The Herd: A Look at The Republican Vice Presidential Candidates. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee

Bookmark and Share   The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious potential choices to be selected as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate on the Republican presidential ticket.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one the many Republicans which we believe will be at least considered for for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

In addition to a biographical information and a brief assessment of each potential nominee and their chances of being selected by Mitt Romney, White House 2012′s coverage also includes each potential nominee’s voting records, as well as a listing of their public statements and links to their web sites.

Today White House 2012 takes a look at the former Governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee

Born: August 11, 1955, Hope, Arkansas

Spouse(s): Janet Huckabee

Children :John Mark, David, Sarah

Residence :North Little Rock, Arkansas

Alma mater: Ouachita Baptist University

Profession:Politician, Talk Show Host,Author, Public Speaker, & ordained Minister

Religion: Southern Baptist

Political Career :
  • 1992, Ran for U.S. Senate in Arkansas against incumbent Dale Bumpers
  • 1993, Huckabee to run in the special election for lieutenant governor and won, becoming only the second Republican since Reconstruction to serve as Arkansas lieutenant governor.
  • 1994, Huckabee was re-elected to a full term as lieutenant governor, beating Democratic candidate Charlie Cole Chaffin with nearly 59 percent of the vote
  • 1996, Huckabee announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Democrat Senator David Pryor.
  • During that campaign Democrat Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker was convicted on one count of arranging nearly $3 million in fraudulent loans in conjunction with the Whitewater scandal. Tucker announced that he would resign. Lt. Governor Huckabee then withdrew from the senate race and assumed the office of Governor on July 15, 1996.
  • 1998, Huckabee was elected to his first full term as Governor.
  • 2002, Huckabee was reelected to his second four-year term
  • 2008, Huckabee ran for the Republican presidential nomination but withdrew from the race when it became apparent that John McCain had won enough delegates to cinch the nomination.

(Click here for Huckabee’s White House 2012 Presidential Contenders Page)

Mike Huckabee could be a surprise pick by Romney designed to appeal to the Southern and evangelical base of the G.O.P. which need to find a good reason to vote Mitt. But picking him could also be a decision to appeal to independent voters. While Huckabee is not necessarily considered a big independent vote getter, if given that mission in a campaign for Vice President, Huckabee could do a good job. His ability to articulate issues in a folksy, down-to-earth manner is quite effective and his command of the issues is admirable.

Some suggest that bad blood from the 2008 Republican nomination contest, still exists between Romney and Huckabee.  And they are probably right.  However contrary to those who believe that will prevent Romney from picking Huckabee or Huckabee from jumping at the chance to be one heartbeat away from the Oval Office, that bad blood will not be the reason for it to actually happen.  Bad blood did not prevent Huckabee from inviting Romney on to his to weekly Fox News show.  Huckabee did not let bad blood get in  the way of ratings for his show, nor did it allow Romney to get in the way some free airtime.  Hard feelings did not prevent John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson from teaming up.  And it didn’t keep Ronald Reagan from calling upon George H. W. Bush to be his Vice President.  So neither Romney or Huckabee will let the campaign rhetoric of 2008 get in their way either.  And both men genuinely know that defeating Barack Obama in  the election is the only thing they need to concern themselves with.

That leaves only a few reasons for why it may not happen.

Romney may easily conclude that there are other better suited running mates who can bring a better advantage to the ticket  regarding a particular state’s electoral college vote, or who can perhaps better appeal to certain needed demographic that Romney needs to win.  Another reason could be that Huckabee just might want to enjoy life and keep making money in the private sector or retire to his lush estate in Florida.

Another reason for Huckabee not being given a place on the ticket could be the same issues which probably prevented him from running for President.

When Huckabee was Governor of Arkansas, he pardoned Maurice Clemons, a man who’s criminal history included five felony convictions In 2009, killed 4 police officers in cold blood as they sat in a Lakewood, Washington coffee house.

The fact is that even after Clemons went on a spree in Arkansas that was so violent that a judge saw fit to sentence him to 95 years behind bars, Governor Huckabee issued Clemons clemency, and he did so over the objections of prosecutors.

In 1988 then Vice President George H.W. Bush used a similar incident in the now infamous Willie Horton ad, to decimate the Democrat presidential nominee, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis.

For obvious reasons, this will more than likely derail any chance for Huckabee to selected by Mitt Romney as his running mate.

Pros:

  • Excellent campaigner who can connect with voters, especially Independents
  • Can help Romney bolster his standing among Southerners and evangelicals
  • Has a fairly decent conservative record on the issues
  • Executive experience
  • High, positive national name ID
  • Helps to firm up Romney’s committment to his opposition to abortion

Cons:

  • Has a serious Willie Horton-like issue hanging in his closet
  • The material used against Romney by Huckabee in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination against Romney in 2008 could be used against Romney again in 2012. This is not a lethal factor, but it is a consideration.
  • Huckabee may sincerely not be interested in seeking elected office

General Assessment:

Huckabee would make a decent compromise candidate for Vice President who helps compensate for some of the weaknesses that Romney has among conservatives, Southerners, and evangelicals.

He is a good, smooth talking, campaigner who is quick on his feet and could actually make a good choice were it not for the Clemons clemency tragedy, which is far to significant to not become an issue during the campaign and does raise serious, legitimate doubt about Huckabee’s judgement.

Huck is a possible but not probable choice for the Republican vice presidential nomination.

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Mike Huckabee On The Issues

International Issues Domestic Issues Economic Issues Social Issues
Foreign Policy Gun Control Budget & Economy Education
Homeland Security Crime Government Reform Civil Rights
War & Peace Drugs Tax Reform Abortion
Free Trade Health Care Social Security Families & Children
Immigration Technology Corporations Welfare & Poverty
Energy & Oil Environment Jobs Principles & Values

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CPAC’s Conservative Message

Despite Romney’s strawpoll win, the anti-establishment message of CPAC came through loud and clear from various speakers.  Alan West, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, and even at times the Presidential candidates: the only way we can truly be free is by reclaiming the role of the church and community from the Federal Government.

For several years now the conservative movement has allowed private charity to flirt with and even get in bed with the Federal Government under the understanding that private organizations can use federal dollars much more efficiently than government bureaucracies.  Then along came Barack Obama.  It makes me think of Star Wars and Darth Vader’s line “Pray I don’t alter the deal any further”.

The problem is that conservatives abandoned their principles.  Trusting a pro-family, pro-conservative President in George W. Bush, we signed on to faith based initiatives.  Perhaps we never expected a President who would leverage those relationships to gain control over Christianity and use Christian institutions to spread liberalism.  We never expected a President who in three short years would be to the point of forcing Christian institutions to provide abortion pills or suffer the consequences.

The Government cannot protect our sacred institutions.  The government is using our tax dollars to control our sacred institutions.

