Mike Huckabee, 2016: He’s in

posted at 11:01 am on January 4, 2015 by Noah Rothman

In a semi-shocking announcement on Saturday, Fox News Channel host and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee revealed that he was walking away from his cable news hosting job. As part of that announcement, he disclosed that he would be forming a presidential exploratory committee to determine whether there is a market for his brand of Republican populism in the increasingly crowded 2016 field. So, unless he backs off of a run after mounting this investigation, Huckabee is in.

“As much as I have loved doing the show, I cannot bring myself to rule out another presidential run,” Huckabee told his audience on the final episode of Fox News Channel’s Huckabee. “Oh, to be clear, I’m not making that announcement right now.”

“I won’t make a decision about running until late in the spring of 2015, but the continued chatter has put Fox News into a position that is not fair to them,” Huckabee wrote in a letter to supporters Saturday evening released before his show started airing.

“The honorable thing to do at this point is to end my tenure here at Fox so I can openly talk with potential donors and supporters and gauge support,” he added.

With Huckabee’s entrance into the field of 2016 Republican candidates, he becomes one of just four GOP figures who have taken concrete steps to mount a campaign. Huckabee joins Jeb Bush in revealing his intention to form an exploratory committee. Reports have indicated that former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina is staffing up ahead of a likely campaign. Pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson disclosed his intention to announce his decision on whether to run in the spring, and figures close to him have indicated to reporters that he is likely to run.

It’s not going out too far on a limb here to say that, of the many competent and capable 2016 prospects in the Republican Party, the above field of presidential aspirants is underwhelming. Bush seems to be running for the GOP nomination by applying the Huntsman model to the project; displaying contempt for the concerns of the party’s base while simultaneously seeking their support. Fiorina has never held elected office, and Carson has never even run a campaign. And Huckabee, while an accomplished governor who can work a room like nobody else, has a penchant for making impolitic comments that would doom him in the general election.

Now consider the talent on the GOP bench of potential 2016 prospects who have not yet committed to a bid. From governors like Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, to Indiana’s Mike Pence, to Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, to Texas’s Rick Perry, to New Jersey’s Chris Christie and Senators including Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Rand Paul (R-KY) – not to mention the former Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) – the abundances of aptitude and vigor in this cast should make any Democrat nervous.

It is understandable that many who hoped to see GOP officeholders who reflect the changes the party has undergone in the Obama era make a run at the Oval Office, but that is not to say that the Republicans who are committing to early announcements are either unqualified or embarrassing for the party they seek to represent. Bush is a two-term governor of one of America’s most populous and diverse states. Fiorina ran a statewide campaign for federal office in California and has commanded one of America’s largest enterprises. Carson is a brilliant surgeon, a role model for millions, and a man of faith and conviction. Huckabee may be the most personable figure of any of the potential 2016 presidential candidates, Democratic or Republican, and someone who mastered populism well before America entered a populist era.

The likelihood that the GOP field will include figures who mock the names of America’s strategically vital Central Asian partners or lend credence to the notion that certain vaccines are a cause of “mental retardation,” two lamentable elements of the 2012 GOP primary campaign, are quite low.

That, too, should concern Democrats.

You will hear quite a bit of bravado out of liberal partisans about how the backbenchers who have entered the 2016 field are retreads, longshots, or even time bombs. Don’t let the bluster fool you. 2016 is already shaping up to be a much stronger year for the GOP. Even before the candidates many consider top contenders have climbed into the ring, the Republican field already appears far more formidable than it did in 2012.


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I may have to give up on Noah completely.

You will hear quite a bit of bravado out of liberal partisans about how the backbenchers who have entered the 2016 field are retreads, longshots, or even time bombs. Don’t let the bluster fool you. 2016 is already shaping up to be a much stronger year for the GOP.

Christie? Rubio? The Sweatervest headed to Iowa? Huckabee? Jeb BUSH for heavens sake?

No, it isn’t liberal partisans saying the field is weak and full of retreads. It is us in the base, aghast at the establishment and poor choices.

Irritable Pundit on January 4, 2015 at 12:38 PM

Same goes for Romney and McCain. Did they really think they would win?

The presidency, or the nomination? Huckabee can’t win the nomination.

Redstone on January 4, 2015 at 12:24 PM

McCain could have won. I think he sabotaged himself in order to allow the first black president to happen.
He was rising in the polls until he decided to back TARP. I think if he would have came out against TARP he would have won the election. People were looking for an adult in the room and he instead showed them an irresponsible child.

As for Romney, I think he too sabotaged himself at the end. He was certainly doing great after his first debate, and then it all went to hell.
If he would have done one thing, I would have worked to get out more people to vote for him than I have ever done in any past election. That would have required for him to give a “Read My Lips” statement that he would do one, any one at all, conservative wish list item in his first term or would not run for a second term.

I the one I would have been most excited about would have been based on this statement in the first debate.

MR. ROMNEY: Well, good. I’m glad you raised that. And it’s a — it’s a critical issue. I think it’s not just an economic issue. I think it’s a moral issue. I think it’s, frankly, not moral for my generation to keep spending massively more than we take in, knowing those burdens are going to be passed on to the next generation. And they’re going to be paying the interest and the principle all their lives. And the amount of debt we’re adding, at a trillion a year, is simply not moral.

so he could say the following.
As president, I will make it my primary goal to convince congress to get a Cut, Cap and Balance Amendment to the states in my first term. It is time to end the immoral loading of debt upon the shoulders of our children to pay for luxury for ourselves.

