Monday, October 31, 2005

Huckabee Finishes Marine Corps Marathom

Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who just two-years ago weighed over 100 pounds more than he does today and suffered with Type II diabetes, ran the Marine Corps Marathon Sunday in Washington, DC. Huckabee finished the 26.2 mile race in four hours, 37 minutes -- beating his previous marathon time by one minute.

"The inspiration of having all those Marines around the route, starting at Arlington National Cemetery, realizing the incredible sacrifices people have made so that I could run through the streets of Washington," Huckabee told the Associated Press after he finished. "It was incredible. I couldn't give up."

Huckabee lost 110 pounds and transformed his life by taking personal responsibility for his eating and exercise habits, turning his experience into a personal crusade to draw attention to America's health and health care crisis which costs the taxpayers billions annually.

"It's not just because I want to come out here and run," Huckabee said. "I want to encourage other people. They don't think they could walk from the far end of the Wal-Mart parking lot, but they could."

Huckabee wrote a top-selling book based upon his experience titled Quit Digging Your Grave With a Knife and Fork (available here).

As chairman of the National Governor's Association Huckabee launched his national "Healthy America" initiative last month. You can listen to his speech to the National Press Club, at which he announced the launch of the initiative, here.

This is Huckabee's second marathon this year. In May, he completed the Little Rock Marathon in a very respectable time of 4 hours, 38 minutes, 59 seconds.

When asked why he chose to train for and run marathons, Huckabee said "It's not just because I want to come out here and run. I want to encourage other people. They don't think they could walk from the far end of the Wal-Mart parking lot, but they could."


BSR

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Other Bloggers On Mike Huckabee

Anthony Surace of The Templar Pundit has a very well-reasoned and thoughtful round-up of his top Republican and Democratic candidates for the 2008 nomination. Surace has Mike Huckabee listed in third place behind Mitt Romney and George Allen.

While we believe Huckabee has many advantages over both Romney and Allen, the fact that other thinking bloggers are beginning to list Huckabee this high is evidence that he is gaining traction. Further evidence of Surace's superior grasp on the political ecosystem is the fact that he entirely (and correctly) dismisses the "front-runners" everyone else is absorbed with.

About Huckabee, he says: "Huckabee, like Romney, has a background conducive to winning the 2008 nomination. Huckabee recently improved his standing by providing assistance to Hurricane Katrina refugees. Mike Huckabee has successfully positioned himself as a compassionate, conservative, southern Governor; which as you may recall was a a winning tactic for that fella' who won the GOP nomination in 2000."

There's much more so be sure to visit The Templar Pundit here.

Well done, Mr. Surace!

BSR

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Huckabee Recognized as Public Offical of the Year

Governing magazine will recognize Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee as one of its Public Officials of the Year later this month at an awards banquet in Washington, DC. The magazine selects honorees each year from nominations made by readers from both the public and private sectos, including co-workers, supervisors, constituents and other close observers of state and local government. In addition, the magazine staff consults recognized experts and scholars in the field, seeking the names of officials they deem worthy of recognition.

According to Governing, Huckabee "proved himself to be a national leader on health care policy who practices what he preaches by providing [health care] coverage to 200,000 children and by losing more than 100 pounds when he was diagnosed with diabetes."

Honorees will be featured in the November issue of Governing.

Previous honorees include Mark Warner, Howard Dean, Zell Miller, Tommy Thompson and others.

BSR

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Clinton, Huckabee: Lifestyle Decisions Enormous Burden to Health Care System

Bill Clinton, in his interview with Greta Van Susteren last night, mentioned his recent partnership with Governor Mike Huckabee and the American Heart Association to combat America's childhood obesity crisis, saying that Americans' lifestyle decisions are placing an "enormous burden" on our health care system and "we've got to change it."

The following has been edited for space. You can read the entire transcript here.

CLINTON: You know, I’ve got this great project with the American Heart Association, and the Republican governor of my home state, Arkansas, trying to reduce childhood obesity. So I'm excited about that.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN: Why are kids fat?

