Paul Ryan Tackles Medicare Reform Head On at The Villages

See Ryan’s Complete Speech at The Villages in the Video Below This Post.

¬† Bookmark and Share¬† With no limits to the depths that Democrats will go in an attempt to¬†maintain¬†control of the behemoth federal bureaucracy that they seek to transform our nation with,¬†the left has¬†made the use of scare tactics a signature¬†part of their¬†election¬†efforts.¬† Liberals have targeted the elderly since the 1980’s when¬†they tried to campaign against Ronald Reagan and Republicans by trying to convince older voters that Reagan and the G.O.P. were going to destroy Social Security .¬† According to liberal’s the policies of Reagan and his fellow evil Republicans were going to force granny into such economic dire straits that she she¬†would be placed on a steady diet of cat food.¬† The same attacks were used against George H.W. Bush in 1988 and ’92, Bob Dole in ’96, George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004 , and now Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan in 2012.

On many occasions Democrats experienced varying degrees of success with that strategy.¬† In 1982 and agin in 1986, they did exceptionally well among seniors by exploiting the fear of our oldest and most vulnerable goldenagers.¬† But that success was in part due to the G.O.P.’s poor political responses to those scare tactics.¬† But in 2012, that doesn’t seem to be¬†the case.¬† Some thirty years after liberals began warning us that Republicans were going to kill our grandparents, people of my age have seen Grandma and Grandpa survive the Reagan¬† years and the Administration’s of both Bush presidencies and not once was Fluffy forced to share her can of 9 Lives with them.¬† That real life¬†experience alone has taken¬† a bit of the edge off the sword of lies leveled by liberals regarding¬†senior citizens but in 2012, what really hurts the left is the addition of¬†Paul Ryan¬†to the Republican presidential ticket.¬† With Ryan onboard and upfront, ¬†the G.O.P. and Mitt Romney have a silver bullet that is aimed right at the heart of this now old and tired liberal line of attack.

Ryan’s mastery of economics and matters of budget combined with his Kemp-like passion for conservative economic theory and principles makes him the preeminent voice for fiscal responsibility in the nation.¬† When discussing his¬†economic beliefs, Paul Ryan demonstrates an innate enthusiasm for his ideas that conveys a wonderful sense of vitality for our nation’s future.¬† And no one can explain those ideas as well as Paul Ryan can.

Whereas Jack Kemp, the conservative giant who actually sold Reaganomics to Ronald Reagan, often spoke about conservative economic policies in technical terms that seemed to make his audience’s eyes glaze over, Paul Ryan’s approach to explaining economic growth and fiscal responsibility tends to generate the same type of enthusiasm for those ideas that he conveys when discussing them.¬†¬†¬† This makes it hard for the left to discount Paul Ryan’s strengths on the issue but making it even harder for them this is Paul Ryan’s personality and image.

For Democrats the problem with trying to make senior citizens fear Paul Ryan and the ideas of the Romney-Ryan Team is that when senior citizens look at and listen to Paul Ryan, they have a hard time visualizing Paul Ryan as the demonic figure whose hands are¬†pushing Grandma off the cliff in her wheelchair.¬† When seniors see and hear Paul Ryan they don’t quite see him as the kid kicking their walker out from under them before running away and laughing.¬† Instead what they see is a smart, respectful, thoughtful, well spoken, humble, handsome, young man with a beautiful young family, and some pretty good ideas.¬† What they see in Paul Ryan is their own grandson, or at least what they wished their grandsons was more like.

That unavoidable impression makes it impossible for Democrats to find any success in the application of their now traditional senior citizen scare tactics.  In fact, this time around, their fear mongering will likely backfire.

Today’s senior citizens are not the same ones that Democrats tried to make fearful of Ronald Reagan.¬† The senior citizens who¬†were voting¬†during the Reagan¬†and George H.W. Bush years, were of a generation that once voted in big numbers for Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a political hero of their generation.¬† But the senior citizens voting in 2012 are of a different generation.¬† An increasingly large number of today’s seniors are the same people who voted in big numbers for Ronald Reagan, the political hero of their generation.¬†¬† That also dilutes the left’s attempt to scare today’s senior citizens.

