Thursday, June 30, 2005

Huckabee a Huge Hit at National Latin American Conference

In what reporters describe as an “impassioned speech” before hundreds of influential Hispanic civil rights leaders from across the nation, Gov. Mike Huckabee delivered the keynote address at a noon luncheon of the League of United Latin American Citizens’ national convention in Little Rock today. Huckabee told the captivated audience that America is great because it has always opened it’s doors up to people seeking a better way of life.
"I would hope that no matter who we are, or where we are from, that America should always be a place that opens its arms, opens it heart, opens its spirit to people who come because they want the best for their families ...," Huckabee said as the largely Hispanic audience exploded into a standing ovation.
The Governor also won the crowd over with his legendary charm and sense of humor, joking at one point "Pretty soon, Southern white guys like me may be in the minority," as the crowd roared in laughter.

In another humorous moment, while speaking about the importance of providing education to the children of immigrants, Huckabee sounded very much like a presidential candidate when he recalled his educational upbringing in Hope and reminded the crowd "I too still believe in a place call Hope," mimicking former President Clinton's famous acceptance speech at the 1992 Democratic National Convention.

Despite such light moments, Huckabee did not shy away from several controversial issues that have made him a target of criticism, even from members of his own party. He said Arkansas needs to make the transition from a traditional Southern state to one that recognizes and cherishes diversity "in culture, in language and in population."

"This is an issue that is going to require extraordinary efforts on both sides of the border, particularly those coming from Mexico," he said of verifying the status of illegal aliens. "But I am confident that our government will recognize that we should accommodate people who wish to provide the best opportunities for their families…”.

During the Arkansas’ most recent legislative session, Huckabee supported a plan that would make college scholarships available to the children of undocumented aliens educated in Arkansas. The proposal earned him scathing attacks from many groups, including republicans, opposed to providing any benefits to “illegals”.

Huckabee, who has consistently worked to help and defend children throughout his life, would not back down, saying "I ... believe that an education for every child is the most important single factor to give everyone to be their very best.”

Although he never actually talked about the U.S. or Arkansas immigration policy, Huckabee made it very clear where he stood on the issue. In his opening remarks, he said the nation will need to address the concerns of the Hispanic community because of its growing influence and population base. He told the LULAC delegates that their presence in the state's capital city was very important because Arkansas has one of the fastest growing Hispanic populations in the nation.

"Your gathering is so very significant for our state," Huckabee said. "We are delighted to have you."


Mike Huckabee '08 Buzz Continues to Rise

Tim Saler, of, who also writes for, published his weekly 2008 candidate rankings on both sites on Monday. This week's list put Huckabee at the top of the GOP rankings for the first time, as we reported for you here.

Yesterday Rob Mortiz of the Arkansas News Bureau picked up on the story, reporting that he contacted Governor Huckabee to ask him about the ranking. According to Mortiz, Huckabee was "slightly evasive" about his future plans, saying "right now I'm interested in my last year and a half (as governor). I really am. I've got not only my day-to-day activities here but the NGA (National Governors Association) activities are really keeping me really focused."

Huckabee takes over chairmanship of the NGA next month in Des Moines, Iowa, and has spent a great deal of time developing the programs and agenda for the event, says Moritz, which will draw governors from across the country. The NGA meeting is July 15-18. Asked about the chairmanship and the possible national spotlight it could bring him in the coming year, Huckabee again said his thoughts are not on future political aspirations."I need to take care of the job I have and not the job that some other people think I ought to have," he said.

Gilbert Baker, chairman of the Republican Party of Arkansas, said Wednesday afternoon that he thinks Huckabee would make a good presidential candidate and he's not surprised by the national recognition. "The governor has gotten a lot of national public attention lately for his health initiative," Baker said, noting the governor's recent weight loss, his running of the Little Rock marathon and book on eating and living a healthy lifestyle.

"I think he's incredibly articulate and a solid social conservative and that gets a lot of play nationwide," Baker said. The Republican Party chairman went on to say that Huckabee is very committed to completing his last year as governor, but probably is thinking about his future in politics. "He's going to run hard to cross the finish line as governor," Baker said. "He still has a lot of things he hopes to accomplish, but obviously when your name is mentioned in those circles positively that's got to give you some opportunity to think about it."

While Governor Huckabee remains coy on the issue, it has been reported previously that he has told close friends he is, in fact, running for president. Buzz for Huckabee has been rising steadily in both the MSM and among bloggers for several weeks.

Saler, who was interviewed for the Arkansas News Bureau article, writes about Huckabee on his blog again today, saying "...his response about focusing on the job as governor and the chairmanship of the NGA was exactly what would be expected of an individual seriously considering a run for President, but not wanting to show all his cards at once."


Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Huckabee Speaks to National Latin American Group

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) selected Little Rock for its national convention, which begins today, because "Little Rock is one of the fastest growing Latin American communities in the United States and is contributing to the new faces of America," said LULAC national chairman Hector Flores. Governor Mike Huckabee will speak to the more than 10,000 conventioneers later this week.

Check back here for further reports.


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Mike Huckabee Featured in The Hill

Governor Mike Huckabee is featured in today's edition of The Hill, the newspaper for and about the U.S. Congress. He was interviewed after appearing at a Newsweek sponsored luncheon to promote his new book, Quit Digging Your Grave With a Knife and Fork, which details how he sucessfully altered his diet, exercise and lifestyle to lose over 100 pounds and reverse type II diabetes.

The Hill profiles Huckabee as a potential presidential candidate, speculating that he may be following the same pathway as another Arkansas governor who became president. Bill Clinton used the chairmanship of the National Governor's Association as a platform to launch a presidential campaign. Huckabee assumes the NGA chair next month and plans to use his term there to push for healthier living on a national level.

Huckabee remains coy on the subject of running for president, however, saying "I'm not thinking about it as much as other people are."

Special thanks to Ryan James at, whose blog pointed us to the The Hill article. Check it out here.


Monday, June 27, 2005

Other Bloggers on Mike Huckabee (UPDATED)

Though we've yet to converse with Tim Saler of, he's definitely a kindred spirit. Unlike the MSM, he has taken the time to educate himself about ALL potential candidates for the 2008 nomination and has made informed decisions. Today, he has moved Mike Huckabee up to the number one position for the GOP in his weekly candidate rankings.

