An Unconventional Campaign

April 26, 2008

I read CBS news reporter Joy Lin’s article about the Huckabee campaign.  It’s an especially good overview.  As one of the thousands of spontaneous volunteers that defied pundits, I’d say she nailed it.

Politics, at its worst, is about deceit and manipulation, but if Romney’s greenbacks and political influence could not determine the caucus outcome, then Huckabee’s win seemed to affirm the power of the ordinary individual to decide the kind of man and the message they wanted to vote for. With that, a certain corner of the public imagination peeled open to expose a whole realm of possibilities: what could a campaign do with little money and a threadbare infrastructure? Did this mean ordinary contributions of only $20 could make a real difference in the campaign? Was it possible to organize successful phone banks online?

Huckabee’s campaign was so non-conventional, the Texas and Ohio League of Women Voters refused to include him in their voter guide because “he hadn’t collected enough money to be considered viable,” even after he’d won several states and emerged as one of the top delegate getters.

Quoting Joy Lin:Huckabee’s win seemed to defy the most clinical components of campaign success: money, experience, organizational strength, and coziness with establishment insiders.


The Choice – Self Government or Big Government

April 15, 2008

Tonight (April 14) former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee spoke to a crowd of almost a thousand at Union College as part of the college’s Speakers Forum.  It revealed much about why he believes what he believes.

One point that is already making news is a belief in the value of personal responsibility. 

Mike Huckabee said that “When people make rational, moral choices then there is little need for government.”  He elaborated by saying “One of the reasons we have such an extraordinary level of government is because we have failed to self-govern.”

Huckabee also noted the cost of this lack of personal responsibility.  Big government is expensive, and the actions of a few costs all of society.

He also introduced us to his version of what he calls “Hucktown,” where people are hard-working, educated, and don’t commit crime.  I Hucktown, there is no need for government regulation beyond the provisions of basic necessities.

To this reporter, the message of tonight’s speech tells as much about our society as it does the man who recently ended his presidential campaign.  Too many Americans have come to accept “Big Government” as the way things have to be, and have no language anymore to understand the concepts of limited rule.

But wouldn’t it be nice?


p.s. – The Schenectady Daily Gazette posted an interesting caption to their picture of the event.  An affable Mike Huckabee in suit but no tie stopped to greet members of the media before a press conference.  It’s so refreshing to see a politician who genuinely likes people as people, not as a means to an end of getting elected.

Sources:  Schenectady Times Union and Schenectady Daily Gazette