That there would have solidified many conservatives to work to get out the vote for him. But he essentially tried to run on simply, I am not Obama.

It is not that these two COULD not win the election, it is that they did not want to win enough.

astonerii on January 4, 2015 at 12:40 PM

Bigbullets on January 4, 2015 at 12:33 PM

Nah, just an echo chamber for what many HotAir readers believe.

Dan333 on January 4, 2015 at 12:41 PM

whatcat on January 4, 2015 at 11:57 AM

I’d love Cruz-as senate majority leader.
Governors ONLY for pres.

annoyinglittletwerp on January 4, 2015 at 12:45 PM

astonerii on January 4, 2015 at 12:40 PM

I think McCain was always a long shot, being that he was so hawkish and there was so much Bush fatigue, plus there was tons of enthusiasm for Obama from the other side. While his “break” during the financial collapse was idiotic, it is hard to see him winning that year.

Romney I think was a much stronger candidate, plus we had four years of a Barack candidacy to judge him on. He really should have won.

Just my opinion, though, I am probably far more favorable to Romney than most here, while it would be difficult for someone to be less favorable towards McCain than I am.

Redstone on January 4, 2015 at 12:47 PM

Wonder if he’ll cancel his book-signing tour…he’s supposed to be here the 26th…

ladyingray on January 4, 2015 at 12:05 PM

Looks like you’re out of luck again…

DarkCurrent on January 4, 2015 at 12:54 PM

The parallel between Jeb Bush and Huntsman (sorry!) will just not hold up. Huntsman had accepted an ambassadorship from Obama, promoted liberal causes, and had a supercilious affect to boot. Bush has been a successful and popular governor and has solidly conservative positions on any number of issues, including education and immigration. His challenge will come in persuading the anti-immigration types who like to define themselves as “the base” that conservatism is not nativism, and that education reform deserves discussion, not sloganeering. I could hope that bloggers like Noah Rothman could become better informed about Bush’s positions and about the complexities of immigration reform and education reform. It serves no purpose to reinforce the uninformed reflexes of much of the conservative community.

foredeck on January 4, 2015 at 12:59 PM

I’d sooner vote for Bernie Sanders than Huckabee.

myrenovations on January 4, 2015 at 12:59 PM

The only way that’s statistically possible is if he doesn’t enter the race.

Bigbullets on January 4, 2015 at 12:09 PM

Sorry for the error. You’re correct.

I just re-ran the calculations and it turns out his probability of winning the US Presidency is actually 0.0000001% +/- 0.00005% rather than 0.000% as I originally estimated.

So there is a chance.

DarkCurrent on January 4, 2015 at 1:01 PM

Disclaimer: Blog entry written by a know Boehner establishment hack; an author who despises what his audience stands for, and is too elite to engage them in debate.

The_Conservative on January 4, 2015 at 1:05 PM

Thus far the Democratic field is a risque novelist, a woman whose crowning achievement is the first dead ambassador since Jimmy Carter under her watch, and a fraud who abused the affirmative action system for personal gain (who also has skeletons regarding her practicing law in MA without a MA license.)

Yet Noah goes after Herman Cain and Bachmann. Applying Noah logic, this must mean he hates minorities and women.

BKennedy on January 4, 2015 at 1:12 PM

Bush has been a successful and popular governor and has solidly conservative positions on any number of issues, including education and immigration.

foredeck on January 4, 2015 at 12:59 PM

Is that really solidly conservative, or just severely conservative?

* Amnesty is not a conservative position.

* Supporting Common Core is not a conservative position.

It serves no purpose to reinforce the uninformed reflexes of much of the conservative community.

This is insulting on many levels. Tell you what. You’re uninformed.

Now get outta here!

Emperor Norton on January 4, 2015 at 1:16 PM

d love Cruz-as senate majority leader. Governors ONLY for pres. annoyinglittletwerp on January 4, 2015 at 12:45 PM

Not even Jeff Sessions?

wolly4321 on January 4, 2015 at 1:23 PM

Carson is a brilliant surgeon
Did he pioneer new surgical methods and techniques?

I wasn’t aware of that.

Which ones?

VorDaj on January 4, 2015 at 11:16 AM

Well, since you asked:

In 1987, he gained world-wide recognition as the principal surgeon in the 22-hour separation of the Binder siamese twins from Germany. This was the first time occipital craniopagus twins had been separated with both surviving. The procedure employed hypothermic arrest, the deliberate lowering of body temperature, and circulatory arrest, and sophisticated surgical reconstructive techniques for success. In 1997, Dr. Carson was the primary surgeon in the team of South African and Zambian surgeons that separated type-2 vertical craniopagus twins (joined at the top of the head) in a 28-hour operation. It represents the first time such complexly joined siamese twins have been separated with both remaining neurologically normal. Most recently, Dr. Carson participated in the noble, but unsuccessful, humanitarian effort to separate adult Iranian craniopagus twins in Singapore. (Things learned from that case are already being used to help others).

He is noted for his use of cerebral hemispherectomy to control intractable seizures as well as for his work in craniofacial reconstructive surgery, achondroplasia (human dwarfism), and pediatric neuro-oncology (brain tumors).

That doesn’t mean he should be president necessarily. I would consider voting for him.

If he were still performing surgery regularly, and I or one of my family members needed an operation within his field of expertise, I would be ecstatic if he were the surgeon, however.

cs89 on January 4, 2015 at 1:26 PM

He’s always hidden his family, specifically those two sons. They won’t stay hidden for long. Get ready for the story of the one who strung up a dog and shot it and Governor Mike’s cover up and calling off the authorities.

