March 9, 2011

Pawlenty Hires Huck’s Top Iowa Aide From 2008

Chris Cillizza, as usual, has the scoop:

Eric Woolson, a top aide to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (Ark.) in the 2008 Iowa caucuses, has signed on with former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty for the coming 2012 contest, according to two sources familiar with the decision.

Woolson was at the center of Huckabee’s stunning victory in the 2008 Iowa caucuses and his decision to switch camps will be read as an indication that the former Arkansas governor is leaning against a return run for president.

Huckabee allies insist that idea is misguided, noting that while Woolson was a trusted ally in 2008, he is not part of the governor’s inner circle…

Woolson’s hire is also a sign of Pawlenty’s big bet on Iowa where his team clearly believes he must win — or perform above expectations in order to have a real shot at the Republican nomination.

Pawlenty is assembling quite the impressive team in Iowa thus far:

Woolson, who served as communications director in Iowa for the caucus campaign of then Texas Gov. George W. Bush in 2000, will join Annie Kelly on Pawlenty’s Iowa team. Kelly, who served as deputy campaign manager for Pawlenty’s 2006 gubernatorial race and ran his Freedom First PAC, moved to Des Moines a few weeks ago.

And, Pawlenty has several other Iowa aces up his sleeve — most notably Terry Nelson who, for a time, managed John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, and former Bush White House political director Sara Taylor. Both are Iowa natives.

It’s clear that Pawlenty is following a similar strategy as Mitt Romney in 2007/2008: lavish attention, time, and money on Iowa and hope a strong finish there propels him to victory elsewhere. If Huckabee ends up not running, as this hire may suggest, Pawlenty might have a good shot at succeeding at that strategy.

UPDATE: Woolson’s decision to join Team Pawlenty comes after a private meeting with Huckabee last week, as Huckabee’s book tour passed through Iowa…

by @ 12:42 pm. Filed under Campaign Hires, Iowa Watch, Mike Huckabee, Tim Pawlenty
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99 Responses to “Pawlenty Hires Huck’s Top Iowa Aide From 2008”

  1. Craig for Huck in 2012 Says:

    Huckabee allies insist that idea is misguided, noting that while Woolson was a trusted ally in 2008, he is not part of the governor’s inner circle

  2. Craig for Huck in 2012 Says:

    The headline makes it sound like T-Paw hired Huck’s Top Aide From 2008.

    I was expecting to see an inner circle person.

  3. letmeeatmywaffle Says:

    Craig: it’s looking more and more than Huck won’t run. The house in FL. Winding down the committee. Top campaign guys now finding new clients. If Huck was serious even about a late entry, he would tell people to hold on. You know this guy talked to Huck before he signed on with Pawlenty.

    If Pawlenty is in the top two in IA, he’ll do very very well in NH.

  4. Matt Coulter Says:

    Craig, moved the word “Iowa” in the headline to be more exact. Does that help?

    Any way you slice it, though, this doesn’t bode well for Huck.

  5. Jay Says:

    Huckabee and Palin fans….would like to know who your second choice would be. Looks like neither are running and as a group you could hold the balance of power. Where will you go?

  6. Craig for Huck in 2012 Says:

    He was nowhere close to being Huck’s TOP Iowa Aide From 2008

    Not even top five.

  7. marK Says:

    Craig,

    You will note that Romney hasn’t been losing any key allies in New Hampshire. A few have been non-committal, but none have jumped ship that I am aware of. On the contrary, he has been picking up some serious endorsements there. Do you know any different?

    The news seems to be going the other way for Huckabee in Iowa. Why do you suppose that is the case?

    You know as well as I do that Mike has to do well in Iowa, and Mitt has to do well in New Hampshire. So far all the bad news seems to be coming from the Huckabee side of the ledger. That has got to be troubling.

  8. CF Says:

    The only reason why Woolsen would be switching camps is because he is getting signs from Huckabee that he is not running.

    Not good news for Huck fans.

  9. Kavon W. Nirkad Says:

    He was nowhere close to being Huck’s TOP Iowa Aide From 2008

    Not even top five.

    That is not true, Craig. I might put BVP at the top of the list, but Woolson was undoubtedly in the “Top Five.” Especially pre-Straw Poll.

  10. Matt C Says:

    Craig, your denial is entertaining. Take up that claim with Cillizza, who calls him a top aide and central to Huck’s campaign.

    Other media outlets are calling Woolsen “Huckabee’s point man,” the man who “led Mike Huckabee’s campaign in Iowa,” the person who “managed Huckabee’s Iowa campaign,” and “Huckabee’s caucus campaign manager.”

    Keep trying, though. Heh.

  11. Kavon W. Nikrad Says:

    As long-time readers of this site know, I was invited to travel with Gov. Huckabee for a weekend in Iowa back in 2007. My impression was that the three “Top Dogs” in the campaign were Bob Vander Plaats, Eric Woolson, and Vince Harris.