The problem is that only one candidate in this has talked about the sort of shrinking of government necessary to get the government out of the charity and faith business altogether.  While he has appeared impotent when pressed, Ron Paul is the only candidate who will actually say that the government doesn’t belong in the insurance business or the charity business.  Mitt Romney would bring us back to the George W. Bush days when faith based initiatives allowed faiths to still manage themselves.  Newt and Santorum would certainly respect religious freedom, but would also strengthen the ties between government and faith based organizations with the same deadly good intentions W had.

This is not an endorsement for Ron Paul, but it is an acknowledgement that when it comes to the responsibility of Christians and community, Paul is more in line with the 2010 freshmen, and older wise sages like Huckabee, who must rise to the top if conservatism and freedom of religion is to survive in our country.  Perhaps Newt, Mitt and Rick will be persuaded by Paul on this like they were on the Fed.

Effect of Debates vs. Campaign Fatigue

South Carolina is within reach for Newt.  However, he must now combat something other than superpacs and media.  Newt now has to overcome campaign fatigue.  I’m sure that all of the candidates are tired and have been traveling a lot, but that isn’t what I was referring to.  You probably noticed about a month ago that every time there was a new debate, you were sure to have a friend who commented “Really?? Another one??”

Add to the non-stop debates at least 5 major lead changes among social conservatives, a growing, wearying Ron Paul movement, and the constant drum-beat from the establishment that Romney always was going to be the candidate and it is purely undeniable fate, and Romney gets the advantage among Conservatives who are tired of the infighting and want to get on to the main event.

Romney has flaws.  In fact, as I watch his superpac advertise Newt’s baggage (more than an airliner, according to the ad), I have to wonder why Romneycare, running on a pro-abortion platform, and all that does not count as baggage for Romney.  He has not yet been able to get the social conservatives to give him the unanimous thumbs up.  But one thing he has been flawless at has been this particular campaign.  His biggest missteps seem like manufactured class warfare attacks that only make him stronger among conservatives.  For example, he tried to bet $10k in a debate.  Who cares?  So he has $10k to throw around.  Duh, he’s rich.  Not only that, but only a moron, leftist, or member of the mainstream media (but I repeat myself) would think that Romney was actually trying to get Perry to make a financial wager, not just making a point that Perry was off his rocker.

Romney’s comment that he would like to fire his insurance company led to dishonest attacks from fellow conservatives, and perhaps one of the most boring Saturday Night Live opening sketches in history.  Attacks on Bain capital have left most conservatives scratching their heads, wondering if suddenly supporting small businesses and risk taking is no longer GOP approved.  The funnier thing was Obama attacking Romney’s record at Bain, after Obama used our tax dollars against our will to do the same thing with Chrysler against their will.  At least with Bain they were using investor’s money willingly given to help companies who came to them for help.  I can’t imagine the Chrysler bond-holders were hoping Obama would steal Chrysler, sell it to Italy and give the proceeds to the unions.

A couple days before South Carolina, Gingrich’s biggest advantage in the debates may become his worst liability.  Yes, the New Hampshire debate earned top ratings.  But Romney remains unflappable.  On the other hand, in Huckabee’s South Carolina forum on January 14th, the viewership was not quite so wide but Gingrich’s attack on Bain and the crowd’s booing response can be quickly found on youtube.  Going forward, more average voters are going to start relying more on soundbites and replays than taking time away from the playoffs to watch these debates from start to finish.  Without something to rally behind, Newt will not be able to recover the lost ground.

Romney won Iowa and New Hampshire, continuing to cement his front runner and assumed nominee status.  A South Carolina win will make it nearly impossible for any other candidate to catch up despite the fact that Romney continues to come no where near grabbing a majority of Republicans.  By the time Santorum and Perry drop out, Romney may have enough momentum to convince conservative holdouts to stop fighting him and start fighting with him against Obama.

Hollow Victories?

One aspect of the Republican race for the nomination that may yet become a serious issue is the penalty assessed on NH, SC, FL, AZ and MI because they held their primaries before February. It has been the case that no Republican has won the nomination without winning SC and either IA or NH. Yet, this year those victories are more a public relations victory than ones that really build a delegate base. Even if Mitt Romney swept the January primaries, he won’t have amassed the type of delegate count candidates would have historically had by Michigan. When he is only polling on average at 25% across the country and a couple other candidates still with money and a national campaign staff, Romney could be unexpectedly wiped out on Super Tuesday.

While the traditional conservatives are split right now between three candidates, there is time to unite even after Michigan and still effectively challenge Romney. That was not the case four years ago when the split among the conservatives allowed McCain to build not just a list of victories, but a strong foundation of delegates. With half of the delegates stripped from the early primary States and the proportioning of delegates splitting them even further, Mitt Romney will not have the lead that McCain had by Michigan even if he runs the table. That has to be cause for concern.

Complicating the issue is the candidacy of Ron Paul. He’s not going anywhere. He can raise the money and has the grassroots network to at least maintain his current percentage of the votes. As the conservatives coalesce around a single candidate, this will become a three man race. Even if the final conservative candidate cannot fully consolidate all of the support currently spread across three, he will only really need around 40% of the electorate to win the election if Paul stays around 20%. Romney voters are not energized for him, generally speaking. Already he is tied with Ron Paul when they are polled against Obama – meaning Romney’s ‘best candidate to defeat Obama’ pitch is already losing its power. When the conservatives finally settle on a single candidate (probably after Florida), that person will likely also pull even with Romney and Paul on head to head match-ups with Obama. With the moderates split, a conservative could cruise to victory.

Super Tuesday could also redefine the election from the current Romney vs. non-Romney into Paul vs. non-Paul. This is possible because the conservative candidate will battle Romney mainly as the main rival, leaving Paul to his 20%. Once the delegates get tangled up between Romney and the eventual conservative candidate, Paul’s slowly accumulating delegate count will become an issue. More moderate Republicans could begin to shift from Romney to Paul as Romney’s chances of victory wane. Gingrich, Santorum and Perry are all polarizing figures. Unifying each others’ supporters will be hard enough, but winning over the more moderate voters could be very difficult, especially if the kinds of attacks on Romney that have been made by them recently continue over the next six weeks. Disgruntled Romney supporters (the elderly in particular) may shift over to Paul giving him both the elderly and the youth. If the vitriol between the eventual conservative and Romney were bad enough, Romney could even endorse Paul just to stick it to the person who ‘robbed him’ of his nomination.

Of course, the conservatives uniting may not happen. An angry Perry or Santorum or Gingrich could pull out and endorse Romney rather than join with a conservative they are angry with. That would give Romney more conservative credentials and be just enough to let him steamroll over the final conservative candidate. With Paul pulling out at least 20%, Romney doesn’t need to be stellar so long as the conservatives don’t fully unite.