Marcus on January 4, 2015 at 11:32 AM

Huckabee’s daughter was very prominent in his campaign and also in the campaigns of Senators John Bozeman, Tom Cotton, and Gov. Tim Pawlenty. His son’s voluteered in the ’08 campaign as well. The dog story was a footnote in ’08 and it amounted to nothing then.

Huckabee has been promised something by the Jeb folks. As vain as he is, he knows he will never be president. He’s working for Jeb here. Likely he has agreed to be classified “conservative,” and he’ll be as big a wacko as possible, thus tarring all conservatives and clearing the way for GWB’s liberal democrat brother to run as a moderate.

Looks like I won’t be voting for president for the first time in my life.

Rational Thought on January 4, 2015 at 11:34 AM

Huckabee had decided to run as early as 2013, maybe before. This was long before Bush was talking seriously.

“Mike has always thought 2016 would be his cycle,” said Rollins, who advised Huckabee’s unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign. “I think he’s getting ready to go. Every sign out there is that he’s thinking hard about it.”

Paroled murderers… crappy bass player, buffoon.

Don’t think so.

wolly4321 on January 4, 2015 at 11:37 AM

1. Governors don’t parole. You are lacking pertinent knowledge.

2. His bass playing would be a matter of taste, but some disagree with you:
http://blogs.reuters.com/talesfromthetrail/2008/01/03/mike-huckabee%E2%80%99s-bass-playing-a-review/

“During a Wednesday-night appearance on the “Tonight Show” with Jay Leno, Huckabee displayed admirable right-hand technique as he sat in on a blues number with the house band. He hit each note cleanly and perfectly executed an impressive fill during the turnaround. The tone coaxed from his Fender Precision bass was round and supple, and he sat firmly in the pocket, neither pushing the beat nor lagging behind.”

3. Buffoon – just ad hominem name calling. Congratulations on how your character turned out.

Do you think that Huckabee really thinks that he could win?

I don’t get why he would leave a steady, easy gig like he had and declare so early in the process.

Is the world really crying out for another Huckabee campaign?

Redstone on January 4, 2015 at 12:21 PM

Does he realy think he can win? You don’t walk away from millions of dollars for a vanity run. And I promise you that Huckabee is entirely acceptable to a vast majority of mainstream Republicans – you know, the type who vote. If you’re living in the bubble of True Conservative blog/comments/talk radio, you are not seeig the full picture.
He had to do this so early because he reached the limit of what his Fox News contract would allow.

The Huckster’s candidacy is a vast RINO conspiracy to split the evangelical vote and deny Ted or another true conservative what is rightfully theirs — the GOP nomination then the Presidency.

Dan333 on January 4, 2015 at 12:14 PM

Really man, who are you kidding? Who do you think Republican voters are? Do you know how the primary process works? These are the same voters who nominated Dole, McCain and Romney. And Ted Cruz, a half term Senator who was born in Canada has a RIGHT to the nomiation and Presidency? If you don’t want the evangelical vote split, why not let Cruz sit out instead of abandoning Texas half way through his first term? Can we ask for just a little accomplishment in that job before he tries to get a better one?

I’d sooner vote for Bernie Sanders than Huckabee.

myrenovations on January 4, 2015 at 12:59 PM

You’d actually vote for a professed Socialist? The answer is no, you wouldn’t.

ceruleanblue on January 4, 2015 at 1:27 PM

Oops- left off link above.

http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/stlm/carson.html

cs89 on January 4, 2015 at 1:29 PM

Zero chance of winning anything. And that’s good for republicans.

EVSCBT on January 4, 2015 at 1:30 PM

Huckabee is just another big government Bible thumper.
On the other hand, he IS more intelligent than Santorum.
Then again, a potted plant is more intelligent than Santorum.

No, thanks.

We need someone who will shrink the size of government by decreasing regulations, eliminating programs, cutting spending, and reforming the tax code (preferably by eliminating the income tax entirely).

What we don’t need is someone whose idea of being conservative is repealing Roe v. Wade.

DRayRaven on January 4, 2015 at 1:35 PM

You’d actually vote for a professed Socialist? The answer is no, you wouldn’t.

ceruleanblue on January 4, 2015 at 1:27 PM

You didn’t mention that he raised taxes on food you purchase at the grocery store or the best thing he did as Governor was live in a double wide.

RickB on January 4, 2015 at 1:37 PM

Bush has been a successful and popular governor and has solidly conservative positions on any number of issues, including education and immigration.

foredeck on January 4, 2015 at 12:59 PM

Is that really solidly conservative, or just severely conservative?

* Amnesty is not a conservative position.

* Supporting Common Core is not a conservative position.

It serves no purpose to reinforce the uninformed reflexes of much of the conservative community.

This is insulting on many levels. Tell you what. You’re uninformed.

Now get outta here!

Emperor Norton on January 4, 2015 at 1:16 PM

Norton, we conservatives in the Sunshine State applaud you.

We refer to the Dauphin as a CCCP Republican, a Corrupt Crony Capitalist Party Republican.

A goof on the Soviet style “Rules Change” these bastards pulled off at the convention in Tampa to cut out the grassroots.

Jayrae on January 4, 2015 at 1:42 PM

ceruleanblue on January 4, 2015 at 1:27 PM

Another Huckafluffer? ELL OH ELL.