According to Tim:

"[T]here’s very little unattractive about Huckabee’s candidacy. When all the other candidates are moving down, Huckabee stays stable and solid. So when everybody else hits the skids, a “nobody” like Huckabee can end up at the top. Don’t be surprised if he’s up here a lot, though. He’s got what it takes, independent of how poorly other candidates might be doing."

We could not agree more. As more people get to "know" Mike Huckabee better, we know they will like him. Anybody who knows him knows that. He's rising. He'll continue to rise. You heard it here first.

And Ryan James of is keeping his eyes on what's happening down in Texas for us. He blogs today about praise for Huckabee in the Dallas Morning News regarding his recent Medicaid reform testimony before the Senate Finance Committee.

Ryan provides the following quote from the newspaper:

"Fortunately, a bipartisan group of governors has stepped forward with ways to save Medicaid. Led by the impressive Republican Mike Huckabee of Arkansas..."

Read on for Ryan's entire post here.

UPDATE: Daniel Owen at Oval Office 2008, interestingly blogging from the UK about the 08 presidential election, provides a link to a NPR story looking at potential southern candidates. He also gives some love to our blog, which we appreciate.
Thanks, Mr. Owen.

P.S. Daniel, we have not decided yet how much muttering we'll do about the NPR article. Alas, we've grown used to it. But here are links to a few of our previous mutterings:

Lazy Reporters Choose Frontrunners
Howard Fineman Blows It
Consensus: Huckabee's Stock is Rising


Sunday, June 26, 2005

News & Views: June 26, 2005

Sorry there is no new installment of Sunday Kick in the Pants today. It's been a hectic weekend for us with personal business. But here are a few quick shots of News & Views for you. Look for us to be fully back in the saddle tomorrow and next Sunday for a kick in the pants.

Tim Saler at continues to forecast Huckabee will do well. Here, he mentions that he thinks he'll perfrom well in the South Carolina primary. We'll be watching for his weekly candidate update tomorrow.

Mark Coffey's Decision 08 site is excellent and growing like mad. He's been good to this blog and to this blogger, giving me a platform to spout some of my own views. You should add him to your daily must-read list.

Daniel Owen at Oval Office 2008 askes if John McCain will be the GOP nominee. Why not pop over and let him know what you think? For a primer, read this.

Our friend Ryan James at got a cool new toy he's been trying out this weekend. We'll be watching to see if the quality of his blogging suffers (Heh!).

Speaking of cool stuff, video blogging is the future and The Political Teen is one of the best at it. Here, you can watch Michelle Malkin talking immigration on Fox.

InDC has a hair-raising look at what is happening over in China. Read up because China will likely be a much bigger part of our kids' vocabulary than it has been a part of ours.

Strata-Sphere has a look at the hypocrisy oozing from the left.

More to come. Check back often!


Friday, June 24, 2005

News & Views: June 24, 2005 agrees with us that the MSM is infatuated with "front runners" who cannot win the GOP nomination.

Presidential Primaries 2008 blogs about Senators Brownback and Santorum whom, they say, could have "special strength" with evangelical Christians. That's true but Mike Huckabee, a former Baptist minister, should be added to that list.

Huckabee is doing well in the candidate preference poll at 2008 Political Perspective. Head on over and let your voice be heard.

You've heard a lot about how upset Dems are with things Carl Rove said recently. Mark Coffey at Decision 08 has the full text of the remarks here.

Charles Krauthammer says the Democratic party is a "party without ideas." We know.

This blog has become a regular stop for us. Very well done.

So has this one.

More to come. Check back often!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Mike Huckabee Commits Capitol Offense

OK, this gives us the opportunity to tell you about one of the fun things about Mike Huckabee. He's a musician (bass guitar) and he has had a band for years in Arkansas called "Capitol Offense". Last Tuesday, Huckabee "committed" Capitol Offense to play a benefit concert for the Russellville, AR skatepark fund as part of the second annual international "Go Skateboarding Day".

The event is sponsored by the International Association of Skateboard Companies. After a strong showing in its inaugural year, the association was hoping to have nearly 20 million people on wheels Tuesday.

Huckabee, who has lost over 100 pounds and completely transformed his health over the last two years, becomming America's new health spokesperson, is happy to help raise money for programs like this that provide opportunity for people participate in more active lifestyles. In fact, he will be making health care the centerpiece of his tenure as chairman of the National Governor's Association, which begins next month.


Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Lazy Reporters Choose Frontrunners

The MSM continues to generate megabytes of material about GOP candidates who cannot possibly win the 2008 nomination. Today, Associated Press political writer Ron Fournier published a column declaring John McCain the "800 pound gorilla" that must be considered the front runner for the GOP presidential nomination in 2008.

This assertion generated a wide array of negative reactions all across the right side of the blogosphere. Two bloggers sum it up best, we think: John Hawkins at Right Wing News (McCain in 2008? Not. A. Chance. In. Hell) and Captain Ed at Captain's Quarters (A Frontrunner Only The Exempt Media Would Select).

Most of the professional polling that takes place at this early stage is conducted by telephone survey with people who have thought nothing about politics in months, much less about the next presidential election. In fact, most Americans won't even start paying attention to who the 2008 candidates are until the early primaries.

So when The Typical American finally drags himself or herself into the house after a 14 hour day of commuting, working, running the kids to softball practice and worrying about grandma at the hospital, picks up the ringing phone, and is asked to choose a preferred candidate from a list, he or she naturally tends to pick the first recognizable name without any thought whatsoever into that person's character or stance on issues.

In other words, these polls mean absolutely nothing at this time and any reporter worth a darn knows it. That's what irks us the most. Lazy reporters prefer to cut, paste and re-hash previously written material about "front runners" over putting in the hard work required to research, learn and write about "dark horses" like Mike Huckabee for which little previously written work exists.

"Never has it been easier to seem to do more in less time. The operative word is 'seem.' A journalist can now find a story almost identical to one he or she has proposed and, with a few well-placed e-mails, assemble by the end of the day reportage deceptively as detailed as the original."

