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Mike Pence, the Anti-Huckabee
Religion Dispatches ^ | 1/20/11 | Sarah Posner

Posted on 01/21/2011 5:13:35 PM PST by pissant


This Politico story about the group drafting Indiania Congressman Mike Pence to run for the GOP presidential nomination is full of interesting tidbits about Republicans' dissatisfaction with the rest of the field:

An Indiana congressman with just five terms in public office, Pence is currently the subject of a draft movement—but he may well pick a gubernatorial run over a White House bid. . . . .

The pro-Pence crowd consists of a group of traditional conservatives who, while sympathizing with her, don’t view Sarah Palin as a serious presidential candidate. They doubt Mike Huckabee will run again or can broaden his appeal. And they believe the rest of the field features has-beens or candidates insufficiently pure on cultural issues.

While Huckabee doesn't fall into the "insufficiently pure on cultural issues" camp, the conservative dissatisfaction with him has dogged him since his 2008 run, and indeed dates back to his tenure as governor of Arkansas. Pence has the support of the Club for Growth, the hardline anti-tax, free market-worshipping group which contributed to the conservative freezing out of Huckabee in 2008. I wrote a piece in 2007 that broke down that discontent:

The fanatically anti-tax Club for Growth -- which Huckabee has disparaged as "the Club for Greed" -- has gotten a lot of mileage out of its portrayal of Huckabee's tenure in Arkansas as that of a "habitual tax-hiker." Huckabee has fired back, saying that the Club for Growth's figures are wrong, and besides, the Club doesn't understand what it takes to run a state government. He argues that his policies of taxing gasoline sales to pay for road construction and using state revenue to pay for poor children's health insurance did not ravage the pocketbooks of Arkansans, but provided desperately needed services to his state.

It wasn't just the Club for Growth, though; I talked to several Arkansas Republicans who had soured on Huckabee as governor, and took their complaints to the highest echelons of the conservative movement's elite. They succeeding in sinking him, and even though Huckabee's more recent rhetoric echoes the tea party mantras, that won't matter for these elephants who won't forget his Arkansas days of sympathy for immigrants and poor people.

Possibly more interesting than what these political elites are doing to draft Pence is how Huckabee diehards will react to this intentional recruitment of a competitor to Huckabee. As I reported last year, many Huckabee volunteer activists gripe their guy is slighted by the Tea Party movement, by Fox News, and by the very conservative elites Huckabee was so critical of in 2008.

The Politico piece makes clear that the conservatives behind the draft Pence movement value his unwavering Christian conservatism, but that they find his Club for Growth/Dick Armey-endorsed fiscal positions to be a crucial factor for winning over more of the conservative base than the evangelicals drawn by Huckabee's aw-shucks preachiness. If both Huckabee and Pence end up running, they'll be competing not only to out-Jesus the other, but to prove which one is more of the anti-tax, budget-slashing purist.

In 2008, Huckabee's supporters loved his anti-elitist, anti-Wall Street talk, and movement elites' snubbing of him both baffled and angered his grassroots supporters. One might think Huckabee would be some sort of conservative populist favorite for 2012, given the state of the economy. But if Huckabee does decide to run in 2012, it looks like he's in for a repeat of 2008 from his party's fiscal zealots -- and it will be fascinating to watch the reaction of his grassroots supporters who contend he's the real conservative but that the conservative movement is out to undermine him.

TOPICS: Politics
KEYWORDS: falconpartyof1; huckabee; mikepence; palin; pence; pissant4obama; pissant4rinos; zotpissant
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To: pissant

Senators rarely win the presidency, and they want a Congressman to run?

21 posted on 01/21/2011 7:13:01 PM PST by Tanniker Smith (I didn't know she was a liberal when I married her.)
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To: pissant

Eh, at least they served with the same outfit in uniform.

22 posted on 01/21/2011 8:00:11 PM PST by MSF BU (YR'S Please Support our troops: JOIN THEM!)
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To: presently no screen name
That's their talking points 'too damaged', their propaganda. They say what they WANT you to believe - truth has nothing to do w/it. The same people who anointed their 'messiah'. See how many took the bait?

Clarity bump.

I could tell this Posner toadette was a lefty if I just closed my eyes and listened to the number of times she mentioned ...... and then didn't mention again .... Sarah Palin.

This is a variant of the RiNO propaganda technique, "let's talk about X, and Y, and Z, and A, and B ...... but never the elephant in the room!" "Coz she's in Mitt's way!!"

23 posted on 01/21/2011 8:29:55 PM PST by lentulusgracchus (Concealed carry is a pro-life position.)
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To: lentulusgracchus

I didn’t notice where it came from - not familiar w/it or her. Went to the site and thought it was a man at first glance. Figures.

24 posted on 01/21/2011 8:49:25 PM PST by presently no screen name
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To: Ranjit
We are going to allow the media to select the candidate and find ourselves not working for the candidate.

Not if we don't read their propaganda. Remember there are some here who scour for anything 'anti Palin' and make a thread out of it.
25 posted on 01/21/2011 8:55:56 PM PST by presently no screen name
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To: Route395; screaminsunshine; pissant; Baynative; SunkenCiv; potlatch; Lady Jag


26 posted on 01/21/2011 10:16:55 PM PST by Seadog Bytes ("Smart Growth"... isn't.)
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To: Seadog Bytes; AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Arthur Wildfire! March; Berosus; bigheadfred; ...

Thanks Seadog Bytes.

27 posted on 01/22/2011 6:08:55 AM PST by SunkenCiv (The 2nd Amendment follows right behind the 1st because some people are hard of hearing.)
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