Jedditelol on January 4, 2015 at 1:48 PM

Does he realy think he can win? You don’t walk away from millions of dollars for a vanity run. And I promise you that Huckabee is entirely acceptable to a vast majority of mainstream Republicans – you know, the type who vote. If you’re living in the bubble of True Conservative blog/comments/talk radio, you are not seeig the full picture.
He had to do this so early because he reached the limit of what his Fox News contract would allow.

I give Huckabee more credit than that, I don’t think that Huckabee is a stupid man, he knows that he isn’t going to win.

In terms of social conservative/evangelical candidates, both Cruz and Carson have far more “juice”, and on other issues such as immigration and common core Huckabee is a typical establishment candidate offering little contrast w/ Jeb.

Don’t see Huckabee as doing anything other than playing spoiler.

Redstone on January 4, 2015 at 1:49 PM

The parallel between Jeb Bush and Huntsman (sorry!) will just not hold up. Huntsman had accepted an ambassadorship from Obama, promoted liberal causes, and had a supercilious affect to boot. Bush has been a successful and popular governor and has solidly conservative positions on any number of issues, including education and immigration. His challenge will come in persuading the anti-immigration types who like to define themselves as “the base” that conservatism is not nativism, and that education reform deserves discussion, not sloganeering. I could hope that bloggers like Noah Rothman could become better informed about Bush’s positions and about the complexities of immigration reform and education reform. It serves no purpose to reinforce the uninformed reflexes of much of the conservative community.

These are the new “pro-Jeb” talking points? Sorry, but I think you need to go back to the drawing board.

Jeb actually endorsed Huntsman the last cycle.

If anything Huntsman is a STRONGER candidate than Jeb, and we saw how his campaign turned out!

Redstone on January 4, 2015 at 1:53 PM

Hello, Emperor Norton:

Sorry that I upset you with the remark that some conservatives are uninformed. Perhaps that isn’t the case, and all conservatives are equally well informed. I will give you that gimme if you take back the snarky remark about “severely conservative” and disown the Mark Levin imitation in “get outta here!”

My concern is that some conservatives have developed a definition of conservatism from listening to Rush Limbaugh, who despite the great good that he has done our cause seems hell-bent on identifying conservatism with opposition of illegal immigration, especially illegal immigration of Hispanics. Given the very large numbers of Hispanics already in this country legally, this position seems like a sure loser to me.

It’s fair enough to identify conservatism with a respect for law and order, and for a reverence for the Constitution. So it’s any easy mark to say, “I am only opposed to illegal immigration.” So am I. Many undocumented Hispanics have clearly broken the law. So have their employers, both the companies that hire them and the many homeowners who give them work as maids and yardmen. Here in Houston, that includes just about everybody, directly or indirectly. It certainly includes me. One of our local talk-show hosts likes to call illegal immigrants criminals. Are our local employers and homeowners also criminals?

A personal note: I have been voting for conservatives since 1960. More recently I have been able to spare a few dollars, and I have sent them to candidates that I particularly liked. I would think that informed conservatives like yourself would wish to find common cause with people like me.

Another personal note: Since I am in the construction business, I work with many Hispanics (most of whom are now legal thanks to Reagan’s “amnesty”), and I like and respect most of these men for their character and their work ethic. I have also taken the trouble to learn to speak Spanish, while they continue to work to learn English. Why not?

foredeck on January 4, 2015 at 1:57 PM

It is not that these two COULD not win the election, it is that they did not want to win enough.

astonerii on January 4, 2015 at 12:40 PM

So true. I added the emphasis on wanting to win. So far, this is missing in all candidates except perhaps Santorum. It’s got to be clear to America that you actually have a mission or vision that they can go along with, if not actively support – not that you are a “good guy” or the “last-man-standing”. Many of these candidates are good-guys and well-qualified but don’t know how to articulate what they will be tasked by the voters to do.

So, if Huckabee wants more face-time, fine, let’s get it over with.

virgo on January 4, 2015 at 2:00 PM

One of our local talk-show hosts likes to call illegal immigrants criminals

Crazy talk, crazy talk I tell you! Imagine someone claiming that breaking immigration laws makes one a criminal! These “talk radio” hosts are out of control, how could they come up w/ such an outlandish notion?

Redstone on January 4, 2015 at 2:03 PM

Jeb, Mitt, Christie, and Huckabee. Now all we need is McCain.

Seriously, Ted Cruz/Allen West NOW!

nazo311 on January 4, 2015 at 2:05 PM

In a semi-shocking announcement on Saturday, Fox News Channel host and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee revealed that he was walking away from his cable news hosting job.

To me, the most shocking thing about this was not that Huckabee erroneously thinks so highly of himself that he thinks he’d be a good candidate (still?), but that he hosted a news show.

Seriously? I vaguely recall that this was the case, but am so far removed from TV ‘news’ anymore that this surprised me. Was even he beating Maddow et al?

Good grief; that Huckabee had a show on Fox really undermines the value of all of those “Fox destroys everyone else” ratings figures. Apparently it doesn’t take much.

Midas on January 4, 2015 at 2:05 PM

Another personal note: Since I am in the construction business, I work with many Hispanics (most of whom are now legal thanks to Reagan’s “amnesty”), and I like and respect most of these men for their character and their work ethic. I have also taken the trouble to learn to speak Spanish, while they continue to work to learn English. Why not?

So because you like paying illegal immigrants lower wages under the table, and they don’t care since they are sending the money to Mexico anyway, we should just give up on enforcing immigration laws? What’s the point of even having a country, in that case?

