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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 6:53 am 
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2012 Republican primary: Where Mike Huckabee fits in

By KENDRA MARR | 7/9/11 5:00 PM EDT

Michael Farris, a prominent home-schooling advocate and church-group leader who helped power Mike Huckabee’s meteoric rise in 2008, is a man in demand by the 2012 Republican presidential field.

Both Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty are in hot pursuit, eager to capture Farris’s support and some of the momentum that propelled Huckabee to a second-place finish in the Ames straw poll, which sparked the former Arkansas governor’s campaign to life and spurred him on to a surprise win in the Iowa caucuses.

For all the calls and overtures Farris has received, he says he still can’t make up his mind which candidate to back.

“It was easy for me last time — Huckabee was the only one who shared the principles I believe in,” Farris said. “Here several people really share my views — maybe not 100 percent, but 95 percent-plus.”

In 2008, Huckabee’s claim to the evangelical vote was unmatched, with his personality and decade as a Southern governor and his credentials as a former Baptist preacher with a strong conservative record in office.

This time around, many of the 2012 candidates are centering their campaigns on the Huckabee pitch: Christian, anti-abortion, small government, strict Constitutionalism.

Waging an intense pre-campaign to edge out Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidates have focused their efforts on the operatives, grass-roots activists and religious leaders that made Huckabee a serious contender for the Republican nomination.

It’s a battle that the Huckabee supporters fear could end with them all losing, if the conservative evangelical base gets splintered between all the candidates instead of coalescing behind one Romney alternative.

Bob Vander Plaats, Huckabee’s Iowa state chair in 2008 and who now leads religious conservative group, The Family Leader, said: “There’s no doubt all the candidates are going after Huckabee’s base. The fear is that they divide up [that] base among themselves and Romney becomes the outlier and Romney coalesces other support and walks out of Iowa the winner.”

Pawlenty and Bachmann have led the charge, beginning with searching phone calls from campaign staff to track back to the Huckabee inner circle and key players, then moving to personally court the activists and operatives.

Rick Santorum, Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich have all zeroed in. Even Jon Huntsman’s gotten Huckabee’s South Carolina state campaign chairman, Mike Campbell.

In New Hampshire, Pawlenty picked up Huckabee’s co-chair Cliff Hurst, plus four key state activists. In Iowa, the former Minnesota governor hired former Iowa campaign manager Eric Woolson and former field coordinator Aubrie Johnson — whom Pawlenty pitched directly himself, after having her talk with an unaffiliated Minnesota anti-abortion group to vouch for his record.

But it was Pawlenty’s hire this week of Huckabee’s daughter, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, as his new senior political adviser that turned the most heads — even if she didn’t come with her husband, Bryan Sanders, an operative who met Sarah on her dad’s campaign in 2008, or the endorsement of Huckabee himself.

“Having Sarah Huckabee on with Pawlenty is a big deal,” said Susan Geddes, Huckabee’s 2008 grass-roots director, who has been courted by every campaign except Gingrich and Romney. “I have heard a few people say, ‘Oh, I wonder what that means,’ and they’re looking at Pawlenty again.”

Still, among operatives, Bachmann has the lead — her two top national aides, director Ed Rollins and press secretary Alice Stewart, are Huckabee veterans, and in Iowa, she’s hired Wes Enos, Huckabee’s state political director, as well as Barbara Heki, who after the 2008 campaign led the charge to oust state supreme court judges who green-lighted same-sex marriage. Plus, she’s got state Sen. Kent Sorenson on board, providing major inroads to the local base.

More than just paid operatives, the candidates are pursuing social conservative coalitions like Concerned Women for America and Vision America, a group led by former Texas Pastor Rick Scarborough, which has recruited thousands of “patriot pastors” to promote GOP candidates. They’re not spending as much time pursuing big donors — but Huckabee’s power was always more about grass-roots motivation than money.

Rather than explicitly trying to cast themselves as Huckabee’s heir, the candidates generally refer back to the same themes that are in their stump speeches, and are just as reluctant to criticize each other in private as they are in public.

“Their approach to me wasn’t tearing down someone else to build up themselves,” said former South Carolina Gov. David Beasley, a 2008 Huckabee backer who’s also still uncommitted for 2012, reflecting on his meetings with Santorum and Huntsman.

Unofficially, the battle is much fiercer, said Steve Deace, a former conservative radio host in Des Moines who publicly backed Huckabee in 2008 and used his show to thrash Romney on a daily basis. This presidential cycle, Deace said, he’s just plain frustrated with the campaigns’ roundabout attempts to win his influence.

“I get people from campaigns emailing me opposition research on other candidates all the time,” he said. “They want guys like me to go out there and tell people. Well, I’m not going to do that this time. They’ve got to do that themselves. If you can’t stand up to your primary opponents, you won’t be able to stand up to Barack Obama.”

