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Mike Huckabee spoke at CPAC because of course he did; he may represent the general spirit of CPAC more than any other single attendee (with the possible exception of Oliver North, who trades in a good portion of Godliness for a much higher proportion of patriotically themed criminality—good conservative choices, both). He wants to make sure you know that our nation was founded by God (see above), but that's just Hucka-boilerplate. The real message is that Russian President Vladimir Putin is such a man:
Huckabee said Obama's perceived weakness has emboldened Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"I know the only time that Vladimir Putin shivers is when he takes his shirt off in a cold Russian winter," Huckabee said to laughter and applause from the audience.

What the hell is with this conservative fixation on Vladimir Putin? I know conservatism loves a good, strong father figure, but choosing "post-Soviet Russian strongman" as one of the archetypical figures of the new conservative movement is not among the outcomes anyone would have predicted a scant 10 years ago. Show these people a strong chest and they go weak at the knees.

Oh, and Huckabee also let it be known that he doesn't like Hillary Clinton because Benghazi. Add all those things together and you get the picture that Mike Huckabee is a very strange man, or maybe just a man who knows the mood of his audience, and you have to be a little impressed at the man's ability to flip between God, Vlad Putin, Hillary Clinton, and oh noes the government are coming for our bigotries all in the span of 10 minutes. I guess he's the "80's movie montage" version of conservatism.

Originally posted to Hunter on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 11:11 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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