Mike Huckabee raises his hands as if to say "Who me?"
Who Me?

The headline could have read “Deal, Huckabee and Gingrich beat Handel, Palin, and Romney in Georgia GOP Governor Run-Off.”

Of course only Deal and Handel were running. Each candidate rises and falls on his or her own merits. As I posted earlier, endorsements may actually do more for or against the candidate doing the endorsing rather than the one being endorsed.

But in Georgia Tuesday, Nathan Deal upset conventional wisdom and Karen Handel with a come-from-behind win in Tuesday’s run-off election. Handel lost to Deal in the race by only about 2500 votes after handily beating him in the primary. Deal had a rally with backer Governor Mike Huckabee on the Sunday before the vote while Handel got a boost from her own supporter Monday, Governor Sarah Palin. This is just the latest state race that may have implications for the national presidential candidates.
Will there be fallout from Palin’s support of a candidate who, a few years ago, joined the homosexual rights group, the Log Cabin Republicans, and then denied it during her campaign (Handel, that is)? Handel also supports abortion in the so-called “special cases” of rape and incest.

Huckabee, on the other hand, has pledged to only support candidates who are 100% pro-life and pro-marriage. If there is a political advantage to this it would quickly dissipate if he reneges on this promise. I am not claiming that Huckabee’s reasons for this are political. (As a supporter of his campaign in 2008 I believe they are based on principle, instead.)

Romney supported Handel, too, but he has already backed at least two candidates that are decidedly pro-abortion (Governor candidates Meg Whitman of California, and Bob Ehrlich of Maryland). Newt Gingrich sided with Deal in this race but had previously endorsed Whitman and DeDe Scozzafava, the liberal Republican chosen by “the establishment” in the famous NY-23 House race eventually won by the Democrat. Conservatives, including Palin, had rallied around Doug Hoffman.

2012 is a long way off, but…

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  1. This is truly a non-story. This race may have implications for 2012?

    It appears that Georgia is the only place that folks care about Huckabee.

  2. I’ve said before I don’t think endorsements mean a whole lot. Palin’s made some good ones, Huckabee has made some good ones. I didn’t really follow this particular race so I wasn’t aware of some of the issues with Handel. I’ve just today heard about accusations of corruption with Nathan Deal. It sounds to me like neither candidate is ideal and perhaps both Huckabee and Palin should have stayed out of it.

    If some people doubt Palin’s ability to help candidates in GA though forgot about the 2008 Senate race.

  3. There is no doubt that Huckabee made the difference, along with his team of supporters. I made some calls to Gwinnett county and found people mostly quite positive about Huckabee and receptive to what he thought of Deal.

    As for CREW, they often make such allegations since they are a very liberal group that targets conservatives and makes “allegations,” based on very little or no evidence. Soros is another of the most leftist leaning critics of conservatives. This is no surprise. And with his huge purse for liberals, he makes quite an impact. So it says even more about Huckabee and his ability to assure Georgians that these allegations are false.

    I think you will find that Iowa likes Huckabee as much as ever, too. He left Arkansas with a 900 million dollar surplus that was to be returned to the taxpayers of his state. Now, when the stimulus dollars are being sent by Obama to them, they really do not know how to use them. Arkansas is one of only four states in the Union to have a surplus, and most other states are falling far behind. We need a budget-balancing leader such as Huckabee, and I hope he will run for President in 2012. We need someone with the skills, intelligence, humor, kindness, and leadership to turn around the financial mess and bring hope to Americans. Huckabee came out in opposition to all of the stimulus and bailout, etc. bills. Unlike most of the other candidates.

    1. “Huckabee came out in opposition to all of the stimulus and bailout, etc. bills. Unlike most of the other candidates.”

      Yes Huckabee did come out in opposition to all of that, but your statement “unlike most of the other candidates” is just blatantly false.

      1. Huckabee was against TARP from the beginning – even while McCain was riding his white charger to DC with Romney in tow using his much vaunted economic prowess to “advise” McCain to support it lest the world as we knew it should end. TARP helped pave the way for the Porkulous bill that followed.

        Huckabee was being a leader while the other candidates were poll dancing & then playing catchup. 😉

  4. Thank you for this article, Mr. Shedlock! Much was made by conservative pundits of Romney & Palin vs. Huckabee in Georgia – but now, crickets.

    Had the Palin-backed Handel won, we would have had to endure tons of verbiage about her star power, etc, but now everyone wants to ignore the elephant in the room – Palin may draw an audience, but voters don’t look to her for guidance. Huckabee, on the other hand, doesn’t back candidates based on whether or not he thinks they’ll win, but on whether or not they are strongly principled people who will stand by their conservative convictions rather than waffling with political pressure or the latest poll trend.

  5. Shane, I think that Grace may be referring to the four main candidates (Palin, Huckabee, Romney and Gingrich). I believe Huck was the only one against TARP, the Obama bailout and the earlier and smaller Bush stimulus package of 2007-2008.

    I am not sure where Pawlenty came down on those three bills.

    1. Thank you, David and QuoVadisAnima for helping me. You got what I meant to say. I was thinking of potential presidential candidates and did not make that clear. McCain was for, then against TARP and could not seem to make up his mind. Huckabee has been consistent since the first, even opposing Pres. Bush when he was pushing a stimulus bill.

      What I really like about Huckabee is that he has experience as a Governor in Arkansas. That is real executive experience, which is valuable if he runs for President. In Arkansas, their constitution (I believe) mandates they balance the budget, not spending more than they take in. So he learned to not spend more than 95% of the budget. State governments cannot print money or give out IOU’s like the federal government is doing now under the Obama administration.

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