Mainstream Media Still Pushing Chris Christie and Now Bringing Mike Huckabee Back

Bookmark and Share    As a fickle Republican electorate continues to demonstrate their apathy for the existing field of declared presidential candidates, an old name to the 2012 field has become the newest name to be drawn back into the contest.  While news stories continue to swirl around about some still possible entry of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie into the presidential contest, a new one surfaces about former Governor Mike Huckabee.

According to Reuters,  numerous unnamed sources have urged Mike Huckabee to reconsider his midsummer decision not to run .  Huckabee is said to have told Fox News thathe doesn’t  “see it happening”.  But as is the case with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, that has not put an end to the rumors.

Despite stating quite adamantly that he is not running for President after a speech that Chris Christie delivered at the Reagan Library this past Tuesday, reports that he was on the verge of declaring his candidacy seemed to have only gained in their intensity.

As made evident in the clip below, in the New York City Tri-State area, residents in the New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania media market were fed an endless array of reports declaring that Christie was still in the middle of considering a run.  On WCBS 880 AM radio news, every twenty minute cycle had a report telling listeners that Chris Christie advisors and aides were scrambling to see if they could put together a presidential campaign organization together at very last moment.

Even the Sunday morning TV political shows dug into the Christie speculation.

Unfortunately most all the reports about Christie possibly deciding to throw his hat in the ring come from “unnamed” sources.  That’s pretty convenient and getting tiresome. But in the never ending search for a “perfect” presidential candidate Republicans have allowed the media to label the existing field of presidential candidates as not good enough.   That feeling will change in time.  But until then, we will continue to hear about the need to recruit someone in to the race.  Such a storyline allows the mainstream media to continue making President Obama look superior when compared the field of  Republicans from which his ultimate opponent will come from.

Meanwhile, with all the talk about Huckabee and Christie running, it is important to realize that both of these would have a problem if they run.

Huckabee has a record on taxes that contradicts some  of his rhetoric on that issue.  He also has to answer to a string of clemencies he issued as Governor Arkansas, which resulted in rapes and murders.  Including the killing of 4 police officers in Oregon.

As for Christie, his 20 months in office have still not done much to increase employment and many of his economic policies have not yet had the time to show New Jerseyans if they are working or not .  Beyond that, Christie is consistently nagged by the far right for what they call his poor judicial appointments, including a controversial selection of a Muslim who represented other Muslims who were rounded up by the FBI in the aftermath of 9/11.   Such representation was not wrong but depending upon the context in which it is explained, it could be turned in to an impression that would be a liability in a campaign.

Other issues which would become a problem for Christie among the conservative base that is responsible for electing a nominee, includes Christie’s support of  the federal assault weapons ban, he supported President Obama’s education reform agenda and has confirmed his belief in manmade global warming and  his support of the President’s failing green energy policies.

So Christie is far from being a perfect conservative candidate.  Yet until he has been forced to defend his record, voters looking for that perfect candidate will not allow the concept of a run for President by Christie in 2012 to die.

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Is Cain Trying in Iowa?

No, if you believe his now former Iowa director Tina Goff and Kevin Hall who was in charge of coordinating for the Iowa straw poll in just over a month.  Jim Zeiler has also left the Iowa staff and Cain lost his New Hampshire director earlier this week.  When it comes to managing a campaign, things are not looking good for Cain.

On the other hand, Cain is looking good in the Iowa polls.  Most recently he came in second only to perpetual front runner Mitt Romney and remade Michelle Bachmann.

Will the Guiliani gamble work for Cain?

The problem is that Cain has not done or said anything to differentiate himself from Michelle Bachmann.  Going into this race he had perhaps set himself apart as a more “serious” candidate, and certainly took on early momentum from the TEA Party.  But Bachmann easily out-shined him in the debate and continues to make the right steps even in the face of extreme character assassination.  Bachmann’s successes have made her detractors appear to be less “serious”.

In the meantime, Cain is reducing himself to soundbite worthy quips and small government platitudes while his substance seems to be a foggy mirror of the clarity Bachmann has produced.  The result is that Cain is quietly slipping into the shadows where other candidate copies, like Gary Johnson (generic brand Ron Paul) and Jon Huntsman (Mitt Romney clone only the media is excited about) reside.  Bachmann is quickly taking the TEA Party energy.

