Thursday, August 09, 2007

A Populist Republican Presidential Candidate?

I never thought I would see the day, but I must say that I was completely shocked after watching the Republican presidential debate held Sunday on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos. During the debate, nearly every candidate came across as completely out-of-touch and completely unelectable - except for one.
"We have to start addressing building this country, and not everybody else's."

"If we can feed ourselves, if we can fuel ourselves, if we can manufacture the weapons to fight for ourselves, we're a free people. If we can't do those three things, we're not free"

"You know, if you want to know how to fix it, I've got a solution. Either give every American the same kind of health care that Congress has, or make Congress have the same kind of health care that every American has"

"The reality is, if we could have the fair tax, you take $10 trillion parked offshore, bring it home, you rebuild the 'made in America' brand, you free up people to earn money, to work, you don't penalize them for taking a second job, you don't penalize them for investing, you don't penalize them for savings"

I'm going to go out on a limb here (and it's certainly too early to do this but what hell). I think Mike Huckabee is going to win the GOP nomination. He's got the conservative credentials to appeal to the base and a populist message for independents and moderates. His only problem right now is money but as the media starts to cover him he's likely to influence more donors. Tonight he was on Hardball and he continued his populist speech. Just listen to this and tell me how any of the other Republicans are going to beat this guy. Mike Huckabee is the only GOP candidate that has a chance to win the general election. The Democratic candidates had better start paying attention...



Video H/T: TPM

11 comments:

Ikonita said...

All the Republicans (and Democrats) pretend to be populists during election season. I don't see anything different about Huckabee. He's just another right wing Republican homophobic bigot.

Jeff Pruitt said...

None of the other Republicans are pretending to be populists at this point and frankly I doubt any of them could pull it off if they tried. Huckabee's laying it on pretty thick but I don't know how much of it is genuine - of course people say the same thing about John Edwards. Huckabee's got a strong conservative record but those two ideologies can coexist.

It's going to be interesting to watch how the other Republicans react...

Ikonita said...

I think Ron Paul has been doing an effective job of being a populist. But mostly it depends on how you define populism. Republicans since Nixon are essentially negative populists. They appeal to the prejudice and bigotry of the common people. So much so that someone who would benefit economically from Democratic economic policies, will still vote Republican, because they hate immigrants, blacks, and gays. In the last Republican debate I watched, this was everywhere. I don't think they are all claiming to believe in "creation" in order to appeal to wealthy Republican elites, for example.

Vide08 said...

maybe he is honest, but still he will not take the steps necessary to change the faulthy system

for instance on health care he doesn't dare to say: let's have it like Canada and most Europe, socialized health care in those countries has proven it works better than the US system, all are ranked higher

the US should stop fearing and hating anything leftist, of course it's hard to counter 50 years of brainwashing

Craig said...

It's way too early for predicitions, but what the heck:

Dems - Clinton gets the nomination and Richardson as her Veep

GOP - Romeny gets the nomination with some insane white dude as his veep

Nick said...

6 of one half dozen of the other, they are all fascists.

Sam T. said...

Jeff,

are you also picking the Cubs to win the World Series?

Kody Tinnel said...

There are some interesting candidates on both sides for the 2008 Presidential season. That's for sure. It seems like all of the more popular ones are the people I disagree with most, but we will see how it all pans out. Hopefully Americans can make a better decsion than they have in the past two Presidential elections.

Jeff Pruitt said...

Sam, this is the year.

I've never been more sure of anything in my life...

heh

Charlotte A. Weybright said...

I don't know about anyone else, but I am already tired of watching and hearing the same old thing from both the Dems and the Republicans.

Just once, when a yes or no answer is required, I would like to hear a yes or no. And then the support to back up the yes or no. Even when the moderators push the candidates to answer in a direct way, the candidates continue to weasel out of it.

Robert said...

I am not sure of the appeal of a "populist", but looking from the other side guys, there is little talent to write home about among the Democrats either. Neither Hillary nor Obama know what the word means and the remainder of the also rans ar no better off than Mike Huckabee.

The Republicans on the other hand, have that 500 lb gorilla in the wings who plays a lawyer in real life and on TV. I would love to hear Fred and Hillary debate the ethics of Whitewater and Red Chinese campaign contributions.