    Just my two cents…

  12. Kavon W. Nikrad Says:

    I, of course, excluded Chip Saltsman from my list because we are only talking Iowa.

  13. Kavon W. Nikrad Says:

    I still think that Huckabee is running though…

  14. Watchinitall Says:

    If I really, really liked Huckabee, and I really really don’t, I would be quietly rooting for him to skip this cycle, especially as the economy seems to be improving, and would want him to gather strength for 2016. Seems to me he stands a much better chance then of maximizing his potential to actually win the office. He won’t be out of sight, and he won’t be out of mind during the interim, and we’re not talking decades here.

    But if the fire has really gone out of him for the fight, he owes it to his base of supporters to stop coyly delaying and pass the baton.

  15. Jonathan Says:

    The udpate to the story seems most important to me. Woolson meets with Huckabee but jumps to Team Pawlenty? Hmm… Either Huckabee isn’t running or Woolson was very heavily wooed by Pawlenty in private and he just thought it was polite to inform Huckabee about his switch.

    Regardless, good pick up for Pawlenty. He’s definitely going for the Iowa strategy and looks like he’s building a solid organization to do it.

  16. Dave Says:

    Another one bites the dust.

  17. Thomas Alan Says:

    Honestly, I’m not even sure how much of a “get” this was for Pawlenty. Huckabee’s 2008 campaign apparatus was hardly top notch. He had to co-opt organizations that were already in place like Fair Tax and churches. In the pre-Ames days (when Kavon says he was most important), the Huck campaign was rather inept and only slightly improved after that.

  18. Max Twain Says:

    Another blow to the already then Huckabee organization. The bad news just keeps on coming for the potential field’s worst fundraiser.

  19. Jonathan Says:

    #17:

    They got Huckabee a second place in Ames. That ain’t nothin.

  20. Max Twain Says:

    thin*

  21. Matt "MWS" Says:

    There was also someone from Huck’s 2008 New Hampshire campaign that recently went to TPaw. He claims he talked to Huck about it, and said that Huck did nothing to disuade him from it. I can find the link if someone really wants it.

    As I noted recently, I think the odds of Huck running have dropped a lot recently. I’d now put it at maybe 30%. A few weeks ago I probably would have said 50-60%.

  22. Thomas Alan Says:

    19:

    The Fair Tax folks got him 2nd place at Ames, and really he only had to leapfrogged Sam Brownback to get that. I don’t give his campaign much credit at all for that showing. If we still had the early 2007 archives you’d see most posts about Huckabee scratching their head about why they couldn’t seem to get things up and running within his campaign.

  23. Franklin Says:

    If Woolson is not a top Iowa aide then why did Huckabee meet with him in person? While I do think he is leaning against running, I don’t think he has made a final decision. Apparently Woolson thinks he is unlikely to run.

    I still think Palin will run. Glassner is not a high profile aide but seems too high profile for the job he is supposedly doing. Walking away from up to a $8 million dollar deal. Her interest in QE2, a high profile trip to India. As a matter of fact, she may have cut a very sweet piece of pie. She is scheduled to attend a Extraordinary Women conference at Liberty University on Ocy 7-8. Her speech will be simulcast to over a 1,000 churches. Any potential campaign would likely look like Perot’s 1992 campaign with a lot of volunteers and a sprinkling of paid people.

  24. asparagus Says:

    Woolsen and Rollins formed a tag team for Huck. Rollins would punch Romney’s teeth out while Woolsen would choke and pull hair.

  25. Matt "MWS" Says:

    “She is scheduled to attend a Extraordinary Women conference at Liberty University on Ocy 7-8. Her speech will be simulcast to over a 1,000 churches.”

    Innocent question….. would that violate any laws about campaigning and churches? I know LOTS of politicians from both parties have spoken in individual church during a campaign, but 1000 churches at once during a campaign? Would that break some law?

    Does anyone know? I mean, really know?

  26. Matt "MWS" Says:

    …and for the record, I am not questioning what I consider the right of churches to do whatever they want in that regard. I am wondering whether it might preclude a campaign.

  27. Jonathan Says:

    Matt:

    Pg 3 of this document might help. It was last updated in 2010:

    http://www.azpolicy.org/files/14713/downloads/WhatChurchesCan-CannotDo_0.pdf

  28. marK Says:

    The update is very telling, IMO.

    The news just doesn’t look good for Huckabee in Iowa. First Bob Vander Plaats starts strongly hinting that Mike isn’t going to run. Now this.

    If Huckabee doesn’t do well in Iowa, that is going to put him in a world of hurt. That means he has to win in South Carolina, but by then he will be a three-time loser. And with the Iowan loss hung around his neck, he is going to have an almost impossible task there.

  29. TEX Says:

    No Matt,

    If you can speak to one,why not to 1,000?

