Posts filed under ‘mike huckabee’

A Buckeye bombardment

Thoughts about one of the sought-after presidential primary states, Ohio, from a visitor and lover of the Buckeye State (Adriatico’s and Larry’s, long life to you both!):

Hard to believe Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton even has a lead there to defend when she’s associated with an administration that passed NAFTA.

Economic platforms could decide the Buckeye battles on the Democratic side. Ohio’s economy is hurting.

Faith might be less of a factor than never-seen-Columbus East Coasters could expect. Ohio voters rejected fundamentalist favorite Ken Blackwell in the governor’s race in 2006. On the Republican side, Arkansas ex-Gov. Mike Huckabee might not want to stress his faith as much as his populism against Arizona Sen. John McCain.

Will racial prejudice affect Ohioans’ decision to vote for Sen. Barack Obama? I don’t think it will be to a greater or lesser degree than most other states. Yes, there were race riots in Cincinnati in 2001. But Ohio Republicans also ran an African-American candidate, Blackwell, for governor two years ago. I think most state voters will consider Obama fairly.

February 27, 2008 at 6:59 pm Leave a comment

Midwest, Southern setbacks for McCain?

Sen. John McCain has lost the Republican primary in Kansas. Jayhawkers went for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee over McCain, 60 percent to 24 percent, with Texas Rep. Ron Paul picking up 11 percent.

What might help Huckabee’s improbable run is that the New York Times is not-so-subtly advocating McCain’s candidacy. Reporter Kate Zernike referred to “the daunting number of delegates Mr. McCain has amassed” and added that “Mr. McCain is far enough ahead in the delegate race that his advisers have said it would be all but impossible for anyone else to win the nomination.” Of course his advisers would say that. How about finding a less partial source?

The numbers are as follows: To win the nomination, a candidate needs 1,191 delegates. The total before the voting on Saturday put McCain at 703, Huckabee at 190 and Paul 42.

My sense is that Huckabee will also do well in the upcoming March 4 primaries in Texas (a winner-take-all 140 delegates) and Ohio (88). These states are friendly to fundamentalists (think Rod Parsley and John Hagee) and populists alike.

February 11, 2008 at 6:08 pm Leave a comment

Who made Rush, Coulter emperors?

The Republican punditocracy — including Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Michael Savage, Pat Buchanan and Laura Ingraham — boasts lots of listeners and New York Times best-seller status. But it seems to be mistaking its clout at store counters and on radio dials for the authority of Moses on the mountaintop.

On “Super Tuesday” the clarion calls came out against Arizona Sen. John McCain. Ingraham welcomed Focus on the Family boss Dr. James Dobson, who delivered some unkind words against the Straight Talk Express. Limbaugh got a dressing-down from former GOP presidential nominee Bob Dole for his attacks on McCain. Savage, when not calling the entire primary process a ploy of Goldman Sachs, also castigated the senator, as did Buchanan and Coulter.

Yet party voters seem to like the guy right now. The punditocracy can gin up one excuse after another — too many independents in New Hampshire, too many in Florida — but after McCain won delegate-heavy states like New York and California in the voting yesterday, the conservative hydra seems to be spewing more smoke than fire.

The GOP has valid complaints against McCain: he’s shown he’s a maverick, but he hasn’t yet proven he’s a unifying leader. Or, rather, when he’s led, he’s done so by working with Democrats (as in the Gang of 14) and not enough with his own party. Nevertheless, the Republican rank and file seem to prefer him over more authentic-sounding efforts like former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

During last year’s insurgency against President Bush and McCain over amnesty for illegal immigrants, the Republican punditocracy gleefully noted that the leaders had lost touch with their base. They may not be so gleeful to acknowledge that now it is their turn to lose alignment with their base.

February 6, 2008 at 5:39 pm 1 comment


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