Redstone on January 4, 2015 at 2:06 PM

Love my home stat governor, Nikki Haley. I imagine she won’t run, but I bet she’ll be sought after for VP. If that transpires, I don’t want to see her in a pairing like Palin was, though: A tough conservative with a great record brought on solely to boost some squish’s conservative credentials.

NY2SC on January 4, 2015 at 2:11 PM

stat…state, of course

NY2SC on January 4, 2015 at 2:11 PM

Unless Sarah Palin runs, Huckabee has the best shot at beating Hillary

georgealbert on January 4, 2015 at 2:12 PM

Hello, Redstone:

No, I have never paid anyone lower wages under the table. The Hispanics who work with me all earn better than market wage. I know the cliche’ that employers like these men because they work at hard jobs for less. Perhaps this is true in some areas. Where I work, employers like these men for their serious work ethic, their commitment to knowing a trade, and for producing quality work.

As for enforcing immigration laws, two points: (1) Washington doesn’t seem very interested in doing this. (2) Even where there is an effort being made (I was in Del Rio a month ago; the Border Patrol was everywhere), it is hardly a conservative position to believe that our bureaucracies are capable of this.

Have you researched Jeb’s position on immigration?

foredeck on January 4, 2015 at 2:21 PM

Are our local employers and homeowners also criminals?
foredeck on January 4, 2015 at 1:57 PM

Did they violate provisions of criminal law?

If so that’s an easy question to answer.

If the law is inconvenient for your business, perhaps consider moving to any of the innumerable countries where the rule of law no longer applies, but the rule of graft and bribery holds.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on January 4, 2015 at 2:27 PM

foredeck on January 4, 2015 at 2:21 PM

No, the gov’t has clearly shown that it has little to no interest in securing the border, that is fairly obvious. I don’t think that means that it is impossible for the gov’t to enforce immigration laws, though, simply that they have no desire to do so.

This is why it would be immensely foolish to agree to an “amnesty”, or ” path to citizenship”, or whatever you feel like calling it today, in exchange for a promise of future enforcement that everyone knows will never happen.

Redstone on January 4, 2015 at 2:31 PM

Since I am in the construction business, I work with many Hispanics . . . and I like and respect most of these men for their character and their work ethic.

All right, you can hire Latinos at low pay to do construction work. No wonder you like their work ethic! But if they are legal, you’d have to pay them more if there were no illegals around, inflating the labor supply.

Hasta la vista!

Emperor Norton on January 4, 2015 at 2:38 PM

I also am a socially conservative populist but I dislike Huck and he would only rate ahead of the establishment 3 stooges. He reminds me of Shemp I guess.

KMav on January 4, 2015 at 2:41 PM

I may have to give up on Noah completely.

Irritable Pundit on January 4, 2015 at 12:38 PM

You are one of the few who hasn’t.

bw222 on January 4, 2015 at 2:45 PM

Mike Huckabee, 2016: He’s inane

LashRambo on January 4, 2015 at 2:52 PM

Does Huckabee have that “minister” curse where often he feels compelled to “fill” time? Like when giving a sermon or officiating at a funeral. I haven’t listened to him in years, but as I recall, he says a lot of stuff that’s not worth listening to. Just filler.

LashRambo on January 4, 2015 at 2:55 PM

Hello Redstone,

I agree with you that we cannot expect the Feds to enforce the immigration law, past or future. Perhaps there is a better chance when Republicans are in office, and perhaps a better fence would help. The main problem, though, seems to be anywhere fifty miles this side of the border, where the courts, agencies, and many local governments are at best half-hearted about enforcing the law. It’s odd for me to hear conservatives advocating a big government solution for anything, especially for an issue as difficult as immigration.

By the same token, it is equally unlikely that our present cohort of illegals will be deported en masse; it is difficult enough to deport the law-breakers among them singly. Our justice system is, to say the very best, highly inefficient.

Without a legislative solution, then, that leaves us with de facto amnesty. At present, in most jurisdictions, it is possible for an illegal to get a job, pay taxes under a false number, buy a home, open a bank account, get a driver’s license—you name it. What’s more, if your objection is to the fact that some illegals work for low wages, this is reinforced by their present status. Some employers feel free to take advantage of people who are here illegally. I think that this happens primarily in low-wage jobs: motels, dry cleaning plants, landscaping, and farming. Meanwhile the US-born children of these illegals live here legally, learn English at school, and hopefully move on to better futures.

In other words, illegal immigration has the same aspect as many social problems, where definitive solutions are unlikely, but trade-offs are always possible. Have you ready Thomas Sowell’s discussion of discussion of the search for solutions (liberal) vs the acceptance of trade-offs (conservative)?

I think that it is worth looking for sensible trade-offs, so I am willing to listen to Jeb Bush, or to any thoughtful leader of good will.

foredeck on January 4, 2015 at 3:10 PM

It’s not going out too far on a limb here to say that, of the many competent and capable 2016 prospects in the Republican Party, the above field of presidential aspirants is underwhelming.

No kidding. Jeb. Huck. Fiorina. Carson.

We could have a field of about 15 candidates by this summer. And only a few of them will be worth considering.

cat_owner on January 4, 2015 at 3:26 PM

I think that it is worth looking for sensible trade-offs, so I am willing to listen to Jeb Bush, or to any thoughtful leader of good will.

I don’t think that Jeb is that guy, he is a passionate advocate for “amnesty” or “immigration reform”.

Partially because his wife is from Mexico, and partially because he identifies w/ the CEO who wants cheaper wages rather than the middle-class worker displaced by out of control immigration, legal and otherwise.