    By that time it will be probably much more than 1,000.

  30. AnneMarie Says:

    #27 – Jonathan: Thanks for posting the link to the church political info. I think this point is applicable to Palin’s appearance in Virginia: “Candidate Speaks at church (not identified as candidate, political campaign is not mentioned)”. This item is noted as “Yes” in the Permissible column.

  31. heath Says:

    Non story! I think Huck is truly undecided.

    If no-one takes off by July/August, which is likely, why wouldn’t he have a go.

  32. Matt "MWS" Says:

    Jonathan,

    Thanks.

  33. Granny T Says:

    Raleigh, N.C. – In 2008, frequent bellwether state Missouri had the closest presidential
    race in the country. John McCain edged out Barack Obama by about 0.1% of the vote. In 2012, the Show-Me State should have another nail-biter. The president trails his strongest opponent by seven points, ties two others, and leads the weakest by five.

    President Obama has increased his advantage over Sarah Palin since PPP last polled the state late last November, leading her 48-43, up from 46-43. He has improved even more against perhaps the strongest candidate nationally, Mitt Romney, now down only 44-43, versus 47-41 last time. And he is at essentially the same place versus Newt Gingrich, tied at 44% (45-44 deficit previously), and Mike Huckabee, down 49-43 (49-42).

    Huckabee leads 49-35, Romney 45-33, and Gingrich 41-39 with independents, but Palin
    lags 43-40. Palin is the only candidate to lose more Republican voters to Obama than she takes Democrats from him. The president locks up 85-90% of his party’s votes, while the Republicans, except Huckabee (89%), take only 80-85% of the GOP. Romney does worst with the GOP, pulling only 80% and leaving 16% undecided (11% for Gingrich,10% for Palin, and only 5% for Huckabee). Only 2-7% of Democrats are undecided.

    The president’s job approval rating has remained unchanged in the state in the last few months, with 43% approving and 52% disapproving. Those are poor numbers compared to his national standing, but all except one of his potential opponents are in worse shape. Huckabee has a 45-35 favorability margin, still good, but down significantly from 51-29 in the previous poll. All the others are in negative territory, and all but Romney have worsened slightly, with Romney at 32-44, Palin at 37-56, and Gingrich at 31-50.

    “Mike Huckabee is currently outperforming John McCain, but if President Obama faces anyone else, it’ll be another down-to-the-wire finish in Missouri,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling.

    From Obama leads Palin, ties Romney and Gingrich in Missouri

  34. G Says:

    “would that violate any laws about campaigning and churches?”

    As if Huckabee would care about this law?

    He was invited to speak as “guest pastor” at my co-workers church the week before the last Caucus. No official endorsement, of course, that would be illegal. We’ll just have him show up and talk about values.

    Meanwhile, national pundits marveled at Huck’s amazing micro-targeting. How does he roll into a small town and know just which voters to contact? Well, I suppose if the local pastor hands over his membership roster, it’s pretty easy.

    A few months after Jan 2008 finally blew over, I sat down and raised some of these points with my Protestant co-worker.

    I’ll never forget that conversation:

    Me: “Isn’t it an implied endorsement to have have Huckabee speaking from the pulpit a few days before a caucus?”
    Her: “No, I don’t mind. I mean, I’m sure Romney has Mormon leaders endorsing him.”
    Me: “I’m quite sure he doesn’t.”
    Her: “Well, if someone’s church leaders won’t endorse them, how would you know if you should vote for them.”

    The more evidence that’s out there that Huck isn’t running, the better I feel. He’s a great entertainer and I hope he stays in entertainment where he belongs.

  35. Granny T Says:

    Huckabee told my granddaughter and me on his tour bus in Dubuque that he is “very seriously considering” running again. He told the same thing to people in North Carolina last night.

    He wouldn’t commit to a run Tuesday night, though.

    “I am very seriously considering it, and my time frame is this summer to make the decision,” Huckabee said after the book signing, acknowledging that many people want him to run. “I think they understand this is not a decision you jump off into impulsively.”

    Mini clip from article Mike Huckabee book signing in Asheville draws crowd

    Here’s another quote from the article that shows how big a crowd compared to another star:

    Store manager Don Sabans said the store distributed 600 armbands for the event. That eclipsed a turnout of 250 people for country singer Trace Atkins a couple of years ago.

  36. Craig for Huck in 2012 Says:

    PPP TWEETS

    GOP candidate favs in MO: 45/35 for Huck, 32/44 for Mitt, 31/50 for Newt, 37/56 for Palin:
    9 minutes ago via web

    Obama trails Huck by 6, but down just 1 to Mitt, tied with Newt, leads Palin by 5 in MO:
    10 minutes ago via web

    8)

  37. CF Says:

    It’s not a surprise Huckabee beats Obama in Missouri. Huckabee is -supposed- to win Missouri. What’s more interesting is that Romney can beat Obama there too, in territory that isn’t where he is strongest.

