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Huckabee in Atlanta, the sequel

My son and I attended this year’s Together for Life rally and march, featuring Mike Huckabee, who was very generously introduced by Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue. (For more on the politics of Huckabee’s sojourn under Georgia’s gold dome, see this piece.)

Huckabee’s speech was first-rate, not only well-delivered but well-thought. I can’t find the text anywhere, but the core was is riff on Lincoln’s thought that "if slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong." He understands that a Human Life Amendment is the culmination of a strategy that could surely begin with overruling Roe v. Wade, and does not overstate the President’s role in the process. The crowd (a few thousand on a cold, rainy day) responded very well.

A few thoughts. First, Huckabee clearly deserves this endorsement. He feels this stuff in his bones. If you’re a single-issue voter, or think the culture of life is an important issue, he deserves a close look.

Second, he’s a darn good public speaker, much better than any other candidate or President I’ve seen in person. (More immediately, he blows Rudy out of the water.) He’s comfortable, fluent, and establishes an easy rapport with his audience. Of course, this wasn’t exactly a tough crowd, but he’s just as at home among them as Bill Clinton was, the time I saw him speak (as an ex-President) at Ebenezer Baptist Church (not yesterday, but a few years ago).

Third, the fact that Sonny Perdue introduced him and that Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle was on the platform moments earlier is, I think significant. Huckabee isn’t anathema to the Georgia Republican establishment. He’ll likely have some significant high-level support, especially now that Fred Thompson has left the race. Huckabee was comfortably ahead in the last Georgia poll (about 10 days ago), and could well hold at least some of that lead, especially if his competitors don’t bother to do much in Georgia.

Fourth, Huckabee’s gifts as a campaigner would make him an asset on any ticket. With generous, or at least adequate, staffing, there’s no telling how well he could do.

Discussions - 8 Comments

So are you actually saying that he's a better public speaker than President Bush?

Yay for Huckabee; I hope to see him speak again; I have a hunch that I will.

Currently the GOP race is becoming very boring. McCain is of course the frontrunner which means he should expect an avalanche of stupid attacks. If Romney ever has the misfortune of becoming the frontrunner, he should expect no different given his even worse record. Romney's one commendable point is that he seems to be very good at getting guys like Limbaugh to ignore his bad record...I haven't like Rush since I was 14 anyway.

The campaign resembles the March to the Sea, and I have a feeling that the Republican who finally makes it will have left behind such a field of destruction and sore feelings that it will take more political skills than the good Sherman, Lincoln, Johnson, or Grant had combined to get any significant support next November.

Fortunately, my amusement is sufficed this week by grades, and the opening of Rambo IV...life is good even when politics isn't.

Romney's one commendable point is that he seems to be very good at getting guys like Limbaugh to ignore his bad record

Others have mentioned this as well. Limbaugh seems to be flaying a bit, as perhaps are all the libertarian talk radio hosts (Limbaugh has an occasional conservative instinct, but is at core a libertarian most days/issues). Medved brought this up recently, and I think it is something to consider: Has the talk radio formula run it's course as far as helping conservativism goes?

As far as Huck, it really does seem he is the lost opportunity of this round. Instinctive conservative ("feels it in his bones ") - which means his policy will flow from that. Mitt of course feels it in his "data", which means of course that the insiders wishes (Rockefeller, Business, whatever) will win out in a pinch (that is anything meaningful and worth disagreeing about).

Why do the thoughtful commentators here continue to ignore this? I sense it here in the implication that Huck is this, he is that, but a real conservative leader?!?....

Christopher,

What I meant by the "feels it in his bones" remarks is that his pro-life bona fides are genuine and indisputable. Since that's what the speech addressed, that's all I'm prepared to say.

I suggest that the readership check out Mark Levin's show for yesterday, which is archived over at his site, {www.marklevinshow.com}.

Just listen to the first half hour of his show, it's hillarious.

Mr. Kippenburg, I understand - where is the evidence of 'bona fides' on other important policy matters to the conservative?

One reason I find "instinctive" or "natural" conservatives appealing is that they are just that - instinctive. They may have the wrong headed policy on this or that, but given time and the natural flux of events and circumstances they will tend and trend in the right direction. Again, a "heart" argument to the intellectual(izing), but one that I think follows Kirk's principles for example (http://www.kirkcenter.org/kirk/ten-principles.html)

I don't think it's an accident that Kirk's list leads with the "enduring moral order", so abortion is correctly used to divide the libertarian from the conservative, from the insincere "data" man (however sincerely he is interested his data) from a man with right character.

"Policy" conservatives are often (not always of course) in point of fact, economic conservatives first, social conservative only to the extant that it protects their perceived interests. When they are not, they are often unbalanced towards the head - being more attracted to the data and lists of correct policy positions this or that. At least this is how I diagnose the willingness of so many seemingly smart conservatives to follow the same prescription (i.e. the latest GOP man) that has failed again and again...

Estimated 1,200 marchers in today's "March for Life" in Santa Fe. (From St. Francis Cathedral, around the Plaza - impressive! - and on to the "Roundhouse"....i.e. the Capitol building.) No rain, and no indication that Bill Richardson (who's back in town/state after dropping his presidential bid) paid any attention. But we sure crowded the hearing rooms (the legislature is in session). Lots of young people from all around the state.
Stolid speakers, but no one who remotedly approached Joe's report of Huckabee's eloquence. Even the speeches are dry out here....

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