Certainly this is all speculation. However, the stripping of half the delegates from the early primary States has bought time for the conservatives to unify that they lacked in 2008. Combine that with a stronger Ron Paul who has gone all in this year (abandoning his seat in the House) and the early primaries just don’t hold the power they normally do. A third party run in the general election is very unlikely. But the dynamics of such a race playing out for the Republican nomination is not only possible but probable. The conservatives will unite. Paul will continue on. Romney will not be safely ahead in the delegate count after FL. How that plays out just can’t be predicted right now. Just don’t think that it is over even if Mitt sweeps right through FL. The victories are hollow when it comes to actual delegates gained. He’ll still be vulnerable. There are States that only Romney and Paul are on the ballot and conservatives could support Paul in those just to weaken Romney, complicating the delegate picture. This isn’t over and won’t be over for quite some time.

Former Iowa Caucus Winner Predicts Romney to be the Next Winner in Iowa

Bookmark and Share  In an appearance on Fox News Sunday, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee predicted that Mitt Romney will win the Iowa caucuses even though he has not spent a great deal of time or money in the state.

Huckabee, the surprise winner over Romney in the 2008 Iowa Republican Caucuses believes that this will be due, in large part to the fact that Iowa’s evangelical voters have not rallied around any one particular conservative candidate.

But Huckabee attaches a stipulation to his prediction. He uses weather as a reason for the possibility of a Ron Paul win Iowa. According to the former Governor turned Fox News host;

“If the weather is good, Mitt Romney is in better shape. If the weather is bad and it’s real tough to get out, Ron Paul would win.”

Huckabee claims;

“Ron Paul has an exceptional organization there. And it very well could be that he could end up winning because of the extraordinary devotion of his followers,”

He added;

“He’s got people that would walk over broken glass for him and they’d break the glass just to be able to say they did it. So, watch out for Ron Paul.”

While it is true that weather always plays a role in determining election results and I would tend to agree with Huckabee’s opinion about Ron Paul benefiting from bad weather on the day of the caucuses, a recent poll indicates that Newt Gingrich would in fact benefit from inclimate weather in Iowa.

According to an American Research Group Iowa Republican Caucus survey, among likely GOP Caucus voters who say they will definitely participate in the Caucus, 22% say they are voting for Newt Gingrich while only 17% say they would for Ron Paul.  The ARG results were as follows;

  • Newt Gingrich 22%
  • Mitt Romney 20%
  • Ron Paul 17%
  • Rick Perry 10%
  • Michele Bachmann 8%
  • Jon Huntsman 5%
  • Rick Santorum 5%
  • Buddy Roemer 1%
  • Other 0%
  • Undecided 12%

Those results would seem to indicate that Newt’s supporters are more committed to him than the the supporters of others candidates are to their candidate of their choice.

Yet despite this encouraging news for Gingrich, I still agree with Huckabee.

If Iowans find themselves in the midst of a blizzard with near sub-zero temperatures and a foot or two snow falling, the highly motivated, radical Pauliacs  will shovel their way through the snow in order to get their caucus destinations and that kind of committment alone will be enough to make Paul the defacto winner.

Much of this will also come down to organization and in that area, candidates like Bachmann, Santorum, Romney, and Paul, all surpass Newt Gingrich who has little if any real organization in Iowa.

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Trunkline 2012: Friday’s Campaign Trail News Wrap-Up from White House 2012– 11/04/11

Bookmark and Share  Friday’s Republican presidential news round up finds Republicans rallying around Cain, new ads hitting back hard for Cain, Romney robo calling attacks on Perry, Santorum crying out for cries for values, Biden and Huckabee defend Mitt , while the DNC attacks him, how the rich are really Occupying Wall, Street and topics of Newt’s Gains?, Iowa’s Romney-Free Zones!, and operations in Occupy Shut Down Iowa Caucuses? arise. That’s some of what you will find blowin’ in the wind of today’s Trunkline 2012 summary of the campaign trail.

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Is Romney Signaling that He Will Tap Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell for Vice President?

 Bookmark and Share   Praise for Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell by Mitt Romney during a Wednesday campaign stop in Virginia, has many speculating that if nominated President, he will tap McDonnell as his Vice presidential running mate.

Speaking at Virginia’s  Fairfax County Republican headquarters, Romney called McDonnell one of the “great leaders of the Republican Party.” He added, “He’s a terrific governor doing a great job here in Virginia.” and stated “I say nice things about Governor McDonnell every time I have a chance”.

The remarks do not necessarily indicate that Romney is ready to pick McDonnell if he wins the G.O.P. presidential nomination.  What it does mean is that Romney is smart enough to appeal to Virginians by agreeing with them.  Governor McDonnell receives extraordinarily high approval from Virginia voters and to do anything other align himself with McDonnell would quite frankly, be a sign of severe brain damage.

Governor McDonnell is doing a fine job in Virginia and a look at his near perfect conservative record would make one believe that he might be a better Republican presidential candidate than those now running.  However, even though Barack Obama won Virginia in 2008, that is unlikely to be repeated.  Virginia is normally a reliably Republican state when it comes to presidential politics, and is likely to be that way in 2012 regardless of who the G.O.P. nominee is.   So for electoral purposes, McDonnell is not going to be needed to deliver Virginia’s electoral college vote to the Republican presidential ticket.

For the purpose of having an edge in the electoral college, Republicans may want to look at more truly competitive swing states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada or even, to a lesser extent, Florida, where the obvious choice is Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

No matter what though, Governor McDonnell will be and deserves to be on everyone’s short list.  Which is why there should not be too much read into Romney’s remarks in Virginia about their popular Governor.  The only remarks about McDonnell that should raise eyebrows would be negative ones.  Had Romney stood in the headquarters of one of Virginia’s county Republican headquarters and said of their popular Governor something like “Bob McDonnell is okay, but I can take him or leave him”, that would deserve attention.

Meanwhile, I remain reluctant to discuss vice presidential contenders until we know for sure who the Republican presidential nominee will be.  However I will say that my initial instincts tell me that if Romney is the nominee, Bob McDonnell is not his most likely choice.  As I previously pointed out, Virginia should easily go Republican in the presidential election no matter who the G.O.P. nominee is.  Add to that the imagery of Romney and McDonnell together and what you have is a ticket that looks almost too perfect.  Kind of like the cake topper of gay wedding cake.

Personally I believe that when it comes to Romney, he is going to have to go with a conservative but unconventional running mate.

So far Romney is tied too closely to the establishment and his reluctance to be bold in his policy choices leaves the selection of a running mate to be one of the few opportunities to step out of the establishment mold.  All things considered, I can see Romney picking someone like South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley or even more likely than her, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez.  Like Marco Rubio, she is conservative, strongly appreciated in the TEA movement, from an important swing state and offers the opportunity to make inroads into the increasingly important and influential Hispanic vote.

Another bold choice could be Herman Cain.  His strong TEA movement appeal and anti-career politician profile will make him attractive on an ticket, and helps Romney shore up his conservative credentials.

Then there is a real wildcard choice for Romney……… former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

Mike Huckabee

Huckabee may have very well cost Romney the nomination in 2008 and there is undoubtedly still some bad blood between the two men.  But they have seemingly warmed up to one another since 2008.  Huckabee even had Mitt Romney on his weekly Fox News program.