And it is part of the reason why¬†the Romney/Ryan team’s¬†bold decision to make¬†many of the budget problems that lie at the heart of our¬†national economic crisis, a main focus¬†of the presidential campaign¬† is being well received.¬†¬†The Republican ticket’s willingness to address¬†the entitlement programs which¬†under their current structures require¬†more to¬†be¬†paid out than the government takes in, strikes at the heart of¬† the issue that should be in the forefront of this campaign….fiscal responsibility.¬† And¬†instead of¬†¬†resorting to¬†fear tactics and the pursuit of a political strategy of distractions and shallow political platitudes,¬† Romney and Ryan have decided to elevate the campaign and its dialogue to that of a substantive, adult conversion that forces Americans to confronts our problems.¬†¬†¬†In doing so, this past Saturday,¬†the Republican presidential ticket sent Paul Ryan¬†to discuss the issue of Medicare at The Villages in Florida.

The Villages is an age-restricted, master-planned, retirement community that sprawls across the counties of Sumter¬†, Lake, and Marion in the battleground state of Florida.¬† The Villages is a retirement community for people 55 years of age or older and according to the 2010 census figures, it boasts a population of¬†51,442¬† residents.¬† Given the demographics of that community, sending the liberal’s poster boy for senior genocide to The Villages to discuss aggressive reforms on Medicare might seem to be¬†more like throwing Daniel in to the lion’s den than a campaign stop, but as seen in the video below, Paul Ryan proved that today’s senior citizens are driven more by a desire for changes that lead to real solutions than they are by some fictitious fear of¬†the solutions¬†that Democrats are hoping for.

In what can only be described as a well received explanation¬†for both the need of Medicare reform and the reforms proposed by the Romney/Ryan ticket, Paul Ryan¬†went to The Villages and offered an inspirational call to arms that¬†demonstrated¬†his generation’s need to preserve¬†Medicare for the¬†generations that precede it and follow it¬†.¬†¬† His speech also¬†ushered in the end of an era, the end of the era of successful fear mongering of senior citizens by¬†Democrats.¬† Paul Ryan’s ability to have¬†American’s¬†rationally discuss the issue of entitlements reforms¬†actually¬†takes that particular¬†liberal scare tactic away from¬†Democrats and finally forces them to be¬†held accountability for their unwillingness to deal with such issues effectively.¬†¬†¬†As a result, ¬†where liberals¬†once¬†may have been¬†successful at scaring old people,¬†with the seniors of today when¬†people like Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Nancy¬†Pelosi,¬†Joe Biden and even President Obama,¬†jump out¬†of the bushes to¬†scream¬†“boo”,¬†all they will¬†succeed at doing¬†is making themselves look foolish.

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In 2012 Barack Obama Is Campaigning Against All He Campaigned On In 2008

  Bookmark and Share  In 2008, Barack Obama dismissed  every question about him by calling them distractions.  Each of his speeches were carefully laced with attempts to claim his opponents were trying to distract voters from the issue of the economy.

No matter what the issue, it was a distraction.¬† To question his¬† relationship¬†to domestic terrorist Bill Ayers was a distraction.¬† To question how Senator Obama could have sat in the pews of Rev. Wright’s church¬†for decades and not once hear or denounce the reverend, anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti-Caucasian, race-baiting ¬†hate speech, was a distraction.¬†¬† Requesting him to produce his birth certificate was a distraction.¬† Even questioning whether or not¬†Senator Obama, a young man with no executive or private sector experience had any substantial¬†qualifications to be¬†President of the United States were deemed¬†to be¬†a mean spirited, Republican distraction.¬† In fact in July of 2008, Senator Obama responded to such a questions by stating;

“When we get distracted by those kinds of questions, I think we do a disservice to the American people.”