CLINTON: Well, first of all, some kids are more prone than others. That’s always been the case. But the obesity rate is three times what it was 30 years ago, and there are two reasons for it. One is, there is very little physical education left in most school programs. It’s a casualty of the budget wars. But far, far more important is young, the children are eating food that has more fat and more sugar in it and often bigger portions. And this is directly tied to the change in eating habits of Americans.

Thirty-five years ago the average family spent seventy percent of the money on food buying food to be prepared in the home, and 30 percent of the money eating out. Now the average family spends 47 percent of their money eating out. And over half of that is at fast food places.

Now, food is a big bargain in America today, and you can go to these places, we all like them, and you get big portions, and they taste good. But they’re higher in fat than ever before. And we now have, same thing has happened, by the way, though, to school menus. A lot of school lunch menus have more fat and more sugar than ever before.

What we have to do is change both the eating and exercise habits of our young people. And we have to have help in the schools, we have to have help from the restaurants individually and the big food chains.

So, I think we can change it, but you know, it’s horrible, 16 percent of the kids are obese. In the south here where we are, where we eat more fried foods, it’s 20 percent. Among poor populations it’s over 25 percent. And we have for the first time in American history substantial number of children with type two or what we used to call adult onset diabetes. We’ve never seen it in any significance in the children’s population before.

So, and this is a big part of our health care cost problem. No one ever wants to talk about this. Our lifestyle decisions impose enormous burdens on the American health care system that other countries don’t impose, and we’ve got to change it.


BSR

Monday, October 24, 2005

Mike Huckabee: Saving The Taxpayers Billions

Since 1987, obesity-related health spending in the private insurance industry has increased from $3.6 billion to a whopping $36.5 billion annually. Before you start accusing of doctors and hospitals of raising fees, you should know that Emory University has a new study out that shows the rise in costs is not attributable to higher fees per patient but rather to a dramatic increase in the number of obese patients.

Between 1987 and 2002 the number of privately insured obese adults doubled. Today it is estimated that almost 24% of all privately insured adults are classified as obese.

Obesity, and its related diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and high cholesterol, is largely preventable. Brought about by poor lifestyle choices, the vast majority of obese patients could reduce their weight and consequently their need for greater-than-normal medical care, by adopting healthier eating and lifestyle habits.

But this is only half of the story.

According to researchers, the $36.5 billion in obesity-related expenditures for the private insurance industry represents less than half of the total spent for all obese patients in the U.S., including those on public health care programs (Medicare and Medicaid). In 2002, the most recent year for which Medicare and Medicaid costs have been calculated, it is estimated that approximately $46.3 billion was spent by taxpayers to treat obesity-related illnesses.

When the results of these studies are combined, the total annual obesity-related health care costs in the U.S. are estimated to have reached an astounding $82.8 billion annually as of 2002. Furthermore, documented trends showing rapid growth of obesity in America have surely pushed the costs even higher. One estimate puts current obesity costs at more than $100 billion annually.

Dr. Kenneth E. Thorpe, leader of the Emory University study, says that current approaches to controlling health care costs are not working because policy makers have ignored the true drivers of the costs. “Increases in the number of people getting treatment for serious health problems like diabetes, heart disease and high cholesterol are directly linked to population increases in obesity.”

If insurers, businesses and the government are serious about reigning in health care spending, then “obesity prevention should be at the top of their agenda,” Thorpe said.

Obesity, and other illnesses that can be controlled through taking personal responsibility for one’s health, threaten to bankrupt the American taxpayer in coming years if nothing is done to control it.

Governor Mike Huckabee, a national leader and role model in the areas of health, health care, and personal responsibility, is the only potential presidential candidate talking about America’s health care crisis. Last May he published his best selling book, “Quit Digging Your Grave With a Knife and Fork.” Last month he took over as chairman of the National Governor’s Association and launched his national “Healthy America” initiative to fight obesity and promote taking personal responsibility for one’s health.

Stay tuned.