Eric Meyer
Associate Professor of Journalism at the University of Illinois

For some well-thought-out analysis about who the contenders will ultimately be, take a look at this, this, this and this (and if you're a reporter, feel free to cut and paste all you like!).


Posted by Hello

Other Bloggers on Mike Huckabee

Taken from this post on, 6/21/05:

"Jeb has, however, come out in support of a fellow governor, Mike Huckabee of Arkansas. Huckabee has made an extremely influential and valuable ally in Jeb, and it’s quite possible that a close association with the Bush family, as well as holding virtually all the appropriate positions for a Republican presidential nominee, could vault him into immediate front-runner status for the presidential nomination in 2008."

Tim Saler, freelance political
analyst, activist, and writer.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Democrat Felons Plot to Steal Elections

The headline of this post is only slightly hyperbolic. Unfortunately, Democrats really are advancing a plan, cheered on by the left, to literally steal future elections by reinstating the right to vote to convicted felons.

Clearly desperate to improve their chances to recover political power, particularly the White House, Democrats have identified this previously untapped base for votes. Iowa, led by Governor Tom Vilsak, is the first to seize upon the idea.

According to the Des Moines Register, Vilsak is issuing a "blanket order" restoring the voting rights to all Iowa felons who've completed their sentences.

David Yepsen, writing for the Des Moines Register, says that there is only one reason behind Vilsak's move: Winning elections. According to Yepsen, "Iowa has more than 50,000 convicted felons who have completed their sentences. Of them, a disproportionate number are from minority and lower-income groups. That means they are demographically more likely to vote Democratic than Republican."

"These new voters could have a huge impact on the outcome of close elections in Iowa," Yepsen continues. "According to the latest registration figures, Iowa has 610,000 Republicans, 606,000 Democrats and 752,000 independents. If only half of these felons bother to exercise their new franchise in coming elections, they could change outcomes. For example, President Bush carried Iowa in the last presidential election by only 10,059 votes."

The move has the potential to have even greater influence in state elections in Iowa where congressional seat outcomes are often decided by very narrow margins.

Will this become a national movement by the Democrats? If so, it could make the difference in the next presidential election. Don't believe it? Bush carried Nevada in 2000 by just 31,597 votes. Had Bush lost Nevada, Gore would have won the election with exactly 270 electoral votes.

Could it have happened? You bet. There are 66,390 disenfranchised ex-felons in Nevada.


Posted by Hello

Monday, June 20, 2005

News & Views: June 20, 2005

UPDATE: Tim Saler at moves Mike Huckabee to #2 on his list of top 10 Republican candidates for president in 2008 (behind Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney), citing Huckabee's performance before the Senate Finance Committee discussing Medicaid reform. "Huckabee was very impressive at a congressional panel last Wednesday," Saler says, "where he appeared with Gov. Mark Warner (D-Virginia). Several congressmen made the remark that both men were likely presidential candidates, and some commented that the panel could be a prequel to the 2008 presidential debates. It’s a very good sign when congressmen are backing you in a presidential race, and it appears that Huckabee may have made some important allies this week.

Jeb Bush is going to speak at a tribute to Governor Mike Huckabee.

Speaking of Jeb Bush, we've blogged here before about how much ink the MSM spends on candidates who aren't running, including Jeb Bush. Now Taegan Goddard's Political Wire tells us why he's not running. Seems the wife put the smack down on the idea.

Not one dime.

You can still vote for Mike Huckabee in 2008 Political Perspective's candidate preference poll.

An interesting analysis from Ryan James at Thanks, Ryan!

For those of you who wonder why there are no comments allowed on this blog...this is why.

Here's a Washington Post column about the "Medicaid Explosion" that advocates many of the recommendations outlined last week for the Senate Finance Committee by Governors Huckabee and Warner.

More to come. Check back often!


Problem: Need Ideas. Solution: Steal From Huckabee.

We blogged here previously about how John Kerry is blatantly stealing and taking credit for a highly successful program Mike Huckabee created for Arkansas almost 10 years ago.

Now Deroy Murdock, a columnist for National Review, borrows from Mike Huckabee for a column idea. Several years ago, after Arkansas' Democrats opposed his refusal to raise taxes, Huckabee started the "Tax Me More" Fund, a fund where those who felt undertaxed could voluntarily pay the higher taxes they thought were fair. Needless to say, the Democrats disappeared and almost no money was ever sent to the fund. This idea got national attention at the time and was copied by other states. Now Murdock advocates that President Bush adopt the idea in this great column. Murdock mentions Arkansas as a state that tried the idea, but does not give Huckabee the credit for creating the idea in the first place. This blogger knows where it came from, though.

Special thanks to The Uncompassionate Conservative for tipping us off about the National Review column.


Sunday, June 19, 2005

Happy Father's Day

Sorry there's no new Sunday Kick in the Pants today. It's Father's Day and we've just been hanging out taking it easy. We'll be back tomorrow with some new stuff, so check back with us.


Saturday, June 18, 2005

Other Bloggers on Mike Huckabee

DC at Why the Democrats are Wrong blogs about something Mike Huckabee did a few years ago that got quite a bit of attention. We have plans to elaborate on Huckabee's "Tax Me More Fund" at a later time, but this will give you a good taste.

Kim Dayton at Elder Law Prof Blog has this recap of the recent Medicaid reform testimony by Governors Huckabee and Warner before the Senate Finance Committee.

Ryan at blogs about the Medicaid reform testimony too.


Friday, June 17, 2005

News & Views:Friday, June 17

Justin Ready at 2008 Political Perspective thinks "Brownback and Mike Huckabee are going to be fighting for the conservative evangelical 'smart' vote...This will be very interesting to watch." While you're there, vote in his online candidate preference poll!

We've blogged before about our frustration with the MSM spilling barrels of ink writing about candidates who cannot possibly win the Republican nomination and here's another one: Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) is getting a lot of MSM and blog hype lately as a possible candidate for president in 2008. But I agree with this assessment by John Hawkins of Right Wing News. Not to mention the fact that he's the Governor of the only state in the union where same-sex marriage is legal and he's pro-abortion. Sure, he's come out against same-sex marriage and changed his views on abortion recently in what many believe to be little more than shameless moves to shore up his 2008 hopes. There is just no way he can win the Republican nomination--a complete non-starter.