He is completely insulated from any negative effects of illegal immigration.

He wants a Latin American style society of a ruling class populated by him and his buddies, and a groveling and subservient peasant class who won’t challenge him.

I can’t think of anyone in either party that I would trust less than Jeb on illegal immigration, he is right up there w/ Luis Gutierrez.

Redstone on January 4, 2015 at 3:35 PM

to enforce the immigration law . . . Perhaps there is a better chance when Republicans are in office

It doesn’t get any worse than it is now, with a Democrat in the White House, who deliberately refuses to enforce the laws. That’s rock bottom.

But it’s most likely to improve with a Conservative in the White House, not just a mere Republican.

After all, Jeb Bush is a Republican. (Yes, I know you’re surprised–but it’s true!)

I am willing to listen to Jeb Bush, or to any thoughtful leader of good will.

You see, your cognitive problem is that you sneer at, or smear, people who disagree with you on this issue. You think people who agree with you are the “thoughtful” ones, and the people of “good will.” That means those who don’t are stupid and mean. I’ve seen this kind of sneering argument frequently on the liberal editorial page of The New York Times. You call those people calling for enforcement “nativists”–which is in the Times grab-bag of insults, too. Then you imply that they got their opinions ready-made from a radio show, without thinking about it thoughtfully, or something.

Lax immigration enforcement means you and other employers have to pay less in wages, and the presence of competing foreign laborers in the US lowers the wages of Americans–especially young adults. And by Americans, I mean Americans (not Anglos).

Hasta la vista!

Emperor Norton on January 4, 2015 at 3:36 PM

The dog story was a footnote in ’08 and it amounted to nothing then.

Well I’m sure it won’t be brought up, then. Just like Jeb resigning from all those boards will “amount to nothing”, too. Political journalism is fair like that.

Marcus on January 4, 2015 at 3:51 PM

Lax immigration enforcement means you and other employers have to pay less in wages, and the presence of competing foreign laborers in the US lowers the wages of Americans–especially young adults. And by Americans, I mean Americans (not Anglos).
Hasta la vista!
Emperor Norton on January 4, 2015 at 3:36 PM

Excellent comment.

bluegill on January 4, 2015 at 3:53 PM

Huck getting in is bad news for Santorum and Michelle Bachmann. The rest, not so much.

He’s strong in Iowa and nowhere else. Shall we take a walk down Memory Lane?

~~

Huck won Iowa, but finished a poor third in New Hampshire, third in Michigan, second in South Carolina (even with all our upstate hard-shell preachers), a poor third in Florida.

On Super Tuesday, he finished a dismal third, winning four Deep South states plus West Virginia (where McCain delegates voted for him to block Romney). The only reason he “finished 2nd” overall was because he refused to withdraw and stayed in to the end, garnering some “anybody but McCain” delegates.

~~

He was a crazed tax-hiker as Governor and pardoned a couple dozen violent criminals, several of whom committed more crimes within a year despite being “born again.”

He’s going nowhere, and even that is too good for him.

Adjoran on January 4, 2015 at 3:57 PM

Just remembered “The Huckabee” radio show, meant to go against Rush Limbaugh and take him off the air. Remember Mike Huckabee’s first caller? It was another “Mike” who was so happy a “reasonable, non-inflammatory non-bomb thrower Conservative was here on the radio…..” and it turns out this “Mike” was the executive producer of the Huckabee radio show. I guess the Guv didn’t recognize his voice. And this was uncovered like the next day by the media.

Marcus on January 4, 2015 at 4:01 PM

Hello, Emperor Norton,

I am with you. I would like to see a conservative Republican in the White House who will enforce all of our laws and adhere to the Constitution. Let’s not nominate some loud-mouth who can’t possibly win.

I didn’t know that the New York Times likes the word “nativist,” since I don’t read the Times unless I have to. It seems to me like a good word, though, to describe people who are only comfortable with people who are like themselves—a sentiment that I have felt often enough.

My idea of a nativist is Pat Buchanan, whom I used to enjoy when he was on the radio. A great talker, and a great Irishman. He seemed to be all in favor of immigrants so long as they were Irish. Well, I like the Irish too, but right now most of our immigrants seem to be anything but Irish. I don’t want to spend my time, though, being unhappy about the people around me who are not Irish, or not like me (mostly Scotch-Irish).

I also like the idea of providing jobs for Americans. But have you noticed that there are a great many Americans who don’t seem to want to work? Especially at hard jobs, boring jobs, and trades that require training and focus? I respect any man or woman who is willing to work hard and not bitch about it. That’s all.

foredeck on January 4, 2015 at 4:05 PM

<blockquoteJust remembered “The Huckabee” radio show, meant to go against Rush Limbaugh and take him off the air. Remember Mike Huckabee’s first caller? It was another “Mike” who was so happy a “reasonable, non-inflammatory non-bomb thrower Conservative was here on the radio…..” and it turns out this “Mike” was the executive producer of the Huckabee radio show. I guess the Guv didn’t recognize his voice. And this was uncovered like the next day by the media.

Marcus on January 4, 2015 at 4:01 PM

I don’t think that’s that uncommon. I think it was Levin or Savage, but might have even been Rush talking about the difficulties of starting a radio show because you need to have callers and a new show may not start out with many listeners especially on AM radio.

publius75 on January 4, 2015 at 4:31 PM

Huck?
Yuck.

Galtian on January 4, 2015 at 4:57 PM

By the same token, it is equally unlikely that our present cohort of illegals will be deported en masse;

foredeck

If amnesty shills didn’t have strawman arguments, they wouldn’t have arguments at all, lol.