Huckabee’s own intentions are hard to read. Pawlenty, Cain, Santorum, Gingrich and Bachmann have all been guests on his Fox News show, and he’s been generally positive about them all. The guitar-playing host has even jammed with Rep. Thad McCotter, who launched a presidential campaign himself last week that’s counting in large part on the support of Christian conservatives. Though he could probably coalesce his old support behind one candidate and anoint a clear Romney alternative through an endorsement, the former governor has so far declined to do so.

“He’s kind of pledged to be neutral, but I think if he believes his endorsement might help, I think he’d go with it,” said Vander Plaats.

Vander Plaats is holding off on backing someone himself, but plans to make an endorsement as early as Nov. 20 — the day after The Family Leader’s presidential debate. While that probably will influence many of the other former Huckabee supporters, Vander Plaats says the staff will be free to work for whichever candidate they want.

He’s just concerned about what will happen if they can’t all agree.


http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0711/58626.html

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:10 am 
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This topic is misleading, implying "where in the line up does Mike fit in?" Instead it is only a discussion about where Huckabee's supporters will go now that Mike isn't in the game. I keep hoping he will get in the game and the final nail on that coffin will be with an endorsement by him. I can promise you it will have no effect on my choice though.

Endorsements don't mean much to me because I don't believe they are ever given without a string attached or a bargain struck so I question their geniuneness. Besides, I like to think I am more of an independent thinker. Tell me why you like someone and I will consider them but just because you like them, doesn't mean I will like them.

I can't consider, Romney, Cain, Johnson, Paul, Gingrich, Palin, Huntsman...who else is out there? While I like a lot of things about Bachmann, McCotter, Perry et Santorium, I just can't get enthused about them either. :balling


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:39 pm 
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If I had to guess whom Mike would endorse at this point, I'd say Pawlenty. A consistently conservative record, executive experience in a blue state (just like Huck), and without the shia Republican tendencies of a Perry.

_________________
THE TIMES are nightfall, look, their light grows less;
The times are winter, watch, a world undone:
They waste, they wither worse; they as they run
Or bring more or more blazon man’s distress.
And I not help. Nor word now of success:
All is from wreck, here, there, to rescue one—
Work which to see scarce so much as begun
Makes welcome death, does dear forgetfulness.
Or what is else? There is your world within.
There rid the dragons, root out there the sin.
Your will is law in that small commonweal…
G.M. Hopkins.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:31 pm 
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Miserere wrote:
If I had to guess whom Mike would endorse at this point, I'd say Pawlenty. A consistently conservative record, executive experience in a blue state (just like Huck), and without the shia Republican tendencies of a Perry.



In addition to all you've said, T-Paw has the broadest appeal for rank and file Rep. and a very real connection to "common folk" through his own working class roots.

Mike has always made clear that Obama can only be beaten if the GOP stops beating up its own first. This dysfunctional legacy of talk radio and netroots is directly tied to the need these media have to drive hits and listeners with salacious or inflamatory rhetoric.

T-Paw simply lacks charisma, which is usually fatal in politic at this level.

We shall see, but it looks like T-Paw is the only current contender that meets Mike's criteria.

Strategically there is one other far fetched reason to support T-Paw:

He is actually Huckabee without the oratory and charisma skills. Their respective positions and records are VERY similar. For whatever reasons, T-Paw has always been more acceptable to the powerbroker pundits than Huck (personally I think the reflexsive anti-Huck is nothing more than anti-Southern and anti-clerical bigotry dressed up as something else). The problem is that T-Paw just can't sell soap. If T-Paw is an early loser, then the field is likely to include three candidates (Romney, Bachmann, Perry) none of whom are attractive to the powerbrokers. From what we know of this crew you can also expect a brutal contest that will futher tear the party apart (and drive up hits and ratings). T-Paw cannot finish less than third in the Iowa straw poll and go on. Right now that seems a tall order. He could soldier on or not.

So here's the deal. With T-Paw out early, would there be room for Huckabee to step in as the experienced, practical conservative, governor? Would his credibility to do so be enhanced by his support of T-Paw or general cheerleading of all the candidates? Would there be staff available including former T-Paw folks?

Just saying.

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Post by Southern Doc has received Likes: 3 ConservTexan, IowaforHuckabee, justgrace
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 6:38 pm 
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There are still some big name operatives in Iowa who have not been spoken for yet.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:02 pm 
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Southern Doc wrote:
Miserere wrote:
If I had to guess whom Mike would endorse at this point, I'd say Pawlenty. A consistently conservative record, executive experience in a blue state (just like Huck), and without the shia Republican tendencies of a Perry.



In addition to all you've said, T-Paw has the broadest appeal for rank and file Rep. and a very real connection to "common folk" through his own working class roots.

Mike has always made clear that Obama can only be beaten if the GOP stops beating up its own first. This dysfunctional legacy of talk radio and netroots is directly tied to the need these media have to drive hits and listeners with salacious or inflamatory rhetoric.

T-Paw simply lacks charisma, which is usually fatal in politic at this level.

We shall see, but it looks like T-Paw is the only current contender that meets Mike's criteria.