On a lighter note, here's a free screen cleaner courtesy of InDC Journal.

Immigration reform is going to play a role in the 2008 election--how big a role remains to be seen--so its worth keeping up with immigration news. Michelle Malkin's Immigration Blog is a great resource.

Speaking of immigration, Charles Krauthammer has a column in New York Daily News that illustrates the need for Mike Huckabee's efforts to help the children of illegal immigrants in Arkansas get access to education and health care. Krauthammer points out, rightly, that despite the near-hysterical tone of anti-immigrant rhetoric today, the fact of the matter is that the percentage of foreign-born people living in America today is significantly below what it was in 1890 and 1910 - and those were spectacularly successful immigrations. Futhermore, he says, we should by all means try to control immigration. Nonetheless, given our geography, our tolerant culture and the magnetic attraction of our economy, illegals will always be with us. Our first task, therefore, should be assimilating immigrants into our culture the way it has been done throughout American history. The way to prevent European-like immigration catastrophes is to turn every immigrant - and most surely his children - into an American.

The Uncompassionate Conservative brings some perspective to the whole Gitmo debate.

Conservative Grapevine, by John Hawkins, has become a daily stop of mine.

More to come. Check back often!


Thursday, June 16, 2005

Huckabee to Promote Marital Fidelity

Mike Huckabee, husband of Arkansas First Lady Janet Huckabee (pictured above), announced recently that he will serve as the national spokesperson for Stand F.I.R.M, a new advocacy group that supports fidelity in marriage.

Stand F.I.R.M (Fidelity Initiative - Restore Marriage) is led by an Arizona-based nonprofit group that is being organized by former Motown and RCA recording artist Troy Johnson and includes several professional athletes and other entertainers. Huckabee will speak at the organization's inaugural concert event in Little Rock on August 9.

After the August concert the group will host special events each quarter and provide online educational resources on marital fidelity, including statistical evidence on divorce impact, a support hotline, community message boards, and a CD series on success in marriage.

Organizers of the new group said Huckabee's support of covenant marriages makes him a perfect spokesman for the group's cause.

"That's really why Gov. Huckabee will be making comments at the kickoff event because fidelity plays a huge role in covenant marriage," a group spokeserson said. "We don't have members, but we have people who are standing firm, like Huckabee, who believe and endorse the concept of fidelity in marriage."


Posted by Hello

Social Security Reform Dead: Door Opens For Huckabee

The Washington Post reports today that Republican congressional leaders are giving up on Social Security reform and looking for an "exit strategy." While Social Security is in trouble, and we at this blog support the president's efforts to find a solution, we also subscribe to the idea that there are other important programs (Medicaid and Medicare) that are in far more urgent need of attention than Social Security.

The diminishing role of Social Security reform in the public debate opens the door for domestic policy discussion to turn to health care. In-coming National Governor's Association Chairman Mike Huckabee is set to lead the nation's governors and congress through the process of compassionately reforming America's crucial tax-payer funded health care programs.


Other Bloggers On Mike Huckabee

Ryan James of has a report on the New York Times coverage of yesterday's Medicaid reform testimony. Thanks, Ryan!

Oval Office 2008, run by Daniel Owen out of the UK, blogs about recent Huckabee news here.

Tim Saler has Huckabee in his top 5 republican candidates, saying "The American people are likely to relate to him in ways that they haven't related to a presidential candidate in a long time--if he can win the nomination."

Pop over to Justin Ready's 2008 Political Perspective and vote for Huckabee in his candidate preference poll.

Christian leaders may have found a way to expand their already considerable influence. Check it out at Taegan Goddard's Political Wire.

More to come. Check back often!


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Huckabee Testifies on Medicaid Reform

"Our goal is not just to reduce costs. Our goal is to better administrate a program that provides care for the poorest, neediest people in our states."

Governor Mike Huckabee

Senate Finance Committee Hearing on Medicaid Reform

June 15, 2005

Governor Mike Huckabee, in-coming chair of the National Governor's Association, and Governor Mark Warner, current chair, are testifying about Medicaid reform before the Senate Finance Committee today.

A printed copy of their statement is available here.

Mike Huckabee, who takes over as chairman of the NGA next month, will lead the nation's governors and congress through the process of compassionately reforming this crucial program that provides medical care for more than 53 million poor, elderly and disabled Americans.


Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Huckabee: Medicaid Diabetes Costs Exploding

The State of Arkansas, led by Governor Mike Huckabee, created the Arkansas Diabetes Disease Management Program in an effort to test methods for improving the health of Arkansans and controlling the rapidly growing costs associated with treating diabetes. Governor Huckabee presented the results of the program, a part of his Healthy Arkansas initiative, on Saturday, June 11, at the American Diabetes Association's 65th Scientific Sessions in San Diego.

"Diabetes is a devastating disease affecting more than 18 million Americans," Huckabee said. "Someone in this country is diagnosed with diabetes every 25 seconds. We must find ways to help people reduce the complications that result from diabetes. At the same time, we must help states control the escalating costs caused by the diabetes epidemic."

According to the American Diabetes Association, total direct and indirect costs of diabetes in the U.S. are over $132 billion annually. Much of the costs to treat diabetes, which is often preventable, is paid for by taxpayer-funded Medicaid and Medicare.

The results of the program were very positive, showing that with proper education, diabetes patients on Medicaid can improve their health and dramatically decrease the state's costs for treating the disease. "This project has helped us understand better how to begin to create some long-term solutions for the diabetes problem," said Kurt Knickrehm, Arkansas Department of Human Services Director.

As an example, Knickrehm pointed to the experience of a 55-year-old patient who, after completing the yearlong program, was able to reduce her doctor visits from every other week to every three months.

Governor Huckabee said that his personal experience with diabetes made him acutely aware of how it felt to be controlled by the disease rather than being in control of it. Huckabee was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2003. The governor lost 110 pounds, began exercising daily and completely revamped his eating habits.

"My doctor told me at my last physical that I had the blood- sugar levels of a healthy 21-year-old," he said. "One reason the program succeeded was the strong support and encouragement patients received. It's not easy. Constant encouragement is needed."

Governor Huckabee, who has dedicated himself to helping America navigate its health care crisis, takes over as Chairman of the National Governor's Association next month, where he will lead the nation's governors through the process of compassionately reforming Medicaid.


