Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Huckabee's Not So Happy New Year

Imagine waking up on Jan 1st with huge expectations of a great year and find out that you have become the laughingstock of the nation.

Well, that happened this morning to Presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee.

In what will go down as one of the biggest political blunders in history, Huckabee has most of media laughing at his outrageous stunt yesterday.

First I wonder where his campaign team was and why they allowed him to pull this stunt.

Huckabee had endeared himself to the media by his one liners. As this scathing article from the AP points out, the media is no longer laughing with him, they are laughing at him:

If he loses Iowa's caucuses, New Year's Eve will forever mark the day Huckabee blew it — the day a crowd stopped laughing with the witty Republican and laughed at him.

The AP reporter best explains what happened:

Huckabee came out of nowhere a few weeks ago to overtake former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in Iowa polls, despite being massively outspent and out-organized. Romney answered back with television ads criticizing Huckabee's record in Arkansas.

While guilty of cherry-picking the worst aspects of Huckabee's resume, the negative ads stuck with the facts. For example, Huckabee did grant 1,033 pardons and commutations, including for 12 convicted murderers, as Romney's ad stated.

Huckabee's lead evaporated, which suggests that the ads worked or that a series of gaffes had caught up to him.

Or both.

So he did what desperate candidates do. Huckabee took himself off the campaign trail Sunday to shoot a negative ad. He bought $30,000 in television time to air the spot and called a news conference to unveil it.

While awaiting the late-arriving Huckabee, more than 50 reporters and a dozen photographers got to read five huge cards placed on easels by Huckabee's staff — all highly critical of Romney's record as governor.

"Enough is enough," the signs said.

When Huckabee arrived, he announced that he had just changed his mind. The ad wouldn't run. It was too negative.

"I believe the people of Iowa deserve better, and we are going to try and give them better ...," he said.

But he didn't. Instead, Huckabee showed off the spot to the journalists, knowing full well his negative message would seep out of the room. He told the media to pay close attention.

"You're not going to get a copy of it," he warned, "so this is your chance to see it, then after that you'll never see it again."

The media laughed.

One of the funniest, most charming presidential candidate in recent memory, Huckabee normally makes reporters and voters laugh at his one-liners. On Monday, he made himself the butt of his own joke, urging journalists to take careful note of the negative ad that he had withdrawn because he wanted to run a positive campaign.

"It's never too late to do the right thing," he said.

The ad criticizes Romney's record as governor, fairly so, but goes on to question his character. "If a man is dishonest to obtain a job," Huckabee says in the ad, "he'll be dishonest on the job."

Funny that Huckabee decided at noon that line was too negative, because he used it six hours earlier during a national TV interview.

He used it on a Sunday news show, too.

And he didn't disavow the line Monday. "I said what I said. I spoke the truth," Huckabee said.

So the man who said he would not go negative spent several days going negative and then attempted to prove that he was not going negative by going negative in front of the media.

Calling a man(Romney) a liar, which Huckabee is doing, is negative politicking. The problem is that much of what Romney has said about Huckabee's record is true.

It is bad enough reading that the world's largest news organization, the Associated Press, is trashing him, but the rest of the media elites have followed suit.

Check out these articles in addition to the AP article:

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Washington Post

Dallas Morning News

Los Angeles Times



Boston Globe

I could go on and on, there are hundreds of these articles out today, but it may take a while just to read the ones I have posted.

My guess is this is not the way Huckabee wanted to start off his new year.

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