This strategy prompted then Senator Obama to include in almost all his speeches, the charge that any question or discussion that did not involve the economy was an example of Republicans trying to avoid the economy as an issue altogether.

For instance, in March of 2008 candidate Obama stated;

“We knew that the closer we got to the change we seek, the more we’d see of the politics we’re trying to end ‚ÄĒ the attacks and distortions that try to distract us from the issues that matter.”

In April of 2008, it was;

“It’s easy to get caught up in the distractions and the silliness and the tit for tat that consumes our politics.”

In May of 2008 he declared;

” Yes, we know what’s coming. … The same efforts to distract us from the issues that affect our lives by pouncing on every gaffe and association and fake controversy in the hope that the media will play along.”

Then of course there was my favorite Obama distraction accusation which came in October of 2008 when the young, energetic man who was filled with so much hope and change stated;

“Sen. McCain and his operatives are gambling that he can distract you with smears rather than talk to you about substance. … I’m going to keep talking about the issues that matter ‚ÄĒ about the economy and health care and education and energy.”

Four years later and the question now is where is all this talk about substance that President Obama promised?

So far President Obama, his surrogates, and his team of political Chicago hitmen have spent most of their time distracting us from the very same issues he claimed to want to discuss in 2008.

While the President goes out on the campaign trail and tries to claim that his endless spending will eventually solve our problems, his strategists are busy trying to insure that the non-issues are being aired¬†on television and radio, and by his surrogates in the Senate and House.¬† Instead of producing a plan to grow our economy or trying to pass at least one federal budget before his first and probably last term in office is over, the President’s campaign and his supporters have done nothing but dominate the news with false accusations and ludicrous charges against¬†Romney that are designed to specifically distract voters from the issues and the Obama record.

So far the most substantial knocks against¬†Mitt Romney to come out of the Obama campaign have included¬†such charges as his wife never having worked a day in her life, that Romney is a felon, that he hasn’t paid his taxes, and that he was responsible for the death of a woman who had cancer.¬† And to establish¬†all this, President Obama has officially spent more than any other presidential in history.¬† And the official campaign which does not¬†really start¬†until both Parties officially nominate their candidate hasn’t even begun yet.

After four years in office President Obama who came to the White House on the promises of “hope” and “change” has delivered on¬†only one of those themes –change.¬† As for hope, he has cretaed a government run econmy that has turned into despair and although he has delivered on change, it was not the change that many had hoped he intended.

In 2008, then Senator Obama left many voters believing that he would change the partisan atmosphere in Washington, D.C..¬† They tended to believe him when he promised to unite our nation.¬†¬† Back then many believed President Obama when he promised to have the most transparent Administration in the nation’s history.¬† Fast forward four years and here we are a nation that is more polarized than ever before as President Obama tries to exploit the less fortunate in our society with a mean spirited¬†class warfare strategy that suggest to them that the most fortunate in our society are to blame for their lot in life.¬† Here we are with a President who has declared that Republicans are waging a war on women.¬† And here we are waiting for that promised transparency in government on things such as the botched Fast & Furious operation that Obama’s Attorney General has been secretive about that he became the first person in his position¬†to be¬†held in contempt of Congress.¬† Here we are waiting to find out who from the White House has been leaking¬†sensitive national security secrets in order to boost the President’s reelection chances.

The only change the President has delivered exists in the national debt which in the less-than-three-years. President¬†Obama increased by $4.212 trillion–more than the total national debt of about $4.1672 trillion accumulated by all 41 U.S. presidents from George Washington through George H.W. Bush combined.¬† And that was not a change in the direction we need or can afford.

The presidential candidate that we saw in 2008 is long gone.  He has been taken away from us through a disastrous series of economic policy failures, and a string of constitutionally questionable partisan power grabs.  From appointing dozens of unaccountable czars that were granted extra-constitutional powers without congressional oversight, to hammering together an entirely partisan healthcare bill that puts one third of the American economy under government control, and to the passage of executive orders that granted amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants and created unenforceable regulations, this President has taken any of the possibly promising aspects of his 2008 candidacy and threw them out the door.  And so now today, the Barack Obama that stands before us is  not the Barack Obama who asked us for our votes in 2008.