Monday, June 13, 2005

Roll Call: Huckabee Profile On The Rise

According to Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper (subscription required), "Huckabee's heightened presence in D.C., along with a new, trimmer look, has generated considerable buzz among politicos both in Arkansas and nationally that he is positioning himself for a presidential bid in 2008."

When asked about his ambitions for national office in an interview last week, Huckabee demurred. "I think it's a little early," he said. "It is not the big focus of my life right now."

A source close to the governor, however, acknowledged that as of now, "he is planning to run for president."

One Democratic operative in the state said "[Huckabee's] running. Everybody here thinks he's running."

In preparation for his new job, Huckabee has been raising his visibility in Washington. On June 2 Huckabee delivered a speech at the National Institutes of Environmental Health Science on obesity in American youth and he was back in D.C. on June 8 to receive an award during the American Running Honors Gala.

"I'll have to start paying property taxes if I stay up there any more," Huckabee joked.

Huckabee said the attention being paid to him is not indicative of a groundswell for a presidential candidacy. "Michael Jackson is getting a lot of attention," he said. "I don't think he is running for president."

Even Democrats, however, acknowledge that since the start of 2005, Huckabee has done a masterful job of finding national press. "He has had an impressive flurry of homegrown media events," said one Democratic consultant who follows Arkansas politics closely.

Next month, in a continuation of the process, Huckabee steps into the Chairmanship of the National Governor's Association where he will lead the nation's Governors through the process of compassionately reforming Medicaid.


Special thanks to the Arkansas Times for providing a synopsis of the Roll Call story.

Posted by Hello

Goldford Responds: The Reporter Did It

Last week we blogged about an international AP wire story titled "Arkansas Governor Talked Up for White House Run." The story was mostly positive except for the reported opinions of Dennis Goldford, a political scientist from Drake University in Iowa, who doubted the Governor's ability to appeal to religious conservatives because "there are people out there already with national records working hard at that."

This struck us as an odd remark, considering there is a lot of room in the Republican party for another religous conservative. Not only that, we feel that Governor Huckabee's unique experience as a former Baptist minister, once known widely among the public, might be enough to give him a better than even chance of capturing the imagination of religious conservatives.

Then Goldford was quoted as saying "I don't know if people are out there looking for the Jenny Craig candidate." Such a gross oversimpification of Huckabee's message was either deliberate (in which case we felt it was sarcastic and condescending) or the result of Goldford being ill-informed. We chose to give Goldford the benefit of the doubt and suggested that he should have read this blog before making his remarks. We also provided you with Goldford's email address and invited you to forward to him a link to the blog if you felt moved to do so.

Apparently you did.

Over the weekend we received the following email from Goldford:

Dear BSR:

I don't normally respond to critics, but I thought I'd note simply that my comments on Gov. Huckabee's chances were considerably more nuanced than the reporter apparently reflected. I was responding to her specific questions, and I have no control over how she (someone I've never met) used the quotes in context.

Dennis J. Goldford

Professor, Dept. of Politics and International
RelationsDirector, Program in Law, Politics, and Society
Drake UniversityDes Moines, IA 50311
Office phone: (515) 271-3197

So, you see, it was the reporter's fault. Somehow the phrase "Jenny Craig candidate" was considerably more nuanced than the reporter made it sound.

This is just one small example of how blogs are changing the way people get their news. In this case, an uninformed "expert" made remarks that were not just plain wrong, but insensitive and hurtful. We called him on it here, you responded and the "expert" clarified his remarks by claiming they were taken out of context by the reporter.

Unfortunately for Mike Huckabee, the "out of context" remarks appeared in a story on the AP wire which was picked up by media outlets all over the world and seen by millions of people, while the "expert's" clarification appears only on this blog with barely 3,300 readers per month (for now, at least).

As for Melissa Nelson, that AP writer who took Goldford's remarks out of context, her email address is:


Sunday, June 12, 2005

Sunday Kick in the Pants

Welcome back to another edition of Sunday Kick in the Pants. For new visitors, Sunday Kick in the Pants is our (semi) weekly weekend series dedicated to providing you with ideas for physical activities you and your family can participate in. We're doing this in keeping with Mike Huckabee's positive health example and recommendations he provides in his new book, Stop Digging Your Grave With a Knife and Fork. As he says in one of his "twelve stops" (STOP Sitting on the Couch): "Your goal is stopping bad habits and starting good ones -- not winning first prize."

In other words, don't choose an activity that is too strenuous right off the bat. What you want to do is start building habits for your family that include physicial activity. Soon it wont be "excercise", it will just be the fun ways your family chooses to spend its time together.

Our idea is to provide you with ideas that might inspire you to "stop sitting on the couch". If you don't like what we've got on any given Sunday, you can simply scroll through previous weeks' suggestions or look under the "Get Healthy" menu in our sidebar where we've linked some cool stuff.

Today's suggestion: Well, its mid-June now and its getting hot in many parts of the country, particularly in Mike Huckabee's beloved south. Its not a good idea to start a physical activity regimen in the heat of the summer unless you are already an active person. If you're just now "getting off the couch" DON'T grab your family and make them go hiking in the heat of the day. Not only could it be dangerous, but if you and your family are miserable you won't be likely to keep it up.

So here's a beginner's summer exercise idea sure to appeal to the wives and daughters: mall walking. Think about it. It's indoors, airconditioned and provides literally unlimited walking opportunities. There's stuff to look at, people to watch and its likely you were going to be making a trip there sometime in the next few days anyway--you can get your family exercise and take care of some errands a the same time. Heck, you might even walk yourselves into a new wardrobe. How convenient is that?

To get the most out of it, we suggest you set up a system. For example, you should pre-establish a certain amount of walking to be done before anyone shops. Use this incentive to keep everyone together and on task until the real goal of the trip (physical activity) is done. You can set it as a time goal (20 minutes of walking), a lap goal (7 trips around the mall) or a mile goal (most malls these days can tell you how many laps equal a mile). You might even want to buy yourself a pedometer.

Whatever you do, try to add a little to it each time. Before you know it, you and your flock will be ready for some real activities outside when things cool down this Fall.