BSR

Friday, October 21, 2005

Huckabee, Clinton Team Up Again

Governor Mike Huckabee teamed up with former president Bill Clinton in New York again this week to announce a partnership with Nickelodeon, the children's television network home of Spongebob Squarepants and other characters.

The partnership is an extension of the campaign against childhood obesity previously announced by Clinton and Huckabee.

Nickelodeon will produce a series of public service announcements with Clinton and Huckabee interacting with youth and other individuals fighting obesity. A Huckabee spokesperson said the Governor would participate in a promotional filming for the Nickelodeon campaign while in New York and that Clinton and Huckabee were trying to find time in their busy schedules to do some of the promotion spots together.

According to the Arkansas News Bureau, Clinton wanted Huckabee involved because he was a "living example of someone who struggled with their weight and is doing something about it."

Huckabee decided to participate because the partnership fits very nicely into his own health intitiatives. As the new chairman of the National Governors Association, Huckabee officially launched a yearlong nationwide initiative in Washington a month ago to raise awareness of the urgent need for Americans of all ages to live healthier and more active lives.

That campaign called Healthy America: Wellness, Where We Live, Work and Learn, is styled after Huckabee's similar "Healthy Arkansas" initiative that has been a major focus of the governor.

After being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in 2003, Huckabee embarked on a rigorous diet and exercise regimen. Last year, Huckabee ran the Little Rock Marathon is less than 4 hours, 40 minutes. Currently, the governor is training to run the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C., next week and plans to run the 26.2 mile foot race in Little Rock again in March.

In a news release, Huckabee said his link with Clinton on health issues is "far more important than anyone's politics."

"President Clinton and I may not share political affiliations," he said, "but we do share a common hometown, a common background in struggling personally with good eating habits, and a common commitment to help the children of America grow up to be healthy and live long and productive lives."

Huckabee and Clinton share more than just the governorship of Arkansas. The two hail from the same home town of Hope, made famous by Clinton's presidential campaign theme "I still believe in a place called Hope." Both are musicians and both served as Chairman of the National Governor's Association -- Clinton used the platform to launch his first successful presidential campaign.

BSR

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Huckabee Asks Feds to Extend Medicaid Coverage to Hurricane Victims

Governor Mike Huckabee, chairman of the National Governor's Association, recently sent a letter to Senator Charles Grassley, chairman of the Sentate Finance Committee, asking him to continue pushing a federal package that would extend Medicaid coverage to victims of the recent hurricanes. Huckabee was widely lauded for the leadership he demonstrated when his state (Arkansas) rapidly took in tens of thousands of refugees. Within hours of the crisis, Huckabee called his entire cabinet together and instructed them to do "whatever it takes" to accomodate the evacuees' needs and "worry about the paperwork later."

For a copy of Huckabee's letter to Sentator Grassley, co-signed by NGA Vice-chair Governor Janet Napolitano, CLICK HERE.

For more details about Mike Huckabee's leadership during the hurricane crises, CLICK HERE, HERE, and HERE.

BSR

Huckabee In Ohio Today

The Cincinnatti Ohio Health Improvement Collaborative's 2005 Award Dinner takes place today, featuring Governor Mike Huckabee from Arkansas, a health care champion who lives his life on the belief that a healthy body/healthy weight is the only way to live. CLICK HERE for more information! View the Save the Date card.

The Collaborative is non-profit, 501 (c) (3) organization composed of a coalition of community leaders from the physician, insurer, employer, hospital, government, education and consumer sectors. These diverse stakeholders are committed to the Collaborative's mission of stimulating continuous, significant measurable improvement in the health of the people of Greater Cincinnati through collaborative leadership.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Huckabee Opposes Broader Military Authority In Disaster Response

JAMES JEFFERSON
Associated Press Writer

LITTLE ROCK — The nation's military should remain subordinate to state civilian authority in any response to future disasters, Gov. Mike Huckabee said Tuesday, resisting suggestions of greater federal control in widespread emergencies.

