Mike Huckabee

Can Huckabee Win the Nomination? Can Biden?

The two men may have fans, but they don't seem to be acting like potential front-runners.


Credit: Gage Skidmore / photo on flickr

Mike Huckabee mounted an impressive campaign kickoff Tuesday, has a natural base among evangelical voters in the Republican Party, and won eight states in the 2008 race. Joe Biden, who went nowhere in two previous bids, isn't running yet and may not. But if either has a chance of being elected president, it's the latter. 

Huckabee ought to be a strong contender. A former governor of Arkansas, he came in second the last time he tried, thanks to his speaking skills, affable personality and (being a former Southern Baptist pastor) strong appeal to conservative Christians. 

He showed more polish on television than any candidate since Ronald Reagan. He even killed it on Saturday Night Live. He looked like a candidate who could spend four years broadening his base and capture the 2012 nomination. 

But Huckabee took a different route. Since 2008, he's spent most of his time writing books aimed at conservative readers, doing talk shows on radio and Fox News, giving well-paid speeches and endorsing survival ration kits. His campaign so far is perfectly designed to assure him a nice living doing more of the same. 

His new book, God, Guns, Grits and Gravy, has a title you would use if you aspired to be president—president of Waffle House. It serves to: 1) make a lot of urban and suburban voters think you're a bumpkin; and 2) let conservative rural residents know you don't care what those fancy folks think of you. It's a way to corral the Sarah Palin fan club, but no one else. 

Even more striking, pardon the expression, is his TV spot, "Rattlesnake," which claims the only way to deal with Muslim jihadists is the way you deal with rattlesnakes: "take their heads off with .410 shotgun or a hoe." 

This spot will win the hearts of voters who enjoy a close-up view of a venomous serpent lunging straight at them, which I estimate at one in 10,000. It's a video only a herpetologist could love. 

Actually, that's not true, because a herpetologist would reject the premise. In truth, rattlesnakes are not aggressive toward humans; they are shy and timid. It's hard to get bitten by one unless you actively seek them out—which, come to think of it, may have some parallels with terrorist groups abroad. But the lurid approach suits Huckabee, who is running to create a spectacle, not to win. 

Biden should have zero chance of being nominated, short of his boss vacating the presidency. In 2008, he got less than one percent of the vote in the Iowa caucuses and immediately withdrew. 

He has obvious shortcomings, like a famous fondness for hearing himself talk and an unerring knack for gaffes. His street-smart manner has made him fodder for hilarity in The Onion as a hard-living macho dude (sample: "Biden To Honor Fallen Soldiers By Jumping Motorcycle Over Vietnam Memorial"). 

So how could he win his party's favor? It's not impossible that Hillary Clinton will collapse or slowly deflate from one unflattering revelation after another. In that scenario, the party would need someone with relevant experience, good name recognition, and a record that is not too liberal to win the general election. 

Elizabeth Warren fails the last test and arguably the first two. Martin O'Malley, the former Maryland governor, was invisible until the Baltimore riots and probably wishes he had stayed that way. James Webb and Bernie Sanders have views too iconoclastic for mass consumption. 

Who else is there? John Kerry has been mentioned, but not since 1968 has either party been willing to give a losing nominee an encore (Richard Nixon). Biden's chief ally is the process of elimination. 

He can more than hold his own on the campaign trail. If you don't believe me, ask Paul Ryan, who found himself at the business end of a buzz saw in their 2012 debate.

Contrary to Onion myth, the vice president is a churchgoing teetotaler and devoted family man, though sometimes overly, um, tactile with female acquaintances. 

For seven years, Biden has been at the side of Barack Obama, which won't hurt him with most Democrats. But he offers some traits they often wish the president had, like a blunt, passionate style and a talent for voicing blue-collar concerns. 

On top of all that, Biden would see running for president as something to do only if you intend to win. Huckabee's campaign indicates all sorts of motives, but not that one.

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  1. I’d say their chances are Less Than Zero.

  2. OT: Japs succumb to political correctness.

    Tentacle porn…ok.
    Used panties vending machines…sure.
    Naming a monkey after a Limey princess…NNNNNNOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

    1. Someone should inform them of a certain literate spider.

      1. Aragog?

        /Harry Potter nerd

          1. SF’ed the linky, HM.

          2. Babe?

        1. Ungoliat

  3. It’s so adorable watching Chicago Steve pretend that he’s not Ready for Hillary.

  4. “If you don’t believe me, ask Paul Ryan, who found himself at the business end of a buzz saw in their 2012 debate.”

    Chapman, really? If you want to rub one out thinking of Slow Joe as POTUS, please do so in private.

    1. To be fair, Biden was better on stage than Ryan. Just like Romney was a bit better than Obama. TVs are designed to be kind to old white men in makeup.

  5. Two articles in a row claiming that US foreign policy creates enemies overseas. John is going to have a fit. He’ll be insufferable all afternoon…

    1. Doubtful. I think he mentioned a couple weeks ago that he doesn’t bother reading Chapman or Richman, so he probably won’t even see it.

      And to be fair, there’s really not much point in reading them, you pretty much know what they’re going to say.

      1. I shit all over the Richman thread. He is so loathsome I just can’t help myself, though kicking around Richman really is punching down as they say. And I just ignore Chapman on foreign policy. He has nothing interesting to say and obviously doesn’t think about the issue. He just mouths the talking points.

