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More Huckabee

Today’s WaPo has a package of Huckabee articles. Here’s the big one, which is mostly a stroll through his past, less aimed at gotcha journalism than the NYT Mag piece.

Ramesh Ponnuru offers a kinder, gentler version of the case against Huckabee, acknowledging his strengths while arguing that his ascendancy (at the expense, presumably, of Romney) would hand the GOP to Giuliani.

I suppose that it’s possible to respond that a series of Romney attacks on Huckabee could accomplish much the same result. It all depends on what happens in Florida, where Rasmussen has Huckabee in the lead, with Romney second and Giuliani third. (To be sure, the RCP average has Giuliani first, with Huckabee and Romney trailing.) Can Romney drive Huckabee’s numbers down without suffering himself (engaging in the kind of fratricide that handed Kerry Iowa in 2004)? And will Romney lend credence to Huckabite Joe Carter’s charge that "Romney has surrounded himself with dirt-peddling, rumor-whispering, truth-twisting, Machiavelli-wannabes. They are the absolute dirtiest group of campaigners on the GOP side of the race"? MR has, after all, made the following remark:

“I’m not going to rule out any possibilities,” Romney said with a knowing laugh, when asked about his media plans. “We keep our possibilities open at this stage. It is politics, it isn’t tiddlywinks.”

Fair enough. But the more Romney seems like just another politician--just another flip-flopper from Massachusetts who sells himself on his electability--the less distinct he seems from Giuliani, who surely beats him in any measure of "authenticity."

Discussions - 19 Comments

the less distinct he seems from Giuliani, who surely beats him in any measure of "authenticity."

It never ceases to amaze me how little Republicans know about Giuliani. Of all the words which his name brings to mind, "authenticity" is not on the list.

No, Romney isn't "just an ordinary politician."

No, he's something much more cancerous, something much more virulent.

A typical wormy and slimy pol will change positions. But when called on it, he'll at least display a certain shamefacedness.

Not Romney.

Romney goes out there and attacks guys who haven't gone overboard for the pro-life cause, and rips them as if he was THE champion of the pro-life movement. Now in his soul, he's not changed. He is who he always was. A Romney, son of another Romney and that Romney was like this son of his, someone who didn't feel himself bound to any one position.

If Romney were simply another politician, I wouldn't be so sickened over his candidacy.

Romney is political decadence incarnate. He's a throughly revolting creature, he represents distilled degeneracy in our body politic.

And even mentioning Giuliani and Romney in the same breath is an insult to Giuliani.

And if you haven't noticed, I DON'T like Romney.

The only people doing any research on Rudy's political history are the opposition. But what they have found should be of interest to people on the right. You have to filter out the natural left-wing bias in places but this piece in The Nation is revealing.

For instance;

During the 1960s Giuliani was a self-described "Robert Kennedy Democrat." He identified with RFK as a liberal Catholic prosecutor. He volunteered for RKF's 1968 presidential campaign while he was a student at NYU Law School. Giuliani also voted for George McGovern in 1972. During the liberal 1960s, he was a liberal.

But in 1975 Giuliani switched his party registration from Democrat to Independent when he got a job in Gerald Ford's Justice Department, according to his mentor Harold "Ace" Tyler.


On December 8, 1980, Giuliani changed his registration from Independent to Republican. This was one month after Ronald Reagan's election, and just as he was applying for a top job in the Justice Department. Giuliani became Associate Deputy Attorney General under William French Smith in 1981, and then was named US Attorney for the Southern District of New York by President Reagan in 1983.

A Romney, son of another Romney and that Romney was like this son of his, someone who didn't feel himself bound to any one position.


I guess not everybody can be as steadfast and fearless as Rudy Giuliani, hmm? He's a bigger flipper than Romney is.

Interesting that y'all find it easier to trash other Republican candidates than to make a case for your own. This is exactly what the Democrats want to see.

Jackasses kicking down the barn, as any jackass can, instead of building one.

The barn of Mike Huckabee:

Always Pro-life

Always Pro-marriage

Always 100% pro-Second Amendment

Supports the Fair Tax which would allow American corporations to compete more effectively worldwide and bring American capital back to the USA.

Believes that federal government should serve as a "cheerleader" for schools and leave this state issue to the states.

Has a plan to secure the border

Successful governor for 10 1/2 years-more executive experience than anyone running for President.

Best speaker and communicator in the field hands down.

A man from humble roots who understands the nature of man. There's a saying that if you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself. Well Huckabee has done it himself and lived the American dream.

Unlike other candidates, Huckabee has run a clean campaign refusing to run attack ads.

I think you'd have to walk a pretty good country mile to find a barn that good.

Could you build one for Romney or Giuliani David, or is sniping at other posters your only skill?

More establishment people at NRO, Wall Street Journal, Weekley Standard, and bloggers here have been attacking Huckabee than any other candidate. Romney and Giuliani would get a free pass from the elites, and it's us commenters and the majority of the electorate that have to stand up for the truth.

Benjamin Disraeli spoke to this issue that the Romney candidacy brings to the fore. And that is the INTEGRITY of politicians taking stances regarding the commonweal. He was a Tory, yet his Prime Minister, Robert Peel, also a Tory, campaigned on a certain position regarding the Corn Laws, yet when in office, flipped on the issue. He was going to pass legislation in the teeth of Tory opposition, with the preponderance of the votes coming from the opposition.

Disraeli rose to champion and do battle for the INTEGRITY of Parliament. It wasn't the pros and cons of the Corn Law legislation that concerned him, so much as it was the public trust, and the ability of parties to make sure that their leadership did not depart from party positions and party platforms.

When I denounce Romney, it's not for any PERSONAL delinquency. He's not a thief, he's not someone who is vulgar. He's not a profligate gambler. It's NOTHING like that.

