Monday, December 31, 2007

Iowa Countdown

In about 72 hours, the pundits will be dissecting the Iowa caucus and searching for this year's memorable moment. I'm hoping that moment will be a Romney concession speech.

Tonight I think it reasonable to close out the year by listing the things I feel are important in a candidate:
  • Honesty - let's face it ... we have gotten so used to dishonesty on the part of our elected officials that we don't even get all that upset about it. We often accept the half-truths because it is easier not to ask the hard questions.

  • Integrity - you might think this is the same as the point above, but I define it differently. I want a candidate who has the integrity to stand or fall based on who he/she really is and what he/she really believes.

  • Consistency - I want a candidate that doesn't change his/her position based on the group being addressed. I want a candidate who is willing to take some flack for his/her belief.

  • Values - I want a candidate I can believe in. I want a candidate to inspires me and makes me feel that our best days are yet to come. I want a candidate who values all the people, not just those who have the deepest pockets or wield the most power.

  • Faith - while I do not apply a religious litmus test to a candidate, I expect that a candidate who claims faith demonstrate that faith. I want to see more than lip service.

Of the candidates running for office, is there anyone who meets the test raised by these points? You bet there is! And if we all work to get out the vote, Mike Huckabee will win the Iowa caucuses, place strongly in NH and move on to sweep SC. This isn't a pipe dream ... it can happen. We can make it happen if we stand up in Iowa and tell Mitt and Fred that we don't want their brand of politics!

Give it a break, Mitt

"I'm running a serious campaign and there are serious issues that face the county at this time." sez Romney in response to Huck's announcement pulling negative ad. ???

From CNN

Romney attack ads misrepresent facts


I continually struggle with the dichotomy I see in politics. I have seen politicians of all stripes going after the evangelical vote. Most of them have many reasons why evangelicals should vote for them, but it usually comes down to two ... "family values" and abortion. I put family values in quotes because thats what the politicians did ... or so it seemed to me. I never really knew what they meant by family values, unless they were going to dictate to me what those should be. I became pretty cynical about politicians as a group.

I have a hard time understanding how we elect some of the people we do. We need to be holding their feet to the fire of their own rhetoric. We need to demand answers from them. To take a line from Franken ... "We're worth it and we deserve it."

All this to say I am puzzled why evangelicals would even flirt with Mitt Romney when they could support Mike Huckabee. I have a real struggle with that. In fact, I think it is totally to their shame.

In my reading of Huckabee blogs, I found an interesting post on this subject: The Shame of Evangelicals. Give it a read.

Oh, please!

Just what we need ... is there room for another Romney in this race? Bloomberg Moves Closer to Running for President

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Must Read for Iowa

The list of disingenuous statements continue. They have been chronicled by a number of news organizations. How can we believe anything this candidate says? He not only distorts his opponents records, but conveniently rewrites his own.

Analysis: Romney and Candor

Good Job on Meet the Press

I read a comment somewhere that Tim Russert would conduct a really tough interview of Mike Huckabee. He asked some tough questions and some totally predictable ones. I thought the Governor did a great job, answering the questions carefully and candidly. I thought he also maintained control of the interview, staying on topic and completing his answers. There were obvious times when it looked like Russert wanted to move on without letting that happen.

Good job, Mike!

Who Sez?

According to CNN's Dana Bash "A senior official on Republican Mike Huckabee’s campaign told CNN Friday that staffers are aware of the problem posed by the fact that their candidate has “no foreign policy credential,”"

Since the person wasn't named, we have no idea if it really was a Huckabee staffer or not. If it was, I think he needs to read Mike's CSIS speach. Ms Bash would be well served to do the same.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Bloggers for Mike

I took some time today to read some of the blogs from Huckabee supporters. It was an arduous task and I only got through about a third of them. What surprised me were the number of good, really articulate blogs with insightful comments. I'm going to keep reading, because it is a good learning experience as well. As might be expected, there are those who are drawn to support Mike as evangelical Christians. What is different about Mike is that he makes no apology for who he is, but doesn't rest on that as a reason to vote for him. I've read a number of comments about his positions that only increase my support for him.

Mike on Foreign Policy

Pundits who wonder about Mike Huckabee's foreign policy should take time to read or listen to the following:

This is the first of seven videos of the speech:

The text of the speech can be read here: CSIS Speach

Have Some Fun

Have some fun with Match-o-matic at ABC News. Be warned though, that the last question on the list will skew your result no matter how you answered the other questions.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Like Mike #2

I also like the sense of humor that puts videos like this on his site for all to see.

Why Do I Like Mike?

