According to a news program this week, most people are still neutral about the field of Democratic and Republican candidates sparring in places like Iowa and New Hampshire, and soon Michigan and South Carolina. We’re sitting back watching, waiting to see who’s standing at the end of the marathon, and then we’ll decide.
I’m one of the many who thought it was presumptuous of this fellow Baptist preacher–from Hope, Arkansas yet–to declare for the presidency. I mean, a preacher? Lo and behold, the more I hear from Mike Huckabee, the more I like him.
I’m leading up to sharing something from a Newsweek article, but first, in the interests of full disclosure, here is my take on the main candidates….
Hillary? I’d like to have a woman for president. This nation is long overdue. And I think she would make a good one in a hundred areas. But for me, these are the negatives: she’s too liberal, she has all this baggage (think: Bill and his cohorts) left over from the 1990s, and she is being supported by all the far left (scary) groups.
Mitt? He sounds so good. But, I’m afraid of his religion. I told you this is full disclosure. I am not objective toward his religion. It’s a truly bizarre twist on Christianity and a faulty interpretation of God’s revelation in the Scriptures. It’s based on a con pulled by Joe Smith and furthermore, many of its leaders know that and cover it up. I have trouble trusting anyone gullible enough to believe in that religion.
McCain? Pretty good. Solid citizen. I like a lot about him, but he’s 72 now, which is 5 years older than me and man, I can feel my “powers” diminishing. Not sure we ought to be electing someone at that age.
Obama? Untested. He’s just not been around long enough at the center of power, if you want to call the U.S. Senate that, for my taste. We have a way in America of electing novices (present occupant of the White House included) and letting them get on-the-job training. I do think this country is overdue for an African-American president, and if it happens, it would be good for us. I’m puzzled at John Kerry and others jumping on his bandwagon just because he can make a good speech.
Rudy? Nah. Fred? Nah. Edwards? Hah.
Mike Huckabee? Yep.
Now, here’s what made me decide to post something on this blog about it.
Joe Klein writes for Newsweek magazine. In the January 14, 2008, issue, he takes on Mitt Romney and then segues into Mike Huckabee.
Klein listens to the smoothness of Romney in his personal appearances. Good stuff. Positive, upbeat, impressive. However…
In New Hampshire, Romney was running television ads and mailings that were completely the opposite of the good-guy persona he was presenting at rallies. In these, he was nasty and brutal toward his opposition.
The Romney whom Klein sees at public rallies “is, literally, unbelievable and completely at odds with the Romney festering on television screens and in mailings throughout Iowa and New Hampshire.”
He adds, “That Romney is nonstop negative, and jingo-crazed about the perils of illegal immigration. He offers exclamations, not balm: John McCain wants to make ’em citizens! Mike Huckabee gave them college scholarships! And McCain voted against the Bush tax cuts! And Huckabee pardoned all these criminals when he was Governor of Arkansas, while Romney pardoned not a single one of his Massachusetts felons!”
Klein says, “The problem is schizophrenia.” Romney is sweet-spirited and upbeat on the stump, but angry and mean-spirited in his ads and mailings.
The newspaper in Concord, NH, wrote, “Pay attention to both, and you’re left to wonder if there’s anything at all at his core.”
Joe Klein quotes a campaign manager for one of the other presidential candidates. “I just hate the guy. If we can’t win, I want to be sure he loses.”
Then, Klein goes to a Huckabee rally and takes notes. The Arkansan spent most of the time railing against Romney, he writes, and was particularly incensed over the man’s misrepresentations of Huckabee’s pardons.
Huckabee told this story about pardons.
An Iraq-war veteran returned to the States and worked his way through college. He wanted to become a police officer but couldn’t because he had fired a BB gun at a friend when he was 13 years old. Huckabee looked at the crowd and asked, “Now, how many of you would have granted a pardon in that case?” Klein recorded that every hand in the place seemed to be raised.
“Well,” said Huckabee, “that wasn’t one of my pardons. That was a pardon Mitt Romney refused to grant in Massachusetts.”
No one ever asks my advice on presidential politics, not even my children. But if they did, I would offer them one piece of advice.
“Don’t pay a lot of attention to the candidates’ posturing on the various issues. A thousand things will change once he or she gets into office, and very little of any of what they say in debates and ads will still pertain. Look for character and integrity. Try to determine from what you hear and read whether anyone is at home inside the candidate’s smooth exterior and beyond the programmed speeches. You’re not buying a platform; you’re electing a leader for the free world. Nothing he or she has done up to this point will remotely prepare them for the next eight years in the White House. So, the main question at this point is: who is the best person with the strongest desire to do the right thing?”
That is probably the last thing I’ll say about this presidential race on this blog. Probably.