In some ways, Cain brought this on himself.  His radio host style speeches leave little substance to hang one’s hat on and his brief handling of gay marriage in the debate has alienated him from the religious section of the TEA Party.  In addition, at times he has seemed clueless on some of the more detailed issues such as right of return for a Palestinian state.  This still puts him miles ahead in knowledge from someone like Joe Biden who wanted a three state solution for Iraq.

Cain does have one demographic that still turns out strongly in support of him, and that is the African American conservatives, moderates, and independents.  Many of these who helped turn Florida blue for Barack Obama and are now disenchanted with his policies are indicating strong support for Cain.  Whereas Iowa is turning out to be a fiscal versus social conservative battle between Romney and Bachmann, all important Florida may end up being a fiscal versus social conservative battle between Romney and Cain. Real Clear Politics shows Cain in second place to Romney in Florida out of current candidates, but large percentages going to Huckabee and Palin.  It will be interesting to see how those Palin and Huckabee supporters break by the time we reach Florida.  It won’t be for Mitt Romney.

If Cain can survive until Florida and then capitalize on it, losing Iowa might not be that big a deal.  Then again, perhaps he should talk to Rudy Guiliani about that strategy.

Cain’s Gain?

Mike Huckabee made it official over the weekend. He is not running. Huckabee was one of those candidates who was able to corner a specific share of the GOP market and turn them into a cult following. As the 2008 primary dragged on and Huckabee appeared on shows like Saturday Night Live to joke about how his mathematical chance of winning required winning every remaining state, Huckabee continued to campaign and siphon votes away from Mitt Romney in crucial states.

Even coming into 2012, Huckabee has maintained a Ron Paul-like base of support who will chide media outlets for not casting him in a bright enough light or leaving him out of 2012 primary analysis. To be honest though, I wasn’t surprised when Huckabee said no this year. Any Republican candidate is going to have a huge uphill battle facing their own divided party, the media, and then the Obama political machine. Who can blame Huckabee for wanting to sit this one out and make money hand over fist at his TV show?

Can Herman Cain pick up Huckabee's votes?

So who will get those voters who faithfully showed up and voted Huckabee even after his chances of winning evaporated in 2008? Only one candidate sofar has come out firmly for the socially and fiscally conservative platform, including the Fairtax, that Huckabee represented: Herman Cain.

Cain stands to pick up many of your neighbors who have the anti-IRS Fairtax signs in their yard and on their bumper stickers. He also will pick up many of Huckabee’s fans who are also mainstream Conservative media fans. There is a great deal of overlap between Foxnews talk show fans and Conservative radio fans.

Huckabee and Cain share another large support base among TEA Party candidates. Many of these small government conservatives who supported Huckabee in 2008 will look to Cain in 2012 as the most Conservative candidate who is not as radical as Ron Paul on foreign policy.

Will this be what bumps Cain into the top tier? It certainly is an opportunity sitting on the table. If Cain can make the connections in voters’ minds, he stands to be the one to gain.

Huckabee’s Heart Tells Him Not To Run for President

Bookmark and Share In what became a much anticipated decision for the political world, on his Fox News shows, former Arkansas Governor and 2008 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee declared that despite all signs pointing to him that he should run for President, his heart tells him no and so he will not be a candidate for President in 2012.

Huckabees decision came after he described himself as a clear front runner for the Republican presidential nomination who polls have shown beating all others in even the most unlikely of states such as Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He claimed that the ability to raise the amounts of money needed, was there and that his support crossed regional lines and socially conservative ideological lines.

In a swipe at the media, and pundits, Huckabee poked fun at their attempts to downplay his possible role in the 2012 election and claimed that he was often not even mentioned in some polls, while he was high in the polls and other contenders who barely registered a single percent of support were touted as leading contenders.

