Lion of the Blogosphere

Mike Huckabee in the National Review Corner

At the National Review Corner, Henry Olsen says that Ted Cruz has no chance against Mike Huckabee, because a conservative dark horse candidate needs to win Iowa to rise to prominence, and Huckabee has a lock on Iowa which he won previously in 2008 when he had less name recognition and less money. And Huckabee has a commanding lead over other candidates in the latest Iowa poll.

I was the first person to predict that Mike Huckabee would win the 2016 Republican nomination. The National Review pundits are catching up to me.

* * *

There’s one person who might beat Huckabee in Iowa if he decides to run: Mitt Romney.

Nixon lost the presidential election in 1960, but tried again a few years later and won, so it’s not crazy at all. Only in the most recent decades have people suddenly decided that once you win your party nomination and then lose, this means you can never run again.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 19, 2014 at 8:06 AM

Posted in Politics

71 Responses

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  1. I think (hope) you’re wrong about the Huckster. Did ANYBODY see Obama coming two years before the ’08 election in ’06? I doubt many knew his name. I’m praying some dark horse Republican is going to come out of the ether and win in ’16. God knows we need one, and all the contenders now either can’t win or are just insufferable.


    September 19, 2014 at 8:45 AM

    • According to some people Bill Ayers saw it way back in the early 1990s, which is why he wrote Obama’s memoir for him, for free.

      That aside, the recent history of the Republican party presidential primaries is that dark horses don’t win them.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      September 19, 2014 at 8:51 AM

    • Obama was a hot name nationally after the keynote at Kerry’s nominating convention in 04.


      September 19, 2014 at 9:56 AM

  2. Cruz also pissed off a lot of catholic Paleocon voters last week. See Douthat and others.

    Dave Pinsen

    September 19, 2014 at 8:58 AM

    • Cruz can’t win because women don’t like him. He looks like a creepy beta male. Female GOP voters like Huckabee. Huckabee has the kindly grandfather thing going for him.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      September 19, 2014 at 9:02 AM

      • For that same reason, Bobby Jindal is a non-starter as a presidential candidate. I know it’s screwy, Jindal and Obama are both comparably dark, and neither one is all that masculine; in fact rumors persist that Obama is a closeted homosexual. But Obama is popular with the women, Jindal would be considered “creepy.”

        Huckabee might get the nomination, but if he does you can be sure that the MSM will do everything they can to portray him as some sort of religious nut job, and the low information crowd will buy it hook, line, and sinker. Huckabee’s avuncular persona will be no match for the stuff that will be thrown at him. Snake handling, speaking in tongues, you name it, he’ll be accused of leading a congregation that did all that.

        Not that I’m sticking up for the guy. I think he’s probably as corrupt as any of the others. Most think his support for amnesty is due to some misguided religious belief, whereas I think it’s driven more by the fact that he was governor of a state where Tyson Chicken is headquartered, and Tyson needs lots of illegal chicken pluckers.

        Anyway, the candidate that the party establishment wants is Jeb Bush, and it looks like he’s going to get it.

        Sgt. Joe Friday

        September 19, 2014 at 12:38 PM

      • “you can be sure that the MSM will do everything they can to portray him as some sort of religious nut job”

        I fully expect that the media will love him up, and treat him more favorably than Jeb Bush, until he wins the primaries, and then they will indeed turn to that narrative.

        That’s why my prediction was that he would lose to Hillary and nothing has changed. Huckabee’s only chance of winning is if Hillary has a major health problem between the start of primaries and the election.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        September 19, 2014 at 3:10 PM

      • “in fact rumors persist that Obama is a closeted homosexual.”

        I’m pretty sure such rumors “persist” for every prominent man in history.


        September 19, 2014 at 7:48 PM

      • Huckabee has a lock on Iowa which he won previously in 2008 when he had less name recognition and less money.

        Means nothing. Pat Robertson also won Iowa.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        September 19, 2014 at 9:00 PM

      • Cruz also pissed off a lot of catholic Paleocon voters last week.