Picking Huckabee could be a way for Romney to inject new blood and new life in to what will be a news weary electorate by the time the Republican National Convention is held in late August of next year.  Adding Huckabee to the ticket will also appeal to the evangelicals that Romney really needs to appeal to and overcome their prejudices toward his Mormon faith.  As an ordained Southern Baptist minister, Huckabee could go a long way in helping Romney among the evangelical flocks that will be important to a Republican victory.  Mike Huckabee does have some luggage of his own, but when it comes to Mitt, Huckabee would be more compensation than burden.

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Mainstream Media Still Pushing Chris Christie and Now Bringing Mike Huckabee Back

Bookmark and Share    As a fickle Republican electorate continues to demonstrate their apathy for the existing field of declared presidential candidates, an old name to the 2012 field has become the newest name to be drawn back into the contest.  While news stories continue to swirl around about some still possible entry of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie into the presidential contest, a new one surfaces about former Governor Mike Huckabee.

According to Reuters,  numerous unnamed sources have urged Mike Huckabee to reconsider his midsummer decision not to run .  Huckabee is said to have told Fox News thathe doesn’t  “see it happening”.  But as is the case with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, that has not put an end to the rumors.

Despite stating quite adamantly that he is not running for President after a speech that Chris Christie delivered at the Reagan Library this past Tuesday, reports that he was on the verge of declaring his candidacy seemed to have only gained in their intensity.

As made evident in the clip below, in the New York City Tri-State area, residents in the New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania media market were fed an endless array of reports declaring that Christie was still in the middle of considering a run.  On WCBS 880 AM radio news, every twenty minute cycle had a report telling listeners that Chris Christie advisors and aides were scrambling to see if they could put together a presidential campaign organization together at very last moment.

Even the Sunday morning TV political shows dug into the Christie speculation.

Unfortunately most all the reports about Christie possibly deciding to throw his hat in the ring come from “unnamed” sources.  That’s pretty convenient and getting tiresome. But in the never ending search for a “perfect” presidential candidate Republicans have allowed the media to label the existing field of presidential candidates as not good enough.   That feeling will change in time.  But until then, we will continue to hear about the need to recruit someone in to the race.  Such a storyline allows the mainstream media to continue making President Obama look superior when compared the field of  Republicans from which his ultimate opponent will come from.

Meanwhile, with all the talk about Huckabee and Christie running, it is important to realize that both of these would have a problem if they run.

Huckabee has a record on taxes that contradicts some  of his rhetoric on that issue.  He also has to answer to a string of clemencies he issued as Governor Arkansas, which resulted in rapes and murders.  Including the killing of 4 police officers in Oregon.

As for Christie, his 20 months in office have still not done much to increase employment and many of his economic policies have not yet had the time to show New Jerseyans if they are working or not .  Beyond that, Christie is consistently nagged by the far right for what they call his poor judicial appointments, including a controversial selection of a Muslim who represented other Muslims who were rounded up by the FBI in the aftermath of 9/11.   Such representation was not wrong but depending upon the context in which it is explained, it could be turned in to an impression that would be a liability in a campaign.

Other issues which would become a problem for Christie among the conservative base that is responsible for electing a nominee, includes Christie’s support of  the federal assault weapons ban, he supported President Obama’s education reform agenda and has confirmed his belief in manmade global warming and  his support of the President’s failing green energy policies.

So Christie is far from being a perfect conservative candidate.  Yet until he has been forced to defend his record, voters looking for that perfect candidate will not allow the concept of a run for President by Christie in 2012 to die.

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Is Cain Trying in Iowa?

No, if you believe his now former Iowa director Tina Goff and Kevin Hall who was in charge of coordinating for the Iowa straw poll in just over a month.  Jim Zeiler has also left the Iowa staff and Cain lost his New Hampshire director earlier this week.  When it comes to managing a campaign, things are not looking good for Cain.

On the other hand, Cain is looking good in the Iowa polls.  Most recently he came in second only to perpetual front runner Mitt Romney and remade Michelle Bachmann.

Will the Guiliani gamble work for Cain?

The problem is that Cain has not done or said anything to differentiate himself from Michelle Bachmann.  Going into this race he had perhaps set himself apart as a more “serious” candidate, and certainly took on early momentum from the TEA Party.  But Bachmann easily out-shined him in the debate and continues to make the right steps even in the face of extreme character assassination.  Bachmann’s successes have made her detractors appear to be less “serious”.

In the meantime, Cain is reducing himself to soundbite worthy quips and small government platitudes while his substance seems to be a foggy mirror of the clarity Bachmann has produced.  The result is that Cain is quietly slipping into the shadows where other candidate copies, like Gary Johnson (generic brand Ron Paul) and Jon Huntsman (Mitt Romney clone only the media is excited about) reside.  Bachmann is quickly taking the TEA Party energy.

In some ways, Cain brought this on himself.  His radio host style speeches leave little substance to hang one’s hat on and his brief handling of gay marriage in the debate has alienated him from the religious section of the TEA Party.  In addition, at times he has seemed clueless on some of the more detailed issues such as right of return for a Palestinian state.  This still puts him miles ahead in knowledge from someone like Joe Biden who wanted a three state solution for Iraq.

Cain does have one demographic that still turns out strongly in support of him, and that is the African American conservatives, moderates, and independents.  Many of these who helped turn Florida blue for Barack Obama and are now disenchanted with his policies are indicating strong support for Cain.  Whereas Iowa is turning out to be a fiscal versus social conservative battle between Romney and Bachmann, all important Florida may end up being a fiscal versus social conservative battle between Romney and Cain. Real Clear Politics shows Cain in second place to Romney in Florida out of current candidates, but large percentages going to Huckabee and Palin.  It will be interesting to see how those Palin and Huckabee supporters break by the time we reach Florida.  It won’t be for Mitt Romney.

If Cain can survive until Florida and then capitalize on it, losing Iowa might not be that big a deal.  Then again, perhaps he should talk to Rudy Guiliani about that strategy.

Cain’s Gain?

Mike Huckabee made it official over the weekend. He is not running. Huckabee was one of those candidates who was able to corner a specific share of the GOP market and turn them into a cult following. As the 2008 primary dragged on and Huckabee appeared on shows like Saturday Night Live to joke about how his mathematical chance of winning required winning every remaining state, Huckabee continued to campaign and siphon votes away from Mitt Romney in crucial states.

Even coming into 2012, Huckabee has maintained a Ron Paul-like base of support who will chide media outlets for not casting him in a bright enough light or leaving him out of 2012 primary analysis. To be honest though, I wasn’t surprised when Huckabee said no this year. Any Republican candidate is going to have a huge uphill battle facing their own divided party, the media, and then the Obama political machine. Who can blame Huckabee for wanting to sit this one out and make money hand over fist at his TV show?

Can Herman Cain pick up Huckabee's votes?