  38. Craig for Huck in 2012 Says:

    Another Tweet

    Missouri will be much more Republican than in 08 if party nominates competent candidate. BIG if…
    http://tinyurl.com/4o2ljy5
    8 minutes ago via web

  39. teledude Says:

    25. & .26 Matt “MWS”,

    I didn’t read the link on the rules, but it is my understanding she is giving a talk about her faith.

    I think that would be perfectly acceptable. She may not campaign (say ‘vote for me”) but she is still free to do things like this. Wasn’t it Huckabee who took time off the campaign trail to deliver a paid speech somewhere in the Caribbean last election?

    I am also pretty sure she will have announced before then. She’s a pretty shrewd political strategist. I think you guys are underestimating her. Big time.

    Imagine the scenario, where Huckabee doesn’t run (seems likely) and Governor Palin gives a heartfelt speech on her faith to possibly hundreds of thousands of evangelicals (via satellite hook up to over 1000 churches) just three months prior to Iowa and South Carolina. You know, those committed values voters who organize bus loads of people to take to the caucus sites…

    This is why I say all these polls may be interesting, one shouldn’t place too much emphasis on them just yet.

  40. Max Twain Says:

    If it’s a bad news day for Huck, count on some Kos poll spamming!

  41. Granny T Says:

    The reason Obama’s still competitive in Missouri despite his own unpopularity is the weakness of the Republican candidate field against him. Only Huckabee has net positive favorability numbers, with 45% rating him favorably to 35% with an unfavorable opinion. Voters are quite negative toward Gingrich (31/50) and even Romney (32/44), allowing Obama to stay competitive with them despite his own poor numbers. And of course Palin’s figures are the worst with 56% of voters expressing a negative opinion of her to only 37% with a positive one.

    From the PPP blog article, Missouri close…except with Huck or Palin

  42. Watchinitall Says:

    Craig, the sunshaded smiley face is starting to make me think of Huck’s Summer plans on the FL coast.

  43. Kenya Page 183 and 1,033 Pardons chuck Says:

    Piles of cash behind door #1 and mountains of headaches behind door #2. Come on, chucky is duping a lot of people into thinking he will run.

  44. Craig for Huck in 2012 Says:

    Wednesday, March 9, 2011
    Missouri close…except with Huck or Palin

    The Presidential race in Missouri could go three different ways next year based on our current polling, depending on who the Republican nominee is.

    If it’s Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich the state will be a tossup much as it was in 2008. Barack Obama ties Gingrich in the state at 44% and trails Mitt Romney by just a single point at 44-43.

    If it’s Mike Huckabee, Republicans should win the state by a much more comfortable margin than John McCain’s narrow victory the last time around. He leads Obama 49-43.

    And if it’s Sarah Palin, Democrats should finally be able to return this state to their column. Obama leads her 48-43.

    (…)

    The reason Obama’s still competitive in Missouri despite his own unpopularity is the weakness of the Republican candidate field against him. Only Huckabee has net positive favorability numbers, with 45% rating him favorably to 35% with an unfavorable opinion.

    http://publicpolicypolling.blogspot.com/

    National and Ohio numbers are next……..

  45. CF Says:

    Craig, ever considered working for one of those email spam companies? You’d definitely give those bots a run for their money.

  46. AnneMarie Says:

    #39 teledude: There is also a Values Voter Summit conference that same weekend in October in Washington DC. Palin is on the list of invited speakers (but not confirmed). It would make sense for her to attend.

  47. Granny T Says:

    Max,
    Unlike some people, I don’t get upset when someone that makes their money working on political campaigns signs on with someone willing to pay them to work on their campaign. Huckabee has consistently said he won’t be making a decision anytime soon. Huckabee has been in politics long enough to realize that he’ll lose some of his previous workers that need a job. The Iowa Brigade is still alive and strong. Most of them are volunteers that won’t be quite as fickle as someone that made a career out of campaigning.

  48. teledude Says:

    46. Yes. No official word but I believe she will be there.

    On another unrelated note, it looks like Newt stepped in it today:

    “Newt says passion for his country led to his adultery.”

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2011/03/newt-gingrich-passion-for-the.html

  49. teledude Says:

    44. Craig, bless your heart, you are clueless.

  50. Granny T Says:

    Did anyone see the article on Politico that has a picture of four girls supporting Huckabee at a rally in ’07 with the caption saying “Iowa conservatives rally for Mike Huckabee in 2007. They don’t have a standard-bearer today.”

    Ironically, one of our Team Huck coordinators caught those same girls on camera at one of the Book Tour stops in Iowa. I’d say from looking at their recent picture they still have their last “standard-bearer today.”

