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Is Mike Huckabee going to get away with this? (The Kenya Kerfuffle)
Salon's War Room ^ | March 2, 2011 | Steve Kornacki

Posted on 03/03/2011 1:21:16 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet

In a radio interview on Monday, Mike Huckabee said that President Obama was a) raised in Kenya; and b) as a consequence of this Kenyan upbringing, probably indoctrinated with anti-Western views by his father and grandfather and their stories about the Mau Mau uprising of the early 1950s.

When the comments made national news on Tuesday, Huckabee, through a spokesman, claimed that he'd "simply misspoken" and that he'd "meant to say the president grew up in Indonesia." This explanation made little sense, because Huckabee hadn't merely said the word "Kenya" -- he'd discussed at length and in detail some of the "troubling" implications of Obama's Kenyan upbringing. If he'd merely misspoken, there would have been no talk of the Mau Mau uprising.

You might think this episode would seriously diminish Huckabee's standing on the national political stage. Certainly, it's easy to make the case that it should. As I noted yesterday, Huckabee has now demonstrated that his critique of the president's conduct of foreign policy is rooted in his belief in something that is utterly and laughably untrue. You might expect this level of ignorance from a talk radio host or even a House backbencher -- but from a man who, if he runs, could be the favorite for next year's Republican presidential nomination?

There's also the matter of how Huckabee's comments enable birther sentiment. As Jonathan Bernstein explained, it doesn't matter that Huckabee didn't literally endorse the idea that Obama wasn't born in the United States; his comments encourage the view "that Barack Obama isn't a real American" -- a sentiment that is so strong on the right now that a majority of Republicans essentially endorsed birtherism in a recent poll.

And yet, a day later, it's beginning to look like Huckabee will walk away from this relatively unscathed. Sure, he's taken plenty of heat, but he's got his defenders, too. (Take Politico's Ben Smith, who bought the Huckabee line about misspeaking and then penned a defense of "post-birtherism.") So Huckabee will probably be able to stick to his script of simply saying "Kenya" when he meant "Indonesia," then dismiss anyone who dwells on the issue as a politically motivated liberal. And in a few weeks, maybe he'll say something unexpectedly gracious about the Obamas -- as he has done several times recently -- validating the benefit of the doubt that plenty of media members are still willing to give him. He'll still be the "likable" Republican.

This, in turn, should prevent any significant damage to Huckabee's standing within the GOP. As the recent birther poll demonstrated, there's no real risk that Huckabee's actual comments will cause a backlash among Republicans. The only threat is that the comments cause such a sustained firestorm that Republicans begin to see Huckabee as they increasingly see Sarah Palin: someone they like but won't back for president. Assuming Huckabee stops spouting theories about the roots of Obama's anti-Western philosophy, he'll probably be fine.

Whether he'll actually run for president in 2012 is anyone's guess right now. If he does, I doubt this episode will hurt him. The Republican field is -- for now -- unusually thin: Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman, Herman Cain and maybe Mitch Daniels. There was plenty of room for Huckabee before this week, and I'd guess there's just as much now.

If he does run and does win the GOP nomination, his comments will be old news by the general election, and presumably he'll have found a succinct way to bat down questions about them by then. Maybe they could be used to help demonstrate a pattern of appalling ignorance -- but on their own, they may not mean much.


TOPICS: Arkansas; Issues; Parties; State and Local
KEYWORDS: 2012; birthers; huckabee; obama
Is Gomer Huckleberry an agent provocateur or just stupid?
1 posted on 03/03/2011 1:21:23 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Photobucket
2 posted on 03/03/2011 1:26:23 AM PST by bushpilot1
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

He should just say “Obama spent as much time in Kenya as Hillary did under fire in Kosovo” and go back to eating ribs or whatever he does well.


3 posted on 03/03/2011 1:28:24 AM PST by Darkwolf377
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Not sure, but it is a great tactic. Kenya! ...oops, I meant Indonesia! (but not Hawaii, not the US, not a Natural Born Citizen--he ain't one of US!)

I've seen people do more damage to their opponent in a fight giving the appearance of ineptly helping them up after knocking them down than they did knocking them down in the first place. Huck just might have pulled that off...(and I'm no avid Huck fan by any means)

4 posted on 03/03/2011 1:31:05 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: Darkwolf377

I would think squirrel ribs would be hard to eat without tweezers.

5 posted on 03/03/2011 1:35:40 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet ("You cannot invade the US There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass." Yamamoto)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
And yet, a day later, it's beginning to look like Huckabee will walk away from this relatively unscathed.

Why would he be scathed in the first place?

6 posted on 03/03/2011 1:36:43 AM PST by Cowboy Bob (Greed + Envy = Liberalism)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I have never been impressed with Huckabee, and I have always wondered why anyone else was.

Part of it is, I’m sure, that I don’t really trust ministers all that much, trust politicians even less than I trust ministers and trust anyone who has a finger in both pie not at all.


7 posted on 03/03/2011 1:39:55 AM PST by Ronin ("Dismantle the TSA and send the screeners back to Wal-Mart.")
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
OBAMACORPS

I guess Huckabee is a nice guy, but he just doesn't appear focused, to me anyway.

Doesn't seem to know what he wants to be...a politician, a preacher, a "variety show" host, or a bass guitar player.