So who will get those voters who faithfully showed up and voted Huckabee even after his chances of winning evaporated in 2008? Only one candidate sofar has come out firmly for the socially and fiscally conservative platform, including the Fairtax, that Huckabee represented: Herman Cain.

Cain stands to pick up many of your neighbors who have the anti-IRS Fairtax signs in their yard and on their bumper stickers. He also will pick up many of Huckabee’s fans who are also mainstream Conservative media fans. There is a great deal of overlap between Foxnews talk show fans and Conservative radio fans.

Huckabee and Cain share another large support base among TEA Party candidates. Many of these small government conservatives who supported Huckabee in 2008 will look to Cain in 2012 as the most Conservative candidate who is not as radical as Ron Paul on foreign policy.

Will this be what bumps Cain into the top tier? It certainly is an opportunity sitting on the table. If Cain can make the connections in voters’ minds, he stands to be the one to gain.

Huckabee’s Heart Tells Him Not To Run for President

Bookmark and Share In what became a much anticipated decision for the political world, on his Fox News shows, former Arkansas Governor and 2008 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee declared that despite all signs pointing to him that he should run for President, his heart tells him no and so he will not be a candidate for President in 2012.

Huckabees decision came after he described himself as a clear front runner for the Republican presidential nomination who polls have shown beating all others in even the most unlikely of states such as Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He claimed that the ability to raise the amounts of money needed, was there and that his support crossed regional lines and socially conservative ideological lines.

In a swipe at the media, and pundits, Huckabee poked fun at their attempts to downplay his possible role in the 2012 election and claimed that he was often not even mentioned in some polls, while he was high in the polls and other contenders who barely registered a single percent of support were touted as leading contenders.

Huckabee described his decision as one that he only reached when he had time alone, and the clarity of vision that provided him to reach a decision that stirred within him a great inner peace. Huckabee made sure to point out that he had the full support of his family behind him if chose to run and he indicated a belief that he had a majority of public support behind his potential campaign. But despite what he defined as a perfect situation for a successful run for President, Huckabee told viewers that ultimately, he is happy with his career as it stands now and his ability to influence politics from the outside.

In his announcement Huckabee went out of his way to try make himself out to be a shoo-in for the Republican presidential nomination. But what he did not address were the many negatives that would have surfaced and been used to pummel him with. In addition to a week record on taxes, Huckabees record when it comes to the pardoning of violent criminals would have damned him as much, if not more than Willie Horton didfor Michael Dukakis in 1988. It was bad enough that there was a case of a Huckabee setting free a violent felon who upon his release raped and killed and women, but two years ago the issue became an insurmountable wall for Huckabee. It was around that time that headlines touted the news that Huckabee had granted clemency to a criminal who went on to kill four police officers in a Washington state diner.

At the time, Huckabee offered his condolences to the families of the victims but his only defense was an attempt to claim that the real problem existed with a media that was trying to exploit the tragic deaths of the police officers by smearing him politically. That defense did little to change the facts though.

As is the case with all headlines, they eventually faded from view, but Mike Huckabee knew that the issue would be unavoidable if he tried to run for President in 2012. He also knew it would have been a painful issue to address and one that would have weighed him down greatly.

Regardless of any excuses that Huckabee offered up to explain his decision and despite his self proclaimed direct path to the nomination, 2012 would not have been anything like it was for Huckabee in 2008. As it were, with the exception of Iowa, Huckabee won no primary or caucus contests and despite recent polls which did not reflect the issues of the 2012 campaign, it is more than likely that he would have performed just as poorly in 2012 as he did in 2008.

But the decision of Huckabee does still have at least an early effect on the still evolving Republican presidential race. Now that he is not running, who will his limited but enthusiastic base look to? Until there is a definitive decision on whether Sarah Palin will or will not run, candidates like Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and to a lesser degree, Tim Pawlenty will have the most to gain. But ultimately, Mitt Romney is the biggest winner regarding Huckabees decision. Huckabee was the greatest impediment to Mitt Romneys ability to attract enough voters who were dissatisfied with McCain to piece together majorities small enough to edge McCain out in many competitive states. And Huckabee knew this. At one point in 2008, it became clear that Huckabees only purpose was to try to deny Romney the nomination.

Now with Huckabee definitely out of the race, the G.O.P. field will slowly begin to look a little clearer and will begin to set off a natural gravitation of support to those who are running or that we know for certasin will be running.

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Private Email from Huckabee Suggests He’s Running For President

Bookmark and Share In the hours leading up to Mike Huckabees decision regarding a run for President, an email to those who work closely with the former Governor has unleashed a new round of speculation. The email indicates that once he makes his decision on his Saturday night show, he will be free to do and discuss things which up until now, legal restrictions and his obligations to Fox News, prohibited him from taking part in.

In a closing line of the email, Huckabee apologizes in advance if he does not have the opportunity to respond to any emails after his decision is announced and writes I expect that once I pull the trigger Saturday night, things will get even crazier, as if that’s possible.

The email (see the email below this post) was released by Times Mark Halperin and confirmed by Politico but how it was obtained is yet unknown and would seem to me to be an intentional leak by the Huckabee camp. If that is the case, the leak could be designed to lure a large viewing audience.

While the email is somewhat ambiguous about his decision, it clearly suggests that Huckabee expects to be preparing for a frenzy of media attention that will be touting him as an automatic frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination.

Up till now, I have been fairly confident that Huckabee was not running for President in 2012. But his handling of his announcement is beginning to lead me to believe otherwise. For reasons different my own, Huckabee’s senior political advisor, Ed Rollins has also been under the impression that Huckabee is not running. According to Rollins, even though everything has been put in place to get a potential Huckabee presidential campaign up and running and fully operational within one week, it his opinion that from all indications, Huckabee is not running. Now, in light of this new email, even Rollins concedes that he has no idea of Huckabee’s intention.

I still am not convinced that this is not all a well orchestrated attempt to raise ratings but if one is to believe what they can read between the lines, Huckabee is ready to go for it and embark on his second campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.

In the mean time, the first public post decision appearance that Huck will make will be Sunday, on Fox news with Chris Wallace.

The Email:

Tomorrow night (Saturday) I will announce the next step in my plans for 2012 during my show on the Fox News Channel. I would like to be able to call you or email you personally and in advance of the announcement, but due to the fact that the decision was not finalized until today and that I committed to Fox that I will absolutely not release it prior to doing so on the channel, that became impractical.

A lot of information and speculation was already rampant in the press today, and it frankly isn’t fair to you to tell you the details and then put you in the awkward position of saying you didn’t know (which at that point wouldn’t be true) or saying you did know, but couldn’t reveal or discuss it.

It was this afternoon before I could even get word to all of my own children and even now, the executive producer of my show and the staff and crew of the show don’t know and won’t until I actually do the final preparation literally minutes before I share the decision live Saturday night.

I will look forward to speaking with you soon and once I fulfill my sworn obligation to Fox, I will be free to discuss things that I can’t now due to promises to them and to some possible legal considerations of the announcement.

