huck2.jpg

Photos by Chris Kornelis.

Listen here to Mike Huckabee's speech.

For more coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign, see SW's reports on local appearances from:

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Why Heart Huckabee

huck2.jpg

Photos by Chris Kornelis.

Listen here to Mike Huckabee's speech.

For more coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign, see SW's reports on local appearances from:

Al Gore
John Edwards
Barack Obama
John McCain


-- Hillary Clinton

Mike Huckabee is funny. Goofy funny. One-liner funny. Grandpa funny. And he had the crowd rollin at the King County Republicans dinner tonight. In fact, he even had the hard-bitten, seen-it-all-before press corps chuckling (the four of us who were there).

He talked about growing up in Hope, Arkansas and realizing the American Dream of possibility-- his mother: raised in a house with dirt floors, his father: a fireman, a mechanic and a high school dropout. "The only soap I ever knew was Lava," he said. "I was in college before I found out it isn't supposed to hurt to take a shower!"

Huckabee had some fun with the politics of his historically Democratic home state. "The five most feared words of Arkansas politicians are 'will the defendant please rise.'" And noted that he's often asked whether the country would realistically ever elect another governor from Hope, Arkansas. "Give us another chance!" he said, flashing a knowing smile that got cackles from the crowd.

But despite his happy-go-lucky style, there's no mistaking his seriously conservative message. Between the jokes and the stories, Huckabee said he's against amnesty for immigrants and wants a secure, fenced border. "Everyday we should get on our knees and thank God we live in a country that people are trying to break into, not break out of."

The other concrete policy he outlined during the half-hour speech was doing away with all taxes on income (productivity) and replacing them with taxes on consumption. He argued that "the underground economy" (prostitutes and drug dealers) aren't paying their fair share.

And then there was a lot about God. Huckabee, quoting from the preamble to the Declaration of Independence, said the country's forefathers "knew where they came from, that the government doesn't give us our freedom, God does. When the government forgets that God gives us these (certain inalienable rights) we forget them as well."

But Huckabee, though clearly serious, even made religion funny. He recalled being approached by a woman who said she was leery of his type: "You're one of those Baptist ministers who think that only Baptists make it to heaven." His answer? "Lady, I don't even think all the Baptists are going to make it!"

Strong conservative message. Light-hearted delivery. Compelling call to move the party forward. With front runners who are pro-choice and Mormon, it's amazing more Republicans haven't taken a closer look at this guy.

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Dino Rossi listens to a man who's been elected governor.

 
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