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The GOP primary calendar is tailor-made for John McCain, who continues to pile up institutional support thanks to his strong adoption of the Bush agenda and portfolio of wars.

However, if anyone can take a bite out of the McCain Pander Express, it's Mike Huckabee. And he just showed that one of the potential roadblocks to a serious bid -- money -- can be overcome.

Enough people can apparently relate to Huckabee's message to bring in more than a $500,000 for his political action committee at a gala last night in Little Rock.

The affair was a test of his fundraising ability for a potential White House run. Huckabee said the event was to raise money for his PAC and not for a presidential campaign, but 2008 was clearly on the minds of many people attending the fundraiser.

Stickers saying "Mike Huckabee President'' were seen throughout the ballroom at the Statehouse Convention Center. The governor, however, said they weren't an indication that he was definitely running.

Meanwhile, another southern Governor -- former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating -- is testing the waters for a stab at the Republican nomination. He apparently didn't get the memo ordering everyone to stand down for McCain.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 09:46 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Even though (7+ / 0-)

    the reaction I've gotten from most people when I mention his name is , "Isn't that the guy who lost 100 lbs.?", I stuck my neck out on this one several weeks ago, and I currently see no reason to pull it back in. Huckabee is going to be the GOP nominee in 08. He's the religious-right wacko who doesn't scare the indies.

    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

    by sidnora on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 09:48:34 AM PST

  •  Keating. (9+ / 0-)

    I'm from Oklahoma and even people here have to be reminded who he was.

    And PS: We're not the South!

    -7.63, -7.59 "When I drink whiskey, I drink whiskey; and when I drink water, I drink water." - Barry Fitzgerald as Michaleen Flynn in "The Quiet Man"

    by droogie6655321 on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 09:49:48 AM PST

    •  Why do I feel like he's running for VP? (5+ / 0-)

      Maybe the nominee--especially if McCain self-destructs--will feel Keating can counter the Democratic gains in the west.

      Besides, Keating strikes me as the sort of non-entity that would be perfect as Vice President, just like Dan Quayle.

      "Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight. You've got to kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight." --Bruce Cockburn, "Lovers In A Dangerous

      by AustinCynic on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 09:54:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Right, OK is in the Southwest. (0+ / 0-)

      There's a difference. When I lived in Memphis (Capital of the Mid-South), Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee were described to me as the Mid-South. It struck me as a very oddly shaped region.

      Anyway, by that reckoning Huckabee is from the Mid-South.

    •  Oh please (12+ / 0-)

      Anything South of me is part of the "south" ok?

      And don't give me a funny look because I'm in Toronto.

    •  And those that remember him (0+ / 0-)

      Think he sucks.

      Geographically speaking, I think OK is two distinct regions.  The eastern part of the state is considered part of the Ozark Plateau, I believe, and is definitely more like Missouri (pronounced Mizzurah, in these parts)and Arkansas.  The central and western parts of the state are more Great Plains/almost Southwest.  A teacher once told me to get out a map and put my nose right in the middle of Kansas--everything that you can see without lifting your nose off the page is The Great Plains.

      "It's been headed this way since the World began, when a vicious creature made the jump from Monkey to Man."--Elvis Costello

      by BigOkie on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 11:01:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, geographically (0+ / 0-)

        we have five distinct regions. Culturally, we're simultaneously Southern, Southwestern and Midwestern.

        But I prefer to think of us as just Oklahoma.

        -7.63, -7.59 "When I drink whiskey, I drink whiskey; and when I drink water, I drink water." - Barry Fitzgerald as Michaleen Flynn in "The Quiet Man"

        by droogie6655321 on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 11:04:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  As an Okie myself (0+ / 0-)

      I have to say that Keating is the Democrats' dream opponent nationally speaking.  He's got almost as many stupid quotes as W, and he's not terribly charismatic.  He looks and sounds elitist, and he's as sanctimonious as two Joe Libermans put together.  Plus, over the last four years, he's been an insurance lobbyist.  He doesn't stand a chance in the Republican primary, but I would love to see him win it, even more than Giulliani.

      •  Keating is tough (0+ / 0-)

        I don't like him, but he's a ferocious campaigner.  He'll run to the right and won't be overlooked -- although if Huckabee's fundraising success continues it might be hard for Frank the Tank to find a foothold.

        He does has some horrible quotes though.  When asked what was the best way to deal with teachers unions, Keating replied "homocide." (he says he was joking).