      2. Loki is no different than Adam Lanza.

        1. We are all Adam Lanzas now.

          1. Everytime I read that name my mind brings up a picture of Tony Danza…

  6. I wouldn’t write off Joe. He is VP. If Hillary continues to implode, the Democrats are going to have to look for someone else. Whatever Joe’s flaws, he is downright sane when compared to someone like Warren or Sanders or O’Malley. The rational alternative to Hillary is Webb. The Democratic Party, however, is not rational. They want full retard and are never going to support someone like Webb in any numbers. They might, however, go for Biden on the basis of him being the Chocolate Jesus’ VP and because Jesus tells them its okay. If Hillary implodes Biden is likely the only alternative to going full retard and getting killed.

    Huckabee, however, is a has been with no constituency. He isn’t a star among the SOCONs anymore. Ben Carson and Ted Cruz are the SOCON’s stars these days. Who the hell is going to vote for Huckabee? At this point, I think Huckabee might be a paid trolling operation. He is running with the secret support of Democrats for the purpose of making the Republicans look bad and giving the media someone to talk about instead of the GOP’s actually dangerous candidates.

    1. I honestly think that crazy Uncle Joe has given up on the delusion and isn’t running again. Has he even made a single appearance in either Iowa or New Hampshire lately?

      He has descended to the level of a punch line even within his own party among those who are basically sympathetic to him, and he knows it. He doesn’t need even more humiliation.

      1. Perhaps. The thing is whatever you think of Joe, he is a hundred times better and more sane than Warren or Sanders. Those two are bat shit insane.

        1. out of curiosity are there any main stream politicians who aren’t considered bat shit crazy? at least by someone…

          1. Steny Hoyer and Schumer are considered evil, not crazy, I believe.

    2. The Rhode Island guy seems okay – for a Leftist from a horrible leftist state.

  7. My mom makes $70 every hour on the computer . She has been fired from work for 9 months but last month her pay was $18079 just working on the computer for a few hours.
    See here. ?? ????????? http://www.jobsfish.com

  8. In a just world, Huckabee would be pastor of a small church (congregation of 23 souls) in Kingsland, Georgia. And Biden would be working at a car wash in Providence, RI, begging the manager to move him up from rag boy to waxer: “I can do it boss. I can do it! That BMW last week came in like that, I swear!”

    1. Our entire political system seems to be designed to put crazy people in high office. Most of these people are legitimately nuts by any reasonable standard. I blame campaign finance reform. Seriously, I do. Campaign finance reform made it impossible for someone to get into politics by raising a lot of money from a few backers. The $1000 contribution limit made it so every candidate who wasn’t independently wealthy, had to go out and beg for money one $1000 donor at a time and only crazy people like doing that or are any good at it.

      1. The sole purpose of campaign finance reform was to give incumbents another advantage.

        1. Yeah, I am aware of that. It however had the secondary effect of making it so that only crazy people made it very far in politics. You have to be fucking nuts to enjoy going out begging for money day after day.

          1. I don’t know about nuts, but you definitely must have no shame.

            I guess one good thing about campaign finance reform is that it forces politicians to spend most of their time begging for money, which is time that they’re not spending on making our lives worse.

            1. Oh they seem to have plenty of time left over for making things worse.

              1. I’m just saying it could be worse.

                1. I’m just saying it could be worse.

                  Said the ebola victim to the AIDS patient.

                  Seriously, the political system in America is at its lowest ebb. Of course it could be worse but its on a downward trajectory that will probably never end until somebody nukes it from orbit to be sure.

                  1. Sloopy,

                    For the American political class, every year is average; worse than the year before but better than the following year.

                2. maybe. Of course things were better when they didn’t have to beg for money. I think the begging and the making things worse are related.

                  1. You are definitely right in that it lowers the caliber of people willing to seek out the job. I won’t argue against that.

              2. Feels more like they just outsource it to civil service.

          2. I ran into the young candidate for County Prothonotary at the Rotary Club luncheon today. Nicely dressed, well spoken, worked every table. This would be his second step up – next stop state legislature. Just glad-handed and made no policy pronouncements. Since virtually no one else wants to go through the hassle of campaigns, this guy will get elected and perhaps, some day, be in a real position of power because he has a lifetime experience in the system.

      2. Are these people made crazy by the position they hold or do they start out that way?

        I’m inclined to think they all start with a little even if it’s well hidden then the system grabs hold and continues warping them to their full potential.

    2. What did the folks in Kingsland ever do to deserve that?

      1. Have you ever met any small town pastors? Whatever they have now, it is doubtful Huckabee would be any worse. And the man does play a mean bass. So there is that.

  9. I have a better chance than either of those two of getting into the White House. What do y’all say, should I announce?

    1. Go for it. You would be a better choice than most of these guys and you couldn’t be any worse.

      1. Almanian! is already running — in fact, I think “can’t do any worse” might be his campaign slogan.

    2. Can I please be your campaign manager?

  10. Huckabee has about a 1 in 10,000 chance. As for Biden, they don’t allow negative numbers in chances, but his would be if they were. The one thing you cannot recover from in politics is being a laughing stock, and he has been several times.

    1. Hope you’re right — but I’ve seen Idiocracy — and I’m afraid Biden has the script in a fat binder and is using it for his campaign strategy.

  11. Hoes biting off heads? Got video?

  12. Nathaniel . although Stephanie `s rep0rt is super… I just bought a top of the range Mercedes sincee geting a check for $4416 this last four weeks and would you believe, ten/k last-month . no-doubt about it, this really is the best-job I’ve ever done . I actually started seven months/ago and almost straight away started making a nice over $79.. p/h….. ?????? http://www.Jobs-Cash.com

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