It is unlikely our present cohort of murderers, rapists, or tax offenders will be brought to justice en masse, therefore it makes sense to not only excuse their wrong doing, but reward them for it too.

Stupid amnesty shills, lol.

xblade on January 4, 2015 at 5:21 PM

I don’t see this (Huckabee 2016) happening..I don’t see it happening at all..:)

Dire Straits on January 4, 2015 at 5:26 PM

Has Chuck Norris signed on?..:)

Dire Straits on January 4, 2015 at 5:27 PM

The STOP TED CRUZ AT ALL COSTS Bandwagon gets another lying big gov loving career politician that will NEVER have the stones to ACTUALLY BEAT the Democrat nominee.

NO NO and NO

#gopestablishmentscaredspitless

#theysuck

#nomobushprogressives

#gopcivilwar

#bringit

PappyD61 on January 4, 2015 at 6:00 PM

The skill set to run Arkansas is not the skill set to run the country. Why didn’t he run for Senate?

Fleuries on January 4, 2015 at 6:04 PM

I would not be surprised if the Establishment tried to exhume Reagan and run him against Cruz.

STOP TED CRUZ AT ALL COSTS.

Huckabee, Carson, Santorum, Rick Perry, and heck fahr maybe even the Klondike Barbie who wouldn’t take on Obama in 2012.

After all it’s all about the bandwagon turning into a steam roller….

STOP TED CRUZ AT ALL COSTS!!!

And it may be for nothing has he even said he wanted to run in 2016????

PappyD61 on January 4, 2015 at 6:07 PM

So it’s turning out to be the same loser’s club the GOP has been fielding for the last 20 years.

Prepare yourselves for President Warren.

Star Bird on January 4, 2015 at 6:43 PM

Shazaam! Surprise Surprise Suprise!…Sorry, I couldn’t help it.

bluesdoc70 on January 4, 2015 at 7:49 PM

So the Establishment has a plan……

Get Huckleberry to win Iowa again, Jeb already sending out the message that he may skip Iowa and go to NH first. So Huck wins Iowa, Jeb ekes out a win in NH, then onto SC where Hucklebutt can count on the Evangelical base and he and Crown Prince Jeb essentially tie in SC. Then…….Florida…..where Jeb becomes the Media winner and presumed nominee.

Jeb entertains Huckleburger as a VP nominee and then Mikey gets to go back to Fox with Rupert’s blessing for handing the nomination to Jebber (who of course goes ball-less when the debates come up with Hillary).

Bush / Martinez 2016

Clinton / Hobbit Castro 2016

#americadoomedbylazycitizens

PappyD61 on January 4, 2015 at 7:54 PM

PappyD61 on January 4, 2015 at 7:54 PM

Very good analysis. I’m very afraid of SC, since they elect Graham every 6 years, who is very similar to Jeb.

Redstone on January 4, 2015 at 8:00 PM

So the Establishment has a plan……

Get Huckleberry to win Iowa again, Jeb already sending out the message that he may skip Iowa and go to NH first. So Huck wins Iowa, Jeb ekes out a win in NH, then onto SC where Hucklebutt can count on the Evangelical base and he and Crown Prince Jeb essentially tie in SC. Then…….Florida…..where Jeb becomes the Media winner and presumed nominee.
Jeb entertains Huckleburger as a VP nominee and then Mikey gets to go back to Fox with Rupert’s blessing for handing the nomination to Jebber (who of course goes ball-less when the debates come up with Hillary).
Bush / Martinez 2016
Clinton / Hobbit Castro 2016
#americadoomedbylazycitizens
PappyD61 on January 4, 2015 at 7:54 PM

I agree.

Huckleberry’s entrance greatly helps Bush and will take votes from Cruz. Pro-amnesty, TEA party-hating Huck needs to be stopped.

bluegill on January 4, 2015 at 8:00 PM

So old news.The evangelical bleating sheep will flock to him,despite his horrible RINO record as Arkansas Governor,which will be on full displat during the debates.He might win Iowa,then fade away.Deja vu,except he’s even fatter this time around.Yawn.

redware on January 4, 2015 at 8:58 PM

Mike Huckabee is a religious bigot.

During his prior campaign, he frequently mentioned Mitt Romneys Mormon faith. This was done purely with the intent to discredit Mitt with the large Cristian block of voters that would have trouble supporting a person of the Mormon faith.
His actions were neither Christian nor do they reflect a person that actively practices the things they claim to value.
I will work tirelessly to discredit and prevent Mike Huckabee from ever ascending to office.

JHL on January 4, 2015 at 9:35 PM

Huck getting in is bad news for Santorum and Michelle Bachmann. The rest, not so much.

He’s strong in Iowa and nowhere else. Shall we take a walk down Memory Lane?

~~

Huck won Iowa, but finished a poor third in New Hampshire, third in Michigan, second in South Carolina (even with all our upstate hard-shell preachers), a poor third in Florida.

On Super Tuesday, he finished a dismal third, winning four Deep South states plus West Virginia (where McCain delegates voted for him to block Romney). The only reason he “finished 2nd” overall was because he refused to withdraw and stayed in to the end, garnering some “anybody but McCain” delegates.

~~

He was a crazed tax-hiker as Governor and pardoned a couple dozen violent criminals, several of whom committed more crimes within a year despite being “born again.”

He’s going nowhere, and even that is too good for him.

Adjoran on January 4, 2015 at 3:57 PM

You’re forgetting Kansas ( he won it by 30 points in a head-to-head with McCain) and Louisiana, which both came after Super Tuesday.

