Tag Archive: Mike Huckabee

Christie’s candidacy has problems

In the Fox show Gov. Christie held short but colorful debates with Sen. Rand Paul and former Governor Mike Huckabee where he made points and got attention, but so did they in their responses. He appeared awkward at times, not as smooth or in control as at his “Town Halls.” He displayed his trademark anger but that may not help his image as a future president in the minds of moderates, Republican elite leaders, or mega donors.

He is doing poorly in conservative states. In the most recent polls his ranking in Florida is 13th, Georgia 9th, South Carolina 9th, Iowa 14th, and Minnesota 9th. His niche is in the more moderate areas where he has to compete with former Governor Jeb Bush and now Governor John Kasich. Bush in the debates was a wuss but he has raised over $100 million. Kasich who is new in the race did very well as a moderate, will not succeed with most conservatives, but can take votes away from Christie.

Christie’s current strategy is to win or do very well in New Hampshire. In the average of the five most recent polls he is currently ranked 5th behind both Bush and Kasich. It’s “do or die” there as he lacks the big money needed to buy expensive ads in the later primaries. A success here would make him more appealing to the elite Republican leadership and most importantly could attract some mega-million donors. A failure could doom him.  

Is Chris Christie Pandering to the Moderates?

Every action that Chris Christie takes is filtered through the lens of his political ambition.  Whether it’s his stance on hot-button issues like gun safety and marriage equality, or his top-caliber cadre of social media propagandists, the governor has one goal in mind – 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Some of his recent actions may indicate that he’s given up pandering to the extreme wing of his party and is hoping that the dying breed of moderate Republicans may come out victorious among the dozen or so contenders for the nomination.

A few days ago, Christie surprised us (and probably his dirty energy backers) by announcing that he thought global climate change might be man-made. And on Friday, his Department of Environmental Protection stepped in to a controversy about destroying hundreds of acres of forestland in the Six Flags Amusement Park to install solar panels. The DEP made an offer to purchase the land from Six Flags in order to save the trees.

Of course, these two actions in isolation don’t make Christie a moderate. He’s still in favor of draconian cuts in Social Security and has shown no empathy for state workers whose deferred compensation is being stolen to balance the budget.

Christie’s trajectory in presidential polls

Presidential primaries start about nine months from now. Nine months ago Governor Christie was riding high, but his trajectory since then has been downward. According to Real Clear Politics which provides a summary of presidential polls, in July last year Gov. Christie led the pack of contenders in a CNN poll by one point over Rand Paul and Mike Huckabee. Perry was 4th, Bush was 5th, and Walker was 6th. Since then Christie has dropped, and both Bush and Walker have risen. This does not presage well for him in the early primaries where a victory is important to propel him forward.

How times have changed. Below the fold is his poll trajectory over the past six months, leading him downward to 6th place. Included also are data in states holding early primaries and caucuses.

Christie Running in 2012

promoted by Rosi

Cross-posted from deciminyan

All signs are pointing to a Chris Christie campaign to be on the 2012 presidential ticket.  He has started this campaign already by crisscrossing the country to promote Republican candidates in state-wide races.  But up until recently, he has not proactively promoted the conservative social agenda.  Yes, he is anti-choice and against marriage equality, but he has not yet pursued these measures with the same “in-your-face” approach as he has with his vendetta against public education and teachers.  He is aware of the large number of his New Jersey constituents who still want social justice, and is more circumspect with regard to promoting the conservative line on women’s issues and gay rights.  His relatively low-key approach is most likely designed to avoid firing up the opposition and maintaining as low a profile as he can here.  But to become a national figure, Christie needs to demonstrate his embrace of the right-wing social agenda.

Christie’s approach to implementing the conservative platform is not subtle, but more incremental.  He pleased his base by vetoing a $7.5 million bill for women’s health services even as he approved a gigantic tax cut for millionaires.  Now, he is embracing another Palinesque initiative – abstinence education.  Despite the fact that our schools are in dire financial straits and that it has been shown that such initiatives do nothing to stem the rates of teenage pregnancy, the Governor is promoting a $1 million program to tell teenagers to “just say no”.  