The Barack Obama before us today is a shell of the man¬†he¬†once was.¬†¬†And whereas¬†President¬†Obama¬†once stood before us and declared¬†his opponents were about to¬†“distract us from the issues that affect our lives by pouncing on every gaffe and association and fake controversy in the hope that the media will play along”, today he is the one¬†responsible for¬†those distractions and for using those same tactics.¬† Today we have a President¬†who is¬†campaigning on all that¬†he campaigned against four years ago and who is trying to run away from his record.¬†¬†So I ask you this.¬† Can we afford to¬†a reelect a President who if given the chance, would have to campaign against all that he says he¬†stands for¬†now, in another four years?

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Frank Keating for Vice President? Will Mitt Romney Consider making the Former Oklahoma Governor His Runnig Mate?

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 of 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 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 and records.

Today White House 2012 takes a look at the former Governor of Oklahoma, Frank Keating.

Former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating

Born Francis Anthony Keating (1944-02-10) February 10, 1944 (age 68) St. Louis, Missouri
Political Party Republican
Spouse(s) Cathy Keating
Profession Lawyer, Lobbyist
Religion Roman Catholicism

Frank who?

Many, non-Southerners may not know or remember Frank Keating, but¬†they should because he’s worth remembering.¬†¬†¬†He is truly one of the most successful conservative leaders and genuinely nice guys politics has ever known. As such, those of us who do remember Frank Keating are stirred by feelings of respect and confidence, when we think about him. Which is why when considering people as prospective vice presidential nominees, Frank Keating should be considered by Mitt Romney.

Keating, a former two term Governor of Oklahoma began his career in law enforcement and his good work in that area eventually led President Ronald Reagan to appoint Keating to be the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma, where he served with distinction from 1981 to 1984. In 1984 he ran for Congress in Oklahoma’s 1st congressional district and lost but came close to defeating House Budget Committee chairman Jim Jones

Following that loss, President Reagan appointed Keating to serve as an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury and later as United States Associate Attorney General, where he became the third ranking official in the Department of Justice. In these positions, Keating managed both the Justice and Treasury departments’ law enforcement agencies, as well as the U.S. Customs Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the United States Marshals service, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and all 94 United States Attorneys.

Following the election of George H.W. Bush in 1988, Keating continued on in the Justice Department but in 1990 was elevated by the first President Bush to serve as General Counsel and Acting Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under Secretary Jack Kemp. He began his work there in 1990 but on November 14th of 1991, Bush nominated Keating to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Keating stayed on as Acting Deputry Director at H.U.D as he waited for his nomination to be taken up the Senate, but with Democrats in control, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and their partisanship caused them to sit on the nomination and never bring it for a hearing and vote. This allowed incoming Democrat President Bill Clinton to nominate a fellow partisan Democrat instead. The Democrat controlled Senate did act on that nominee in a timely fashion. Keating finally left his post with H.U.D. in 1993, after the Clinton Admimistration replaced him in that job too.

Keating then headed back to Oklahoma where after a years in the private sector, he decided to run for Governor of Oklahoma and in November of 1994 he defeated his Democrat opponent by 17 percentage points.

Within just three months of taking office, on April 19, Governor Keating became a man in charge of what at the time, was the greatest single act of terrorism in the United States. It became infamously known as the Oklahoma City Bombing and ground zero was the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. One explosion ignited within the confines of a large U-Haul truck that was parked in front of the building killed 168 Oklahomans and injured 800. The blast tore down the Alfred P. Murrah Building and destroyed or damaged more than 300 buildings in the surrounding area, leaving several hundred people homeless and shutting down business.

Governor Keating orchestrated an unimaginable mobilization of relief and rescue teams to handle the tragic event. His leadership help coordinate the efforts of over 12,000 people in the days following bombing and his masterful handling of it all earned him worldwide attention for his efforts to help the victims and their families.

