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Unforced Errors
Posted by: Dale Franks on Friday, December 21, 2007

When you're running for a political office, especially the office of President, one thing you want to try to do is avoid silly errors. Especially unforced errors, i.e., foolish mistakes that an ounce of thought would allow you to avoid. Don't put in an order for a rasher of bacon at the big Jewish Community Center breakfast meeting. Don't assume that the microphones aren't live before launching into your favorite farmer's daughter/traveling salesman joke. And, if you're running for the Republican nomination, and your commitment to smaller government can be characterized as questionable, don't provoke an argument with Rush Limbaugh, like someone on the Huckabee campaign apparently did.
What's the Huckabee universe's take on why Rush Limbaugh does not like the man from Arkansas? I asked a prominent DC-based Huckabee ally:
"Honestly, because Rush doesn’t think for himself. That’s not necessarily a slap because he’s not paid to be a thinker—he’s an entertainer. I can’t remember the last time that he has veered from the talking points from the DC/Manhattan chattering class. If they were praising Huckabee, he would be too."

"Also, I have to think that he’s dying to have Hillary in the White House. Bill Clinton made Rush a megastar. Having another Clinton back in power would make him the Leading Voice of the Opposition once again."
Once you do this, what do you think is gonna happen? Do you think that it's gonna pass without comment by anyone? Or, is it more likely that Mr. Limbaugh will air his response to 20 million listeners for three hours?

If you guessed the latter, you'd be right.
I realize that there are a lot of you out there: You got a candidate, and you think that if I got behind your candidate it would put 'em over the top, and you might be right. But, at this point, it's just an age-old belief that I have, and I remain true to my beliefs and principles. Now, some people have written me, "I hear you say this, but you're full of it. What about 2000 with Bush and McCain in South Carolina?" Special circumstance. You had a two-man race, and what was happening in South Carolina, McCain was going so far off the conservative reservation, so far off of it, that it was necessary to step in. Huckabee is getting close, I'm going to have to tell you. Huckabee's getting close to the same stuff. Huckabee is using his devout Christianity to mask some other things that are distinctively not conservative. He is against free trade. He's really doesn't believe in free market. Well, let me read what George Will wrote today. This is when I go along with "the DC-New York axis." But I just want to read from George Will's column, a paragraph today. "Huckabee's campaign actually is what Rudy Giuliani's candidacy is misdescribed as being — a comprehensive apostasy against core Republican beliefs. Giuliani departs from recent Republican stances regarding two issues — abortion and the recognition by the law of same-sex couples. Huckabee's radical candidacy broadly repudiates core Republican policies such as free trade, low taxes, the essential legitimacy of America's corporate entities and the market system allocating wealth and opportunity. [C]onsider New Hampshire's chapter of the National Education Association, the teachers union that is a crucial component of the Democratic Party's base. In 2004, New Hampshire's chapter endorsed Howard Dean in the Democratic primary and no one in the Republican primary. Last week it endorsed Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary — and Huckabee in the Republican primary." It likes Huckabee on education.
And, it got worse:
"Stop with this Clintonian spin."

"McCain's starting to look better to than this guy, and that's saying something."

"The Huckabee campaign is trying to dumb down conservatism in order to get it to conform with his record."

"Who is this campaign to decide who is and who is not conservative? I hadn't heard of Huckabee in any serious manner before this campaign began. Believe me, I know who the conservatives are and aren't."

"It's elites who want to talk to Iran, not Middle America. It's the elites who are soft on crime, not Middle America."
Apparently, after three hours of that, the Huckabee Campaign got someone to start damage control.
I just talked to Huckabee campaign manager Chip Saltsman, who describes himself as a "huge fan" of Rush Limbaugh. Saltsman told me he "doesn't have a clue" who the Washington-based Huckabee ally quoted by the Atlantic is. "Unfortunately, anybody who gets the ear of a reporter can say they're a Huckabee ally, but that's not the view of the campaign," Saltsman told me. "We're big fans of Rush Limbaugh and have been for years, and I can tell you that's not what we think at the Huckabee campaign in Little Rock. We have nothing but respect for Rush Limbaugh and know that he's a big part of the conservative movement in this country. That's one person's opinion in DC, but it doesn't represent the view of the Huckabee campaign. I can only hope we'll get a chance to talk to Rush and make sure that he knows that's not coming from us."
I'll bet.
 
