Huckabee Strongly Courting the Far Right

Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has generally been flying under the radar in his bid for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, trying to position himslef as the alternative for Southern conservatives within the party. As a part of this effort, Huckabee is jumping in front of an issue near and dear to his heart: gay-bashing.

Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said Friday he hopes the Legislature considers reimposing a ban on gay foster parents, struck down a day earlier by the state Supreme Court.

"I'm very disappointed that the court seems more interested in what's good for gay couples than what's good for children needing foster care," Huckabee said through his spokeswoman Alice Stewart.

With John McCain and Rudy Giuliani having seemingly sown up the self-proclaimed moderates within the party as a result of having held some moderate views in the past (even though they have eschewed many such views as of late), the battle for the GOP nomination in 2008 will be played out among the most conservative segments of the base.

And now, as George Allen -- who at one time seemed poised to become conservatives' favorite -- is embroiled in a very rough Senate contest, there is a real opening in the contest to court conservatives. Among the participants in this quasi-primary are Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Sam Brownback, Giuliani, and McCain, but there are real questions as to whether any of these candidates can actually carry culturally, socially and politically conservative Southerners.

Enter Mike Huckabee, a man from Hope. With Huckabee showing his willingness to bash the judiciary (check) and bash gays (check) while standing up for family values (check), he is quickly positioning himself as a palatable alternative to the cadre above.

As he does this, we as progressives must not underestimate the potential appeal of this conservative Southern Governor and overlook his bid for the White House, because if we don't pay attention to his machinations today, we will be unable to out them for what they really are in the future.

Tags: General 2008, Mike Huckabee, Primaries, Republicans (all tags)

Comments

12 Comments

Re: Huckabee Strongly Courting the Far Right

Huckabee is also the WAL-MART candidate of the Republican Party.  Do you remember his guest speaker at the Governor's Convention last year?  And if Huckabee is from Hope, Arkansas, we should ask him why he remained silent while Mike Ross, Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor had to ask the President multiple times to remove the 10,000 FEMA trailors from Hope, Arkansas.  Did he really believe no one would notice?

by illinois062006 2006-07-01 07:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Huckabee Strongly Courting the Far Right

Although many complain about Lincoln, Pryor and other Arkansas Democrats, they essentially highlighted a problem Huckabee willfully ignored.  It seems as if they are already undermining Huckabee's Presidential aspirations.

by illinois062006 2006-07-01 08:04AM | 0 recs
weight loss will be a winner for him

Huckabee worries me a lot. He was once grossly overweight (which will make a lot of Americans relate to him), but he lost something like 100 pounds (which will make people admire him). He wrote a non-political book about losing weight through diet and exercise, and the media just love self-improvement stories like this.

He doesn't come across as mean-sprited as someone like Gingrich, which will help him hide his extremism.

We need to watch this guy.

by desmoinesdem 2006-07-01 09:41AM | 0 recs
Huckabee May Bee the Nominee

If Allen loses this November, I will go out on a limb and say Huckabee will be seen as the one who can knit together all of the GOP's disparate factions.   If Allen loses, and Huck performs well on the stump and attracts any level of interest on the part of donors, watch out....I think he will be the ideal compromise candidate for them.

Nevertheless, I am not afraid of running against him in the general.....I can't see him adding to their map at all, and I don't see him even matching Bush's performance in the West.  And he is so uptight he makes John Kerry and Al Gore look like James Brown and Maceo Parker.  

by Andmoreagain 2006-07-01 10:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Huckabee Strongly Courting the Far Right

Huckabee's self-promotion as the Health Candidate is a sham.  Yes he lost 100+ pounds, and like any good Southern Baptist took his personal triumph as an opportunity to crusade.

But before that, he opposed a smoking ban on hackneyed Republican grounds (it interferes with the rights of business).  But to be the Health Candidate he reversed course and supported a smoking ban in Arkansas.  Good for Arkansas, but nothing but political opportunism for Huckabee.

Under Huckabee Arkansas has abandoned automobile safety inspections (think Ma and Pa Kettle on the highways with no one checking the safety of their vehicle), and abandoned helmet requirements for motorcyclists.  Ask any trauma physician or head surgeon about the health implications of that one!

And while you are asking questions, someone ask the Healthy Huckster what he thinks about stem cell research.

Huckabee is like a reactionary characiture of Clinton.  God save us all.

by ArkansasDem 2006-07-01 03:25PM | 0 recs
i've thought so

since his appearance on the colbert report. with the ability to turn out the base, and an affable media delivery, he'll be tougher than yoiur average frothing wingnut to beat, especially with a compromised media  helping him out, and a feckless democratic leadership.

by wu ming 2006-07-01 04:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Huckabee Strongly Courting the Far Right

Bill Clinton is the man from Hope.

Huckabee is the pretender from Hope

by v2aggie2 2006-07-01 08:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Huckabee Strongly Courting the Far Right

He pretends to be a man, or does he pretend to hail from Hope, Arkansas?

by illinois062006 2006-07-01 09:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Huckabee Strongly Courting the Far Right

Huckabee is from Hope.

But he is pretender when it comes to the presidency.

by v2aggie2 2006-07-02 12:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Huckabee Strongly Courting the Far Right

Make no mistake about it.  Huckabee will be the GOP nominee in 2008.  He is the only candidate with the "correct" position on every issue the Fundamentalist movement cares about (abortion, gay marriage, school prayer, stem cell research, judges, etc.)  Allen voted against the federal amendment on gay marriage.  McCain is for stem cell research.  Giuliani is PRO-CHOICE and has had MULTIPLE EXTRAMARITAL AFFAIRS.  Romney is Mormon.  Brownback is Catholic.  The only other candidate mentioned so far in this thread is Gingrich, and I don't think it's going out on a limb to say that Huckabee can take him, although Newt will be more formidable than we think.  If Huckabee is not the nominee in 2008, it will only be because the leaders of the Fundamentalist movement get scared and run to the center for McCain, Giuliani, or Romney (yes, he counts as the center compared to the rest of the field).  

by Fugee BoBfUn 2006-07-02 12:41AM | 0 recs
I wouldn't worry about Huckabee

Huckabee, though popular and with all the advantages of incumbency, was almost upset in 2002 because of political missteps, arrogance and the appearance of cronyism. Who's to say that his presidential campaign couldn't similarly crash and burn? Moreover, the democratic nominee in 2008 could absolutely hammer Huckabee for being weak on crime. Consider Wayne Dumond, who was imprisoned for raping Ashley Stevens. Clinton refused to grant clemency, and was (unfairly) pilloried by republicans because Stevens just happened to be a distant relative of Clinton's. When Huckabee became governor, he met privately with the parole board. They later granted Dumond parole, although Huckabee now denies influencing the parole board. After being released, Dumond raped and murdered another woman. The whole affair sounds like an absolute partisan disgrace, and should weaken Huckabee considerably. He's like a republican Dukakis, except he REALLY IS weak on crime.

by JRyan 2006-07-02 06:02AM | 0 recs
by manukilt 2006-07-14 02:02AM | 0 recs

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