Recent articles responding to Governor Mike Huckabee’s policy videos, show that he has a potential reach well beyond the Christian Right. In the most recent article, Washington Post columnist, Chris Cilliza, summarized his latest video as a mix of “moral clarity”, populist rhetoric, a history of winning elections against the Clinton machine in Arkansas, and successful governing in a state full of Democrats.
Huckabee paints himself a Southern Populist with what is Cilliza’s take-away line: “Any drunken redneck can walk into a bar and start a fight. A leader only starts a fight he’s prepared to finish.” He asks, if any other candidate could use such an analogy and not seem phony. Another video uses the story of Linda Gubitos to bolster Huckabee’s theme of seeking a maximum wage, instead of focusing on a minimum wage.
These videos makes no mention of abortion or “gay marriage”, but nobody thinks for a moment, that he is trying to distance himself from these moral issues, as Mitt Romney did in 2012. When he comes to the end of the most recent clip and says “I’ll lead with clarity, in a dangerous world” you know he isn’t just talking about defeating radical Jihadist terrorism. When he says “There’s a difference between right and wrong. There’s a difference between good and evil”, read between the lines. “You trust that I’ll do what I say on those issues, you can trust me to protect our country.”
He points out that Huckabee “has never worked a day in Washington” and, as others have noted, he may have a strong turnout among senior citizens, the only candidate who promises to protect Social Security, without incurring means testing or reduction of payments. He has,in my opinion, the clearest path to win over Ronald Reagan Democrats. Some on the right, disdain “populism”, even though Ronaldus Maximus made it an art form.
Other recent articles point out Mike Huckabee’s outreach to Hispanics, and an older article shows why the Republican Governor from Arkansas got 48% of the black voters his last gubernatorial election.
Those who rule out Mike Huckabee, because he only has a small constituency have it wrong. There could be a Boom Huck-A-Boom Boom after he announces his decision to run, May 5th, in Hope, Arkansas.