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Comments
Good. Let that be the end of Huckabee’s campaign.
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
Sorry state of the GOP if an entertainer like Limbaugh can have such an impact. Well, then again, Obama has Oprah...
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
I don’t believe for a moment that this moron spouting lib talking points against Rush was a "Huckabee ally" and he certainly wasn’t part of the Huckabee campaign. Marc Ambinder has admitted that much.

This smells like an opposition candidate’s dirty trick. Or the dems. I mean really, how would attacking Rush Limbaugh benefit any Republican candidate?

Nice job though, whoever did this. It sure got a lot of play right before Christmas.
 
Written By: Sam Brown
URL: http://blogs4huckabee.wordpress.com/
Sorry state of the GOP if an entertainer like Limbaugh can have such an impact.
Why is that, exactly. Limbaugh has an explicitly political show with a conservative viewpoint. Millions of people listen to him—and trust him—because he expounds a political viewpoint that they find congenial. If he thinks Huckabee doesn’t actually conform to that ideology in some respect, they listen to him.

I suspect that if there was a liberal political talk-show host with the same reach, he’d have the same sort of influence. Unfortunately, that hypothetical host hasn’t yet found an audience.

Frankly, most people just don’t think all that much about politics on a day-to-day basis. For those people, they have a certain number of general political principles, but they don’t personally get down in the weeds thinking about the details that follow from them. Limbaugh, on the other hand, does do so, and, for those people, he provides a discussion on the details, so they don’t have to pursue the research themselves.

Seems like plain old human nature to me.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
I don’t believe for a moment that this moron spouting lib talking points against Rush was a "Huckabee ally" and he certainly wasn’t part of the Huckabee campaign.
I appreciate your unbiased view.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
Cool... we’ve seen Paulpods and Ronulian, and now we have Huckabots.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
A gasbag entertainer is the king-maker in Republican politics. Ditthead sheep will follow their leader.

And anyone wonders why the GOP faces a very long and lonely exile?
 
Written By: Tano
URL: http://
A gasbag entertainer is the king-maker in Republican politics.
20 million listeners Tano, 20,000,000. How many votes did Kerry get in 2004?

It always cracks me up just how apoplectic the left gets when Rush is the subject of conversation. Enraged jealousy is the only rational explanation I’ve found. And you only support my theory.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Cool... we’ve seen Paulpods and Ronulian, and now we have Huckabots.
The correct term is "Hucksters".
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
Scott Erb,

You don’t really know what you are talking about with respect to Rush Limbaugh. Better quit while you are ahead.
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
Another quote from the same George Will article;

"On the Republican side, Mike Huckabee’s role in the ’70s Show involves blending Jimmy Carter’s ostentatious piety with Nixon’s knack for oblique nastiness."

 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

You don’t really know what you are talking about with respect to Rush Limbaugh. Better quit while you are ahead.
Limbaugh is an entertainer, a moderately good propagandist, but not someone to take seriously. I doubt he can really influence the vote much. I also think the number 20 million is hugely inflated. Maybe at some point in the 90s, but he’s gone downhill since then.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
...a moderately good propagandist, but not someone to take seriously...
Bill Clinton is a pretty good propagandist, should we not take him seriously?

Believe what you want Scott... at your own peril.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Limbaugh is an entertainer, a moderately good propagandist, but not someone to take seriously. I doubt he can really influence the vote much. I also think the number 20 million is hugely inflated. Maybe at some point in the 90s, but he’s gone downhill since then.
Not that I have much use for Limbaugh...but based on what, exactly, are you basing this claim on? Every Media report ever done on Limbaugh shows that his ratings are stay the same or grow.

Oh, silly me. I’m expecting you to back up what you’re saying with facts instead of rhetoric. When have you EVER done that?

hahahaha
 
Written By: Joel C.
URL: http://

 
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