Many friends have said, “how can we help you in the decision?” My answer has consistently been, “Pray that I have clarity.” I have it and will share it Saturday night during the show. Please be patient if I don’t respond immediately to an email because I expect that once I pull the trigger Saturday night, things will get even crazier, as if that’s possible.

My heartfelt thanks for your friendship, prayers, and support,

Mike Huckabee

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Huckabee Ready to Declare His Presidential Intentions on Saturday

Bookmark and Share Will he or wont he make a White House run? The Gov gives his answer on Huckabee!. Thats the teaser offered today on the website of Governor Huckabees Fox News show.

According to a statement by the shows executive producer Woody Fraser, Huck will announce tomorrow night on his program whether or not he intends to explore a presidential bid. He has not told anyone at FOX News Channel his decision.

Huckabees latest Twitter referred fans to his political action committee, Huck PAC, to take a look at schedule which is as follows

Friday (5/13):

Today, Governor Huckabee will be on Your World with Neil Cavuto on the Fox News Channel, at 4pm ET.

Tonight, Governor Huckabee will be on “The O’Reilly Factor with Bill OReilly on the Fox News Channel, at 8pm ET.

And late tonight Governor Huckabee will be on “Follow The Money” with Eric Bolling on the Fox Business Network, at 10pm ET.

Saturday (5/14):

Saturday morning Governor Huckabee will be on Fox and Friends on the Fox News Channel at 8:30am ET.

And dont forget to tune in to Huckabee on the Fox News Channel, Saturday and Sunday nights at 8:00pm ET.

The surprise set up regarding a decision to run or not to run for the Republican presidential nomination for a second timeis savvy to say the least. But it is too early to tell if it is shrewdness intended for ratings of his cable talk show, or for a big audience to kick off his presidential aspirations from. Insofar as I can tell, there is no legal way for Huckabee to officially declare his own presidential candidacy on his own show. Based upon basic the opportunity for equal time principles, Federal Election Commission laws prohibit official candidates from having their own regularly scheduled radio or television programs to promote themselves from. Such an opportunity would be an unfair advantage for candidates with such a platform. It is why Fox News has suspended the contracts they had with other potential other presidential candidates who were Fox News contributors, such as Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum.

But nothing prohibits Huckabee from using his show to state that because of future endeavors that, in time, he will make well known, he will be leaving his cable show. Such a statement would not leave anyone wondering what that future endeavor would be, but it would also not cross any legal lines.

I have been of the school of thought that mike Huckabee is not going to run again in 2012. While early, random polls have the former Arkansas Governor placed high at the top of the still emerging Republican presidential field, such polling does not reflect the harsh realities of the Huckabee record that would be dissected in a public display of messy politics. Indeed, I have suggested that Governor Huckabee will have a great deal of baggage weighing him down in a 2012 race. But despite these sentiments of my own, Huckabee has been in many ways acting like a candidate. He has been meeting with financial bundlers in New York and elsewhere and under the auspices of a book tour, has been stomping the nation as well as any other potential candidate.

If Huckabee is readying himself to take the steps towards an official run at the White House, the timing of such an announcement is unique. Most major political announcements are not conducted on weekends. Common sense dictates that anytime after late Friday afternoon, but before Monday morning, most Americans tune out for weekends of recreation and relaxation. It is for this reason that if politicos have any kind of bad news to deliver, they usually do so around 4:00 pm on any given Friday. Such news tends to pass through several news cycles without immediately gaining all that much attention. However, Huckabees situation is different. First, his show airs on Saturday evenings. This forces him to somehow have to take advantage of that time slot. Second, the logistics of his position with Fox News and the suspense surrounding his decision, has allowed Huckabee to dominate the news for most of Friday and bring with it, a drawn out focus of attention on him at a time when few other headlines will be made. And then of course the story will be anew again on Monday when it is followed up on.

So which will it be? Will Huckabee come out on Saturday evening, during his show, and announce that it is his sad duty to tell us that this will be his last show, but his pleasure to tell us that its because he will be seeking a higher calling with greater responsibilities? Or will Huckabee be announcing that instead of running for President, he intends to focus on changing America for the better by devoting his time to things like Learn Our History, the new education company he started just days ago? Learn Our History sells educational animated history videos for kids. The video featured on the website is about the Reagan Revolution. A sign that the former Arkansas governor isnt running for president?

Huckabee originally stated that he would not make a decision about a run for President until late Summer. This latest PR stunt, has pushed that timetable up significantly and begs the question, whats behind that change? Is it a sense that he is better off establishing himself and making his case sooner rather than later? I tend to think not. I believe that the longer Huck is in, the harder he will be hit. So could it be that Huckabee merely wants to make some bucks, live the good life, and retire to his newly constructed Florida estate? The timing of it all leads me to believe that the Huckster is more inclined to advance that which can make him money as opposed to pursuing that which can cost him much.

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Tim Pawlenty Could Stand To Gain While The Big Names Sit On The Sidelines

Bookmark and ShareThe 1st GOP Presidential debate is in the books. There are those who feel it lacked the “Wow” factor that it would have had if the top polling candidates had taken part. With Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin all declining to attend, the field was filled with candidates whose names are not well known on a national scale. Texas congressman Ron Paul is probably the exception to that statement but his public persona and Libertarian views have never played well to most in the GOP.

Of the remainder of the field that included former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, Former Godfather’s Pizza CEO and conservative talk show host Herman Cain, Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, it may have been Pawlenty that came out with the most to gain from the absence of the big name candidates.

Most of those polled said that they came away with a better opinion of Herman Cain than any other candidate. I agree. Cain came away as the non-politician’s politician but he is an unknown to most voters and will need much more than this debate to get the recognition he will need to mount a serious run. Santorum is known to a certain degree through his work on Fox News but has established himself as the social issues candidate so far in a time where the economy will likely reign supreme. Gary Johnson is the poor man’s Ron Paul and did little to move up the ladder in the debate and at points looked uncomfortable on the stage. Ron Paul is simply Ron Paul. Most Republican’s tend to agree with his economic stances and most independents with his social stances but he has difficulty communicating them in a manner that helps him in a conservative GOP primary.

That leaves Pawlenty, who did little to “Wow” the audience but came across as a solid candidate when put next to the CEO with little experience, the Libertarian’s with little communication skills and the evangelical social issue guy, as a possible challenger to the big name candidates who themselves have issues that will be exploited if and when they decide to enter the race. Romney has to answer for his health care program he implemented while Governor of MA. Gingrich has had marriage issues that have haunted him for years. Huckabee has issues regarding his stances on crime while Governor of Arkansas and Palin, well she has always incurred the wrath of the media and I expect if she decides to run in 2012 it will be no different.

So although he may have not brought the “wow” factor with him to South Carolina last Thursday night, it could be Tim Pawlenty who very well takes away the most from the debate. Although Herman Cain may have hit the “wow” factor it was Pawlenty who by reason of recognition stands to gain the most from the decision of the big names to sit this one out. If he stays on message and the more recognizable names continue to sit dormant, Tim Pawlenty has one up on the other candidates.