Huckabee is chairman of the National Governors Association, which issued a statement criticizing the possibility of the federal government pre-empting the authority of states or governors in emergencies.

"It's one thing for the state to request federal assistance, including that of the military," Huckabee told news reporters before a speech to the Arkansas Arts Council. "It's a bad idea for the military to make that decision and usurp the authority that under the U.S. Constitution stays with the governor and local authorities."

The rest of the story is below the fold...CLICK HERE.

Mike Huckabee's Healthy America Initiative

Governor Mike Huckabee, chairman of the National Governor's Association, recently gave a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, DC where he launched his national "Healthy America" initiative. For video of the speech, CLICK HERE.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

The Obesity Epidemic

Governor Mike Huckabee is working to fight the obesity epidemic among America's children. Here's why:

Obesity shortening American lifespans?

By LINDSEY TANNERAP
Medical Writer
Mar. 16, 2005 05:05 PM

CHICAGO - U.S. life expectancy will fall dramatically in coming years because of obesity, a startling shift in a long-running trend toward longer lives, researchers contend in a report published Thursday. This would reverse the mostly steady increase in American life expectancy that has occurred in the past two centuries and would have tremendous social and economic consequences.

"We think today's younger generation will have shorter and less healthy lives than their parents for the first time in modern history unless we intervene," Olshansky said. Already, the alarming rise in childhood obesity is fueling a new trend that has shaved four to nine months off the average U.S. life span, the researchers say.

With obesity affecting at least 15 percent of U.S. school-age children, "it's not pie in the sky," Olshansky said. "The children who are extremely obese are already here." The report appears in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Dr. David Ludwig of Children's Hospital Boston, a study co-author, cited sobering obesity statistics:

-Two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese; one-third of adults qualify as obese.

-Up to 30 percent of U.S. children are overweight, and childhood obesity has more than doubled in the past 25 years.

-Childhood diabetes has increased 10-fold in the past 20 years.

"It's one thing for an adult of 45 or 55 to develop type 2 diabetes and then experience the life-threatening complications of that - kidney failure, heart attack, stroke - in their late 50s or 60s. But for a 4-year-old or 6-year-old who's obese to develop Type 2 diabetes at 14 or 16" raises the possibility of devastating complications before reaching age 30, Ludwig said. "It's really a staggering prospect. "While national attention is starting to focus on contributors to obesity, including the prevalence of fast-food, soft drinks in schools and cuts in physical education classes, "what we presently lack is a clear, comprehensive national vision for addressing the obesity epidemic," Ludwig said.

"The calculations that were made may not be perfect," but the emphasis on obesity's dangers "should serve as a wake-up call for policy makers and the public health community," said Dr. Jo Ann Manson, chief of preventive medicine at Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Governor Mike Huckabee HAS the clear, comprehensive national vision called for by researchers to address the obesity epidemic. Last month, Huckabee launched his year-long "Healthy America Initiative," as Chairman of the National Governor's Association. Based on his highly touted and successful "Healthy Arkansas" initiative, which rewards participants for maintaining healthy lifestyles, the "Healthy America" initiative is being introduced nationally beginning this month. CLICK HERE for complete details.
The article posted above was edited by BSR for length and content.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Huckabee Most Frequent Iowa Visitor

Governor Mike Huckabee was in Iowa again yesterday, his 5th trip to the state since July. The trip was tied to his work promoting health as the chairman of the National Governors Association, but he answered some questions about the 2008 presidential race for the Des Moines Register.

"I do think that all those things going on [in Washington] give people more of a concern and have them looking beyond Washington [for candidates]," he said.

According to Thomas Baumont, staff writer for the Des Moines Register, Huckabee's visits to Iowa — all since July — have made him his party's most frequent caucus-state visitor and have boosted his mentions as a potential 2008 candidate.

Huckabee says his experience as a governor re-elected in a typically Democratic state are among attributes he thinks would appeal to GOP activists in Iowa."Often it doesn't matter whether it's Democrat or Republican, whether it's Congress or the president, people still see that the innovative ideas and the idea of change is not going to come from those who spend their time in the Beltway," he added.