Aside from the testing of Governor Keating under fire through the tragedy of Oklahoma City, Keating undertook an aggressive political agenda that included environmental protection, road building, tougher law enforcement, economic development,education reform, public safety, tax relief. he even initiated the creation of an innovative public-private partnership that assured care for the indigent as well as a stronger medical education program. Passage of these initiatives was not east and despite several bitter battles with the Democrat controlled state legislature, most of Keating’s initiatives were passed.

His first major success was passage of the first welfare reform law in the nation in 1995. By y 2001, those reforms had reduced Oklahoma‚Äôs welfare rolls by over 70%., but it’s early success was so great that success made Keating’s reforms a national model that was mimicked by the historic welfare reform act of 1996.

From there, Keating moved on to other memorably successful efforts. As a law and order politician, Keating used his career in law enforcement to serve Oklahomans. He implemented tough parole policies and introduced the landmark truth-in-sentencing legislation. Keating also showed little amnesty when handling death sentence criminals, allowing many of those sentenced to death to be executed. Keating also raised the salaries of Oklahoma’s state troopers from the lowest in the nation to the 24th highest.

But the greatest success of Keating’s first term came in 1998 when he become the first Governor of Oklahoma in 50 years to successfully maneuver the passage of a cut in the state’s income tax. Something that was made all the more remarkable given the fact that he had already successfully reduced the states unemployment tax, sales tax, and estate tax. The sum total of these policies and cuts created over 130,000 new jobs in Oklahoma Oklahoma and amounted to the largest tax break in the state‚Äôs history.

In his second term Keating set four goals for Oklahoma for his second term:

  1. Ensure one out of every three Oklahomans has a college degree by 2010
  2. Decreasing Oklahoma’s divorce rate by 50% before 2010,
  3. Raising Oklahoma’s Americas College Testing scores to the national average by 2005
  4. Raising Oklahoma’s per capita income to reach the national average by 2025

This focus led to an agenda that focussed on education by introducing charter schools in to the system and by increasing spending on the enhancement of vo-tech and higher education facilities. It also led Keating confront the problems involving substance abuse , child abuse, and out of wedlock births.

Other extraordinary achievements of Keating included

  • A criminal justice bill that reformed Truth in Sentencing (TIS) to Oklahoma and ensure that violent and repeat offenders remained in jail
  • Overseeing the largest road construction project in Oklahoma history.
  • Leading his state through the historic and devastating tornado season of 1999
  • Raising more than $20 million in private money to replenish a state fund that went dry during WWI and was meant to complete the Oklahoma State Capitol with a dome.

Since leaving office, Keating has enjoyed much success in the private sector sector where he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Council of Life Insurers. In 2002 he wrote a children’s book about famous Oklahoman Will Rogers and in 2006 he authored another children’s book. This one was about Theodore Roosevelt. Then in 2008 came Standing Bear, his third book for children.

On January 1, 2011, Keating became president and CEO of the American Bankers Association.

During his post gubernatorial days, Keating flirted with the thought of running for President. However in 2008, he decided that compared to the earlier starts by the McCain and Romney campaigns, it was too late for him step in to the race.

Between his experience, personality and accomplishments, Governor Keating is probably more qualified to be President of the United States than any one who is or who were running for President in 2012. From a conservative standpoint, Keating is brilliant. From a non-partisan standpoint, Keating is a level-headed doer who looks beyond the obvious problems that needs fixing and dives full on in to a mission to fix them, but also has the vision to make sure that they won’t need to be fixed again in the future.

Governor Keating is a charming, inteligent, experienced, knowledgeable, accomplished leader who avoids partisan political bickering and reminds his colleagues that voters do not care about politics, they care about policies, policies that work. The type of Keating policies that increase, jobs, grows the economy, limits government, and is willing to accept the fact that government is not the answer to everything, but that government can help to unite the private sector in a way that allows them to do a better job than government ever could have.

