Wednesday, May 6, 2015
I ♥ Huckabee
Back in 2008, when Huck first ran for President, I kind of liked him. He had a sense of humor, which was sorely lacking in McCain, Romney and Giuliani, and seemed to be a decent guy underneath his evangelical message. The former Arkansas governor seized on the "moral majority" vote that had made Pat Robertson a serious contender in the 1988 election. Huckabee carried 8 states and won over 4 million votes in the Republican primaries, undercutting Mitt's challenge to Mackie by half.
For some odd reason Huck sat out 2012, opening the field to a slough of Bible thumpers, who pretty much canceled each other out. It looks like it is going to be the same thing again in 2016 as Huck finds himself among a crowded field all vying for the evangelical vote that makes up about 60 per cent of the Republican electorate. His biggest challenge will probably be Dr. Ben Carson, who is a favorite among the religious right wing, although utterly humorless.
Can Huck find that same magic he found in 2008? He has been busily promoting his new book, God, Guns, Grits and Gravy, on the talk show circuit, including The Daily Show, where he continued to show off some of his trademark humor. However, he no longer is as tolerant as he appeared to be 8 years ago, sounding off on what he regards to be the promiscuous nature of contemporary women, worst personified in Beyonce.
Huck can essentially kiss the women's vote goodbye, as he also attacked the women of Fox news for not being ladylike. If this is his strategy, it isn't a very sound one, as the redneck vote in the Republican Party isn't going to carry you very far beyond the southern states.
It seems Huck has some other reason to be running for President than to win. He was a relative nobody in 2008, who managed to tap into the religious conservative base of the party, parlaying that into a spot on Fox News, numerous appearances on other networks and conservative gatherings, and books. He has no less than ten titles to his credit listed on amazon, including two on the conservative meaning of Christmas, one aimed at children. They've all been greatly discounted, some titles for as little as a penny in case you are interested. Not bad for a boy from Hope, Arkansas. This is how he lives now.
Huck doesn't have to use any of his money to run. He has a Super PAC called Pursuing America's Greatness, which he launched on Fox News. Rather, his supporters launched it and he just spoke about it, as he is supposed to be unaffiliated with it. It's a clever ruse, which Stephen Colbert parodied last time around with his own Super PAC. It allows a candidate to have an unlimited amount of contributions to be raised in his name with little or no scrutiny. The political action committee doesn't even have to disclose who the contributors are.
For the next two years, Huck can go around the country charming the religious conservative electorate with his stories about BB guns, and how it is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible, to paraphrase George Washington. Win or lose, Huck gets all this wonderful exposure on someone else's nickel. I don't know why more persons don't run for President. It's an effective publicity tool. At the end of the campaign, he can parlay it into his own television network, I ♥ Huckabee, and give Glenn Beck a run for his money.