        There are almost no Paleoconservative voters. Cruz was booed by some anti-Israel Middle Eastern Christians. Ethnic white Catholic Republicans overwhelmingly support Israel.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        September 19, 2014 at 9:02 PM

      • Shouldn’t the paleocons support Jeb Bush?

        He is the Mayflower, blue blood WASP candidate, one who can continue the great conservative, closed borders, WASP legacy forged by Jim Jeffords, Lincoln Chaffee, Bush 1 & 2, Rockefeller RINO tradition, or, at worst, the David Souter, Howard Dean III, Angus King, Adlai Stevenson, John Paul Stevens mold.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        September 19, 2014 at 9:09 PM

      • “For that same reason, Bobby Jindal is a non-starter as a presidential candidate. I know it’s screwy, Jindal and Obama are both comparably dark, and neither one is all that masculine; in fact rumors persist that Obama is a closeted homosexual. But Obama is popular with the women, Jindal would be considered “creepy.””

        Jindal has a pencil neck and a lollipop head; Obama’s head and neck are more normally proportioned. Also, Jindal’s state of the union response in which he mocked volcano monitoring as an example of frivolous use of government resources will haunt him.

        Dave Pinsen

        September 20, 2014 at 2:44 AM

  3. I hope Christie gets the nomination.

    I don’t think, for a minute, that Christie will do anything that really matters, but, if Christie is in the running, I will go out and volunteer for him.

    The Republicans like tokenism — I figure that, if I volunteer for Christie and he wins, as long as I remain presentable, I will be set up for a nice gig in his administration given that I am both a millennial and gay.

    Logan Circle Dreaming

    September 19, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    • I don’t think Christie has a shot. The bridge-gate thing was pretty disgraceful. And the guy is a whale.


      September 19, 2014 at 10:35 PM

      • He was just exonerated for bridgegate. And he won’t be fat in 2016.

        Dave Pinsen

        September 20, 2014 at 2:47 AM

  4. You’re prediction hasn’t come true yet! We still have time.

    In the meantime, let me reiterate my prediction: Scott Walker wins the primary.

    Huckabee still has all of the same issues that have limited his previous race; he’s an evangelical who in theory should appeal to religious conservatives but he’s also a big government George Bush type, who is soft on crime and very pro amnesty. The Republican primary voters were likely to ignore amnesty in the past as long as they thought it was just talk, but I think where the electorate is now, that’s going to be a big stumbling block.

    Could Huckabee win Iowa? Yes, but he’ll struggle after that.

    Mike Street Station

    September 19, 2014 at 9:47 AM

  5. The big question: is Huckabee stupider than Sarah Palin? I’d say it’s a close call.


    September 19, 2014 at 9:56 AM

    • Huckabee is a lot smarter than Palin as evidenced by his ability to handle himself very well in debates and as a television host. Plus he wrote bible speeches back when he was a preacher, while there’s no evidence that Palin ever wrote anything herself without a ghost writer.

      Huck is also smarter than Perry and Santorum.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      September 19, 2014 at 10:01 AM

      • Perry yes, Santorum, I’m not so sure. Huckabee and Santorum are both Jesus candidates, but unlike Huckabee, Santorum is a conservative. Why just have the sizzle when you can have the steak, too?


        September 19, 2014 at 10:12 AM

      • Palin handled herself well with a debate with Joe Biden.
        Granted, its Joe Biden.

        Half Canadian

        September 19, 2014 at 12:41 PM

      • “Huckabee is a lot smarter than Palin as evidenced by his ability to handle himself very well in debates and as a television host.”

        That doesn’t actually mean you’re “smarter.” You can be a glib taking politico yet still believe a lot of really stupid stuff, which makes you stupid. See, for instance, most black politicians, and for that matter nearly all Democrats who believe every Progressive lie on the books (except for the really, really smart ones that know it’s all nonsense but use it to enhance their power).

        In terms of what they believe, or what they understand would or wouldn’t actually work in terms of political programs, I’d bet Palin is smarter than Huckabee. In other words, if you lined them up position by position, Palin would have the “smarter” positions. Most above average intelligence people believe an enormous amount of nonsense.


        September 19, 2014 at 3:13 PM

      • “Palin handled herself well with a debate with Joe Biden.
        Granted, its Joe Biden.”