  •  The Problem for Huckabee... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, chumley hinted at in the last sentence of the post: there will be the McCain bloc of votes, and the anti-McCain bloc of votes, and it's likely that the anti-McCain bloc of votes will be contested by too many people.  It's unlikely that there will be a small field, as in the 2000 Dem primaries where it was Gore v Bradley, so all the anti-Gore votes had one place to land.  With so many people likely in the field, and from across the Republican ideological spectrum--that is from right to far right--McCain might be able to lock up the nomination even if he seldom gets over 50% of the vote in any contests until very late in the game, and early in the game the other contestants like Huckabee will be dividing up the remainder of the vote in small chunks, too small to create a sufficient critical mass to challenge McCain for the nomination.

    The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

    by Dana Houle on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 09:50:48 AM PST

    •  Haha, sounds like our problem... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Delirium, wishingwell

      ... with the pro-Hillary/anti-Hillary crowd, don't it?

      The difference is we don't decree if from above.

    •  A lot of the anti-McCainers (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Carl Nyberg, Marcus Graly
      will drop out once they realize they have no chance of winning. That's always the way it happens. The early primaries will narrow the field considerably.
      •  Like Dems in 1984 (0+ / 0-)

        Eight candidates, and everyone assumed the real contest was gonna be Mondale v. John Glenn for the nomination.  Turned out the main challenger was Gary Hart instead, with a religious "values" candidate (Jesse Jackson) siphoning off votes from a bedroc "niche" constituency and the rest of the field dropping out early.  The result was a vicous primary cycle that lasted into June, and the eventual winner was too bloodied even to campaign effectively.

        I pray the Republicans have a fight like that.  Seems to me, McCain's support is an inch deep limited to the establishment that wants a quick coronation.  The northeast thinks he's too Bush and will go for Guliani instead. The South thinks he's not Bush enough and is scrambling for a hardcore wingnut to support instead (maybe Huckabee or Brownback, maybe Newt). The Midwest is still uncommitted to anyone, and the West outside of California doesn't have enough votes.

        McCain will either squeak through a bloody primary as damaged goods, or he'll get it by default like Dole in 1996, because it's "his turn". And we know how well that works.  Maybe he won't get the nomination at all.

        We won! And we have YOU to thank for it!

        by AdmiralNaismith on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 11:09:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  if a McCain alternative has money (0+ / 0-)

      why not skip the early primaries and battle McCain in a smaller field a couple weeks into the process.

      If you are interested in the politics of Proviso Township in Cook County, Illinois, visit Proviso Probe.

      by Carl Nyberg on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 09:54:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  aoeu (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aren't the republican primaries winner takes all too?

      dulce bellum inexpertis

      by TealVeal on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 10:51:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Huckabee in '08 to usher in the return of Christ! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cookiesandmilk, wishingwell, chumley


    by Intercaust on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 09:52:00 AM PST

  •  I don't see McCain losing the nomination (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Carl Nyberg, chumley, Kimball Cross

    with Romney so constitutionally compromised by his former social liberalism.

    I'm not sure, though, whether I'd prefer McCain or Huckabee as an opponent (though I think both can be beat). Huckabee surely excites the conservative base more than McCain, but the only way the GOP will win the 2008 election is by winning moderates and indies back.

    And I don't know whether anyone on the Repug side does that better than McCain, despite his shameless pandering.

    Joe Lieberman likes to be called an "Independent Democrat". I like being called a "sexual dynamo".

    by Arjun Jaikumar on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 09:52:14 AM PST

    •  It's McCain's "turn." (6+ / 0-)

      That's the way the GOP operates. You get the nomination when it's your "turn." 1980 was Reagan's turn. 1988 was Bush the Elder's turn. 1996 was Bob Dole's turn. 2000 was Dubya's turn.

      Six months ago, I wouldn't have believed Whoever Decides Whose Turn It Is would select McCain. I didn't think the right-wing base would go for him. Since then, however, the word has gone out that it's McCain's turn.

      We'll see whose turn the American people want it to be in about 2 years.

    •  How? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The only people who like McCain are the Mainstream media.

      The GOP faithful can't stand the guy.

      MSM may help you win an election, but it has no bearing on the nomination.

      •  Because he's the "frontrunner" (0+ / 0-)

        He has a combination of things-frontloaded primary schedule, exceptionally strong team of advisors and backers, tremendous fundraising ability-that make him very dangerous.

        The other mainstream contenders-Romney, Giuliani, Rice-all are seriously endangered. Romney has a very socially liberal past. Giuliani has a socially liberal present. And Rice...well, I just don't see her winning the Republican nomination, or even running.