  51. Zeek Says:

    I certainly hope Huckabee, Palin, Pawlenty, Romney and all others run. As long as thier fan base can control thier mouths
    ,and not canabilize each other I am eager to listen. I want each of these possible candidates to openly debate in more than
    sound bites. Let them put up or shut up! Let each one get into the ring, or slink back into the shadows like winnie celebrities who self servingly speak about things they dont know, to fans who dont understand, so they they can claim they care about people they have never met.

    Zeek

  52. blue Says:

    Newt is now planning a late may announcement…who knows when the others jump. I would think romney would wait until one from daneils, huckabee, and palin make their intentions known, for him to jump in first from that grouping would be beyond stupid.

  53. Craig for Huck in 2012 Says:

    Among Missouri Republicans

    Huckabee {+58%}
    Romney 46% {+17%}

    Among Missouri Independents

    Huckabee {+24%}
    Romney {-6%}

    Palin {-25%} :(

  54. Granny T Says:

    Matt, “MWS”,
    Don’t let the update get your hopes up too much. I was in a private meeting on the Huckabee tour bus in Dubuque. Huckabee told us the same thing he told others – including a group in North Carolina last night – “I am very seriously considering it, and my time frame is this summer to make the decision,” Huckabee said after the book signing, acknowledging that many people want him to run. “I think they understand this is not a decision you jump off into impulsively.”…“…If I jump in, it’ll be full-throttle to run for president.”

    From Mike Huckabee book signing in Asheville draws crowd

    “full-throttle” – I like that. :)

  55. blue Says:

    http://www.2012presidentialelectionnews.com/2012-debate-schedule/2011-2012-primary-debate-schedule/

    i’ll go with the first 3 debates being completely meaningless with no shows among the top players. Yet, the aug 11 debate will bring the fireworks

  56. Craig for Huck in 2012 Says:

    I agree, Blue.

  57. teledude Says:

    Craig, you’ll be backing Pawlenty by then.

    Don’t feel bad, he had a book this year too.

    Sold 5000 copies!

  58. Craig for Huck in 2012 Says:

    The fun begins in August. Until then, it’s just getting your best post position draw in horse racing parlance. ;)

  59. Kavon W. Nikrad Says:

    Huckabee’s meetings in South Carolina, however, point to him running:

    Is Mike Huckabee showing signs of interest in a potential run on his book tour?

    The former Arkansas governor met aboard his tour bus in South Carolina Monday with Richard Quinn, one of the state’s top strategists, POLITICO has learned.

    “I enjoyed seeing him. I’m a big fan of his,” Quinn said in an interview, calling Huckabee a “fascinating fellow” who’s “one of the most colorful, attractive” potential nominees.

    Quinn, who was John McCain’s chief strategist in the state in 2008, said he first got to know Huckabee last year.

    “Governor Huckabee worked with Richard on a political event last year and they’ve become friends,” HuckPAC executive director Hogan Gidley said. “When you’re traveling the country promoting a new political book and you’re a former presidential candidate, it’s always good to talk politics with the locals.”

    Quinn said they didn’t discuss presidential politics, and that topics kept close to local affairs and both their wives recent knee surgeries.

    “I gave him my general assessment of the lay of the land in South Carolina,” Quinn said. “He certainly gave me no indication of what his plans are.”

    But Quinn, who has polled the state for 30 years, added, “It is my sense that if he got into the race he would be formidable. He’s very popular with South Carolina Republican primary voters.”

    Another Quinn top pick is Jon Huntsman, he said.

    It’s not the first meeting with operatives Huckabee has held on the bus — he is said to have met with former advisers Eric Woolson and Bob Vander Plaats in Iowa last week.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0311/50939.html#ixzz1G8doZgcV

  60. Craig for Huck in 2012 Says:

    And Palin is starting from the auxiliary gate and may pull up lame.

  61. Craig for Huck in 2012 Says:

    “I gave him my general assessment of the lay of the land in South Carolina,” Quinn said. “He certainly gave me no indication of what his plans are.”

    But Quinn, who has polled the state for 30 years, added, “It is my sense that if he got into the race he would be formidable. He’s very popular with South Carolina Republican primary voters.”

    ===

    I like that, Kavon. :)

    I still say it’s more likely he’s in than not this summer.

    Especially after Palin gets out of the way.

  62. Franklin Says:

    PPP is one poll. Huckabee spent a year campaigning for himself. Palin spent a few months campaigning for McCain. People know nothing about Palin except what state run media has told them. I agree with what Rush said Tuesday. “Sarah Palin has more courage in her little finger than our presidential field. Same thing with Michele Bachmann. The gonads on our team happen to be wearing skirts.”

  63. teledude Says:

    When Palin announces, it will literally shake the earth under the republican establishment.

    Mass hysteria will ensue.

    Gonna be fun to watch!

  64. Max Twain Says:

    Huck’s “meetings” look more like the old Gingrich footsie game in order to try and sell a poorly received book.