        Palin was awful in that debate. I remember being baffled at the media narrative of how she “exceeded expectations” when she came across so poorly. Then, I suppose that simply by not choking on her own saliva and having a seizure in the middle of the debate she “exceeded expectations.”


        September 19, 2014 at 7:50 PM

      • Santorum provides zero sizzle. I am actually impressed with the media careers of both Palin and Huck after they ran for office. Santorum might be smarter then both of them put together but how much media money has he made?


        September 20, 2014 at 4:51 PM

    • Palin was smart in her own context. You can watch old videos of her in the debate for governor of Alaska in which she comes off as perfectly competent and confident. I really think her fundamental tragedy is simply that she was unqualified and unprepared to run for vice president. I’m sure we can imagine all sorts of perfectly intelligent people in our own lives who would come off as jibbering idiots if they were suddenly trust before a national stage and expected to have eloquent, insightful, iron-clad political opinions on literally every single subject on earth.

      I agree with Lion in that Huckabee has proven his chops on TV. Politics, as we all know, is about 75% showbiz these days, and being good at showbiz involves basically three skills: charisma, improvisation, and self-confidence. Doing a nightly current events talk show allows you to horn all those talents even if you lack a lot of substance to your opinions. Imagine a world where Palin never ran for VP but became a Fox News personality in the aftermath of 2008 anyway. The GOP base would be clamoring like mad for her to run, because years of television opining have vastly improved her talents as a “national political figure.”


      September 21, 2014 at 6:00 AM

      • Palin is a really excellent public speaker relative to her intelligence, so as long as she’s speaking about things that aren’t intellectually complicated and within her sphere of knowledge, she comes off just fine. She’s the opposite of the intelligent college professor who looks stupid when he’s on a TV interview because he doesn’t have any practice or self-confidence. Palin is pumped full of self-confidence that has no relation to her actual abilities.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        September 21, 2014 at 8:17 AM

      • Morris, I think Palin had her chance on TV and didn’t make much of it. She got a Fox gig after the 2008 elections, which seemed like a good move at the time, however on air she never had any particularly interesting ideas. She would just repeat whatever the conservative conventional wisdom of the day was. Contrast that to Karl Rove, who was also hired by Fox. Rove has probably done more damage than any single pollster to the Republican Party, but he actually had interesting, insightful things to say on TV, which is why you still see him on air frequently and Palin rarely.

        Mike Street Station

        September 22, 2014 at 8:47 AM

  6. Huck v. HRC or Jeb v. HRC would give rise to a third party candidate.


    September 19, 2014 at 10:58 AM

  7. Who cares who the Republicans nominate. Does anyone really believe that the Republicans have a candidate who has the skill set to be able to win the swing states? My guess is that Silver and the other quants will be declaring a win for the Democrats by Labor Day 2016.


    September 19, 2014 at 11:05 AM

    • Here’s your typical Republiclown sore loser and their prole turncoats’ take on Obama. I’m no Obama fan, but the party with the Elephant Mascot are dumber than the animal that represents them, and I expect their prole constituents to leave the circus in droves, if they haven’t done so already.

      Republiclown: “Obama is a Muslim socialist.”
      Previously uninsured Prole: “Thank you President Obama!”
      Previously unemployed Prole: “Thank you President Obama!”
      Previously uninformed Prole: “Thank you President Obama!”


      September 19, 2014 at 11:47 AM

  8. O/T – Lion should write a post about de Blasio and his plan to dole IDs for illegals that come with freebies. Just more disgusting policies and dissonance coming from this idiot.

    In a bid to lure the city’s estimated 500,000 undocumented immigrants to carry official identification, those who enroll will get a sweet deal packed with comped tickets and discounts easily worth $2,100.

    De Blasio wants all of you taxpayers to pay for the Broadway shows of Mr. Illegal and Mr. Tyrone so they could scalp them in front of the TKTS stand at Times Square and make a profit.

    What’s next? Payment vouchers for NAMs so they could dine and wine at the one of the exquisite restaurants throughout the city that were exclusively catered for the wealthy!


    September 19, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    • This is high comedy!