        Joe Lieberman likes to be called an "Independent Democrat". I like being called a "sexual dynamo".

        by Arjun Jaikumar on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 10:41:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Huckabee seems like a viable way (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemDachshund, chumley

    to put a fresh face on the policies the GOP establishment wants to continue.

    The GOP establishment will either try to capture Dems and Dem leaners with Giuliani or McCain or go with a fresh face, like Huckabee or Gilmore.

    As a weird option they could try to use Condie Rice to peel off Black voters, but that seems a more volatile option.

    Hagel would also be an option if the GOP accepts the idea that the naked war profiteering is over one way or another. I expect the Military Industrial Complex would prefer a Dem to this option.

    If you are interested in the politics of Proviso Township in Cook County, Illinois, visit Proviso Probe.

    by Carl Nyberg on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 09:52:37 AM PST

    •  The GOP Establishment (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Delirium, wishingwell
      will likely be pushing McCain, in hope of peeling off some Indie votes, but we're talking about the Primaries.  Huckabee has a good shot at the wingnut vote,  thus, a possible Primary win.

      Even if McCain wins, he's flipflopped all over the map, & is an excellent target.  Huckabee might be a better candidate for the Reps, given his relatively obscure record, but I hear they don't like his immigration position.

      I don't know a thing about Kean, but his name alone invites good bumper sticker slogans.

      A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore. Yogi Berra

      by x on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 10:03:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Gilmore (0+ / 0-)

      was a diaster as governor, nearly bankrupting the state. I know he's "testing the waters" as well, but I can't figure out why. He's not remembered fondly in VA, even by many Republicans.

  •  Which one of these goons is good for us? (0+ / 0-)

    What are Huckabee's specs?  Right-wing nutjob?  Assumed "Maverick" status?  

    And what about this Frank Keating?  Any relation to Michael Keaton?  Wait those names don't even sound the same.

    •  Michael Keaton is a stage name (0+ / 0-)

      My movie freaky trivia information is that Michael Keaton's original name was already in use at the actor's guild. (Look it up at if you're interested.)  He liked Diane Keaton's acting so he took her name.  

      Thank you, Howard Dean for the 50-state strategy.

      by kaye on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 11:32:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I truly think (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that the GOP is fast becoming less than enamored of Saint McCain and his closeness to the Boy King.  I think we're starting to see the GOP equivalent to the 'anyone but Hilary' meme that the MSM is touting about us.

    It will be interesting to see if anyone in the media picks up on this trend... or if maybe I'm just pulling this out of my ass.

  •  I couldn't give a rat's ass (5+ / 0-)
    about Fuckabee or McCain or any one of these whack jobs.  I'm going to sit back and watch the Republican party collapse into a pile of putrid pus as they eat each other up over who is "the real conservative".  It's going to be beautiful.

    I'm just a symptom of the moral decay that's gnawing at the heart of the country.

    by TomT on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 09:54:30 AM PST

  •  Brutha Huck is passing the collection plate (7+ / 0-)

    A Southern Baptist Minister will be a force to be reckoned with in the Southern primaries.

    But there's something about convicted rapist and murderer Wayne Dumond and Mike Huckabee that Huckabee doesn't like people to expose.

    A bit more on Mike Huckabee and his advocacy of releasing Dumond.

    A lot more on Mike Huckabee and the release of Wayne Dumond.

    Because nothing says common sense conservative like getting a guy released from jail since you think that he didn't rape that cheerleader, but that he's a victim of a Clinton-led conspiracy theory.'

    How could Huckabee have suspected a guy convicted of a violent crime once would go out and kill somebody?

    Brutha Huck ain't no shy-ick, ya know. ;)

    "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

    by RBH on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 09:55:12 AM PST

    •  And a quote (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cookiesandmilk, Ajax the Greater

      "I signed the [parole] papers because the governor wanted Dumond paroled. I was thinking the governor was working for the best interests of the state. So I signed it."

      Good call Huck

      "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

      by RBH on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 09:57:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  People dismiss Huckabee at their own peril... (9+ / 0-)

    ... as shown in the 2006 elections, we were able to wedge off some so-called socially conservative voters by playing to their economic populism. While McCain, Giuliani, and Romney are beholden to the paleo-conservative (i.e., business conservative) wing of the party, Huckabee IS an economic populist. If he becomes the nominee, we lose our wedge issue, especially if a DLC-pro-corporation type wins the Democratic nomination. I hate to say it, but a socially conservative economic populist is an electoral winner.