Let’s not pretend that winning Iowa, South Carolina, and a hefty chuck of the South is something to sneeze at – especially since there are efforts to put together a “South Eastern Conference” primary on 3/1/16. The south is the GOP’s base.

It’s true that Huckabee didn’t have enough money to really compete on Super Tuesday ’08. That will not be the case this cycle, what with his near universal name recognition, the advent of Super Pacs, and the fact that he’s one of the most popular Republican figures in the country.

As for Gov. Huckabee being a tax-hiker – well, did you know that the Democrats dominated the Arkansas legislature for his entire tenure? And that they could defeat his vetoes with a simple majority? Have you actually examined his record? Because I have. What did he sign, what did he veto, and what did he support? And don’t try to throw down that out-of-context video clip that the Club for Growth used to smear him in ’08. He’s a fiscal conservative, and affected tax simplification in his state.

And no, he didn’t pardon violent criminals. Remember that the terms ‘pardon’ and ‘commutation’ have different meanings under the umbrella term of ‘clemency’. And have you looked into the cases where Huckabee used his executive power? Or are you ready to condemn him without knowing the facts of each case?

ceruleanblue on January 4, 2015 at 9:42 PM

Mike Huckabee is a religious bigot.

During his prior campaign, he frequently mentioned Mitt Romneys Mormon faith. This was done purely with the intent to discredit Mitt with the large Cristian block of voters that would have trouble supporting a person of the Mormon faith.
His actions were neither Christian nor do they reflect a person that actively practices the things they claim to value.
I will work tirelessly to discredit and prevent Mike Huckabee from ever ascending to office.

JHL on January 4, 2015 at 9:35 PM

Frequently mentioned Romney’s faith? No he didn’t. It just didn’t happen. (I could be wrong, though… maybe you could provide evidence?) The entire case for Huckabee’s so-called bigotry stems from a single question about the Mormon doctrine to a religion reporter, as an interview was ending. Now, you seem to know a lot about how Christians are supposed to act. Can you look in your heart as a Christian and really call this man a bigot, one of the worst things you can call a person, based solely on this incident? I think you know better. This has all been blown up in your mind. And let’s not forget that he went on to endorse and campaign for this Mormon, Romney, that he was supposedly bigoted against.

ceruleanblue on January 4, 2015 at 9:53 PM

OMG. I didn’t think there was anyone worse than Jeb Bush or Chris Kristy who could possibly run, and yet, somehow there is. No. Just no.

bitsy on January 4, 2015 at 10:26 PM

The likelihood that the GOP field will include figures who mock the names of America’s strategically vital Central Asian partners…

Vital?

Japan is vital…
Israel is vital…
Canada is vital…

A country named “X”-stan is NOT vital.

Note: X = can be any of the numerous Islamic tribes that seem to roam that part of the world.

I define vital as something that is so important to American national security that we Americans should be willing to lose a lot of people for, and be willing to kill not only those attacking the said vital country, but even their offspring to defend it.

This is what I mean when I say the Neo-Con Super Hawks are crazy and will get another Obama style Democrat elected if they ever should run American foreign policy again. They think every half baked fool that says they want American cash is a vital ally.

William Eaton on January 4, 2015 at 11:01 PM

Huckabee or his acolytes did indeed throw theological grenades into the conversation about Romney. He also double teamed with McCain by staying in the race much longer than was realistic to deny Romney’s chances of advancing in the primaries.

I’ve seen all I really want to see of Huckabee and indeed, most of the current crop of names being advanced as the “only” ones who can win by the Chamber of Commerce/Karl Rove types. Been there, done that, don’t want another T-shirt.

jpm02779 on January 4, 2015 at 11:24 PM

To make it the party of YES–let’s try something different for a change:

Cruz = YES
West = YES
Jindal = YES
Perry = YES
Walker = YES
Palin = YES

See how easy that is?

theotherone on January 4, 2015 at 11:54 AM

I can pretty much get behind that list. Not sure about Walker, though…his true stance on immigration is hard to gauge.

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 5, 2015 at 3:06 AM

Huckabee may be the most personable figure of any of the potential 2016 presidential candidates, Democratic or Republican, and someone who mastered populism well before America entered a populist era.

This is the difference between him and Santorum. Huckabee personifies the old adage “It isn’t what you say, it’s how you say it.”

I can’t tell you how many LIVs where tripping over themselves about Huckabee in 2008. Do not underestimate this guy. If he’s in, he may very well be the nominee.

Ted the Average on January 5, 2015 at 6:50 AM

Get out in Social media early and often and post links to his stance on various issues.

Don’t let him get away with handing the nomination to HIllary Bush.

PappyD61 on January 5, 2015 at 7:42 AM

Specifically post links that will weaken him with his base.

If you are in Iowa or NH or the south this means US.

PappyD61 on January 5, 2015 at 7:43 AM

If Huckabee or Jeb are nominees, I would have to vote 3rd party. I could not with good conscience vote Dem-lite

ConservativePartyNow on January 5, 2015 at 10:32 AM

Jeb doesn’t suffer from a Huntsman problem, he suffers from a Romney problem: letting others define him.

BocaJuniors on January 5, 2015 at 1:30 PM

Jeb doesn’t suffer from a Huntsman problem, he suffers from a Romney problem: letting others define him.

BocaJuniors on January 5, 2015 at 1:30 PM

He suffers from both.

alchemist19 on January 5, 2015 at 10:55 PM