Trust ... this is a man who seems candid, willing to compromise when necessary, concerned about people, with a fresh approach rather than politics as usual.

Faith ... when Mike speaks about his faith, you know that he speaks from his heart and that he is not just mouthing words to pander to our belief.

Genuine ... you just know that this is a real person, not a cardboard cutout caricature created by PR specialists to give us the candidate the polls say we want.

Experience Mike:

Should Mitt Quit?

Last week the Concord Monitor ran an editorial headlined "Romney should not be the next President". I agree with many of the points they posted. I also read another article which talked about the truth of Mitt's Olympic turnaround. It gave data on how much tax money was pumped into the Salt Lake City Olympics to avert a predicted $400 million deficit due to corruption and poor management prior to Mitt taking over. If you define good management as getting some $250 million in public money to bail you out, it looks like Mitt is your man.

On the other hand, if straight speaking and honesty are your hot buttons, Mitt is not the man. I am just having a hard time equating Mitt's stated position as a Christian with the comments he is making on the stump. I suppose I should be encouraged that he is an equal opportunity distorter, making the same kind of comments about any candidate that is close in the polls. Is this the kind of person we want as President? Haven't the last eight years taught us anything?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Scary Scenario

It's one thing to "know" that our financial markets and balance of trade are a mess. It's quite another to see it spelled out as it is in the following video. I have "known" for quite a while that the boom of the 90s was consumption based and that more economies were needed. I have "known" that the economic policies of the Bush administration were taking us deeper and deeper into shark infested waters ... now I want to KNOW who will rescue us from the sharks?

Monday, December 24, 2007


It means "lacking in frankness, candor, or sincerity; falsely or hypocritically ingenuous; insincere" and is a great word to apply to many political statements. For example, Mitt Romney is railing against John McCain because McCain did not support the Bush tax cuts and did not vote to abolish the so called Death Tax.

I don't know about most middle income families, but the Bush Tax cut actually increased my income tax. I'm willing to bet that was the case for many. Oh, sure, some people got a tax reduction, but is wasn't people earning under $50,000 as nearly as I can calculate.

And the Death Tax? Just what percentage of people in the US have estates large enough to ever incur inheritance tax? 1%? 5%? The Death Tax is another case of a bill being sold to the public through disingenuous promotion. If I were Mitt Romney, I might be concerned about it. Me, I am more concerned with the mounting cost of fuel for my car and the rising cost of just about everything because of the cost of fuel.

So in this instance, I would say we should be giving kudos to John McCain, not holding him up for ridicule.

Who Am I?

Who am I to offer a critique of politicians and what they speak? I am perhaps the most and least qualified person on the planet. I am the most illusive of creatures, the one politicians court and who owe no allegiance to a political party ... in short, an Independent voter.

I've been voting in more elections than I care to recount and have lived enough history to think I am somewhat qualified to speak on the status of the body politic. I've been right more than I've been wrong in my opinions of politicians, which isn't something that makes me happy. When I've been "right" and the election goes another way, I've seen many of my fears realized and I'm not happy about that.

I've watched in dismay as politics degenerated more and more into a game of name calling and nasty innuendo where candidates expect us to respect them as persons of integrity even when they are voicing outright deceptions. They surely aren't as gullible as they expect us to be?

I've seen government disintegrate into an institution that accomplishes little and lives only for the next sound bite and the next election. We have term limits on the presidency and I am more and more convinced that we should have the same for Congress. I believe the founding fathers envisioned a civilian government, not one that created a whole new category of employment.

There you have it ... who I am and my rationale for the comments herein.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Gotta Love It

The great thing is that people feel they can have fun without offending Huckabee. I can't imagine this kind of thing on Rudy Guiliani's site, or Hillary's or Mitt's. But to be sure I checked. They have nothing of the kind.

Not since Wellstone

Politicians who capture the imagination of the electorate are remarkably few. I'm talking about those few who seem to know what goes on in the mind of the people they are supposed to represent. In my lifetime I remember only very few, most notably Paul Wellstone and Mike Huckabee. Seeing Mike's Huckabus roll through Iowa brings to mind images of the green bus Wellstone used so effectively.

Perhaps what is so refreshing and unusual is the presence of civility in politics. The challenge for Huckabee will be to continue to hold to his persona as he succeeds in raising his political profile. Politics is such a dirty business as it is practiced today. Yet, if Mike Huckabee were inclined to succumb to dirty politics and attack ads, you would think we would know it by now, particularly as his record in Arkansas is scrutinized and exaggerated by his opponents.

It's just refreshing ... it makes me hope.