    Letting top staffers leave while you head off on a cruise? Does this sound like the kind of campaign that could challenge the Obama machine? Huck is either A) not running or B) showing how utterly inept and disorganized he is.

  65. CF Says:

    If I were a Huckafan, I’d feel pretty betrayed by him. If I had been spending all my time online spamming polls with him in the lead, and then find out he’s going on a cruise this summer and letting his top staffer leave, I’d be changing candidates.

    My guess is there will be a lot of people doing the same thing.

  66. Steven S. Says:

    Amazon Bestsellers Rank: Mike Huckabee #182 in Books

    So much for blowing Romney out of the water. People don’t really care to buy political books except those of Rush, Hannity, Beck, Levin, Bush, and even Palin.

  67. Steven S. Says:

    I was right about Huckabee’s favorables dropping. Missouri too close to Arkansas.

  68. teledude Says:

    .66 LOL

    ‘and even’

  69. Steven S. Says:

    Oh, by the way: George W. Bush (Nov. 9 release) Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #22 in Books

    Mike Huckabee release (Feb. 22)

  70. Steven S. Says:

    I threw that ‘even Palin’ to urk Craig.

  71. Mark Says:

    Gov Huckabee can’t possibly run with Fairtax albatross around his neck. Oh, he can make noise and PRETEND he is running, but he has learned Fairtax is goofy.

    Fairtax has a massive (and I mean massive) hidden tax on city governments, county governments, and state governments. Huckabee knows that now, and knows city, county and states would freak. So to run, he has to get rid of Farce Tax, somehow. Perhaps blame the bad old “lobbyist” .

    If you see Huck distance himself from Farce tax, it means he is running. Otherwise, he is just pretending.

  72. Mark Says:

    Huckabee isn’t running — he would have to admit he misled everyone on Fairtax.

  73. CF Says:

    Sarah Palin is more like Oprah Winfrey for Conservatives. Everyone loves the way she can get a crowd going, but she’s not perceived as Presidential material.

    I think she would do a tremendous job of fighting her guts out with the Democrats if she were President. Unfortunately, that kind of attitude won’t really accomplish anything in the real world unless you have support from the opposition.

    Sarah Palin is a great spokesperson, but in my opinion, she would create a greater divide in this country than even Obama has created if she were President. Solutions to fix the debt crisis won’t wait for us to fight over it.

  74. Still Hurting Says:

    MWS, We’re getting back to the 20% chance of him running that you and I chatted about a year ago on ROS.

    Whatever it means to Huck to “seriously consider” running, in another 3 months, it won’t matter. Most of the accomplished political talent and fund-raisers will have signed on with one of the other candidates.

    As far as the signals out of SC, I think Huck is working on Plan B harder than he is on Plan A. I think he is preparing not to run and to back a solid socon with a real chance to beat Romney, to whit, endorse TPaw, who has been auditioning hard of late. With Huck being the wind in his sails, Pawlenty has a real chance to win IA. It makes a lot of sense for Huck to solidify his support in SC in order to help push Tim to victory there as well.

  75. CF Says:

    I agree. Huckabee has proven time and again that he is far more interested in beating the Mormon, then winning the White House. It’s pretty sick to me to think that Mike Huckabee could easily have a clear shot at winning the Presidency, yet his hatred is so deep for Romney, he’d rather see him lose.

    Baptists really are that fanatical though. I can think of no other group on the face of the Earth that detests Mormons more. They occassional decend upon Utah in giant waves in an effort to inform everyone that they’re going to Hell. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Huckabee wasn’t a part of one of these “missionary” efforts at some point in his life.

    Also, if Huckabee is really planning to hold out until midsummer to start organizing, he’s going to be extremely handicapped. His preparation is already incredibly far behind the other candidates. It makes absolutely no logical sense to pull something like that if you were really going to run.

    Furthermore, Huckabee is doing no service to the GOP by pulling a stunt like this. What he is doing is that he is keeping people interested in himself, rather then becoming informed of another candidate to beat Obama. If he waits too long to declare he is NOT running, people will have little time to judge the rest of the field and make an educated decision.

  76. Joe Hanna Says:

    Huck more and more strikes me as being the Bob Dole in this race. Not quite long in the tooth, but not quite feeling the fire in the belly for anything except rattling off and taking shots. This whole thing is very meandering. Every utterance has a “please please please dont forget about me!” quality to it.

  77. Joe Hanna Says:

    #76
    Although I agree that with Craig(?) that Kasich would be his best VP

  78. Ray B Says:

    I’m curious does Rush say the same thing about Palin every single day? Because all 3 days this week one of the Palinbots has said “I like what Rush said about Palin today: ‘she has more courage in her little finger than our whole potential field combined.'”

    I’m thinking its more along the lines of cutting and pasting but maybe Rush really doesn’t have any new material so all he can do is fawn over the pretty conservatives.