So today after church, gather up the family, put on some comfortable shoes, and head for the mall. Put some miles on those shoes and have fun (but DON'T make any stops at the candy store or food court)!

We'll be back Monday providing important news and information about Mike Huckabee and the 2008 Presidential election, so be sure you check back in!


Saturday, June 11, 2005

News & Views: Saturday, June 11

Welcome visitors from RWN! Many thanks to John Hawkins for the link.

Ryan James blogs about remarks made by the Howard Dean-wanna-be head of the Arkansas Democratic Party yesterday. We couldn't say it better ourselves, so take a look.

Daniel Owen of Oval Office 2008 blogs about an editorial in The Morning News (Springdale, AR) all the way from London. The editorial wonders why Huckabee did not mandate recent dietary and exercise recommendations be implemented by Arkansas schools. The answer: Huckabee, as Governor, has been forced to deal with many unfunded mandates from the Feds over the years and he deplores them. There is no money in the Arkansas school system to pay for the implementation of the newly recommended standards so he made the schools' adoption of the new standards voluntary. He's not a hypocrite. Simple as that.

Demlog wonders about a Huckabee vs. Hillary match-up (something we're not prepared to do yet, so don't ask!).

Huckabee moves up in The Jaker's presidential odds.

Presidential Wire had Huckabee at #19 in blogs and #10 in MSM as of this morning. This wire is a great tool. Nice work, Mr. Ruffini.

Presidential Primaries 2008 blogs about the possibility that Gov. Mark Warner (VA) will seek the Democratic nomination, lending weight to our All South Steel Cage Death Match thesis.

Pop over the 2008 Political Perspective to vote for Mike Huckabee in his preference poll.

More to come. Check back often!


Friday, June 10, 2005

AP: Arkansas Governor Talked Up For White House Run

The AP wire reports today about Mike Huckabee and his prospects for a White House run. The article is nice, but includes some remarks by a political scientist named Dennis Goldford that are just plain stupid, frankly.

First, the good stuff. Excerpts from the article are in blue.

Imagine this: A man from Hope with a weight problem serves more than 10 years as Arkansas governor, makes cross-country connections through his leadership of the National Governors Association and weighs a run for the White House. Bill Clinton? Not this time.

Mike Huckabee, a Republican who took over as governor at the height of Clinton's Whitewater scandal and who lost more than 100 pounds while promoting health in an unhealthy state is being talked up for a presidential run after he leaves the Governor's Mansion in 2007 at age 51.

That's cool. Now consider what Goldford, the politcal scientist from Drake University, had to say about Huckabee:

"If he sees himself with a lot of support among religious conservatives, there are people out there already with national records working hard at that. You have Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania, Sam Brownback in Kansas, George Allen in Virginia, all from that segment of the party."


Well, crap. Someone else already thought of the whole "religious conservative" angle. There's just not room for another religious conservative in the Republican party--especially one who is a former Baptist minister. A ridiculous statement by a lazy political scientist, if you ask us.

Now consider who he lists as Huckabee's better-positioned competition:

Rick Santorum --Senator from PA. One of the most polarizing figures in politics today.

Sam Brownback--Senator from Kansas.

George Allen--Senator from Virginia.

What's wrong with this picture? Goldford ignores what may be Huckabee's single biggest advantage. He's a governor. They're all senators. Senators simply don't get elected president.

Now have a look at the next utterly ignorant statement Goldford makes:

"I don't know if people are out there searching for the Jenny Craig candidate."

In addition to being insulting and condescending, this statement is incredibly ill-informed. Huckabee is not running for president on a weight loss platform. He's running for president on a health and health care reform platform, as a candidate who can speak with authority and credibility on the issue like no other, from a powerful bully pulpit, at a time when health care reform has moved to the forefront of domestic policy.

Maybe Goldford should have read this blog. If you'd like to help him out you can email a link to him at


Posted by Hello


Its not quite the milestone that our friend Mark Coffey at Decision 08 enjoys today, but we're pleased to report that it appears today's AP story about Governor Huckabee will help push this blog past the 10,000 uniques milestone today. This blog was launched just less than four months ago, on February 14.

Averaging 2,500 uniques per month with a brand new blog isn't bad, I guess. And in actuality the vast majority of those visits have come over the last three months so the uniques are really tracking somewhere north of 3,300 per month now.

Special thanks to these folks who have helped make it happen (in no particular order): Primary 2008, 2008 Political Perspective, Decision 08,, Presidential Wire, Oval Office 2008, Taegan Goddard's Political Wire, Save the GOP, Right Wing News, Political Gateway, Watching Washington, and The Uncompassionate Conservative.

And a big fat razzberry to GOP Bloggers, who won't even respond to our emails.


Thursday, June 09, 2005

Growing Trend: Faith-Based Diets

With the growing realization that obesity truly is a major crisis of epidemic proportions in America, contributing significantly to the fiscal woes of Medicaid and Medicare, the MSM has begun reporting on a new trend in America's battle with fat: Faith-based diets.

Last night, CNN's Anderson Cooper reported about this growing trend, featuring a group of church-goers participating in one of these diet programs.

Why are we telling you this? Well, because while the advice Mike Huckabee gives in his new book, Quit Digging Your Grave With a Knife and Fork, is not faith-based, his reasons for finally deciding to change the personal choices that caused his obesity problem were based at least partly on his religious convictions.


Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Mike Huckabee a Positive Influence for Families, Youth

Governor Mike Huckabee is working to raise awareness about obesity as a major health crisis and one of the things he is trying to accomplish is to get people thinking differently about food and their "relationship" with it. And its working -- not just here in America but all across the world!

Here's just one example. An Austrailian father blogs that Mike Huckabee has helped him realize his child should not be taught that food is a reward.

And from "Names & Faces" in today's Washington Post: Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee , NFL Hall of Famer Lynn Swann and Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills will be honored today at the American Running Association's third annual Honors Gala at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. The trio will be recognized for their achievements and impact on the health of America's youth.

Congratulations, Governor. You're doing great work.


Tuesday, June 07, 2005

High Praise for Mike Huckabee President 2008

"One of the best blogspot candidate sites I've seen."

Frank Meyers
Presidential Primaries 2008

News & Views: Tuesday, June 7, 2006

Friend Ryan James of found this gem from the CBS affiliate in Memphis. Thanks, Ryan!

