Huckabee Strongly Courting the Far Right
by Jonathan Singer, Sat Jul 01, 2006 at 07:28:30 AM EDT
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.