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Huckabee 2.0

Bookmark and ShareIn an interview with The Daily Beast’s John Avlon, Ed Rollins, the 2008 campaign manager for Mike Huckabee, believes that the former Arkansas Governor will again be running for the Republican presidential nomination. Rollins tells Avlon, “Personally, it’s my sense that he’ll go for it this time.”

Rollins adds “Governor Huckabee is considering a presidential race seriously,.”

Currently it seems like there is no political reason in the world for Huckabee not to run. Just about every major poll has him either in first place or within the top three. And except for Mitt Romney who has a an extremely tenuous, titular, hold on frontrunner status, there is no one candidate that is obviously holding the keys to the Republican presidential nomination.

Huckabee is also a perfect candidate. He is not only warm and affable, he is quick on his feet and he knows how to coin a catchy phrase and convey a true understanding of the people he is addressing aswell as, if not better than,any top notch political speech writer or consultant, . Funny, warm, easy going, quick witted, down to earth, a Republican who won a heavily Democrat state, Mike Huckabee has it all. He is so good that it makes it hard for you not to get behind him even if you don’t want to.

So on paper, Huckabee has to be viewed as a top contender and obvious name to throw his hat in the ring. But turn the page and Huckabee has a number of reasons to resist the temptation of a run for President.

On a personal level, Mike Huckabee is making more money than he ever has in his life and is in the midst of having a rather expensive dream home built for him and his family in Florida. He has a lucrative contract with Fox News, is pushing great sales of his latest book and does not have the national media and a dozen perspective Republican opponents, prying into his life and relentlessly attacking his every word and action.

Such will not be the case if he runs.

But that still has little bearing on one who has politics pulsing through their veins. Politics is like a blood disorder that has a mix of power, ego, and invincibility effecting the brain in a way that impairs judgment. And the only cure for it is the certainty inability to get over political liabilities. Take Nevada’s John Ensign, please. Until a little more than a year ago, the two term senator was going to be running for President in 2012. Like Huckabee, he had a lot of the right stuff. Until it came out that he had an affair with the wife of one of his staffers and his mommy and daddy were paying off a settlement with the aide.

Of cause the former minister, Mike Huckabee, has no such problems that we know of. But he does have his share of political baggage. And while the polls that have him high in the sky right do not reflect it, when Mitt Romney alone gets done with the Huckabee record, those poll numbers will not be so high. Then throw in Newt Gingrich, Tim Palwenty, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, Haley Barbour, Gary Johnson, Fred Karger, and a number of other likely candidates, and what you have is a standoff between Huckabee and a negative insurgency of naysayers who will wear him down.

Then there is the payback factor.

In 2008, Mike Huckabee was the biggest thorn in Mitt Romney’s side. He chipped away at Romney in a tag team-like free for all with John McCain that helped assure McCain of the Republican presidential nomination.

Romney will not let that happen again and he will be gunning for Huckabee early. In fact, if Huckabee runs, his high standings in the polls will make him a key target of all the candidates. Each one of them will have Huckabee’s campaign in their crosshairs. Romney will just be the commander handing out the coordinates of all of Huckabee’s vulnerabilities, such as the paroles of violent criminals who raped and killed after Huckabee set them free, and his much to be desired record on taxes.

But are these weaknesses enough to flush out the politics that rushes through Huckabee’s veins? Probably not. Unless he knows that another candidate’s campaign has the silver bullet, the polls, the lack of an undeniable frontrunner, and the sick mix of power, ego, and invincibility will move Huck towards a run for the White House. Without that silver bullet, the only real way for Huck to get this out of his system is to go as far as he possibly can in the race and after being chewed up and spat out, retiring to his Florida estate with his tail between his legs.

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Huckabee’s Fair Tax Mistake

Bookmark and Share Mike Huckabee has released an editorial promoting the virtues of a national sales tax or as he calls it the Fair Tax.

He writes;

Hopefully by now youre somewhat familiar with how the FairTax works, but if not let me explain it briefly: You get rid of all income and payroll taxes and you get rid of corporate taxes completely. When someone tells you corporations should be taxed more – remember, if more taxes are put on a corporation – the corporation is simply going to raise the prices of their products to cover the increase – passing the increased cost to you.

That sounds good but it is also typical Mike Huckabee.deceptive.

Now I shouldnt be too hard on Huckabee. He does at least have the guts to propose true reform of a tax system that is obsolete, chaotic, oppressive, and a hindrance to economic growth. We need a presidential candidate and President who will not simply tinker with a broken system but prepared to support a cash for clunkers like approach to our tax code by junking it and replacing it with a system that does not penalize success, oppress entrepreneurial innovation, and hold back our economy.

Huckabee is correct when he writes refers to tax reform in his editorial by writing , I do know we wont have a chance if we dont have the courage and leadership in Congress to see the task through. That is most certainly true. But that leadership must come from more than just Congress. Sweeping change must be supported by our Commander-in-Chief, the person who has the power of the bully pulpit behind them and who believes in the reforms that he or she convinces the nation of the need for.

But the Fair Tax is not the reform that this nation needs. First of all, the Fair Tax is anything but fair. If George Soros decides to have his help purchase televisions for all the bathrooms in all of his estates, he can afford the additional cost that a national sales tax places on his purchases. But for an average family that lives from pay check to pay check, the new national sales tax simply makes it harder for them to replace the one TV screen that they have had for 10 years and is displaying a screen with a picture that is shrinking.

For a family making $200,000 a year, a rise in the cost of all products may be affordable but for too many higher prices simply puts more products further out of the reach and places a significant burden on them.

Higher prices are not what I believe the Republican candidate for President or Congress should be proposing.

Instead I believe it is incumbent upon our Party and its candidates to demand that we abolish our current arcane tax code and replace it with a Flat Tax. Unlike the so-called Fair Tax, a Flat Tax is exactly what it says..flat. It is one rate for one nation. There is no discrimination, there is no hike in the costs of products and there is no penalizing of success. Instead, a Flat Tax offers tax relief, puts an end to loopholes, and grows our economy.

Of the last ten years, the fastest growing economies of the world have adopted a flat tax for their nations. The greatest examples of this exist in the former Soviet states of the Balkans. When they adopted a flat tax, they saw their economies boom and have maintained steady economic development and growth. Yet, the United States, still hangs on to our antiquated tax system, a system that only grows our economy whenever we tinker with it to reduce rates. And when we reduce rates, which area of debate is the greatest source of disagreement? Why it is who those reductions should go to. And from there inevitable comes the debate on what constitutes defining one as rich.

The Flat Tax puts an end to all those debates. With a Flat Tax rate of say, 14%, the wealthy still pay a greater percentage than do the less wealthy. 14% of 40 million comes out to be much more than does 14% of 40 thousand. And unlike Mike Huckabees national sales tax, it does unduly burden families with higher costs. In fact for many, it lowers the amount of money that the government currently takes from them.