    •  how is Huckabee an economic populist? (0+ / 0-)

      If you are interested in the politics of Proviso Township in Cook County, Illinois, visit Proviso Probe.

      by Carl Nyberg on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 09:58:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He voted for some spending bills or something (0+ / 0-)

        that one would've expected a Republican to veto.

        Join the College Kossacks on Facebook, or the Republicans win.

        by DemocraticLuntz on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 09:59:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Bush signed a lot of spending bills too (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cookiesandmilk, jj32

          doesn't make him an economic populist.

          "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

          by RBH on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 10:00:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It looks like taxes and the minimum wage (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            were raised under his governorship.

            Fortunately, he's corporate on immigration, so there STILL is no Republican possible candidate who can satisfy Republicans on immigration with the exception of Duncan Hunter.

            Join the College Kossacks on Facebook, or the Republicans win.

            by DemocraticLuntz on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 10:05:59 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Then again (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Huckabee had to work with an overwhelmingly Democratic legislature.

              Which means he's due to use the "Uniter" line of bull too.

              Like how Bush talks about his days as the Chief Figurehead in Texas.

              "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

              by RBH on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 10:12:36 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I would hope people could see that... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                ... his initiatives were just tools of the Democratic legislature, but I'm not optimistic. Doesn't make a good sound bite.

                •  Or (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Delta Terp

                  that he needed an overwhelmingly Democratic legislature to filter his ideas and only act on the good ideas.

                  Someone should ask Republicans what they think about Huckabee's leadership skills, since Arkansas Republicans haven't made any real gains in 10 years on a state level. After all, they want a Campaigner-in-Chief.

                  "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

                  by RBH on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 10:20:12 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  As someone who is scared... (7+ / 0-)

        ... to death of his social views, he has a very good economic record in Arkansas.

        He oversaw one of the largest expansion of public health care coverage in the nation. I think it is now second to Massachusetts.

        He raised the minimum wage to the highest in the region.

        He is on the Club for Growth "do not support" list. Five tax increases (mostly sin taxes) will do that for you.

        He raised taxes (1/8 of a percent sales tax) and earmarked them for conservation purposes.

        I'm not saying he's a Sherrod Brown or a Jim Webb, but he is definitely "populist enough" that it would take an issue away from us. Which would really suck.

    •  Granted (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, annefrank

      Huckabee is probably going to have a lot of allies behind the pulpit in the South.

      Although, I'm not gonna call him a populist until I see something that makes him different from the rest of the business conservatives.

      "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

      by RBH on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 09:59:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  AND (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, grog, The Other Steve

      he's a born-again Christian, not just pretending to be one like McCain. And he's kept his profile low enough that middle-of-the-road voters don't get that panicked look in their eyes that people like Brownback tend to bring on.

      The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

      by sidnora on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 10:06:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed. Huckabee will be the 2008 nominee (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I saw him this morning for a brief bit on Fox talking about Gerald Ford.

      He's a Manchurian candidate... he's a John Birch fire breather who sounds moderate.

      Right now McCain polls well.  But that's amongst voters who vote in the general.  The nominee is chosen in caucus and primaries, which you get only the hardcore subset.  In that group, McCain does poorly.

      In 2008, the GOP nominee will need to assuage the Christianists, and be able to walk away from the Iraq war and the Bush years.  McCain does neither.

      I think you're going to see more economic populism, and environmental calls from the Republicans.  They ain't stupid, they run which ever direction the polls show the way.

      I hate to say it, but a socially conservative economic populist is an electoral winner.

      Only in the south.  The rest of the country wants government out of their fucking lives.

      I think Huckabee will be the nominee, but I think he will lose.  He's the modern day William Jennings Bryant.

      •  He's scary that's for sure (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Other Steve

        "He's a Manchurian candidate... he's a John Birch fire breather who sounds moderate."

        In other words, he's tracking how the Worst. President. Ever. presented and marketed himself leading up to 2000.

        My brother lives in LR and it's a small enough place that everybody knows everybody (particularly if you work under several admins in the state gubmint the way he does) and that's his view, he hides his christofacism very well....but it's there and he'll attempt to continue ramming thru those kinds of policies should he be elected prez.

    •  McCain is a mirage and a very cruel man. He will (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Delta Terp

      soon McCain will be exposed for what he is – a cruel and vindictive bastard. Unlike McCain, Governor Huckabee have called some of the Republicans who oppose realist immigration reforms racists and demagogues on immigration reform.