IT'S ALL ABOUT HIS PUBLIC POSITIONS.

It isn't about him personally EXCEPT to the extent that so many changes and alterations of position say something about him, reveal something about the man himself.

My passion on this issue is because we are seeing a system wide break down of the relationship that exists, AND SHOULD exist between the body politic and those on Capitol Hill. Selecting a man who has changed positions on every major social issue under the sun isn't simply a sad social commentary. It indicates pervasive dry rot throughout the body politic.

And in the future, if you give Romney your imprimatur, what type of men will emerge to pursue the Republican nomination.

Don't just think of the Romney campaign in isolation, as something that will impact this election cycle only, and none beyond it.

Romney opens a Pandora's Box that all of you should desire remain shut.

And in the future, if you give Romney your imprimatur, what type of men will emerge to pursue the Republican nomination.

What type of men will emerge to pursue the GOP nomination if we give it to the sleazy Democrat in Republicans clothing that is Rudy Giuliani?

David, can you say something substantive and positive about your candidate(s)...waiting.

Fair enough, Clint. As yet, I have no candidate, just people I like and respect either more or less. So let me say something "substantive and positive" about each. Starting with the candidate I find it hardest to like: Ron Paul has a consistent world view and preaches it with considerable clarity. He rightly demands that we take the Constitution more seriously than most of us do, and that we be willing to live with a government that does less, not more. Tancredo has the best understanding of the disaster this country has invited with its de facto open-borders immigration policy and its multiculturalism. Arguably, this is the most serious of all domestic issues, and any candidate who has such a firm grasp of a truly great issue and preaches his view fearlessly deserves big points. Hunter has a great substantive background on defense, would probably be quite good at the Pentagon, and also wins points for pointing to the threat that China represents -- a point rarely made in serious terms by leaders in either party. Thompson seems to be the candidate who is most serious about the entitlements crisis, which is probably tied with immigration as our greatest domestic problem. He is also the only all-purpose (fusionist)conservative among the major candidates. If he were president, we conservatives could trust his instincts and judgments in an ideological sense. McCain stands out for seriousness on foreign policy and defense. He's pretty certain to do what he sees as the right thing, thereby giving us much of the best of George W. Bush. In the good sense, he is less of a politician than any other major candidate. Huckabee is an excellent communicator in a party where this is generally in short supply. He speaks in complete sentences and has a very expressive face. He really is genuine. You want to keep listening, almost regardless of what he is saying. There is a lot of "heart" in his approach to the whole range of issues. Romney strikes me as exceptionally smart, and he clearly has exceptional discipline and energy. He has an exceptionally positive frame of mind, and also deserves credit for keeping his personal life unblemished. I also give him points for stepping into the arena as a serious member of an often-despised (unjustly) religious faith, for daring to run against Ted Kennedy, and for running for governor (and winning) in a place like Massachusetts. Politically, he is no lightweight. Finally, Giuliani has an unmatched record in the Republican party for making things happen -- changing things for the better -- in a hostile environment. This is a very rare thing in politics. In a series of confrontations with the left-liberal establishment and left-liberal pieties, he has stood his ground and often won. This crowd despises and fears Rudy, and his opponents among conservatives should at least acknowledge this and give him at least that much respect.

Bravo, David! I will gladly vote for any of the GOP candidates over any on the Democratic candidates.

Well put David. As Republicans it is good to remember that all of our candidates have strengths better than the Democratic candidates. I try (and admittedly fail) to be positive, but Huckabee is getting trashed by the media and often on this blog. Likewise, I think that Romney has been given the biggest break by the media, this blog and the establishment. We can compare strengths, but weaknesses too reveal much about a candidate so attacks are not always bad.

Anyway, here's to holding the GOP together whichever candidate is nominated. (I believe Huckabee has the best shot at that as well as the best conservative record in the field).

I think what is most annoying to me about the Huckabee (who I will gladly support if he gets the nomination) and Paul campaign is that their supporters try to sell their man as the perfect conservative candidate while tearing down other candidates like Rudy and Romney.

Clint, I understand your frustration (though I think the NRO and the others are doing what they think is in the movement's best interests, just as you are), but what did you think would happen when Huckabee started moving up in the polls?

Andrew: Look I knew attacks would come; I'm not new to politics, but the virulence and stupidity of the attacks coming from the right against Huckabee are embarassing. They have been stronger than attacks against any other candidate. Likewise, they will damage the GOP more than any other attacks. We all know the evangelical vote is highly principled and hence very touchy about who it votes for. If the GOP establishment trashes their candidate in the primary, we can expect a lot less of their support in the General. The same risk does not apply as much to moderate wings of the party who compromise as moderates do.

Huckabee is I think the most conservative and electable candidate in the field. I know earlier we briefly discussed a preference for either libertarianism vs. bigger government conservatism. I believe that having a republic requires virtue in the citizenry; a quality that we are losing fast. Libertarians or small government types are great when things are going smoothly, but when we have moral problems like slavery in the past, abortion, gay marriage, divorce, immigration, etc now, we need some government action to solve these. A libertarian (morally) President (see Stephen Douglas perhaps) would not have ended slavery. It took Lincoln and government action. Solving some of today's problems could well take Huckabee and some government action. Having the government involved in public moral issues does not mean that they must meddle economically, although I admit that they are often glad to do so.

Andrew and Clint, thanks for the kind words.

We all have candidates we like less and like more. We learn as much by stressing candidates' strong points as by stressing their weak points. My own instinct of late has been to bash Huckabee. Better to see whether other candidates also have something like his better qualities. And better, also, to think about what his undeniable popularity among many good Republicans tell us about what those voters want, and what many other Americans want as well.

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