Strategically there is one other far fetched reason to support T-Paw:

He is actually Huckabee without the oratory and charisma skills. Their respective positions and records are VERY similar. For whatever reasons, T-Paw has always been more acceptable to the powerbroker pundits than Huck (personally I think the reflexsive anti-Huck is nothing more than anti-Southern and anti-clerical bigotry dressed up as something else). The problem is that T-Paw just can't sell soap. If T-Paw is an early loser, then the field is likely to include three candidates (Romney, Bachmann, Perry) none of whom are attractive to the powerbrokers. From what we know of this crew you can also expect a brutal contest that will futher tear the party apart (and drive up hits and ratings). T-Paw cannot finish less than third in the Iowa straw poll and go on. Right now that seems a tall order. He could soldier on or not.

So here's the deal. With T-Paw out early, would there be room for Huckabee to step in as the experienced, practical conservative, governor? Would his credibility to do so be enhanced by his support of T-Paw or general cheerleading of all the candidates? Would there be staff available including former T-Paw folks?

Just saying.


I like where you're going with this. I don't see why a lot of Paw folk wouldn't join up with Huckabee. He'd at least get his daughter back.

_________________
THE TIMES are nightfall, look, their light grows less;
The times are winter, watch, a world undone:
They waste, they wither worse; they as they run
Or bring more or more blazon man’s distress.
And I not help. Nor word now of success:
All is from wreck, here, there, to rescue one—
Work which to see scarce so much as begun
Makes welcome death, does dear forgetfulness.
Or what is else? There is your world within.
There rid the dragons, root out there the sin.
Your will is law in that small commonweal…
G.M. Hopkins.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:44 pm 
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I know this might sound "far fetched"....well...grasping at straws...but, if Pawlenty does fizzle out early he has an entire organization including Sarah in place. Could Governor Huckabee slip in and run with it???


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:30 am 
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nrobyar wrote:
I know this might sound "far fetched"....well...grasping at straws...but, if Pawlenty does fizzle out early he has an entire organization including Sarah in place. Could Governor Huckabee slip in and run with it???


Ah! Paw is just keeping the seat warm for the Huck! That would be something.

_________________
THE TIMES are nightfall, look, their light grows less;
The times are winter, watch, a world undone:
They waste, they wither worse; they as they run
Or bring more or more blazon man’s distress.
And I not help. Nor word now of success:
All is from wreck, here, there, to rescue one—
Work which to see scarce so much as begun
Makes welcome death, does dear forgetfulness.
Or what is else? There is your world within.
There rid the dragons, root out there the sin.
Your will is law in that small commonweal…
G.M. Hopkins.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:07 am 
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Miserere wrote:
nrobyar wrote:
I know this might sound "far fetched"....well...grasping at straws...but, if Pawlenty does fizzle out early he has an entire organization including Sarah in place. Could Governor Huckabee slip in and run with it???


Ah! Paw is just keeping the seat warm for the Huck! That would be something.



I have been expecting this. Again, I respect all the fine people who have put their hope in T-Paw as their guy. But I think the odds are still heavily against him and, if he doesn't make it too far, who is the person in the GOP field who stands for values issues and yet doesn't scare away innocent bystander independents? I can tell you who it's not. But Huck would at that point need to reconsider or else no one would be viable.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:46 pm 
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Latest Iowa polling does not look good for Pawlenty and while Bachmann is leading, her support is the most soft....meaning these people will bolt if some new credible candidate comes in.

Romney's base is solid. Don't know how he pulls it off. Also, it doesn't look like people are falling all over themselves here to vote for Perry.

The latest Iowa polling:

http://theiowarepublican.com/2011/tir-poll-bachmann-overtakes-romney-in-iowa/

http://theiowarepublican.com/2011/tir-poll-look-out-for-chris-christie/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/12/ia-2012-caucus-21-bachman_n_895617.html

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:16 pm 
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Iowans Rock wrote:
Latest Iowa polling does not look good for Pawlenty and while Bachmann is leading, her support is the most soft....meaning these people will bolt if some new credible candidate comes in.

Romney's base is solid. Don't know how he pulls it off. Also, it doesn't look like people are falling all over themselves here to vote for Perry.

The latest Iowa polling:

http://theiowarepublican.com/2011/tir-poll-bachmann-overtakes-romney-in-iowa/

http://theiowarepublican.com/2011/tir-poll-look-out-for-chris-christie/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/12/ia-2012-caucus-21-bachman_n_895617.html


Which candidate seems to be drawing the most Huckabee supporters/voters? Has the Iowa Brigade rallied around any one candidate or all they all pretty much split or undecided?

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:58 pm 
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Granny T, on Facebook it apears that Huck supporters are fairly evenly split in 3 ways--Bachmann, Pawlenty, and Cain!


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:23 pm 
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Of the original Iowa Brigade... I would say we don't have a candidate at this time. We get calls from candidates and campaigns and basically say no thanks.

In 10 minutes time last night I had two poll calls and one tonight. The one tonight asked if I would rank Cain in my top 3 picks. My daughter reports she has gotten calls on both home phone and cell phone. Perry has been calling, too.

Calls want to know if I will be voting at the Straw Poll and if I am a likely voter at the caucus.


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