Monday, January 07, 2008

I Like Mike (and John)

As I've noted in the past, I have a dismal record of supporting losers in elections. The only break from that was in 2004 when I voted for Bush for President, and Matt Blunt for Missouri's governor.

In the past, I've waited long and hard before deciding for whom to vote--usually at least past the primaries. But I did my homework early this year that in most election seasons.

When I get my ballot in the mail for the upcoming primary, I'm going to vote for Mike Huckabee. There's lots of information out there, but here are the main reasons "I like Mike":

  • He's not a millionaire. I'm tired of people like Mitt Romney and John Edwards (and even Obama) saying they know what the working man is feeling with their multi-million dollar bank accounts.
  • His support for the Fair Tax (I like the idea of getting rid of the IRS)
  • He's pro-life
  • He has 10+ years experience as a governor
  • His support for a pro-active "health" system to prevent problems instead of just an healthcare program to respond to problems
  • He has a primary goal of energy independence. Renewables and cleaner technologies are vital for the environment, but it is hard to argue that America can prevent many foreign entanglements if we didn't rely on OPEC for our energy. Huckabee said it best, "I would love to be the president to tell the Middle East we need their oil as much as we need their sand."
  • He showed real crisis management skills after Hurricane Katrina. Its actually one of the few shining examples of what happened well. His state absorbed 75,000 evacuees and handled the change much better than northern Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi did.
  • Last but not least, I trust him

Huckabee won Iowa primary, and McCain looks like he'll win New Hampshire. However, McCain isn't ahead anywhere else. It looks like Huckabee has a good chance at this. I can't wait to see what happens, and I can't wait to cast my ballot.

[Edit 4/15/2008]
Huckabee is long out of the race. Most of the attention the past month and a half has been in the Democratic candidates. Without hesitation, I will vote for John McCain in the fall. He has the most experience, shares most of the same views as I do, and I trust him the most.


  1. For the sake of debate...

    I applauded Huckabee for having a nuanced stance on immigration, defending his decision as governor to let the children of illegal immigrants get financial aid for college. ("We're a better nation than to punish children for what their parents did," is more or less how he put it.) I thought this was a gutsy stand, considering how fierce the anti-immigrant rhetoric is on the right.

    But then it seems like he about-faced to shore up the base with his "Secure America" plan, wherein all illegal immigrants have to leave the country in 120 days and then they can get in back of the line. No matter one's stance on how (or whether) illegals should be incorporated into U.S. society, it's unrealistic to expect 12 million people to just up and leave for a land with little prospect of gainful employment. And I think it's just as unrealistic to think that 12 million people can be deported.

    Of course, immigration is just one issue of many. Overall, I do like Huckabee, and I find him a refreshing alternative to a lot of the candidates. But I don't think he has shown that he can get broad enough support (i.e. beyond evangelicals) to win the presidency. My prediction is that he'll be the running mate.

  2. The immigration debate is a tough one. I definitely understand some of the challenges as an expat in a foreign nation. I an under the supervision of Korea's immigration service and deal with that bureaucracy often.

    One one hand, you have this whole segment of society that is breaking the law just by being here. On the other hand you have many people, some of whom I've met in Eastern Europe and here in Korea, who are waiting patiently to come to America legally.

    With my kindergardeners, if I have a student who cuts in line, I make them go to the end. Simple as that. It serves as a punishment for breaking the rules in the first place, and it is the only fair way to treat those who are following the rules.

    Allowing people who side-step the rules to get in front only serves as motivation for more people to try to break the rules.

    Also, consider that if Huckabee is elected, it will likely be with a democratic congress--which means that compromise will be necessary.

    As for whether or not he can get broad support, I'm not really sure. I think he has a good combination of "fresh to Washington" that Obama has, but unlike Obama, Huckabee actually has experience.

    Plus one of the remarks I keep hearing from reporters is that he's very likable and funny. I think the more exposure that Huckabee gets, the better.

  3. Yeah, I agree that the immigrants who broke the law should be made to get in the back of the line and wait their turn. (Some of the loudest proponents of this view are from the Hispanic community, in fact, from immigrants who followed the rules.) We're on the same page there.

    My point is that the platform of Huckabee — and all the other GOP candidates except McCain — seems to boil down to "Deport them all!" Fair enough, but remember, this is 12 million people, so it'd be like deporting the entire state of Ohio — and these people are used to living in the shadows. Until the candidates explain how they're going to do this, where the money is going to come from, I don't see it as anything more than hollow loudness that riles up the base.

    In an ideal world, yes, we'd kick out the cheaters and let in only people who play by the rules. I just have yet to be convinced that that's doable.

    Plus, I'd like to see candidates address how they'd deal with the ensuing labor shortage. My view is that we need to open the doors wider and let a lot more legal immigrants in. But that's a whole 'nother post.

  4. And it would also be cool to say President Huckabee. Now that Mitt's out I guess he's the best one left. sigh.


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