Huckabee described his decision as one that he only reached when he had time alone, and the clarity of vision that provided him to reach a decision that stirred within him a great inner peace. Huckabee made sure to point out that he had the full support of his family behind him if chose to run and he indicated a belief that he had a majority of public support behind his potential campaign. But despite what he defined as a perfect situation for a successful run for President, Huckabee told viewers that ultimately, he is happy with his career as it stands now and his ability to influence politics from the outside.

In his announcement Huckabee went out of his way to try make himself out to be a shoo-in for the Republican presidential nomination. But what he did not address were the many negatives that would have surfaced and been used to pummel him with. In addition to a week record on taxes, Huckabees record when it comes to the pardoning of violent criminals would have damned him as much, if not more than Willie Horton didfor Michael Dukakis in 1988. It was bad enough that there was a case of a Huckabee setting free a violent felon who upon his release raped and killed and women, but two years ago the issue became an insurmountable wall for Huckabee. It was around that time that headlines touted the news that Huckabee had granted clemency to a criminal who went on to kill four police officers in a Washington state diner.

At the time, Huckabee offered his condolences to the families of the victims but his only defense was an attempt to claim that the real problem existed with a media that was trying to exploit the tragic deaths of the police officers by smearing him politically. That defense did little to change the facts though.

As is the case with all headlines, they eventually faded from view, but Mike Huckabee knew that the issue would be unavoidable if he tried to run for President in 2012. He also knew it would have been a painful issue to address and one that would have weighed him down greatly.

Regardless of any excuses that Huckabee offered up to explain his decision and despite his self proclaimed direct path to the nomination, 2012 would not have been anything like it was for Huckabee in 2008. As it were, with the exception of Iowa, Huckabee won no primary or caucus contests and despite recent polls which did not reflect the issues of the 2012 campaign, it is more than likely that he would have performed just as poorly in 2012 as he did in 2008.

But the decision of Huckabee does still have at least an early effect on the still evolving Republican presidential race. Now that he is not running, who will his limited but enthusiastic base look to? Until there is a definitive decision on whether Sarah Palin will or will not run, candidates like Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and to a lesser degree, Tim Pawlenty will have the most to gain. But ultimately, Mitt Romney is the biggest winner regarding Huckabees decision. Huckabee was the greatest impediment to Mitt Romneys ability to attract enough voters who were dissatisfied with McCain to piece together majorities small enough to edge McCain out in many competitive states. And Huckabee knew this. At one point in 2008, it became clear that Huckabees only purpose was to try to deny Romney the nomination.

Now with Huckabee definitely out of the race, the G.O.P. field will slowly begin to look a little clearer and will begin to set off a natural gravitation of support to those who are running or that we know for certasin will be running.

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Private Email from Huckabee Suggests He’s Running For President

Bookmark and Share In the hours leading up to Mike Huckabees decision regarding a run for President, an email to those who work closely with the former Governor has unleashed a new round of speculation. The email indicates that once he makes his decision on his Saturday night show, he will be free to do and discuss things which up until now, legal restrictions and his obligations to Fox News, prohibited him from taking part in.

In a closing line of the email, Huckabee apologizes in advance if he does not have the opportunity to respond to any emails after his decision is announced and writes I expect that once I pull the trigger Saturday night, things will get even crazier, as if that’s possible.

The email (see the email below this post) was released by Times Mark Halperin and confirmed by Politico but how it was obtained is yet unknown and would seem to me to be an intentional leak by the Huckabee camp. If that is the case, the leak could be designed to lure a large viewing audience.

While the email is somewhat ambiguous about his decision, it clearly suggests that Huckabee expects to be preparing for a frenzy of media attention that will be touting him as an automatic frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination.

Up till now, I have been fairly confident that Huckabee was not running for President in 2012. But his handling of his announcement is beginning to lead me to believe otherwise. For reasons different my own, Huckabee’s senior political advisor, Ed Rollins has also been under the impression that Huckabee is not running. According to Rollins, even though everything has been put in place to get a potential Huckabee presidential campaign up and running and fully operational within one week, it his opinion that from all indications, Huckabee is not running. Now, in light of this new email, even Rollins concedes that he has no idea of Huckabee’s intention.

I still am not convinced that this is not all a well orchestrated attempt to raise ratings but if one is to believe what they can read between the lines, Huckabee is ready to go for it and embark on his second campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.

