Pages Menu
TwitterRssFacebook
Categories Menu

Posted by on Feb 22, 2010 in Politics | 11 comments

Mike Huckabee Loses Interest in Being President

HuckGuitar.jpgSay what you like about CPAC, (and there’s plenty to say from both sides) it is still one of the most high profile conservative events on the Republican dance card every year and it attracts the interest of conservatives across the nation who make up the GOP base. Because of this, folks who butter their bread via the conservative political arena, be they pundits or potential office seekers, make it a point to either show up or demonstrate their support. But 2008 presidential candidate and likely 2012 hopeful, former Governor Mike Huckabee took a slightly different approach this year. (Full story at Politico)

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee blasted the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Saturday as outdated, nearly corrupt and unrepresentative of the conservative movement.

CPAC has becoming increasingly more libertarian and less Republican over the last years, one of the reasons I didn’t go this year,” Huckabee said in an interview with Fox News, where he is a paid analyst and has his own show.

Where CPAC was historically the event, the tea parties are having their own events all over the country and a lot more truly grassroots people are getting involved because of the tea parties,” said the former governor.

Because of the way that it solicits sponsors, it’s almost becomes a pay-for-play,” he said. “It’s kind of like, who will pay money to be able to be a sponsor and get time in the program. That’s one of the things that has hurt its credibility in the last couple of years.”

This is a particularly odd and puzzling story. Huckabee was never viewed as one of the RINOs of the party. He’s a Southerner with heavy, Christian conservative roots. While it’s true that some segments of the base had their own issues with him or preferred other candidates, the CPAC crowd is pretty much the baseline of his core potential constituency.

Further, his complaints come across as very odd. The money question should never have come up for him. True, CPAC isn’t cheap, and the prices this year – particularly for the full, diamond level access package – would probably seem dear to your average worker in a tough economy. But events like this are also not cheap to run. Decisions have to be made as to who you allow to sponsor it, and obviously some of them will raise questions. (One example being having the John Birch Society as a sponsor this year.) But that’s the way a large conference in the middle of D.C. gets off the ground.

His tea party comments are also rather confusing to me. Was he implying that the tea parties were ruining the event? Or was he implying that the tea parties had effectively replaced CPAC, making it “irrelevant” for the rank and file conservative? Either way, he was way off base. The topics being featured at CPAC – primarily smaller government, lower taxes, lower spending, less intrusion – seemed almost intentionally designed to tap into the tea party energy around the nation.

If Huckabee was simply being churlish over his traditionally poor showing in the straw poll, what’s the point of that? It’s not like the winner of the straw poll goes on to win the GOP nomination. (This year Ron Paul’s army of libertarian students ran up the numbers and gave the Texan the nod.)

In the end, all Huckabee accomplished was to further incense a large segment of the base which didn’t do much to support his candidacy last time around and will now probably be even less likely to back him in 2012. Then again, maybe he’s already decided he’s not going to bother running and will just focus on his role as a Fox opinion personality. This story will doubtless gain him a few points in the ratings for the next few days.

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2010 The Moderate Voice
  • shannonlee

    Huckabee’s idea of government’s role in the US is completely contradictory to what I think the Tea Party Libertarian movement believes.

    Huckabee wants to use government to press Christian beliefs on all Americans. He believes that Christians should legislate Christianity
    Libertarians want government out of economics and morality.

    Huckabee’s position makes perfect sense to me.

    I don’t agree with it, but he is being consistent.

  • CStanley

    I agree with shannon. Libertarianism was never Huckabee’s deal- he appealed to the socons, not the small govt fiscal cons. Sounds to me like he’s trying to set himself apart from the GOP party insiders- which was also always part of his appeal to the voters who supported him. And perhaps he sees that the tea party movement isn’t yet well defined, and while he’s not likely to win over the people in that movement who are more libertarian, he sees that others who find themselves at the tea party events are there because they’re looking for reform of the money elements in politics and he seems to feel he can win those people over. If anything, I don’t get the sense from those quotes that he’s lost his desire to be president, but that he probably knows he’ll never get the GOP nomination so he’s floating trial balloons for Tea Party candidacy.

