, of America is that we are so well founded that we can literally absorb the atrocity of abortion, attack on marriage, redistribution of wealth, and other liberal advancements, and most social conservatives are not directly affected. A strength because it’s a testament to the type of freedom we enjoy. A weakness, in the case of life, because without being directly affected, many Americans lack motivation to stand up for the defenseless. Social conservatives must become that “irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.” If liberals can dupe some into believing killing a fetus is not murder, conservatives should be able to reverse that absurd thinking.
Finally, It was nice to put a face with a name for several bloggers and an honor to hear their words of wisdom during the Blogosphere breakout session. Rob Neppell (aka “NZ Bear”), Erick Erickson, Soren Dayton, Justin Hart, Jim Geraghty.
Here is a round up from the Event Bloggers.
The most significant insight I gained from The Washington Briefing was not about the candidates but about the bloggers: Right-leaning bloggers are out of touch with a large portion–if not the majority–of conservatives in America.
Anyone who wonders why the audience for the right-side of the blogosphere is stagnant should look at the supply and demand curve. The right side of the blogosphere continuously focuses on secondary issues and ignores the primary concerns of American conservatives.
I talked to the bloggers on the panel, many of whom are the same bloggers I read daily and interact with here in DC. Then I talked to the people from the audience, most of whom are not political junkies. The differences in the discussions was eye-opening. The top four issues that voters said were important to them are “life” (e.g., abortion, euthanasia, embryo destructive research, etc.), marriage, tax cuts, and permanent tax relief for families. Aside from tax cuts, these issues are rarely talked about by the bloggers on the Right. Three out of four issues are ignored–and this is just the top of the list.
Read the rest of Joe’s post.
The social conservatives do not want to rally around Huckabee because he is as distasteful to fiscalcons as Rudy is to socons. Even Tony Perkins, the head of FRC, said he hoped the social conservative candidate would be palatable to the fiscal conservatives out there. Huckabee is not.
And here we arrive at the conundrum for the GOP and the Press. While the media has been filled with stories about the socons ready to bolt from the GOP if Rudy is the nominee, the real story and the untold story is that the business community is even more ready to bolt from the GOP. For the last eight years they’ve watched as the socons have scored every significant win on the right — stem cells, judges, etc. Only against Labor have the fiscal guys scored wins. But there have been no budget cuts, no culling of pork, steel subsidies, etc.
Huckabee breaks the coalition more than Giuliani because the socons fear Hillary more than the fiscalcons do. And that is why we won’t see too many of the socon leaders rallying to the clear favorite of the socon base.
Matt Anderson did some research and dug up some interesting thoughts on Huck from Daily Kos:
There are several reasons not to vote for Mike Huckabee. His fiscal policy might be one of them. His alleged softness on national defense might be another. His “big government” policy is definitely a sticking point for me. But here’s the thing–what if those things make him (oddly) electable in 2008? This is the question “The Wonder Moron” posed at Daily Kos (yes, the extremely partisan left-wing website) posed yesterday:
“For the electorate, Huckabee might be very compelling. Bush fatigue is attached to Clinton fatigue. The electorate might want to get out of the Bush Clinton double helix that the country has been in for two decades. It seems to me that if he were to get nominated, he could be a very compelling choice for the electorate.
IF Huckabee appears to be a more reasonable person than Hillary on: being able to admit a mistake, building a consensus, helping the working class, health insurance for all, getting the U.S. out of Iraq,etc…. All very big IFs, would you vote for him over Clinton?”
The fact that Daily Kos sees him as a threat is itself interesting. More from Kos.
On May 31st, 2006 Markos himself said:
“You want to know who the strongest GOP candidate would be, the one that would make me lose sleep at night?
Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
The guy is a scary good politician and the more Republican voters see him around the country, the more support he’ll get.”
From “juliewolf” on October 18th, 2007:
“There’s only one Republican candidate whom I think would be a dangerous opponent in a national election. If Brownback bows out, it makes a Huckabee nomination more of a possibility and a lot more of a danger to the rest of us.”
From dam2 on August 5th, 2007:
“Well, at least WE told you. Many of us have said that the candidate to watch is Mike Huckabee. The polls right now are almost pointless because very few people are paying attention. And when they do start paying attention and really get to know the candidates, the one to emerge will be Huckabee.”
Lots of questions, no mutual agreement.