      Governor Huckabee says some anti-immigration Republicans are guilty of demagoguery and racism.

      Further Gov. Huckabee Continues to Criticize Immigration Raid

      Governor Huckabee says he's not afraid of risking his political future by speaking out against a recent immigration raid at an Arkadelphia poultry plant even though he says calls to his office have been "about 1,000 to one'' against his position ..... The governor's office has joined with the Mexican Consulate in Dallas, Catholic Charities and the League of United Latin American Citizens to ensure the well-being of the children. Huckabee, a Baptist minister, said his support for the state's growing Hispanic population has to do with compassion, not politics.

      He is truly a compassionate conservative.

      Other than Bill Clinton and Jim Webb (in the way he interpreted the 13th Amendment)he is one of a few politicians on either party to openly confront the injustice African Americans suffered and are still suffering in this Country.

      "One of the great challenges facing us is that we do not commit the same mistakes with our growing Hispanic population that we did with African-Americans 150 years ago and beyond. We're still paying the price for the pathetic manner in which this country handled that," Huckabee said at a meeting of the Political Animals Club in Little Rock. The club meets monthly to hear from political figures and experts.

      "I think, frankly, the Lord is giving us a second chance to do better than we did before," Huckabee said.

      He is saying the right things from the heart, while Sen. Biden, a Democrat mind you, brags about Delaware being a slave State. May God help us!  Hopefully, Obama’s nomination as the presidential candidate by the Democratic Party will give this Country another chance for atonement.

  •  One thing to like about Keating, it seems: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Carl Nyberg, cookiesandmilk

    He was in charge of investigating the child abuse scandal of the Catholic Church.

    Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahoney bitterly criticized Keating for comparing church leaders to the Mafia.

    But in his resignation letter, Keating spoke to that criticsm:

    "My remarks, which some Bishops found offensive, were deadly accurate. I make no apology... To resist Grand Jury subpoenas, to suppress the names of offending clerics, to deny, to obfuscate, to explain away; that is the model of a criminal organization, not my church."

    Don't know much about Keating besides that, excpet that he had just become governor of OK when the Oklahoma City bombing happened, I think?

    Given that he's a Republican, it's highly unlikely I'd find much else to like about him, much less vote for him.  

    But I'd sure like to see someone take it to McCain, with some serious competition.  We need someone with a microphone who talks in something other than hagiographies for Mr. "Straihgt Talk," to expose his pseudo-maverick ways.

    And speaking of guys named Keating -- how about we revisit the Savings and Loan scandal for Mr. McCain?

    PRAVDA under Stalin had more shame than Fox News.

    by chumley on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 09:58:26 AM PST

  •  It will be McCain/Brownback. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Predator Saint, wishingwell

    That's my guess - today.

  •  As an Arkansasan - this scare the crap out me (8+ / 0-)

    Corrupt that would take second place to Bush.  With cronies running as much as they can get away with (especially 'religious' organizations.)  Plus his PAC is set up in VA for spreading his "health" message but he also acknowledges and encourges unlimited donations since he's not declared.

    Self rightous - once he became a diabetic, suddenly health is important for everyone - if they can pay for it.  Rumor down here places his weight loss from strong and intense medical supervision from University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences that no one else could get even through their insurance program.

    And how about running from his actions - like pardoning convicted murders because they found Jesus only to deny his involvement once they commit a new murder in Missouri).

    He's jocking for VP

  •  Every single Republican possible candidate seems (0+ / 0-)

    to take the corporate position on illegal immigration, other than Hunter.

    Join the College Kossacks on Facebook, or the Republicans win.

    by DemocraticLuntz on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 10:07:34 AM PST

  •  In August 2006 this poll was taken (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj32, NCgrassroots, Blackacre

    "Hillary and Clark both beat Huckabee in Arkansas.......Opinion Research Associates of Little Rock conducted the survey for Arkansas News Bureau-Stephens Media Group. In a head-to-head match up, 49 percent of respondents said they would vote for Clinton, 36 percent favored the governor, and 15 percent were undecided.

    In a match up between Clark and Huckabee, 51 percent favored Clark, 37 percent said they would vote for Huckabee, and 12 percent were undecided. Opinion Research surveyed 500 registered voters by telephone August 15 through the 19th. The poll had a margin of error of four and a half percentage points."

    So he gets beat in his home state. As a follow up, Mike Beebe the democratic candidate for governor, beat Asa Hutchinson by 16% in Nov.