The Providence College Democrats have Mike Huckabee on their list of likely Republican candidates in 2008.

You can hop over to 2008 Political Perspective to vote for Mike Huckabee in the candidate preference poll.

Special congratulations are in order for Mark Coffey, whose excellent Decision 08 blog has really taken off. He was featured on CNN's Inside the Blogs yesterday. Mark, we're proud and jealous at the same time (our time is coming, though!).

Senior Journal writes about next week's appearance by Governors Mike Huckabee and Mark warner (VA) before the Senate Finance Committee to begin Medicaid reform discussions.

Here's a link to the much-blogged-about article about Mike Huckabee.

Terry Turner at Watching Washington linked our Medicaid reform article. Thanks, Terry!

Joe's Web Compound comments about the Huckabee article on

More to come. Check back often!


Monday, June 06, 2005

News & Views: Huckabee Book Cracks Top 10

Governor Huckabee's new book, Quit Digging Your Grave With a Knife and Fork is doing very, very well. According to, it's sales ranking has rocketed from #433 to #9 in just the last week. Congratulations, Governor!

Project Nothing Watched Mike Huckabee's recent interview with Tim Russert and was favorably impressed.

Many new candidate preference lists have been started recently and Homocon has Huckabee in his top 10.

Like all the others in the MSM, The Detroit News pours barrels of ink into writing about potential Republican candidates for 2008 who either can't win the nomination (Guliani & McCain) or can't win the election if nominated (pretty much all the Senators). Huckabee is noted as "also on the list."

On the home front Gov. Huckabee, no fan of unfunded mandates, encourages Arkansas schools to adopt his new nutrition and exercise standards. Some in Arkansas are criticizing him for not mandating the change, but that's not Huckabee's style. He'd rather take on a leadership role and have people join him by choice, not by force.

Inspired by Mike Huckabee, Chris Gonzales created 40 Days of Fat, an innovative blog-based weight loss program where you can incentivize yourself to lose weight by pledging money to your favorite charity for each pound you lose, each push-up you do, each mile you walk, etc. The inaugural session is about to end and Chris has announced "40 Days of Fat Reloaded" which begins soon. Consider joining!

The Gallaghers seem to be having a great summer. Thanks for your support and the link!

The Seattle Times writes about Gov. Huckabee and his amazing personal story.

You can still vote for Mike Huckabee in Justin Ready's candidate preference poll.

More to come. Check back often!


Sunday, June 05, 2005

Sunday Kick in the Pants

Well, its time for the next installment of Sunday Kick in the Pants. For those of you visiting our blog for the first time, Sunday Kick in the Pants is our (semi) weekly weekend series intended to help you follow Mike Huckabee's example by getting up, getting out and getting some exercise.

If you are looking for info about Quit Digging Your Grave With a Knife and Fork, scroll down and you'll find it.

We'll be back to providing important Mike Huckabee info and links to 2008 presidential news tomorrow morning. If you can't wait, cruise on over to the Information Center in our sidebar.

Looking for ideas about what to do for your health and the health of your family today? Well, consider a bike ride or a hike. You can do it around your own neighborhood, but if you really want to make it exciting and fun you can turn it into an exploration of your state.

Check out GORP's fantastic national biking & hiking trail list. All you have to do is click on your state and all the hiking and biking trail options pop up like magic. There's something there for all skill levels.

For example, if you're from Washington state, there's a hiking trail in your state called Angel Falls Loop Trail at the Gifford Pinchot National Forest that is steep, but only a half-mile long and "passes underneath a large waterfall." How cool is that?

So after church today, grab the wife and kids and go take a look at what God created and your tax dollars maintain!

See you Monday,


Friday, June 03, 2005

Mike Huckabee: Tip of Spear on Major National Issue

Governor Mike Huckabee is about to step into one of the most powerful bully pulpits in America, Chairman of the National Governor's Association, at a time when a critical issue important to him has moved to the forefront of the nation's domestic policy agenda.

That issue is health care.

On June 15, Huckabee, currently Vice-Chairman of the NGA, will join Chairman Mark Warner, Governor of Virginia, to testify before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee about Medicaid reform, launching the national debate on this issue.

The following month, at the NGA's annual meeting, Huckabee will take over as Chairman. In this role, he will help lead all 50 governors and congress through the critical and delicate process of reforming a program that provides health care for over 53 million low-income and disabled Americans.

Skyrocketing costs and swelling membership roles have driven state's Medicaid costs to levels beyond what they pay for K-12 public education, making it the single largest portion of states' budgets. The rate at which Medicaid is growing, if not slowed, threatens to bankrupt state governments or force large tax increases.

Mike Huckabee, a compassionate conservative, says the challenge is to allow states the flexibility they need to stem the program's exploding costs without cutting off vital medical care for millions of Americans.

But the health care issues facing America go far beyond making necessary reforms to existing medical care delivery programs like Medicaid and Medicare. Americans must reform themselves.

The fastest way to reduce national health care expenses is to reduce the need for health care in the first place. America faces a health crisis today called obesity. With over 65% of the population classified as overweight-to-obese, health care costs associated with diabetes, high cholesterol and blood pressure, knee surgeries and myriad other obesity-related costs are skyrocketing. Many, many of these costs are preventable and reducing them can save literally hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade alone.

Worse, obesity is running rampant among America's children, reducing their quality of life and literally threatening to shorten the lives of an entire generation for the first time in American history.

Governor Huckabee, a national role model and leader in wellness and health care, will use the Chairmanship of the NGA to tout his own personal story and his innovative Healthy Arkansas initiative that promotes wellness incentives for state employees. This program, parts of which have already been duplicated in other states, will serve as a model for the federal government, other states and ultimately private insurers and businesses around the country.

Governor Mike Huckabee is the right man, in the right place, at the right time to lead America through this urgent domestic policy agenda.


Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Obesity Becoming International Human & Financial Crisis

Yet another set of researchers has determined that obesity truly has become an international epidemic, affecting at least 300 million people and “an alarming number of children” primarily in Western countries. In the United States, it is estimated by the Centers for Disease Control that at least 65% of the population is overweight, with approximately 31% (at least 90 million people) being classified as obese.