Keating also has something that only a handful of other potential VP nominees have. Signature achievements that bring a level of undeniably proven credibility. The type of credibility that has also withstood the test of time. Frank Keating has truly walked the walk not just talked the talk. He has a proven record that if given the attention it deserves, could impress more than a few voters and make them say “we need someone like him to do for our nation, what he did for his state”.

It is simply a shame that Frank Keating didn’t become a candidate for President in 2012.

His record as Governor is one which not only demonstrates how good he was, it shows us a man who was ahead of the times. While many states are only now struggling with right-to-work laws, Frank Keating addressed them before they could become institutionalized problems in his state. While many states are finally trying to deal with the often tragic results of a lack of truth in sentencing, Frank Keating long ago solved that for the people of his state.

Be it matters of infrastructure, education, taxes, jobs, or the economy, Frank Keating has created road maps that have taken people in the direction before and there is no reason to believe why he can’t again. And he has even been successful at changing the dynamics of late which have people believing that all things must rely upon government. As Governor, Frank Keating was able to demonstrate the benefits of having government rely on the private sector and in so doing, proved that the private sector can do better than government. Between that and his having more hands on experience in the areas of public safety and law enforcement and what you have is a man who few are looking at now, but many could be wanting once they are reminded of who he is.

Pros:

  • Incredible experience in law enforcement
  • Has a record of governor that is full of reform, innovation, fiscal success, and managerial expertise, all of which touch upon important issues in this election.
  • Respected among the conservative base that Romney needs to excite and get behind him with enthusiasm

Cons:

  • Does not bring any needed extraordinary geographical pluses to the ticket
  • His post-gubernbatorial work in the private sector as a lobbyist for bankers and insurers will be turned in to something evil by the left
  • At 68, some may try to subtley use his age against him
  • His representation of Banks as the ABA President will be used to try paint a Romneky/Keating ticket as an out of touch, rich Republican team of banking and Wall Street special interests as a part of the ongoing liberal class warefare startegy

General Assessment:

Keating is everything that conservatives want and more. Not only has been there and done that when it comes to every issue that we are discussing today, he has taken those issues by the horn and in his state, solved the problems surrounding those issues. As a candidate, Keating would be a strong, articulate candidate who people could relate to and with whom they could connect. He also comes from a school of politics that when compared to today’s politics, is much more mature and non-partisan. And although many people might not exactly recognize the name, once his story is told, people will automatically respect him for both who he is and what he accomplished. However I do not think Mitt Romney wants to have to tell Keating’s story. Doing so would drive some unwanted contrasts between Romney’s record and Keating’s record that Mitt may not want to have to address. And finally, I think Mitt may want to try to bring a relatively fresher face to the stage.

But I could easily be, and in many ways hope I am wrong, because if anyone would make a good Vice President, it would be someone who would make an excellent President, and Frank Keating would make an excellent President. In the end, as much as glad as I would like to see Keating tapped for the nomination, I think he is a longshot for the job because of the lack of geographical electoral benefit he brings to the ticket and because of the propoganda rich image the left would be given because of Keatings representation of insurance interests and as the President of the American Banking Association, banking interests.

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Frank Keating On The Issues

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

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Other White House 2012 pages dedicated to potential vice presidential candidates include links to the websites, and Facebook pages of the candidate it focusses on. Keating’s lack of political inolvement since 2002 has left Keating without a need or desire for such pages so there were none to link to. Inlieu of such pages, we have instead provided several video interviews of the Governor.

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Recent Interviews of Frank Governors

Frank Keating, the former Oklahoma Governor who was named chief executive officer of the American Bankers Association, talks about his work on the Bipartisan Policy Center’s proposal for changes to the U.S. budget.

ABA CEO Frank Keating speaks at the ABA’s 2011 Convention about the Dodd-Frank Act and the importance of banks in building strong communities.

Former Governor Frank Keating talks about anger in America 15 years after the Oklahoma City Bombing with CNN’s John King.

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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