    •  Lose 100 pounds and win the White House (0+ / 0-)
       I know it sounds nutty but Hucklebutt's wieght loss might be a big deal for a lot of obese Americans. A real leader by example. Besides a team of doctors, Jesus helped him turn his life around, yes sir. I bet Jesus told him to forgive the rapist too.  It's not like he was black like the guy in Mass. right?  
       The wingnuts will forgive their own or anyone that will pander to them. Yes, this guy scares me more than McCain does.
        I think the best plan would be to force the Republicans to nominate a moderate and keep the wingnuts home in '08. Or better yet encourage them to run a third party candidate and give us a landslide.
        We need to encourage a Republican circular firing squad for a change.

      Everybody eats, nobody hits.

      by upperleftedge on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 10:35:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  But then again (0+ / 0-)

    if he gets the nomination, he can talk about working with a Democratic-run legislature. Since the legislature in Arkansas is close to 3 to 1 Dem.

    Bush's approval rating in Arkansas in November 2006: 38%

    "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

    by RBH on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 10:09:23 AM PST

  •  Huckabee will be the anti-McCain candidate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, dam2

    I think the GOP base will sour on Romney because he was actually, you know, resonable on some of these social issues in the past. Huckabee has solid conservative credentials. Eventually, the field will sort out to just Huckabee and McCain, the religious right will not have their vote fractured.

    In an ironic turnaround, Iraq brought regime change to the U.S. - Amy Poehler

    by jj32 on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 10:11:13 AM PST

    •  yeah and Romney (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is shudder...from the Northeast too and a Mormon..shudder again from the far right. I cannot picture the Wingnuts voting for anyone from what consider the liberal Northeast even if the person is a Republican. I think Romney will be primaried but someone will emerge,a southern Governor type like Huckabee.  And that is frightening because Governors tend to win the Presidency over Senators. And it is unlikely, I think, that a Democratic Governor will win the Nomination on our side.
      I was hoping for Senator vs Senator in 08 for more of an even playing field in that regard.

      I am out shopping for new Drapes.

      by wishingwell on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 10:15:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've been saying (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that i think it will be Huckabee - if my crystal ball servers me well.  I think romney has problems with his "support" of the gay community, and i  really think mccain's support is just a lot of name recognition, plus he's looking rather old and unhealthy and during the primary, his long senate voting record will be exposed - I just don't see him getting the nomination.  Huckabee will not be an easy opponent either.

    •  I agree Dam (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The Southern Governor thing and all..he will be hard to beat. I am not meaning to sound pessimistic but it is harder for Senator to beat a Govenor. That is why I would rather see McCain or another GOP Senator win the nomination and not some Southern or Western Governor. We can beat the Republican candidate, that I believe but it would sure help if their Candidate did not rally the base the way I think a Southern Governor would do..especially a religious wingnut Governor. Ick!

      I am out shopping for new Drapes.

      by wishingwell on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 10:23:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not (0+ / 0-)

        so concerned about the governor thing as I am the southern baptist/likeability thing.  I think Romney, being from "The Liberal State of Massachusetts" would have a hard time in the South against someone like Edwards or Clark, but Huckabee has the hometown thing.  

        I don't understand why people dont get that Southerners - not all of em, but enough to change elections, for better or for worse, are suspect of Northerners.  Generally, they don't like that Northerners LOOK DOWN ON THEM!!!!!  

        Southerners will vote for Dems, and do indeed split tickets, we just need the right candidate.  Just look at the 2006 election results in NC, WVA,. etc.

        It works the other way too, in 2006, Vermont elected a socialist as their congressman and a Republican Governer.

  •  Steve Schmidt Moves on to McCain (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jennifer poole

    Steve Schmidt, the guy who easily won California's governorship back for the poeser Arnold Schwarzenegger, and who hand-held Judge Alito onto the US Supreme Court, and who organized and ran the Swift-boating of John Kerry, is now signed on to help John McCain steal the White House and carry on the Sludgacy of Bush/Cheney. From the San Francisco Chronicle December 20th:

    Carla Marinucci: Top Schwarzenegger campaign aides McCain bound
    The astoundingly successful -- and virtually flawless -- re-election campaign run by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's team in Democratic-leaning California did not go unnoticed by 2008 presidential contenders.

    Not only has Steve Schmidt, the governor's formidable campaign manager, been tapped as a senior adviser to U.S. Senator John McCain, who is mentioned as a leading GOP potential candidate. But Matt David, who ran Arnold's take-no-prisoners, non-stop "war room" rapid response effort, will plunge into a new and similar effort -- also for the Arizona U.S. Senator. Schmidt is clearly charged up about the challenge -- as is David.