Ratcheting up the right wing agenda is not the only sign that Christie has national ambitions.  If you think his gallivanting around the country is limited to the upcoming elections, you are mistaken.  He is already on the post-election tea party lecture circuit.

It has often been said that every state governor has presidential ambitions, and it’s difficult to find a politician more ambitious than Chris Christie.  And there are lots of reasons for him to make his move in 2012.

Given the secret funding of Republican candidates by shadow groups, the fact that the GOP has a propaganda arm in Fox News that is second to none, including Pravda, and the fact that the 2012 election will be the first under the census redistricting controlled mostly by Republican governors, there’s a good chance that Barack Obama will be a one-term president.  If Christie is not on the 2012 ticket, his next chance to run for national office could potentially be 2020 – a lifetime in presidential politics.  Sure, he’ll be only 58 years old then, but he will have had a much longer track record of mistakes and miscues than he has today.  And the demographics of the electorate will be different, with a larger percentage of the non-white population included in the mix.

So is Christie aiming for the top slot, or looking to become Joe Biden’s successor?  The way the stars are aligned today, it seems unlikely that he would be successful in challenging Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, or Mike Huckabee.  But why would someone as ambitious as Christie settle for the number two spot?  This question can be answered in two words:  Dick Cheney.  Cheney was the second in command to a weak, clueless, and gaffe-prone George W Bush.  Christie may view himself in the same powerful role under a President Palin.  And without any debilitating health problems like those that plagued Mr. Cheney, Christie would then be viable as a 2020 candidate at the top of the ticket.  Of course, there’s plenty of time for the top contenders to stumble, leaving room for the Meshuggineh from Mendham to step in.

The only significant impediment to a Christie run is his lack of foreign policy experience.  To the xenophobic Tea Party, this is not a significant issue because diplomacy requires nuance, and the GOP does not do nuance.  But it might be an important issue to the rest of the electorate, especially given that we will still be in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq, and possibly Pakistan, when the election comes around.  So watch for Christie to ramp up his foreign policy creds – perhaps by participating in missions abroad to promote New Jersey business, or perhaps by participating on foreign junkets with some of his congressional friends.  Such actions would confirm his desire to be on the 2012 ticket.

Christie is smart to lay back and let the big guns fight it out right now.  But don’t be surprised to see our absentee governor vacationing in Iowa or New Hampshire next year.

NJ college journalist riles national GOP figure

Mike Huckabee, Southern Baptist preacher, former Arkansas governor and one-time GOP candidate for president, came to the campus of TCNJ a few days ago to give a $25,000 speech. He also agreed to sit for an interview for the student newsmagazine, The Perspective for a piece cross-posted at Blue Jersey by editor Michael Tracey.  And that’s where things started to unravel for Huckabee, who maybe thought he was talking to simpler people than he was. Because now Huckabee’s made some national news, claiming Tracey “grossly distorted” his views. Huckabee’s big problem? Tracey has audio, and transcript.

Huckabee answered questions about scandal-plagued RNC Chair Michael Steele, disparaged his rival Mitt Romney and dropped a number of colorful, outrageous and nonsensical quotes about gay people, marriage equality, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and gay adoptive parents. “Children are not puppies,” he said. “This is not a time to see if we can experiment and find out, how does this work?” Huckabee compared same-sex marriage to drug use, and to incest.

Huckabee released a statement claiming Tracey “grossly distorted (his) views”, took exception to Tracey’s claim that he “ripped into” Steele, claims his own views of marriage are “hardly unusual” and accuses Tracey of sensationalizing and hyper-focusing on them.

