Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Huckabee in New Hampshire

New Hampshire is an exciting place in the few days before the first presidential primary. The Sunday before the primary the New Hampshire Republican Party holds its “First in the Nation” presidential brunch at the Hampshire Hills athletic club in Milford. This sprawling athletic center has a gym that seats almost 1,000 and it was set up for 650 to 700 guests who waiting on presidential candidates and their surrogates.

My wife Nancy and I were the “First in the Nation” brunch representing the oldest social conservative political action committee in the nation, Government Is Not God. GING-PAC supports only pro-life social conservative candidates for federal office. This year GING-PAC was a sponsor of the brunch as was one of our arc enemies within the Republican Party, the Log Cabin Republicans. Their tables were pretty easy to spot as there were no women, but the men wore well coordinated wardrobes right of GQ Magazine. Oddly the organizers of the event place are table directly between the speaker’s podium and the Log Cabin table. The media, unable to escape the irony, took numerous photos of our table with the Log Cabin table in the foreground.

The event in this conservative state was upbeat and billed as a salute to Senator John Sununu, who is up for re-election this fall. The morning was upbeat right up to the point that Republican turned Libertarian, turned Republican again presidential candidate Ron Paul took the stage to beat up on America. Only Ron Paul and Duncan Hunter spoke while other presidential candidate sent representatives while they were conducting individual rallies for their respective campaigns.

Before the brunch began GING-PAC volunteers placed flyers in every chair announcing an endorsement of Gov. Mike Huckabee and denouncing the lies being told about his record as governor of Arkansas. GING-PAC also announced the endorsement of Gov. Huckabee at the event in a half page advertisement in the event program that was given to everyone in attendance. The activities of GING-PAC were completely independent of the Huckabee campaign as is required by law.

Early on Monday morning, the day before the primary Nancy and I were on the campaign trail with Mike Huckabee, not representing GING-PAC, but as individuals. We arrived at the Pakrer’s Maple Barn in Mason, NH a half hour early and managed to get the very last parking space in the overflow lot. The restaurant sat 200 people and more than 400 showed up. Rather than a two hour event the Huckabee team announced that the time would be split up for two seating’s and that the governor would speak twice. What a site! There were lots of young men and women many with babies in their arms. A couple of priests showed up and I am pretty sure they were not there to meet Mike Huckabee’s special guest, Chuck Norris.

Gov. Huckabee spoke a message to the people that received thunderous applause and the enthusiasm for him was just incredible. He promised a surprise on election night and from the size of the crowds he is getting and their enthusiasm one has to believe it. Some FOX News and other media outlets have reported that Mike Huckabee had dropped his pro-life, pro-family message. That simply is not true. Washington insiders have said Huckabee can’t do well in New Hampshire because it is too secular. They just don’t know or understand the people of the Granit state who have been overwhelming supportive of him. The momentum is on Huckabee’s side.

Although this venue was very crowded and Mike’s schedule hectic, I decided to try to briefly talk with him between the first and second events. His New Hampshire campaign managers, who I know, ask me to wait for him at an area set aside for the press. I was flat stunned by the number of the press corps that he had one over. One reporter who had covered him on a hunting trip went into great detail to tell me what a great shot Mike was. Another reporter was busy telling a new man on the beat what a great guy Mike was and how easy he was to talk to. In my fifteen minutes there waiting for Mike to finish up a TV interview I did not hear a single negative word from the press.

More than twenty years ago I spoke at a church in Arkansas. The young preacher there told me he was leaving the ministry for politics fight for the rights of the unborn. He looked me square in the eyes and told me that is what he believed God wanted him to do. I thought he was nuts and was very sure that a Baptist preacher just could not get elected to anything. Some years later I spoke at a Lincoln Day breakfast in Arkansas. I was the key note speaker and the guest of honor was First Lady Janet Huckabee.

As Mike walked out the door from his interview his face lit up and he said, “Bill” and through his arms around me. “Brother, Am I glad to see you up here, we need all the help we can get.” I told him I was doing what I could independently and we talked briefly about South Carolina. I didn’t try to detain him on his busy schedule and he thanked me and then that big broad smile turned to a five month old that he took into his arms. As his wife Janet followed him she leaned over to me and said, “Nice half page ad.”

What is the Huckabee magic? They are ordinary American folks from ordinary homes who understand ordinary Americans just like me. Like so many others I work 50 and 60 hour weeks to do what I believe in and to support my family. I work hard to pay a greater share of my income in taxes than Bill Gates. It goes beyond faith and beyond the abortion issue. Mike Huckabee will change the tax code so productivity is not taxed and spend our money so that the roads are fixed instead of tax dollars going to corporate welfare. Mike understands America, not from the Bush and Clinton Ivy League level, but from the blood, sweat and tears level. American needs Mike.

A GREAT SITE TO VISIT: http://www.hucksarmy.com/

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