  79. Still Hurting Says:

    CF

    A Huck campaign will be moot before he announces. I can’t say that he is planning not to run, but I can see no evidence that he is planning TO run. And without substantial planning and organizing in the next 90 days, it would literally take an unseen hand to make it happen. (And while I believe in unseen hands, I don’t believe they want Huck to be president.)

    I’m not inclined to worry about what Huck’s motivations are, whether he is driven by animosity towards Mitt or whether he just really wants to drive his own agenda and thinks Mitt is in the way. There are lots of different kind of Baptists. I like most of them. But I don’t like the radical jihadi Baptists whose life is running counter-cult ministries.

    As I said, I think Huck can “run against” Mitt without becoming a candidate by endorsing Pawlenty. Besides, he can say a lot more nasty things as a non-candidate than he could get away with as a candidate.

  80. TEX Says:

    Ray B

    “I like what Rush said about Palin today: ‘she has more courage in her little finger than our whole potential field combined.’”
    ==============================================

    You are not disagreeing with El Rushbo-Maharashi?!
    Are you?!

  81. TEX Says:

    Ray B

    “I like what Rush said about Palin today: ‘she has more courage in her little finger than our whole potential field combined.’”
    =============================================

    Ha,ha,ha………….
    I beat Rush to it long time ago.
    I said many times that Sarahcuda Snow White has more backbone
    and courage than all dwarfs put together.

    But it’s great that El Rushbo said it,it caries enormous power.

  82. Franklin Says:

    I think she would do a tremendous job of fighting her guts out with the Democrats if she were President. Unfortunately, that kind of attitude won’t really accomplish anything in the real world unless you have support from the opposition.

    Sarah Palin is a great spokesperson, but in my opinion, she would create a greater divide in this country than even Obama has created if she were President. Solutions to fix the debt crisis won’t wait for us to fight over it.
    =========================================================================

    The fact is that she got most of her agenda in Alaska passed with democrat legislators. That is a novel complaint. Just because Democrats don’t like her, that should give them veto power over the Republican nominee. If the Republicans continue to hold the House, the democrats are under pressure in the Senate both in 2012 and 2014. In the Senate, budgets are not filibusterable. That means you need at least 50 votes not 60.

  83. FayetteCountyIowaGOPchair Says:

    Tea-Paw is making the right moves in the Hawkeye State.
    http://www.iowansforpawlenty.com

  84. Matt "MWS" Says:

    Still Hurting,

    #74. That’s pretty much what I’m thinking at this point.

    Did you, I, or both of us say 20% chance a year ago?

  85. Still Hurting Says:

    Yes. I have returned to my original identity here, but dropped the “in AZ” since I’m now in MD. Otherwise, I’m Ric Pugmire. I also had Palin at less than 50% then as well. At the time, the only reason some could imagine for suggesting Huck would not run was that it was wishful thinking.

  86. Dave Says:

    Huck is trying to get 5,000 donations by the end of this month to Huckpac. So far he has only 1,000. Sad….

  87. Vote for Truth Says:

    Did any of you Rombots consider when Huckabee talked to Winslow, he verified that he won’t be starting his campaign until late summer? With all the bad news last week from the Democrats and Huckabee rival supporters, that maybe Huckabee might not run, so he decided to go with someone who is definitely running and running much earlier than Huckabee which means more money for Winslow. That’s Winslow’s loss when Huckabee wins IA, and Pawlenty comes in 3rd or 4th.

    Don’t worry it won’t be Romney for the reason for Huckabee to get into the race, it will be because he feels he can win and he’s the best person for the job. Does anybody really believe Huckabee would spend that kind of money or have to fundraise so much JUST to make sure Romney doesn’t win??? That’s ridiculous!

    In case you all haven’t noticed all of the candidates are getting in late. Romney said during one of his interviews that he peaked too early last time, so he has decided to get in later. Huntsman and Gingrich won’t be getting into the race until May. Santorum said he won’t be getting into the race until much later. I’m sure Pawlenty won’t get into the race way before anybody else…he will probably wait until April or May. Barbour and Daniels won’t get into the race until at least May. So it’s not just Huckabee getting in later, so stop blaming all of this on him. If Huckabee knew he wasn’t going to get into the race now, he would definately announce that, but he doesn’t know that.

    As I have stated before, I think Huckabee needs all the money and time he can get on Fox News, so there’s no hurry because his name is known now. In 2008, he had to get in early becasue nobody knew him.

  88. Vote for Truth Says:

    Matt,

    I don’t think Palin would be breaking any campaign laws because she is giving her testimony, not talking about politics (I think).

    It’s so funny the Dems really scream bloody murder if a Republican had a pastor say something from the pulpit about a candidate, yet they showed pictures on TV during the 2008 primaries where candidates and pastors were definitely pushing their candidates, and nobody said a thing. For anybody to think Huckabee did this, he might have had pastors who would like him and help him, but not during church services, which is what the law is about.