    Schmidt, who ran the Bush "war room" for the President's 2004 presidential race -- and later became a top White House adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney and a close contact to Karl Rove, the president's political consigliere, was wooed by other possible GOP presidential candidates this year. The camps of Rudi Giuliani -- who recently signed on former California gubernatorial candidate Bill Simon as a fundraiser -- and Mitt Romney, the governor of Massachusetts and a former client of Mike Murphy -- the governor's previous campaign honcho -- also talked to Schmidt in hopes of signing him up after the California Governor's dramatic landslide win just a year after his historic special election defeat.

    Schmidt told insiders he wanted to stay in California -- and now he will. And in addition to working with McCain, both Schmidt and David will remain advisors to Schwarzenegger; they'll remain working closely with both communications director Adam Mendelsohn and chief of staff Susan Kennedy to help Schwarzenegger shape his mission -- and his message -- in the upcoming crucial year as he aims to tackle health care, infrastructure and budget issues.

    One goal of their mission here: making sure that the kind of war room tactics which kept Arnold's message on track during the campaign will now become a more sophisticated "newsroom" operation that ensures the governor's office maximizes its reach to voters -- and the media. It's going to be an interesting year in California, indeed.

    Folks, OUR goal here is to stop Schmidt from winning this election for McCain. There is nothing worse than a man who used to have principles but sold them for power.

    When good people of conscience give up the fight for justice, all is lost. Therefore you must not give up.

    by EmilyD on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 10:20:00 AM PST

  •  Huckabee's a dark horse (0+ / 0-)

    Given the institutional support that the GOP has given to its nominees since 1964 (when another dark horse, Barry Goldwater, led them to an electoral wipeout), it will be hard for him to be the nominee over the top 2 candidates (McCain and Giuliani, although the latter has way too many skeletons in the closet). But if there's one person who could appeal to the sane portion of the country, it would be Huckabee.

    Progressive Wave
    "Inconvenient truths do not go away just because they are not seen." -Al Gore

    by PsiFighter37 on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 10:25:48 AM PST

  •  Waaaaay back in 2000... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...I reregistered as a Republican so I could vote for McCain in the California primary and have it actually count.  I had no expectation of voting for McCain that November, of course.  But I felt that in a Gore-McCain matchup the country would be fairly well-served no matter who won.  No, I didn't kid myself that he was some kind of secret liberal.  But I did think he did not view those of us who do not agree with him as the Spawn of Satan.  (That attitude used to be known as "honest disagreement" -- an concept that has entirely vanished from our public discourse.)  

    Now I'm thinking of switching registration again in 2008.  This time, it will be to vote against McCain and have it count in the California primary...

    "...the big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart." -- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

    by Roddy McCorley on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 10:28:54 AM PST

  •  I'm very tired of McCain. Turn the page. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    He's got some of the Bush baggage by trying to live up to the grandfather, father thing, and he was also a poor student who never seemed to reach the heights expected of him.  I think we all deserve someone new.  Turn the page, please, and while you're at it, please turn past the Bush and Clinton pages too.

  •  Is this the best we can do? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    With all the brilliant people in this country can't we find someone truly excellent? I'm not too impressed with the crop that's out there now.

  •  Huckabee, Keating, McCain, whomever.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kaye, neroden

    If the people that we worked our asses off to elect in November do their jobs with investigations and hearings and expose the corruption, recklessness and indifferent incompetence of this administration than the Republican brand should be worthless in 2008.  

    We can be in control of this election, no matter who they pick.  We just have to do our jobs.

  •  OK, be honest with yourselves. (0+ / 0-)

    Say "President Huckabee" without laughing. See, you can't do it.  

    "Same shit, Different Nixon." - Driftglass

    by roxtar on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 10:58:40 AM PST

  •  McCain is Humphrey Redux (0+ / 0-)

    People on both sides of the aisle liked Hubert H. Humphrey, he had a distinguished record and solid identity, enough so that having been a Senator probably wouldn't have hurt him, and he was well-loved in his home state. But he had a practically Shakespearean heroic flaw: his ambition led him to push aside his considerable heart and intellect and focus on "viability."

    Towards that end, he went with the only socially acceptable wisdom in Washington at the time and backed President Johnson and the Vietnam War. By the time the 1968 election came around, his mistake was uncorrectable and despite a career full of respect and achievement, it cost Humphrey a chance to beat Nixon, a vulnerable candidate who only six years before had written an ugly end to his own career. Humphrey was so compromised that Nixon ran as an anti-war candidate -- ! -- against him and made it work.

