Left an interview late and missed the first few minutes of Mike Huckabee, but it's worthwhile hearing him ladle sugar down the throats of a friendly audience.
11:20: Some interesting framing of his immigration record. "I get down on my knees and thank God we live in a country that people are trying to break into and not one they're trying to break out of.
11:22: And on protectionism: "I don't want to see our food come from China, our oil from Saudi Arabia, and our manufacturing from Europe."
11:25: Here's a new rationale for the Fair Tax, or at least one I didn't hear when I asked him about it early this year. "We need stop the muzzling of ministers and the Fair Tax does that."
11:27: "Any federal judge who uses international law as precedent ought to be impeached."
11:29: Excellent, Huckabee blames our "work force problems" on the "Holocaust of liberalized abortion." Will Matt Yglesias withdraw his support?
11:30: "We need to move the cultural norms to fit God's standards." Huckabee tells a story about Billy Sunday being told he was "stroking the cat the wrong way." Sunday's comeback: "Then Lady, turn the cat around." I realize I'm not as religious as I thought I was. Or maybe not as Southern.
11:31: He's hit the Romney button! "It's important that people sing from their hearts and not just mouth the lyrics."
11:32: "There was a time among us when there were certain things that were negotiatiable." He's talking about taxes, sizes of departments and whether these things should exist… stuff that is still negotiable, actually, but Huckabee doesn't win with the base here, so–pivot! "Sanctity of human life, definition of marriage, and the purpose of our freedom. Let us not sacrifice our principles for anybody's politics: Not now, not ever."
11:36: "I don't ever want expediency or electability" to become more important than "our values."
11:38: Yes, he's really hammering this home. "I do not spell GOP G-O-D. Our party might be important but our principles are even more important." I anticipate at least one question in the media availability about whether he'd go third party. He'll say no.
Overall, a successful speech. But Mike Huckabee scoring a Roy Hobbs home run with this crowd is less impressive than Rudy Giuliani hitting a double.