      “Municipal ID holders can register with each of 33 cultural institutions for free one-year membership packages as long as they haven’t been a member since 2012.”

      Uh huh. So Jorge and Raul from Guatemala have just been DYING to go to go see the Renaissance paintings at the Met but have been too afraid because they are “living in the shadows,” right? Or don’t have the money for the “recommended” admission price? Now they will come swarming into the museum!

      Progressives really are so astoundingly naive that it’s almost unbelievable. Get THIS pile of rot:

      ‘The city justified the loss in revenue to the world-class institutions as a way for them to attract new supporters who will stay on after the free trial. “In the short run, people get in for free; in the long run, they become lifetime members, contributing to that institution,” the mayor said.’

      Ahhhhh ha ha ha!


      September 19, 2014 at 3:20 PM

      • They were actually always able to just donate a penny to get into the Met and several other NY museums. And they can visit MOMA for free on Friday evenings.

        The last Friday that I visited MOMA on a Friday evening, I didn’t see anyone who looked like illegal immigrants, just cheap bobos and tourists.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        September 19, 2014 at 3:40 PM

      • I was a little surprised at the number of Hispanic couples at the Getty last time I was there. Not large numbers, but they were there. And they seemed to be enjoying it. The Getty is free.


        September 21, 2014 at 9:45 AM

      • Lion – The point that we’re making is that liberals waste money on insane policies that don’t benefit anyone. The average illegal and NAM don’t care for museums and other cultural institutions in the city, let alone most New Yorkers. The bulk of their patrons are just out of town tourists. When was the last time you even saw a Broadway play or a concert at Lincoln Center? Certainly the guidos in SI could care less of them, and so do many SWPLs here in the city, whose main interest is working at their jobs with their downtime of drinking and dining, and the occasional shopping spree and out of town traveling.


        September 21, 2014 at 11:47 AM

  9. Damn, I meant “get in,” not “get it.”

    Sgt. Joe Friday

    September 19, 2014 at 12:40 PM

  10. Like Romney and McCain , Huckabee is great for the establishment, so that dramatically improves his odds. He isn’t too cerebral like Cruz or a flipflopper like some of the others. The question is: does he want to be president or does he want to just stick to TV and other gigs?

    grey enlightenment

    September 19, 2014 at 1:42 PM

  11. I got to admit, the candidates for 2016 are shaping up to be the best in years. Even HiIlary wining wouldn’t be so bad and the republican candidates , unlike in 2012, aren’t too crazy.

    grey enlightenment

    September 19, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    • “Even HiIlary wining wouldn’t be so bad.”

      If Bill is around, you may be right, but his health is shaky. He’s the one with sharp political instincts; I think on her own she would be prone to being blindly ideological and partisan, which leads in the direction of “we’re going to have to take things from you on behalf of the common good.” I mean, christ, that’s not even as smooth as Obama breezily asserting that things go better when you “spread the wealth around.” What Mrs. Clinton is quoted as having said is a little too close to communism for my liking. She also lacks the people skills that Bill has, and seems to enjoy the horse-trading aspects of the business as much as Obama does, which is to say not at all.

      OTOH, Republicans might actually grow a pair if Mrs. Clinton were president. The shrieks of “misogyny!!!” that will accompany even the gentlest pushback against Clinton don’t carry nearly the same heft as “racist!!!” which itself has has lost a considerable amount of its potency in the last 6 years.

      Sgt. Joe Friday

      September 19, 2014 at 3:44 PM

      • ‘the same heft as “racist!!!” which itself has has lost a considerable amount of its potency in the last 6 years.’

        I respectfully disagree.

        Yours truly, Donald Sterling


        September 19, 2014 at 4:20 PM

  12. The real question here, Lion, is why you spend so much energy and spill so many bits over trying to determine who will eventually lose to whomever or whatever the Democraps nominate. At least this time you’re admitting that the Repuke nominee will lose in the general election, whereas with Matt Fraudney you acted as though he had a shot at winning, which I told you he had no shot for a variety of reasons, including his Mormonism, which is considered a Satanic cult by a large minority of Christians. And hey, whadda you know, the base failed to turn out for Fraudney, allowing Bathhouse Barry to coast to victory. Toldya.