Huckabee was in Iowa touring school health programs with Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack. The two visited Goodrell Middle School in Des Moines to watch students participate in the school's fitness program, a particular interest of Huckabee's, who changed his own health and diet habits two years ago after being diagnosed with diabetes and told by his doctor that he was in the last decade of his life. The Governor lost more than 100 pounds and began training for, and running, marathons.

BSR

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Bloggers 4 Huckabee

Please welcome new Bloggers 4 Huckabee member Aaron, of Connecticut based blog Logical Blather. Aaron is B4H Member #9 (That's it, folks. Single digits are gone).

Welcome to the team, Aaron!

BSR

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Guest Editorial: Vern Beachy

We are honored to have Vern Beachy as our newest Bloggers 4 Huckabee member. Mr. Beachy is a veteran broadcast journalist having spent 17 years in radio and TV news, including stints in Little Rock. As a news director and managing editor he guided small and large newsrooms and reported on varied beats such as politics, crime and courts, gambling and features.

Most interesting, from our perspective at least, is his experience covering the presidential caucuses in Iowa in 1988, 1992 and presidential campaigns in 1996 and 2000. He also happens to be a native Iowan. This, combined with his professional experience covering the caucuses and presidential campaigns, gives him an extraordinary perspective from which to view the 2008 campaign. It is from that perspective that he writes "Trek to Iowa," featured below.

Please visit his website and blog often. Thank you, Vern!


Trek to Iowa
by
Vern R. Beachy

Being a native Iowan and inherently familiar with the topography and climate of the region I was always curious why someone would want to go to the state. Then again, I was never a politician, nor do I hope to be one when I grow up.

Nah. Too much other stuff going on and, besides, I would rather “report” on them than be one, although reporters and politicians share the same rung on the likeable ladder.

For political junkies and politicians, Iowa is like Mecca. New Hampshire would be like Mecca, pt. 2. I have never been to New Hampshire, so I guess I am painting that state with a broad brush, but I’ll bet all the blue and red states put together that I am right.

Every four years we get a civics lesson about how we elect someone to be president, first with the Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire Primaries (always capitalize Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire Primaries because they like it that way) and every four years we get people wondering why a rural state and a small east coast region where they tend to talk funny get to winnow the field of candidates. They are not required to, but any politician not garnering much support in one or both states tends to look reality in the face and drop out. Any politician who doesn’t view it that way we wouldn’t want as president.

Why does Iowa and New Hampshire stand out? Because the residents are serious about grassroots politics. Grassroots is not just a catch phrase, it’s a way of life.

I started my reporting career in Iowa and spent several years writing exclusively on the Iowa Senate.

Iowans know their politics. You can go down to any local coffee shop and have an intelligent conversation on anything ranging from weather to the president’s influence on current and future cases that may or may not go before the Supreme Court and which may or may not affect the demographic or shift the thought processes of the American public. Sprinkle in a little sports here and there and you have a well-rounded electorate.

Supporters like their candidate because they first came to side with them on various issues, then they got to know him or her by sitting down and sharing coffee or breaking bread with them. A lot of times more than just once.

It is similar to when I moved from Des Moines to Little Rock in 1995 to become the news director at KARN and the Arkansas Radio Network. I was asked several times about what it was like to be in Arkansas during the time of the Clinton Presidency. I always said that when you talk to a Clinton supporter or hater in Arkansas, one thing for certain is that they come from a standpoint of ‘knowing’ him. It’s the same thing in Iowa; they know their politicians and politics.

Mike Huckabee was recently in Iowa, nearly two years before the 2008 presidential campaign starts coming to life in the Hawkeye state. I wanted to use the phrase “the early bird gets the worm” but I think it is too clich├ęd.

When I was working as a reporter there, I thought the early birds were a bit crazy and a little conceited, but I realize that Iowans have come to expect the early risers. They wanted the time to get to know them. They didn’t want to get to know them through media filters and sound bites.