These reports again highlight the critical importance of Mike Huckabee's health care message and mission for America. At the rate America's health care costs are rising, the government cannot tax future workers enough to cover the costs. Doing so could reduce the standards of living for the next generation -- our children and grandchildren -- for the first time in American history.

The solution to this human and financial crisis, in addition to compassionately reforming tax-payer funded health care programs, is to reform the way America pays for health care and the way Americans think about health and health care, leading to a reduction in the massive costs associated with preventable diseases.

"I have embarked on a mission to challenge the faulty thinking of our current system that could result in a complete change in the paradigm of health care in America," Huckabee writes in his new book, Quit Digging Your Grave With a Knife and Fork.

Mike Huckabee's mission is also personal one, having himself lost over 100 pounds recently as he sucessfully reformed his own health. Through this personal journey, Huckabee recognized that others not only can, but must take control of their own personal health. And the health care system should help them -- not tacitly support poor diet and lifestyle choices.

"Our whole health care system is screwed up," Huckabee says. "We pay people to get sick. We do nothing for them to stay healthy. That's completely wrong. We should be creating incentives for individuals to lead a healthy lifestyle rather than pour money into a program that pays for sickness."

Obesity is not an aesthetic problem. It is a very complex problem tightly connected to diabetes, atherosclerosis (blocked arteries) and other major health problems and causes of death according to Professor Constantine Tsigos, chairman of the 14th European Congress on Obesity. "It has to be treated and confronted seriously."

Despite a better understanding of the causes of obesity, a multi-billion dollar diet industry and countless weight-loss programs and gadgets, the number of overweight and obese people is rising at an astounding rate, affecting all socioeconomic groups.

In European countries, rates have soared by 10-50 percent in the last decade. In Japan, it has doubled since 1982 and in the United States the percentage of young overweight people has tripled in 25 years, actually shortening Americans' expected life span, reversing a 200-year trend.

In addition to having devastating human costs in terms of illness and suffering, the obesity epidemic presents crushing financial costs to the United States and other affected countries. In the U.S., costs associated with preventable diseases associated with obesity, much of it paid for by taxpayer-funded programs Medicaid and Medicare, threaten to bankrupt states and the Federal government if something is not done soon.

Just some of the preventable medical conditions and costs associated with obesity include diabetes, high blood pressure and colesterol, knee surgeries, dementia and specialized medical equipment.

To help put this in perspective, preventable obesity-related diseases cost the U.S. far more each year than the war on terror.

Gov. Mike Huckabee, America's new health care spokesperson, has the ideas and leadership to guide America through it's health care crisis.


Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Huckabee Speaks at Major NIH Obesity Conference

Washington, DC --June 1, 2005

Gov. Mike Huckabee, a national health spokesperson, speaks today to national and community leaders and researchers gathering to sort out how a child's environment increases the risk for obesity and to identify ways the environment can be changed to address this health epidemic. More than 700 people will gather for a two-day conference, "Environmental Solutions to Obesity in America's Youth" sponsored by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, one of the National Institutes of Health.

Governor Huckabee, who started the nationally recognized Healthy Arkansas initiative while also losing 110 pounds, will be the closing keynote speaker.

"The ultimate goal is to create environments that help stem the obesity epidemic," said David Schwartz, director of NIEHS. "This means shaping communities that promote healthy food choices and safe places to run and play."

In the last three decades, obesity has doubled among preschoolers and adolescents and tripled among kids between the ages of 6 and 11. For more on the obesity epidemic, click here and here.


Posted by Hello

Special Medical Equipment for the Obese: Taxpayer Expense?

Millions of Americans have become too obese to fit in ambulances, hospital beds and MRI machines. Should taxpayers have to pay tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars for the special medical equipment needed to care for them?

Mark Rosenthal thinks so. And he has convinced New York City to do it.

In the first case of what could become a national trend, the New York City Council has responded to lobbying efforts by Rosenthal, a 420 pound union leader, by drafting legislation that would require public hospitals, nursing homes and ambulance services to provide special equipment for caring for the obese.

Rosenthal, 53, took on this personal crusade after suffering a stroke two years ago. Because no ambulance equipped for hauling a person his size was available, he was forced to lay strapped uncomfortably on the floor of the ambulance for his trip to the hospital.

New York City Council bills will require medical providers to purchase specialized ambulances, stretchers, wheelchairs, beds, MRI and CT scanners, blood pressure cuffs and other weight-appropriate equipment.

According to medical equipment providers prices such for such specialized equipment can be more than 250% higher than what the companies charge for regular-size versions of the same equipment.

For instance, Moore Medical Corp of New Britain, CT charges about $150 for a waiting-room chair for an average-weight person, but a special chair for the obese costs $450-$1,000. At San Antonio, TX based hospital bed maker Kinetic Concepts, Inc. a typical hospital bed costs $2,000, but a reinforced bed for heavier patients can cost $6,000 or more.

If the New York City example becomes a national trend, taxpayers will be forced to pay literally tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars for specialized equipment to treat a rapidly growing number of obese people. According to the Centers for Disease Control, at least 65% of adult Americans are overweight, with about 31% being obese.

This is just another example of what Gov. Mike Huckabee calls a broken health care system. "Our whole health care system is screwed up," he says. "We pay people to get sick. We do nothing for them to stay healthy. That's completely wrong. We should be creating incentives for individuals to lead a healthy lifestyle rather than pour money into a program that pays for sickness."

Learn more about Mike Huckabee's health and health care ideas for America on this blog.


Posted by Hello

Tracking Huckabee News & Buzz

We're pleased to tell you about a great new tool created by blogger Patrick Ruffini called 2008 Presidential Wire. It's the first "news aggregator and buzz tracker" for the 2008 campaign. With it, you can keep track of news and buzz, both MSM and blog traffic, about Mike Huckabee and all the other top candidates and potential candidates. As of this blogging, Huckabee is ranked #6 over the last 24 hours, #14 overall, #15 on blogs and #4 in MSM! Rankings are provided with a percentage increase or decrease in "buzz" as well. This site will be permanently linked in our 2008 Campaign menu, so you can track Huckabee's movement relative to the other candidates daily!


Thanks to Wizbang for pointing us to the site.