Huckabee understands that we need real change in America. That is a good thing, but what he does not realize is that the change he proposes does more harm than good and if he really wants to promote tax fairness, then the Flat Tax, one rate for one nation is the way to go.

Government does not produce wealth and it is not naturally sustainable. The people and the entrepreneurial spirit of America through its free markets, are what creates wealth and sustains our government. That is why I believe we must eliminate our current oppressive tax code, a tax code that rewards failure must go. We need leadership that will implement what I call a National Economic Recovery and Responsibility plan that will help spark our economy, reduce spending and put America back on the road to a steady, growing, stable economy. As such I offer my own detailed tax reform plan for Governor Huckabee to consider in place of his national sales tax.

I.-The National Tax Equity Act

(For a detailed explanation click on thebill titlelink above)

1. A flat tax rate on individuals and businesses shall be adopted as outlined below with a rate of 18% that, after three years, will level off at 15.5% of whats left of the total annual income from all wages, salaries, and pensions after subtracting a personal allowance.

Those four allowances would be:

  • – $26,600 for married filling jointly
  • – $16,850 for single head of household
  • – $13,650 for single
  • – $5,300 for each dependent child
1.A Individual gross earnings up to 2 times the established poverty level (based upon the year preceding) are exempt from taxation. All income above that level shall be taxed at the specified rate.

1.B Businesses and Corporations with gross earnings up to the value resulting from multiplying the number of legal US resident employees in the business against 2 times the established poverty level (based on the year preceding) shall be exempt from taxation with all gross income above that level taxed at the specified rate.

1.C– All corporations will be taxed by the same single national tax rate and they will take their total income, subtract total expenses and if the result is a positive amount (profit), they will pay tax on that amount at a the national tax rate.

2.A – All Businesses and Corporations thatexceed federalenergy efficiency and environmental standardswill be entitled to an annual dedcution of10%the amount oftheir annual profit.

2.B-All individual home amd property owners thatexceed federalenergy efficiency and environmental standardswill be entitled to an annual dedcution of10%the amount oftheir annual profit.

3.A -There shall be an exemption up to but not to exceed the greater of 10% of gross annual income or 25% of the annual median income, applied to College Savings Accounts, Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA), Money Market Accounts and Certificates of Deposits.

3.B– Allow for the automatic deposit of tax refunds that are based onthe rate of savings formula implemented upon passage of thefederally insuredPrivatizedFuture Security Annuity Accountsprogram that will take the place of SSI.(see proposed PFSA program here)

3.C-Provide employment-based health insurance to individuals with annuals earnings under $55,000, in the form of refundable, advanceable tax credits. Families would get up to $5,700 a year and individuals up$2,300 to buy insurance and invest in Health Savings Accounts

4. Social Security benefits are exempt from taxation.

5. A complete 100% exemption from the flat tax for spouses of military personnel deployed in a theatre of battle to be effective from the time of deployment to the end of the calendar year after deployment ends.

6– The following will hereby require a 2/3 majority for passage and adoption:

-Raising or reducing the flat tax rate

  • -Extending or eliminating tax credits
  • -Increasing or decreasing the rate of a penalty tax
  • -Creating any new penalty taxes
  • -Borrowing money to pay for general expenses
7. Direct income from inheritance settlements are exempt from taxation.

8. Specific provisions for implementation to be determined by a Congressional review committee with input from regulators, industry representatives and budget experts

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Ouch! The GOP Presidential Race Is Already Getting Sharp

Bookmark and Share The race for President may be slow to start but one candidate for the Republican presidential nomination who is not letting any grass grow under his feet is Fred Karger. At this early stage in the still evolving presidential race, Karger has come out punching and he is looking for a knockout. His two most recent victims are Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney. In a very hard hitting piece for the UKs Guardian, Republican presidential candidate Fred Karger set his sites on the religious rights darling candidate, Mike Huckabee, and outlined reasons why Huckabee is unfit to be President.

In Kargers column, he points out the problem that Huckabee will have with his granting of clemency to a criminal who later went on to kill four police officers, while they were sitting in a diner. This situation is very reminiscent of the Michael Dukakis furlough of Willie Horton, an event that went down in the annals of political campaign history and ultimately played a large part in Dukakis landslide, 1988 defeat. Interestingly Fred Karger was working for the opponent of Mike Dukakis, George Herbert Walker Bush, and he played an instruemental roll in the infamous Willie Horton ad. Now, more than two decades later, Karger sees history repeating itself, but this time against a Republican.

In September of 2010 White House 2012 addressed the very same issue that Karger has written about. In a piece called Huckabees Record Will Haunt Him in 2012, I maintained that the clemency problem facing Huckabee is even worse than it was for Michael Dukakis regarding his furlough program. In it,the I describe how that there are several instances where, as Governor of Arkansas, Huckabee granted clemency to a few criminals who went on to commit greater crimes. There was Wayne DuMond who Huckabee granted clemency to and after he was released, raped and killed two women. But it is clemcy of Maurice Clemmons that will probably hurt Huckabee the most. Clemmons killing of four police officers in Lakewood, Washington is enough to keep Huckabee out of the race. And I maintain that despite Huckabees recent meeting with financial bundlers in New York, the clemency problem that Huckabee will inevitably have to confront, will in fact keep him from running.

In another White House 2012 article entitled Can Republicans Pardon the Pardons, Jsmashmouth articulates similar sentiments but he adds that Tim Pawlenty may also have a problem in this area.

However; in Kargers column, he does not stop at the pardon problems of Huckabee. Karger also attacks Huck for his un-Christian remarks about homosexuals and he calls Huckabee out for casting aspersions and being a bully.

And this week, while Karger is chopping at the reputation of Mike Huckabee, he also took the opportunity to use an MSNBC interview to confirm that Huckabee is not his only target. When asked if his campaign was specifically trying to throw a monkey wrench in to the presidential campaign of Mitt Romney, Karger stated that such a thing is a welcome sidebar note.

Karger was a key player in trying to pass legalized gay marriage in California and the most aggressive opponentof the proposition which would have made it legal was the Mormon Church of Latter Day Saints. As a Mormon himself, Mitt Romney is seen as a leader in the LDS community and as such, it is Kargers hope to influence Mitt Romney to appeal to his religions leaders and put an end to their persecution of homosexuals.

So far, this has been a good week for Karger who is still a relatively unknown candidate and while he may not exactly be making friends, he is making news and in politics. And while some might say that Kargers attacks will be short-lived, I say think again. First of all, Karger is an experienced political strategists and consultant. That means he knows how to get some beneficial mileage out of an argument. And secondly, as a gay man, I can tell you that fellow gay men like Fred Karger can be, excuse the language,…….. relentless bitches. We can teach courses on it. So I would suggest that those who Karger sets his sites on, address the issue he puts on the table or else they will get no rest.

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