    Matt Fraudney’s decisive loss in ’12 means there will not be another Repuke prez, ever.


    September 19, 2014 at 3:57 PM

  13. Greg Abbott in Texas is the GOP Obama. He is a white guy, but he is in a wheelchair. So he is diverse.

    The situation probably barely favors the Democrats for the White House but the GOP need the strongest candidate because they still have a chance. It could all turn on a dime.

    Paul Rise

    September 19, 2014 at 6:14 PM

  14. Huckabee pardoned some guy who murdered four people. If the republicans nominate him they will lose 45 states. For all his faults, theirbest candidate is still Chris Christie. Relatively young, alpha, and with wall street connections but with a blue-collar appeal.

    Rick Perry is looking better too.


    September 19, 2014 at 7:05 PM

  15. Romney would get immunity from “the loser who just won’t take his cue and leave the public stage’ criticism if Hillary is the Dem nominee.


    September 19, 2014 at 7:57 PM

    • Yes, because the media is scrupulously fair in how it applies its standards to candidates.


      September 20, 2014 at 11:48 AM

  16. Huckabee is not going to be the nominee. You think the Tea Party will let him have the nomination after this speech?


    September 19, 2014 at 8:21 PM

    • Big deal. Evangelicals will vote for him because he’s Christian, and moderate Republicans always win the primaries and not the hardcore conservatives. McCain won, remember?

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      September 19, 2014 at 9:37 PM

  17. Any Republican who comes off even a little bit childish cannot win (Democrats do not have this problem because of the twenty point swing in their favor from voters who do not care if their leaders are childish just as long as they keep the free cheese coming). That means cookie-and-cake-tempted Huckabee, with his juvenile love for the electric guitar and its associated play-time coolness, can’t win the necessary trifecta of Ohio, New Hampshire, and Colorado (to focus on some states that need to be in contention), and boyish draft-dodging Ivy boy Jindal, who may get straight As for philosophically understanding America, but has a ridiculously low weight-height ratio and just doesn’t seem to viscerally care about the U.S., can’t win, and draft-dodging Romney with his inability to disassociate himself from his obvious satisfaction with his cliquish high school and impossibly privileged Mormon past, can’t win, and Cruz (although he showed some cojones in denouncing the “Christian” hamas supporters from the middle east), with his unimpressive boyishly condescending personality, cannot possibly win that trifecta . Christie is a jerk but not childish (as long as he shuts up about his crush on the boy band dude with pretentious lyrics from Asbury Park), Jeb Bush is a privileged jerk but he is an adult jerk, not a childish jerk, and the same goes for Trump, and for the only other potential Republican 2016 winner I can think of at this point, Scott Walker. As for the elderly female Clinton, I predict that, somewhere in the next 25 months, there will be several intense thought pieces, some sincerely and “passionately” responded to by Ivy Boy Douthat, about whether the word “haggard” is misogynistic.

    helps to understand America

    September 19, 2014 at 11:34 PM

  18. NR has become increasingly irrelevant to any serious conversation about conservative politics starting around 13 years ago. Remember, this is the rag that thought Romney would be a good candidate the last two times (and who reportedly took Romney money to stay afloat). Romney is a loser in the eyes of the base.

    Look for someone who can raise money from business interests, is an evangelical Christian and is from the South. That will be your candidate. And it isn’t Huck.


    September 20, 2014 at 12:32 AM

    • The base elected Romney the party nominee.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      September 20, 2014 at 12:37 AM

      • I cannot immediately recall a time when the party’s presumptive nominee faced as tough a primary challenge as Romney did against such a weak field. It was solely because the base did not like him and they didn’t like him because they are mostly conservative Christians and he is the member of a cult that is barely distinguishable from Scientology in its overall wackyness. They also realized he was not one of them; no military experience, mamma’s boy personality and no manly hobbies. He spent the Vietnam years on a Mormon mission seeking to convert French Christians to Joe Smith’s cult. That’s why there was such an extended Anyone But Romney period. Plus he’s a rich guy in a party that is increasingly composed of social conservatives who think the rich are out to get them. Perry’s much more their kind of guy, which is why, assuming he doesn’t implode, Romney wouldn’t stand a chance against him this time around.