In the mean time, the first public post decision appearance that Huck will make will be Sunday, on Fox news with Chris Wallace.

The Email:

Tomorrow night (Saturday) I will announce the next step in my plans for 2012 during my show on the Fox News Channel. I would like to be able to call you or email you personally and in advance of the announcement, but due to the fact that the decision was not finalized until today and that I committed to Fox that I will absolutely not release it prior to doing so on the channel, that became impractical.

A lot of information and speculation was already rampant in the press today, and it frankly isn’t fair to you to tell you the details and then put you in the awkward position of saying you didn’t know (which at that point wouldn’t be true) or saying you did know, but couldn’t reveal or discuss it.

It was this afternoon before I could even get word to all of my own children and even now, the executive producer of my show and the staff and crew of the show don’t know and won’t until I actually do the final preparation literally minutes before I share the decision live Saturday night.

I will look forward to speaking with you soon and once I fulfill my sworn obligation to Fox, I will be free to discuss things that I can’t now due to promises to them and to some possible legal considerations of the announcement.

Many friends have said, “how can we help you in the decision?” My answer has consistently been, “Pray that I have clarity.” I have it and will share it Saturday night during the show. Please be patient if I don’t respond immediately to an email because I expect that once I pull the trigger Saturday night, things will get even crazier, as if that’s possible.

My heartfelt thanks for your friendship, prayers, and support,

Mike Huckabee

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Huckabee Ready to Declare His Presidential Intentions on Saturday

Bookmark and Share Will he or wont he make a White House run? The Gov gives his answer on Huckabee!. Thats the teaser offered today on the website of Governor Huckabees Fox News show.

According to a statement by the shows executive producer Woody Fraser, Huck will announce tomorrow night on his program whether or not he intends to explore a presidential bid. He has not told anyone at FOX News Channel his decision.

Huckabees latest Twitter referred fans to his political action committee, Huck PAC, to take a look at schedule which is as follows

Friday (5/13):

Today, Governor Huckabee will be on Your World with Neil Cavuto on the Fox News Channel, at 4pm ET.

Tonight, Governor Huckabee will be on “The O’Reilly Factor with Bill OReilly on the Fox News Channel, at 8pm ET.

And late tonight Governor Huckabee will be on “Follow The Money” with Eric Bolling on the Fox Business Network, at 10pm ET.

Saturday (5/14):

Saturday morning Governor Huckabee will be on Fox and Friends on the Fox News Channel at 8:30am ET.

And dont forget to tune in to Huckabee on the Fox News Channel, Saturday and Sunday nights at 8:00pm ET.

The surprise set up regarding a decision to run or not to run for the Republican presidential nomination for a second timeis savvy to say the least. But it is too early to tell if it is shrewdness intended for ratings of his cable talk show, or for a big audience to kick off his presidential aspirations from. Insofar as I can tell, there is no legal way for Huckabee to officially declare his own presidential candidacy on his own show. Based upon basic the opportunity for equal time principles, Federal Election Commission laws prohibit official candidates from having their own regularly scheduled radio or television programs to promote themselves from. Such an opportunity would be an unfair advantage for candidates with such a platform. It is why Fox News has suspended the contracts they had with other potential other presidential candidates who were Fox News contributors, such as Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum.

But nothing prohibits Huckabee from using his show to state that because of future endeavors that, in time, he will make well known, he will be leaving his cable show. Such a statement would not leave anyone wondering what that future endeavor would be, but it would also not cross any legal lines.

I have been of the school of thought that mike Huckabee is not going to run again in 2012. While early, random polls have the former Arkansas Governor placed high at the top of the still emerging Republican presidential field, such polling does not reflect the harsh realities of the Huckabee record that would be dissected in a public display of messy politics. Indeed, I have suggested that Governor Huckabee will have a great deal of baggage weighing him down in a 2012 race. But despite these sentiments of my own, Huckabee has been in many ways acting like a candidate. He has been meeting with financial bundlers in New York and elsewhere and under the auspices of a book tour, has been stomping the nation as well as any other potential candidate.