He is fishing and, as a result, will enjoy the fellowship over sweet corn and Maid-Rites.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Welcome Visitors From Planned Parenthood

We noticed in our site stats that we've been getting visitors from Planned Parenthood in Los Angeles. A little Oppo research, perhaps? Let us make it easier for you. Mike Huckabee is Pro-Life, a successful Southern Governor, a Baptist Minister, Chairman of the National Governor's Association, highly intelligent, and a phenomenally gifted speaker.

No wonder you fear him.

Have a nice day!

BSR

Other Bloggers On Mike Huckabee

Here's the latest edition of "Other Bloggers On Mike Huckabee." Enjoy!

Doug Daniels at The Next Prez reports on Huckabee's recent activities in South Carolina.

Melanie at Judging the Future, a blog following the news surrounding the recent Supreme Court nominations, writes "... this SCOTUS fight is politically fascinating: there are presidential and local politics in play." She links to an article that mentions Huckabee as possibly being a 2008 hopeful who is distancing himself from Bush. Not sure we agree with that, here it is nonetheless.

Jaem and The Jay-Em Column blogs about "front runners" Condi and Hillary, but wonders: "Why do we need to elect a woman President just for the sake of change? Why don't we continue to seek to elect the most qualified candidate out there? Why not Mitt Romney or George Allen or Mike Huckabee?"

Jeff at How Do You Eat An Elephant? One Bite At A Time comments about Huckabee's book, Quit Digging Your Grave With a Knife and Fork, saying: "Huckabee is the current governor of Arkansas and lost a tremendous amount of weight after a lifetime of obesity. Very inspirational and useful to me in that he doesn't discourage from following any weight loss program. He has 12 steps that can be used in any program. I highly recommend it."

Kat Poole at Iowa Blogger has this post titled: "Iowa Already Breeding Ground for Presidential Hopefuls."

More to come. Check back often!

BSR

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Reporter: "Keep your eye on Huckabee"

Lee Bandy, reporter for The State newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, published the following column today. You can check it out here. Because links to such columns often disappear at some point down the road, we repeat the entire piece for you below.

Keep your eye on Huckabee

By LEE BANDY
Staff Writer

A steady stream of possible candidates for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination have come through South Carolina since the beginning of the year.

They have included U.S. Sen. George Allen of Virginia, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee and now Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Huckabee was in town Oct. 1 to address a GOP fund-raiser on the grounds of the Governor’s Mansion.

Five days later, Huckabee returned in his capacity as chairman of the National Governor’s Association to tour a Charleston health fair with Gov. Mark Sanford — yet another potential presidential candidate.

Huckabee, a presidential long shot, dutifully answered reporters’ questions.

Yes, he is considering a run for the White House. No, he is not down here testing the political waters. And, yes, he is “flattered” and “honored” to be mentioned among the dozen or so who are said to be weighing a presidential bid.

South Carolina has become a critical battlefield in the GOP primary process. In recent years, the state — along with more traditional primary early birds of Iowa and New Hampshire — has helped define and even settle the battle for the Republican nomination.

A September survey of S.C. — conducted by GOP pollster Whit Ayres for the health insurance industry — showed Giuliani and U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona in a virtual dead heat among those who identified themselves as Republicans.

Giuliani led with 25 percent, followed by McCain with 22 percent. Huckabee didn’t register, and 40 percent were undecided.

In the same poll, U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York was the overwhelming choice of S.C. Democrats at 44 percent. No one else came close.

Fifty-eight percent of those polled said they would vote in the GOP presidential primary; the rest said they would vote in the Democratic contest.

Huckabee, 49, is an intriguing person, just the kind of candidate who could catch fire here.

Having spent a significant part of his adult life as a pastor and denominational leader, he is a darling of Christian conservatives who make up a lion’s share of the S.C. GOP primary vote. He led the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, the largest denomination in the state.

He says those experiences gave him a deep sense of the problems faced by individuals and families.

But some Republicans might not like Huckabee because he’s not partisan enough.

