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Entries Tagged as 'Mike Huckabee'

Rick Perry’s Little Trick

David Frum December 23rd, 2011 at 8:59 am 32 Comments

Mike Huckabee has not endorsed Rick Perry for president. On the contrary, there’s a long, rich record of Huckabee jabs at Perry.

Yet take a look at the new Rick Perry ad, “President of Honor,” aimed at the Iowa caucus-voters. The ad montages endorsements and testimonials from winners of the congressional medal of honor, artfully edited in ways to make you think that Gov. Perry must be almost sort of a war hero himself.

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Will Newt Win? Lets Ask President Giuliani!

December 7th, 2011 at 1:30 pm 21 Comments

Though Newt Gingrich seems to be styling himself as the inevitable nominee, a look back at the polling in during the Republican primary race in late 2007 suggests that Gingrich’s camp should not get too confident yet.

In December 2007, no polls seemed to show McCain as the frontrunner. Instead, Giuliani and a fast-rising Mike Huckabee tended to dominate in polling.

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Endorsements Draw Attention, Not Votes

June 26th, 2011 at 1:12 am 21 Comments

GOP 2012 candidates are nabbing some celebrity support this election season — though adding such star power to campaigns usually wins presidential hopefuls more in the way of headlines and contributions than votes.

A 2007 Pew Research Center for the People & the Press study found that “political endorsements generally have little impact on voter preference.” In the specific case of Oprah Winfrey supporting Barack Obama for President, 69 percent  of Americans said that her endorsement would not influence their vote.  And, even among the 30 percent who indicated that her endorsement would effect their vote, half of them said it would make them less likely to vote for her candidate.

A 2010 North Carolina State University study corroborated this finding. Michael Cobb, associate professor of political science at North Carolina State, said that “by exposing young people to a celebrity endorsement, they liked the candidate less and were less likely to vote for him.”

That being said, having deep-pocketed and recognizable celebrities backing a campaign certainly helps with fundraising and rally attendance.

In a surprise move, supermodel Cindy Crawford flip-flopped on her 2008 support for Barack Obama and is now backing former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.  Crawford appeared in a fundraising video for Romney — and the Romney for President Exploratory Committee then raised $10.25 million within a day of its release.  While it would be a stretch to attribute a causal relationship between Crawford’s endorsement and the skyrocketing Romney contributions, her appearance certainly didn’t hurt.  Eric Fehrnstrom, a spokesman for Romney, publically advertised Crawford’s support of the campaign through his Twitter account.

Romney is not the only candidate receiving celebrity support. Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman gained the backing of Hollywood producer Craig Haffner, a Tony award nominee and Emmy award winner.

“I think [Huntsman] is going to be a candidate people [in the entertainment industry] are going to be interested in,” said Haffner. More significant than the producer’s support in and of itself is the fact that Haffner has already begun arranging California meetings and fundraisers for potential Huntsman Hollywood backers. Huntsman’s first Los Angeles fundraiser will be on Monday, June 27 where he will solicit large contributions that will give the donors special VIP perks at campaign events.

Rep. Michele Bachmann has gained the support of actor Kelsey Grammer, with the former Frasier star contributing a video message to her “Troopathon” fundraiser on Thursday.

Chuck Norris, who famously supported former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee last election season, has thrown his hat in the ring for Rep. Ron Paul.

Norris was influential in garnering support for Huckabee at the outset of his White House bid.  The Los Angeles Times reported that Norris was “a factor in Huckabee’s popularity surge” and said in 2007, “A month ago, few even knew that Huckabee was a former governor of Arkansas, let alone a Republican candidate for president. Then karate-movie tough guy Norris … announced he was in Huckabee’s camp… Suddenly, Huckabee became the presidential example of tough-guy cool.” However, it is unclear how much his support will help the divisive Paul’s campaign this year.

So far Governor Tim Pawlenty and the other GOP candidates seem to be lagging behind in celebrity endorsements, though the pool of Hollywood Republicans is famously small to begin with.

While Hollywood endorsements may not help politically advance the candidates, having a recognizable celebrity in your corner boosts fundraising efforts.  And, in the case of Romney, having a famous supermodel like Crawford on your team will definitely attract attention if not actual votes.

With Huck Out, Will GOP Lose the Middle Class?

David Frum May 16th, 2011 at 1:03 pm 77 Comments

This Saturday, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee announced that he would not run for the 2012 Republican party’s nomination. As my latest column for CNN.com notes, for all his political flaws Huckabee understood the economic concerns of the middle class.

The exit of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee from the 2012 presidential race opens a huge void in the Republican field.

Who now will speak to the concerns of middle-class American families?

There were many flaws in [Mike] Huckabee’s 2008 candidacy. His cultural message was too reactionary. His so-called Fair Tax was an ill-considered gimmick. His foreign policy background was too thin.

But of all the candidates in that year of economic crisis, Huckabee was unequaled in showing understanding and regard for those families getting by on incomes of five figures and not six, seven, eight or nine.

Now in 2011, the Republican candidates have wandered even further from middle-class concerns.

You hear more from this field about imaginary threats to the Constitution than about real threats to middle-class wages. More about the gold standard than about educational standards. More about eliminating Planned Parenthood than about improving health care coverage.

Meanwhile the American middle class faces its harshest challenge since the Great Depression. …

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