        Romney has 0 chance in Hell of ever being the R nominee again.


        September 20, 2014 at 1:20 AM

  19. Is Marco Rubio still in contention?


    September 20, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    • Nope.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      September 20, 2014 at 2:09 PM

      • Rubio let Chuck Schumer destroy him politically, and if Rubio was too dumb to see what Schumer was doing (hell, I saw what he was up to) then he’s too dumb to be President. Rubio might have enablers like Hannity who will try to prop him up for awhile but ultimately the base will reject him.

        Mike Street Station

        September 20, 2014 at 6:53 PM

      • Hispanic Prole, Rubio is no match intellectually for an Ivy League SWPL Jew such as Schumer.

        Anyone who comes from Florida and challenges a Northeastern or West Coaster in terms of status must be kidding themselves.


        September 21, 2014 at 11:55 AM

      • and if Rubio was too dumb to see what Schumer was doing

        Rubio wasn’t tricked. He and the entire Republican establishment always wanted amnesty no matter what they might say during election time.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        September 23, 2014 at 6:57 PM

  20. And of course the fact that Huckabee pardoned Maurice Clemmons, who killed 4 cops in cold blood after Huckabee Hound pardoned him, will go unreported by the media because the perp was a NAM (which trumps even such great dirt on a republican candidate to the MSM).


    September 20, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    • No. The media will be ALL OVER that once Huckabee won the nomination. He’d get CRUSHED in the general.


      September 20, 2014 at 10:06 PM

  21. CamelCaseRob

    September 20, 2014 at 12:08 PM

    • It is unfortunate that the person who wrote it felt it necessary to make a cheap attack on “eugenics.”

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      September 20, 2014 at 2:13 PM

      • At least he has thought more deeply on the matter than most, but yeah, I noticed that.


        September 20, 2014 at 2:33 PM

  22. The GOP should nominate a Barry Goldwater like kook with voice immodulation disorder. That way at least losing to Hilary will be funny.

    First Ypres

    September 21, 2014 at 6:10 AM

  23. OT lion, have you ever listened to this american life? it has a lot of great radio stories, and some of them inadvertently highlight the bad things we know about NAMs, like this episode.

    Jews vs NAMs— Rivelino (@alpharivelino) September 21, 2014


    September 21, 2014 at 6:37 AM

    • NPR and NPB are another proof (in addition to healthcare) that the mantra “the private sector and the free market are always preferable, blah, blah, blah,…” is false.

      First Ypres

      September 21, 2014 at 11:31 PM

      • Jose, you’re back. I knew you couldn’t stay away. But I thought you were banned?


        September 22, 2014 at 8:07 AM

  24. Lion probably does have more influence than he probably thinks.

    This is an NYT article about the Paleo diet, which was derided the media-academic complex but has gained traction thanks to blogs.

    Blogs reflect what people actually say in conversation and what actually happens in the real world. The mainstream media can’t accurately report about many features of people’s daily lives because of political pressures.

    Ava Lon

    September 21, 2014 at 1:28 PM

  25. I would expect the Clemmons pardon to be much bigger of an issue in the Republican primaries than in the general election. It’s the sort of thing that would be more troublesome to fellow. Republicans.
    In any event, Huckabee might be able to explain it away as a tragic mistake for which he accepts full blame.



    September 21, 2014 at 4:26 PM

    • Do Republicans still care about being/being seen as being “tough on crime?” I get the impression that issue has greatly decreased in political capital, and will only continue as the party tries to reach out to NAMs. Witness Rand Paul’s campaign against mandatory minimum sentences, which many states are already abandoning.


      September 22, 2014 at 10:59 AM

      • When the US incarcerates WHITES at 4 x the rate of Western Europe how much more tough could they be?

        Steve Martin said (in the 70s):

        “My solution to the population problem…Death penalty for parking violations.”

        Or as Colbert said:

        “Let’s just skip the middle man and put all poor people in jail.”

        First Ypres

        September 22, 2014 at 11:24 PM

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