Well. Tracey answered in The Perspective, calling Huckabee’s words an ad hominem attack and taking issue with Huckabee’s casting doubt on the credibility of his publication. The controversy escalated to Huffington Post, and to the Washington Post’s blog 44. But worse for Huckabee than the national coverage is that The Perspective has now widely published both an audio recording, and a transcript of the interview.

In the statement on his website, Huckabee called attention in a diminishing way to Tracey’s age, and said “the young college student hopefully will find a career other than journalism”. Funny. I’m thinking just the opposite. Here’s the audio; decide for yourself:

Original Video – More videos at TinyPic

Quote of the Day: Whole Herd ‘O Pets Edition

Mike Huckabee at TCNJThe former preacher and GOP presidential candidate and cheerful mouthpiece of Christ’s disapproval visited the TCNJ campus a few days ago, and graciously sat for an interview with writers from The Perspective, the student newsmagazine. In a piece by Editor M.C. Tracey, Huckabee holds forth on the embarrassing RNC Chair Michael Steele, slams rival Mitt Romney, and outright lies about “foot soldiers” and DADT. Pithy stuff and a good read at The Perspective. But I’m going to pull today’s QoTD from APP. Huckabee:

Marriage has historically never meant anything other than a man and a woman. It has never meant two men, two women, a man and his pet, or a man and a whole herd of pets.

Wait … does it mean something if a man wears a pink tie?

I Knew They Were Desperate, But …

UPDATE: It’s worse than I thought.  The Monmouth GOP chair just called for Giuliani — from NY — to run.  That’s three names floated in three hours.  The NJ GOP is really bereft of talent.

I know the NJ GOP is pretty desperate, but I had no idea how desperate they truly are.  Today we get to see with three articles on PoliticsNJ.com PolitckerNJ about the NJ Senate race against Frank Lautenberg.

First we have GOP Chairman Tom Wilson sticking his keyboard in his mouth with this unintentional gem from a written statement:

“Anne Estabrook ran for all the right reasons and is ending her campaign  for the right reason,? he said in a statement.

Estabrook withdrew because she had a mini-stroke, which I don’t really think should be called the “right reason.”  But we’ve long ago expected Wilson to say the wrong thing even while trying to say the right.

Next we see that the grassroots GOP doesn’t really think they have any bench strength, or really any strength, in their current crop of candidates or even the entire state.  PolitickerNJ has two articles, one with Al Leiter saying he will not run and the other with Mike Huckabee’s NJ chair saying Huckabee will not run.

Why is this desperate?  Because Leiter lives in Florida and Huckabee lives in Arkansas.  They’re not NJ residents.

Now, that worked in New York for Hillary Clinton back in 2000, but she chose that and then won it convincingly.  Oh, yeah.  And she’s a Democrat.

The last time the GOP tried to import a US Senate candidate it was Alan Keyes who got crushed by Barack Obama back in 2004.

But I encourage them to try it again, given their awesome success rate with candidates — whether from NJ or not.

New Jersey Republican Donor Habits

The FEC quarterly reports are in.  The New York Times has an amusing tool where they have mapped the donors.  (Unfortunately, the main Democrats are not up yet at the Times, though you can look yourself at the donors at the FEC link.)  You should remember that only donors who give $250 are individually listed and therefore small donors are not represented on the map.

Who are the New Jersey donors supporting?  It’s about what you might guess:  Overwhelmingly Giuliani, then McCain, then Romney.  Romney underperforms in New Jersey compared to his national numbers.  Giuliani is doing much better in North Jersey than Central/South Jersey.  All numbers in the table below are in thousands of dollars and are rounded off.  North Jersey is zipcodes 07000-07999 and Central/South Jersey is zipcodes 08000-08999.  Huckabee is really going nowhere, no wonder Republicans are trying to get Fred Thompson into the race.

Candidate North Central/South
Giuliani 843 191
McCain 369 137
Romney 133 32
Brownback 8 8
Paul 8 5
Hunter 2 0
Huckabee 0 0
T. Thompson 0 0