  89. Matt "MWS" Says:

    Ric,

    I remember who you are, for sure. I just wasn’t sure from your post or my memory who said 20% last year. Sounds like you did. Did I agree with you at the time?

  90. Vote for Truth Says:

    Steven S,

    Mike Huckabee’s new book was rated #2 on NY Times “Advice & Misc.”. I don’t know why they didn’t put this book on the Hardcover Non-Fiction, but this is what they chose. They certainly didn’t do it because they like Mike Huckabee. I noticed in the Hardcover, Non-Fiction, there were a lot of memoirs now. So I wouldn’t say that Mike Huckabee’s book is doing too bad for being out 1 week today. It might help to get the facts before you put Huckabee down, don’t you think?

  91. Still Hurting Says:

    First of all, VFT, where would Huckabee get “that kind of money” to do anything. That’s the problem. He isn’t going to raise money for any thing.

    Second, Huckabee has explicitly denied he’d enter the race “just” to beat Mitt. But I have no doubt that Huck could frame the same situation in a way where he was the genuine socon and where people like Romney are the enemy of the “true” socon agenda.

    Third, April or May is a light year away from July or August. But the real issue is that all of these other campaigns are already laying the groundwork by putting together organizations and getting commitments. Barbour was in IA 2 weeks ago to request Branstad’s endorsement. (He was rejected for now, and privately the word is that it will never be Barbour.) Announcing is one thing. Preparing is quite another. Are you really seriously believing that Huck can not only announce 3 months later than everyone else, but do it without any money and without any preparation and still be the winner? And all that with Barbour, Gingrich, and Pawlenty spending tons of money to “define” Huck as not the real deal!

    I believe that as of this date, Huck will only get in if he believes there is no viable socon candidate at that point to confront Romney, et al. And that is why I think he is already planning on endorsing Pawlenty.

    And as far as whether Huck would lie about his real intentions, I believe it is more than a reasonable possibility.

  92. Still Hurting Says:

    Matt, I was pretty comfortable with 20% and you thought it was 50/50. This was the same time that the ROS community was debating Max’s early power rankings and was dinging Huck for lack of fund-raising ability and organization. It was also when I imagined Palin endorsing Mitt. lol

  93. Matt "MWS" Says:

    Ric,

    Well, anyone who can hit 50% of his political predictions a year in advance is doing pretty dang good.

  94. Ci2Eye Says:

    I don’t know anything about this guy but Huck’s Iowa success had little to do with strategy or a good team. He just had a story talior-made for Iowa. I think he won in spite of his team not because of it.

    I’m thinking Buddy Roemer could be the new Huck. Nobody expects him to get anywhere. He’s essentially unknown but comes across as an ordinary guy who sounds like a preacher when he speaks, or at least he did at the Iowa faith-based event earlier in the week. I couldn’t help but see him as the new “little engine that could”. He’s an underdog that pledges to take on big, bad Washington if the people will only stand with him. That sounds like Huck circa 2007.

    Huckabee’s been re-cast as a TV personality with a multi-million dollar contract who now lives in a mansion by the sea. He’s hardly the common man anymore.

  95. Ci2Eye Says:

    G #34,

    I had a similar conversation with my co-worker after Huckabee appeared at a mega-church in a northwest suburb of Atlanta with 97 percent Republican affiliation. He showed up on the Sunday before Georgia’s primary.

    I asked my co-worker if it bothered him what Huckabee did. He said “No, because he wasn’t politicing from the pulpit. He just came to give his testimony.” My co-worker who is politically apathetic voted for Huckabee and said he was swayed by his appearance. He seemed genuinely clueless about how carefully the Huckabee campaign had targeted his church because of its very large congregation in a highly Republican area just before the primary.

    Romney and McCain rented large arenas when they came to town. They had to rely on people being interested enough to come out to hear them. With the stunt Huckabee pulled, folks came to church for a sermon and got Mike Huckabee in the pulpit offering his “testimony” instead.

  96. ian Says:

    Where does everyone get the multi-million dollar contract with Fox info. I have seen nothing about numbers, I seem to think I remember reading last week in Politico his contract was for way less than a million. Could someone point out the sources on multi-million dollar contract for Fox.

  97. hamaca Says:

    Huck is seriously considering running. He’s also seriously considering not running. He’s seriously considering staying at Fox. He’s seriously considering beige as the color for the drapes in his new home.

  98. Stephen Hall Says:

    I hear Romney lost his New Hampshire advisor to Pawlenty as well.

    http://gop12.thehill.com/

    Should we take that as a sign Romney is not running?

  99. Some Stories We’ve Been Following and the Usual Stack of Stuff | Article VI Blog | John Schroeder Says:

    […] Pawlenty hired a Huck guy in Iowa.  Huck’s Iowa campaign last time around was enormously effective, but it was also […]

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