If Huckabee is readying himself to take the steps towards an official run at the White House, the timing of such an announcement is unique. Most major political announcements are not conducted on weekends. Common sense dictates that anytime after late Friday afternoon, but before Monday morning, most Americans tune out for weekends of recreation and relaxation. It is for this reason that if politicos have any kind of bad news to deliver, they usually do so around 4:00 pm on any given Friday. Such news tends to pass through several news cycles without immediately gaining all that much attention. However, Huckabees situation is different. First, his show airs on Saturday evenings. This forces him to somehow have to take advantage of that time slot. Second, the logistics of his position with Fox News and the suspense surrounding his decision, has allowed Huckabee to dominate the news for most of Friday and bring with it, a drawn out focus of attention on him at a time when few other headlines will be made. And then of course the story will be anew again on Monday when it is followed up on.

So which will it be? Will Huckabee come out on Saturday evening, during his show, and announce that it is his sad duty to tell us that this will be his last show, but his pleasure to tell us that its because he will be seeking a higher calling with greater responsibilities? Or will Huckabee be announcing that instead of running for President, he intends to focus on changing America for the better by devoting his time to things like Learn Our History, the new education company he started just days ago? Learn Our History sells educational animated history videos for kids. The video featured on the website is about the Reagan Revolution. A sign that the former Arkansas governor isnt running for president?

Huckabee originally stated that he would not make a decision about a run for President until late Summer. This latest PR stunt, has pushed that timetable up significantly and begs the question, whats behind that change? Is it a sense that he is better off establishing himself and making his case sooner rather than later? I tend to think not. I believe that the longer Huck is in, the harder he will be hit. So could it be that Huckabee merely wants to make some bucks, live the good life, and retire to his newly constructed Florida estate? The timing of it all leads me to believe that the Huckster is more inclined to advance that which can make him money as opposed to pursuing that which can cost him much.

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Tim Pawlenty Could Stand To Gain While The Big Names Sit On The Sidelines

Bookmark and ShareThe 1st GOP Presidential debate is in the books. There are those who feel it lacked the “Wow” factor that it would have had if the top polling candidates had taken part. With Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin all declining to attend, the field was filled with candidates whose names are not well known on a national scale. Texas congressman Ron Paul is probably the exception to that statement but his public persona and Libertarian views have never played well to most in the GOP.

Of the remainder of the field that included former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, Former Godfather’s Pizza CEO and conservative talk show host Herman Cain, Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, it may have been Pawlenty that came out with the most to gain from the absence of the big name candidates.

Most of those polled said that they came away with a better opinion of Herman Cain than any other candidate. I agree. Cain came away as the non-politician’s politician but he is an unknown to most voters and will need much more than this debate to get the recognition he will need to mount a serious run. Santorum is known to a certain degree through his work on Fox News but has established himself as the social issues candidate so far in a time where the economy will likely reign supreme. Gary Johnson is the poor man’s Ron Paul and did little to move up the ladder in the debate and at points looked uncomfortable on the stage. Ron Paul is simply Ron Paul. Most Republican’s tend to agree with his economic stances and most independents with his social stances but he has difficulty communicating them in a manner that helps him in a conservative GOP primary.

That leaves Pawlenty, who did little to “Wow” the audience but came across as a solid candidate when put next to the CEO with little experience, the Libertarian’s with little communication skills and the evangelical social issue guy, as a possible challenger to the big name candidates who themselves have issues that will be exploited if and when they decide to enter the race. Romney has to answer for his health care program he implemented while Governor of MA. Gingrich has had marriage issues that have haunted him for years. Huckabee has issues regarding his stances on crime while Governor of Arkansas and Palin, well she has always incurred the wrath of the media and I expect if she decides to run in 2012 it will be no different.

So although he may have not brought the “wow” factor with him to South Carolina last Thursday night, it could be Tim Pawlenty who very well takes away the most from the debate. Although Herman Cain may have hit the “wow” factor it was Pawlenty who by reason of recognition stands to gain the most from the decision of the big names to sit this one out. If he stays on message and the more recognizable names continue to sit dormant, Tim Pawlenty has one up on the other candidates.

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