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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2015 8:08 am 
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From a phone interview, Peggy Noonan on Mike Huckabee in her blog:

Quote:
The other day I spoke to Mike Huckabee. He’d announced just the day before. I liked his speech, kind of warmly fiery. He’s under great pressure for not joining the call to cut entitlement spending. But the way he argued for his position cut through, had a certain moral force, and will have plenty of appeal:

“Some propose that to save safety nets like Medicare and Social Security, we need to chop off the payouts for the people who have faithfully had their paychecks and pockets picked by the politicians promising that their money would be waiting for them when they were old and sick. You were forced to pay for Social Security and Medicare for 50 years. The government grabs money from our paychecks and says it will be waiting for us when we turn 65. If Congress wants to take away someone’s retirement, let them end their own congressional pensions—not your Social Security. As president, I promise you will get what you paid for.”

That’s written in a way—you’ll get what you paid for—that might give him room to maneuver as president. Here I note that it is the politician who has a natural, visceral and well-known opposition to something who is best situated to do it and get away with it. Nixon could go to China because he was rather on record as not liking commies; Reagan could raise taxes in 1983 because he hated them, so if he did he probably had to. I suspect it is an amnesty foe who will be best situated to down the road get some form of immigration reform through. Huckabee, viscerally opposed to reform that comes on the backs of the people, and with a reputation as a spender as governor, could be well-positioned to get some sort of entitlement deal through.

From our telephone interview:

What is Huckabee conservatism? “Taxes ought not to punish productivity and reward irresponsibility. That’s why I’m a proponent of the fair tax. Second, that we would turn loose true capitalism but not crony-insider capitalism that dominates the American economy today.” He referred to “the Washington-to-Wall Street axis of power.” He said: “Outside that loop there’s no sense of recovery.”

That sounds pretty populist. Is he a populist? “People say ‘Huckabee is a populist.’ If it means I have a connection to those who do not have any connection to that axis of power than yes.”

What is the American mood right now? “I think the mood is frustrated with a dysfunctional government that is so disconnected with the lives people really live. . . . The economy isn’t in recovery. You need to talk to the people I talk to each day. Their economy is stumbling. No one in Washington cares less about what’s going on in their lives, across all the demographics of race, gender, age, religion.” You see the detachment from real life in the “inane questions from journalists” who obsess on polls and process. “I’m thinking seriously, there are millions out of work, high rent, foreclosures.” It is producing a national “loss of dignity of which Washington, D.C., is not aware.”

What is the biggest misconception about you? That he’s “a big government guy.” He feels he governed effectively “in a hard-core Democratic state . . . with a structure that was far more partisan. . . . A lot of the think tanks that evaluate states have a template that does not account for the political dynamics (in those states), who has power to do what. They compare Arkansas to Texas or California. They’re not applicable.”

I asked if he thought the impact of his popular Saturday-night show on Fox, and his radio broadcasts, might be comparable in effect to the television and radio work of Ronald Reagan. Does he think the impression he made might have a residual power that isn’t sufficiently appreciated? “Gosh, I hope it does.” He thinks it will help protect him from attacks. “One of the things that was very evident was where I was easily defined eight years ago by opponents, now when people throw the nastiest stuff . . . people being polled say, ‘No, I like Huckabee, I see him on TV, hear him on the radio.’”

There’s a “misguided narrative” of the 2008 campaign that says he had only evangelical support. “Where I had most support was working-class people disconnected from the political elite, and some were evangelical and some not.” He sees “disaffected, struggling” working-class people as his natural base. “I wanna be faithful, speak not just to them but for them.”

Are you too kind of Southern/hokey/cornball to get the nomination in a party that after eight years of Obama is feeling tougher, hungrier, maybe harder? You can’t see someone bridle over the phone but I sensed bridling. “What people want more than geography, region or accent is a history of leading. I went into a harsh Democratic environment [as governor of Arkansas] and got 95% of my record passed. If they really want to win they need someone not only with a history of fighting but winning.”

He ended with political philosophy. “Elections are won vertically, not horizontally. Horizontal politics is liberals versus conservatives, Democrats versus Republicans. But the people in the middle who swing the election, they don’t think or vote horizontally. They are not left and right, they are ‘Are you taking me up or down?’ If they see your optimism and record they’ll vote for you. People perceived Obama vertically, not horizontally.”


http://blogs.wsj.com/peggynoonan/2015/05/12/republican-field-mellow-edition/

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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2015 10:24 am 
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This makes me feel a little better about the entitlement issue.

I have a lot of confidence that Governor Huckabee is completely in this time. I believe he knows what he is doing.

I truly believe he is the type of man who could bring about the changes we need to get the country back on track. Frankly, I'm not hopeful of where are country could be going if there is another Clinton or Bush in the White House.

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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2015 9:26 am 
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Wonderful interview! Thank you for posting this, Peter.

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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2015 9:27 am 
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HuckyinKentucky wrote:
This makes me feel a little better about the entitlement issue.

I have a lot of confidence that Governor Huckabee is completely in this time. I believe he knows what he is doing.

I truly believe he is the type of man who could bring about the changes we need to get the country back on track. Frankly, I'm not hopeful of where are country could be going if there is another Clinton or Bush in the White House.

Agreed. This is Governor Huckabee's time. And he is not just the type of man, but the only one with both experience and temperament to make the changes needed.

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