For instance, he likes — squeamish GOP voters are warned to look away at this point — President Clinton.

“I’m not one of those Republicans who seethes with anger every time I see or hear him,” Huckabee says. “He’s a very gregarious person. I find it impossible not to like him on a personal level.”

The governor also is not one who thinks Republicans are always right and Democrats are always wrong.

“That is naive and even immature for anybody in politics to be so blind,” he says. “I couldn’t do my job as governor of Arkansas if I were a blind partisan.”

Here’s why: 86 percent of all elected officials in Arkansas are Democrats.

“It would be a ticket to nowhere for me if I were to say, ‘I’m not going to talk to those people because I don’t think anything they could come up with has any value,’ “ Huckabee says. “My experience is that I get a lot more traction from folks who aren’t like me than sitting around in a room full of folks who agree with everything I say.

“At that point, my ideas are not going to be tested or sharpened.”

Huckabee’s a long shot who bears watching.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Mike Huckabee In South Carolina

Governor Mike Huckabee, Chairman of the National Governor's Association, was in South Carolina today on the first stop of his national tour to promote his "Healthy America" initiative. Each year, the NGA chair selects an initiative and builds a task force of other Governors to help implement it around the country.

Huckabee chose to base his national initiative on his highly touted "Healthy Arkansas" initiative. The state initiative was created by Huckabee after his doctor diagnosed him with diabetes and told him two years ago that he was in the last decade of his life. Huckabee completely changed his lifestyle and eating habits, losing over 100 pounds, and began running marathons. The "Healthy America" initiative, like the Arkansas program that preceeded it, emphasizes the importance of healthy lifestyle choices as a means to improve overall health, reduce medical expenses and increase productivity. Rather than "punish" unhealthy lifestyle choices, the Huckabee initiative seeks to reward positive lifestyle choices. In Arkansas, for example, state employees can earn $20 per month bonuses for participating in health programs and screenings.

Huckabee, along with South Carolina Governor Mark Sandford, a member of the Healthy America task force, toured community and faith-based health promotion groups in the state.

"Community groups and faith-based organizations across the country are making health and wellness a priority," said Huckabee. "Partnerships like these are helping change the culture of health in America by making healthy living a community goal, not just a personal one. I'm happy to be in South Carolina today to learn about two such impressive examples..."

South Carolina hosts the first southern presidential primary.

BSR

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Other Bloggers On Mike Huckabee

Mark Byron has been researching Mike Huckabee and likes what he sees. "I'm leaning towards Huckabee at the moment," he says, "after a number of Hucksters went and flooded the comment zone (well, three of them, but that's a flood in these parts) and encouraged me to 'Man Up for Huck.' Or at least read up about Huck. He's a Southern Baptist pastor and state SBC chair who got in as Lt. Gov., then took over after Clinton's LG, Jim Guy Tucker, left in a scandal. He's now chair of the National Governors Association. David Broder likes him, which means hard-core conservatives might not. " For the rest of Mr. Byron's post, click here.

A blog named Music For All had the following posted to it by a person who saw Mike Huckabee speak at an Arts Education Partnership Meeting in Charleston, SC this weekend. "The panelists, [were] former South Carolina Governor and U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley and Arkansas Governor and Chair of both the Education Commission of the States and the National Governors Association, Mike Huckabee. The session was great from the standpoint of having two of today’s great education thinkers sharing the stage and focusing on the importance, role, and need to improve the status of arts education." Huckabee made the best point of the day, the blogger says, when Huckabee "...provided this prescription for what is ailing the arts education movement: If we want to truly change the landscape we need to 'identify, recruit and elect to the state legislature people that support music and arts education.' Simple as that." Then the blogger closes with this: "And while we are talking about recruitment… what do you think about recruiting Governor Huckabee for a new seat … a seat in the White House …?"

BSR

Huckabee Helps Raise $80,000 For S. Carolina GOP

Governor Mike Huckabee delivered the keynote address at a GOP fundraiser in South Carolina on Saturday, raising at least $80,000 for South Carolina republicans. Here's the story.