  • This may be what sent Huckabee over the edge. Libertarianism is as big an evil as liberalism in the eyes of those like Huckabee who want to institute the Christian equivalent of Sharia law in the US.

  • JSpencer

    Maybe the presence of the Birchers helped push the Ron Paul numbers. Strange bedfellows there… a group that wants to repeal civil rights legislation. I guess this is the GOP version of big tent. As for Huckabee, he’s a little too steeped in religiousity for my taste, but compared to some of the folks who showed up at CPAC he seems almost normal. 😉

  • Axel Edgren

    One less homophobic presidential candidate for 2012 sounds OK to me. They don’t belong anywhere near the Oval office.

  • Jazz, you got one thing wrong in an otherwise great piece. Most true Conservatives DO consider Huckabee a RINO. He’s a Big Government Nanny Stater just as much as any democrat/communist out there.

    The Conservative movement right now is focused where it always is, on small government and fiscal responsibility. Going back to using the Constitution as our guide for Government.

    The pricing of tickets at CPAC is a non-issue. A red herring. Conferences cost money. Everyone not affiliated with the Tea Party Conference tried to start something there as well That conference, designed for leadership, sold out, so obviously money was not an issue.

    Sarah Palin chose the Tea Party Conference over CPAC because CPAC has some been involved in some incredibly questionable business practices, and this year became affiliated, through sponsorship, with the John Birch Society. Between the Birchers and the Ron Paul contingent, the meeting became less credible.

    The meeting to watch will be the Southern Republican Leadership Conference. That will give you a better idea of what is truly going on.

    BTW, I hope you are right about Huckabee and the presidency. He’s not the answer.

    • jchem

      The Conservative movement right now is focused where it always is, on small government and fiscal responsibility. Going back to using the Constitution as our guide for Government.

      To quote Bill Cosby: “Riiiiggghhhtt”. The only reason why Repubs have seen the light is simply because they are out of power. The only thing they are offering right now is “at least we aren’t them”. If you want to assert small government and fiscal responsibility, then you need to explain where those noble ideals went during the last decade, and what if anything the conservatives are actually doing about them other than lip service. The Repubs/Conservatives didn’t lose their way; they simply found out that they liked pigging out at the public trough. And “going back to using the Constitution as our guide to Government”? Please explain, because I seem to remember the constitution taking a few hits during our “War on Terror”.

      The meeting to watch will be the Southern Republican Leadership Conference

      Yes, what could possibly happen when you invite speakers such as Rick Perry, Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin, Tony Perkins, et al? The whining that will happen at this conference will dwarf any that went on at CPAC. If the Repubs or Conservatives want to be taken seriously, they need to begin telling us what they can do as opposed to what the Dems cannot.

    • JSpencer

      He’s a Big Government Nanny Stater just as much as any democrat/communist out there.

      Between the Birchers and the Ron Paul contingent, the meeting became less credible.

      Take a look at your two statements above and tell me what’s wrong with that picture. You do know what a John Bircher is eh?

  • casualobserver

    “they need to begin telling us what they can do as opposed to what the Dems cannot”

    If we were sitting here in February 2011, I would agree more strongly. But, like it or not, the overall strategy (of winning elections) is running on timetable for 2012.

    If political junky bloggers carried more of voting block impact, maybe R’s would have to appease the desire for information sooner, but PJB’s don’t and therefore it simply isn’t required at this point……..nor would it be an astute political calculation.

    And the fact that Huckabee and social conservatives are losing the limelight is also a necessary step right on timetable.

  • DLS

    “Sounds to me like he’s trying to set himself apart from the GOP party insiders”

    Interestingly, from what little I’ve heard, Glenn Beck is currently doing the same thing, though rather than the GOP insiders as much (though them, too), his criticism and rejection are primarily with the Tea Party movement.

  • DLS

    “The Repubs/Conservatives didn’t lose their way; they simply found out that they liked pigging out at the public trough. ”

    That, in fact, competes with dissatisfaction (and worse) about the Iraq war (the occupation) for why so many of us voted Democratic in 2006 and 2008 — to punish the GOP in large part for being like the Dems.

Twitter Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com