And with his latest comments I think he is too much of an "appeaser" to be the President. You can't please everyone, but he would be all over the chart trying.
8 posted on 03/03/2011 1:41:27 AM PST by FrankR (The Evil Are Powerless If The Good Are Unafraid! - R. Reagan)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I don’t know if Huckleberry is stupid or not, but this Steve Kornacki demonstrates he surely is, with this piece of tripe.


9 posted on 03/03/2011 1:50:56 AM PST by John Valentine
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Obama hasn’t denied it... so how are we to know? /s


10 posted on 03/03/2011 2:25:13 AM PST by Vendome (Don’t take life so seriously... You’ll never live through it.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Believe it or not
'Bam's childhood biography...
Not that important.

I know the Obamabots sleep with a copy of Dreams of Bill Ayers' Father under their pillows. But out here in the real world we don't give a hoot about Barack Obama's unique and gloried past.

11 posted on 03/03/2011 2:33:51 AM PST by Haiku Guy (If you can read this / (To paraphrase on old line) / Thank a TAXPAYER!.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

It’s driving them nuts that he made “birther” comments and they can’t pin it on him...LOL. :)


12 posted on 03/03/2011 2:47:03 AM PST by ez ("Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is." - Milton, Paradise Lost)
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To: FrankR
Huckabee wants to be a liberal. That's what his politics already say about him.

Huck's a loser, like that mutt named Mitt from MA.

I'll vote for them when pigs fly...

PIGS FLY-6sm

13 posted on 03/03/2011 3:16:45 AM PST by BobP (The piss-stream media - Never to be watched again in my house)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Huckabee is merely saying to the press, “OH, I’m wrong? PROVE me wrong, so there!” Knowing the press can’t make a big deal of his error without looking stupid too—after all, it’s not like the journalists in the country have the story straight, either. Sly like a fox!


14 posted on 03/03/2011 3:48:36 AM PST by browniexyz
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I guess Huckabee’s going to be living in their heads a little while.

It’s sort of fun to see the lefties in a tizzy over this. I wonder why Obama doesn’t help them out by showing his real birth certificate...

OR COULD IT BE HE DOESN’T HAVE ONE...

and no matter what the left does people just aren’t going for it. There is something very wrong on the BC, if it exists. IF.


15 posted on 03/03/2011 3:54:27 AM PST by I still care (I miss my friends, bagels, and the NYC skyline - but not the taxes. I love the South.)
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To: Smokin' Joe

After reading the entire article, it seems to me the writer thinks that people won’t vote for Huck because he said O is Kenyan.

I guess he hasn’t seen the polls where most people believe O IS Kenyan. And most of the people who refuse to see that, wouldn’t vote for a republican anyway. It’s sort of a great move by Huckabee.


16 posted on 03/03/2011 3:56:54 AM PST by I still care (I miss my friends, bagels, and the NYC skyline - but not the taxes. I love the South.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Is Mike Huckabee going to get away with this? (The Kenya Kerfuffle)

I could criticize governor Huckabee on a lot of points, but this one would be ridiculous. In fact, I think it was brilliant. I'd put so much doubt out there about Obama that no one could figure out where he's from. Now the response should be "Oh, my bad, of course I know he was raised in Indonesia in a radical America-hating madrassa! So sorry..."

Still, don't run, Huck. No. Don't do it. Wouldn't be prudent...

17 posted on 03/03/2011 4:07:06 AM PST by Caipirabob ( Communists... Socialists... Democrats...Traitors... Who can tell the difference?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

what? no possum fries?? :D)


18 posted on 03/03/2011 4:23:36 AM PST by MissDairyGoodnessVT
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
The Republican field is -- for now -- unusually thin: Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman, Herman Cain and maybe Mitch Daniels.

Not the slightest mention of Palin. And they begin listing potentials with "Nitt Witt" Mitt Romney. It is obvious where the writer comes from.

19 posted on 03/03/2011 4:28:04 AM PST by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Huckabee's comments, at least, will draw attention to Obama's overseas upbringing.

It seems as though Obama is modeling his presidency after that of his childhood president, Suharto.(Soeharto)

We need an amendment that says our presidential candidates cannot have spent more than 2 years of their formative years abroad, unless their parent was posted overseas by the government.

We need to go beyond insisting that candidates be "natural born" citizens, to ensure undivided loyalty to the US.

20 posted on 03/03/2011 4:39:42 AM PST by syriacus (ObamaCare: Helping millions through HURTING millions)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
He simply misspoke. Every rational person knows that "The Huck" wrote a book where he correctly identified Obama's country ~ INDONESIA ~ where he was raised for many years.

You have to be a brain-dead individual to be unaware of how such things happen. Besides, the "Birthers" do not argue that Obama was raised in Kenya ~ rather, they argue that his long form birth certificate is unavailable ~ and that there must be a reason for that.

BTW, I find Salon to be tiresome. Leftwingtard misrepresentations and arguments are entirely too trite and predictable. It will be so great when these guys finally go totally bankrupt and are taken off the net.

21 posted on 03/03/2011 5:13:52 AM PST by muawiyah (Make America Safe For Americans)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Got squirrel?

Don't tempt people around here with nonsense. You got 'em or you don't got 'em, and by now you should have realized we don't joke about availability!

22 posted on 03/03/2011 5:16:00 AM PST by muawiyah (Make America Safe For Americans)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

LOL! First laugh of the day.


23 posted on 03/03/2011 6:49:53 AM PST by Darkwolf377
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