UPDATE:

As Tom Hanna or Election 2008 Countdown points out, South Carolina hosts the first presidential primary in the South and has voted for the eventual winner every time since 1980.

BSR

Monday, October 03, 2005

Mike Huckabee: The Anti-Giuliani?

Our friend Ryan James blogs about the possibility that Mike Huckabee could become the "anti-Guiliani" in the 2008 race. We've been saying for months that Guiliani's current support is based purely on name recognition and there is no way he could ever win the GOP nomination. An 'anti-Guiliani" candidate will emerge -- and we believe, like Ryan James, that Huckabee will be that candidate.

BSR

September Ruffini Poll Results & Analysis

Congratulations, team! The Mike Huckabee President 2008 blog is barely 7 months old and in that time we've gone from being virtually non-existent all the way up to being miniscule! But we're growing and we're making an impact far beyond our size. The bottom line is that our goals this time were the same as last time -- a decent showing for Huckabee and demonstrated progress for Huckabee. Selfishly this time, we also wanted increased influence by the Huckabee blog because if we win, our man wins.

We achieved all three. Check out Huckabee's name on this chart along with Giuliani, Allen, Romney, and Barbour!

More about that in a minute. Now on to the results and analysis:

Previous Ruffini Polls: Huckabee not even included.

August Straw Poll: Huckabee's first appearance. See results & analysis here.

September Straw Poll (August numbers in parentheses):

Giuliani 33.0% (29.5%)
Allen 18.8% (19.8%)
Romney 9.5% (8.9%)
Undecided 8.7% (3.9%)
Tancredo 7.0% (7.2%)
McCain 6.6% (7.9%)
Barbour 6.0% (--)
Brownback 2.6% (2.9%)
Huckabee 2.4% (1.9%)
Frist 2.2% (2.2%)
Pawlenty 2.0% (--)
Hagel 0.7% (1.3%)
Pataki 0.4% (0.5%)

You'll note from the results posted above that Huckabee improved his performance overall from August to September, going from receiving 1.9% of the vote in his first ever appearance in the poll, to 2.4% in his second appearance. That's progress.

Patrick Ruffini's detailed analysis can be found here.

Huckabee "Inside the Numbers" Analysis

There is a lot more to be encouraged about "inside the numbers" as well:
  • Huckabee defeats Frist, Pawlenty, Hagel and Pataki
  • Huckabee finished just 2/10ths of a percent behind Brownback (last time it was 7/10ths)
  • Brownback, who won his home state (KS) last time, did not this time (Guliani)
  • Huckabee not only won Arkansas again, but improved from 27.1% in Aug. to 47.5% now
  • On the main ballot, Huckabee improved from 1.9% of the vote in Aug. to 2.4% now, despite the addition of Barbour, another southern governor who may also be benefitting from a sympathy vote due to the recent hurricane Katrina devastation in Mississippi
  • We're pleased to see that Huckabee gets 9.4% of the vote tagged "Christian," third place behind Allen and Guliani, and ahead of "Undecided." Clearly Huckabee supporters understand what he about. We look for this to become a major factor in the race as more people get to know Mike Huckabee
  • In the South, Huckabee improved from 2.7% in Aug. to 3.8% now, again despite the addition of Barbour

Impact of Mike Huckabee President 2008

Ruffini allows you to sort poll results by referring blog, ranking the top 20 referrers. In August we did not make the top 20. But in September we came in at #18, referring a total of 54 votes to the poll. That represents about 12% of the total votes he got. It puts us on a list with some mega-blogs like Right Wing News, Michelle Malkin and Hugh Hewitt, which is kind of cool. But what we're proudest of is this: Out of the 54 votes we sent to the poll, 98.1% went to Huckabee (1 went to Romney) and 94% stayed with Huckabee on the fantasy ballot (2 went to Thompson; 1 to Rice). Clearly, our Huckabee team is behind him with strong support.

Again, congratulations!

BSR