    McCain is Humphrey to a "t"; we should be so lucky that he get Republican nomination in '08. But again like Humphrey, who blew the Democratic nomination campaign, only to get it back after the assassination of RFK, I don't think McCain will. He's simply no longer credible on war and peace issues because it's clear to everyone that he's put his manhood in a blind trust for the last few years. Even on torture, for god's sake.

    So why not Huckabee? He's a southern charistmatic Christian, he has an inspiring personal narrative -- the weight-loss thing will indeed resonate with a lot of Americans from both sides -- and he's personable, more so than anyone we'll have running except definitely Obama and possibly Edwards.

    And I believe, as in '68, that the next president of the United States will be either someone who voted against the Iraq war, and didn't have to vote.

  •  I think he will be nominee (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and among others who thought similarly at recent DC kossack gettogether for Cedwyn was Trapper John, and I think DHinMI also agreed, although Trapper doesn't think he can win general (I do)

    1. he's a governor, always an advantage
    1. recognized as leader by peers - head of NGA, Education Commission of the States and a whole host of other transstate groups,including on education, energy and technology
    1. proven ability to draw across party lines.   When elected LT Gov in special election in 1993 (replacing Jim Guy Tucker, who moved up to Gov when Clinton resigned to become president) he was only 4th Repub since reconstruction to win statewide in AR
    1. appeals to religious right w/o being a total wingnut:  he's an ordained Southern Baptist minister, but also supports things like arts in the school
    1. has convincing positions on health, both from his own 100 pound weight lose and his insistence on using all fo state's tobacco money for health related purposes

    Other than Chuck Hagel (whom I do not think can get the nomination and also don't think will run so long as McCain is in the race) he is the Republican who would most scare me in the general election.

    Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH!

    by teacherken on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 11:03:37 AM PST

  •  yeah (0+ / 0-)

    and we know how well candidates from Hope, Arkansas, have done......

  •  Huckabee in the Arkansas Times (0+ / 0-)

    Read this week's article on Huckabee in the Arkansas Times:

    As governor, he hasn't been too bad, although his wife is something of a nut case. However, for a Southern Baptist minister and former president of the state SB Convention, he is surprisingly ethically-challenged and apparently personally greedy (see the wedding registry stories earlier this year).

  •  Cheney's undisclosed location was up Huckabee's.. (0+ / 0-)

    duck blind. Cheney spent an unholy amount of time in Arkansas during his missing period, I'll give you that. And you could say The Huckster is ethically challenged, or he just believes it is best to deceive... I mean receive. I think the neocons have bought Huckabee lock stock and barrel. I think they would love him to be the President because he is as lazy and bright as Bush, and they could continue to have their way with the country. OMG. No wonder Kos is upset.

  •  We've gotta take Huckabee down. (0+ / 0-)

    With McCain damaged goods, Huckabee is the slickest liar of the remaining Republican pack.  And he's a governor, with therefore relatively little record as a Bush-worshipper.  We must sink him.  Oppo research time.

    -5.63, -8.10 | Libertarian Liberal

    by neroden on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 02:40:17 PM PST

  •  Walmart and Purdue Chicken (0+ / 0-)

    How much of Huckabee's money came from Walmart and Purdue... 90%?  Hee!

  •  Pander Express: He looks like a Panda ... (0+ / 0-)

    Some photoshop hacker needs to get on this

    How can the Panda-look-a-like and Pander-act-a-like parts of McCain be synthesized into one awesome image?

  •  Huckabee has no chance (0+ / 0-)

    he is raising a bunch of money that he will end up turning over to either McCain or Romney eventually...

    ...i felt my pants' warmth as my legs became string and my arteries burst into song...

    by itsbenj on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 07:29:13 AM PST

  •  Huckster (0+ / 0-)

    As a proud Arkansan I can asure you that the "Huckster" has no chance of carrying his own state.  In the past few days he has tried to divert funding (milions) from two colleges to go to UAMS to establish two endowments - one for his diet doctor and the other for Win Rockefeller.  His move to divert the funds apparently is not legal, which is so typical of the way he has done business in our state for ten years.  Huckster is ethicaly challenged.  Just do your homework.  While you are doing the research check out his record on pardons.  Criminals set free only to commit crimes again including murder.  He is not presidential, senatorial, or fit for dog catcher.  

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