Florida Huckabee for President
Headquarters contact: 407-438-9134

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Orlando Chamber of Commerce Political Hob Nob

On November 6 from 4:30 – 7:30 the Orlando Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a Hob Nob at Sea World in Orlando. About 2,000 local area business leaders are expected to attend the event and each presidential candidate will have a table. We need Mike Huckabee supporters to show up!

In fact there are 15 tickets still available free that were allotted to the campaign. CLICK HERE to send an email and secure your spot at the Hob Nob. We do not have access to more tickets when these are gone and the regular price of a ticket is $75. (Which would be worth the price if you are able to pay it because you can cast your vote for Mike Huckabee in the Straw Poll).

Monday, October 29, 2007

Floridians Love Mike Huckabee

Every day I am getting emails at Florida for Huckabee from people throughout the great state of Florida. They want to know what is going on and how they can help support Mike Huckabee.

Here are just a few comments I have received:

“I have been a conservative all my voting life and Mike has the distinction of being the first politician I have ever given money to!”

“I think that I have at least 6 other people that want to form a committee in the area.”

“My husband and I were both registered democrats until a couple of weeks ago, we changed our party so that can vote for Mike! Willing and eager to help!”

“I would like to get as involved as possible in Mike's campaign here in Florida. We really believe in his candidacy and want him to win the Sunshine State in his bid for the presidency.”

“I believe that Mike Huckabee is the candidate for conservatives. Add my name to your volunteer list.”

Now it’s your turn to join the grassroots effort to help Gov. Mike Huckabee in Florida. Just email Florida for Huckabee and we’ll keep you in the loop.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Evangelicals Flocking to Huckabee

Here is a post on RedState.com about how social conservatives are now turning their support to Mike Huckabee:

On the heels of an impressive performance at the Family Research Council's Washington Briefing, Mike Huckabee is starting to attract many evangelicals away from Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson now that Huckabee has proven his viability as a candidate. Full Story...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mike Huckabee and Christian Leaders

This Time Magazine article has hit the nail on the head with the baffling relationship between Mike Huckabee and the leaders of the Religious Right.


Huckabee's Bid for the Christian Right
By Amy Sullivan

The conflict has been brewing underneath the surface, but the results of the straw poll at Saturday's Values Voters Summit made it official: the real struggle in the 2008 Republican primaries will be not between Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney or social conservatives and fiscal conservatives but between Christian Right leaders and the conservatives in the pews.

Coming off a heady week of endorsements from heavyweights in the Christian Right world, including Bob Jones III and Don Wilton, former president of the South Carolina Southern Baptist Convention, Mitt Romney technically won the straw poll with 1,585 of the total 5,576 votes cast. But it was former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee who lit up the crowd with a fiery sermon as the last candidate to address the gathering. He took second place, just 30 votes behind Romney. When organizers broke the votes down into those cast online and those of summit attendees, the results revealed a true thrashing. In the tally of those present at the summit, Huckabee swamped his opponents, capturing 50% of the vote. By contrast, Romney was the choice of only 10% of on-site values voters.

The outcome was enough to give a serious scare to the GOP frontrunners. Religious conservatives are disproportionately represented in the Iowa caucuses and Huckabee has recently moved into second place in some Iowa polls. (A Rasmussen poll from Oct. 10-14 showed Huckabee in a tie for second with Fred Thompson, seven points behind Romney.) Huckabee is also benefiting from Kansas Senator Sam Brownback's withdrawal from the race, even though Brownback has not yet endorsed any of the remaining candidates. After his speech at the summit on Saturday, Huckabee told reporters that over the previous 24 hours, his Iowa offices "had a lot of traffic from key players in the Brownback campaign who are coming with us."

Huckabee's strong showing wasn't a complete surprise — he attracted attention in early August when he took second in the Ames straw poll. But that impressive finish wasn't followed by an surge of donations or endorsements. His approximately $1 million take in the third fundraising quarter was the most he has raised so far, yet it was still only one-fifth the amount reported by libertarian long-shot Ron Paul. And he has yet to break through outside of Iowa — in national polls, Huckabee tops out around 7%.

Candidates — especially those mired in the single digits — often compare themselves to David in the biblical battle against Goliath and the Philistines. The implication is usually that second or third-tier candidates are more virtuous because they haven't sold out to become frontrunners. Not surprisingly, the rhetorical appeal has a self-justifying tone that rarely works. But on Saturday, in the hands of Huckabee, a Baptist preacher, the David reference became a rallying cry that resonated with social conservatives.

From the moment he took the stage in the Washington Hilton's International Ballroom, Huckabee was in his element. The Arkansas contingent in the front of the hall went nuts, waving low-tech H-U-C-K-A-B-E-E placards. Unlike the other candidates, Huckabee was greeted by a standing ovation throughout the entire cavernous room. He settled in behind the lectern as if it were a pulpit, greeting the crowd "not as one who comes to you, but as one who comes from you."

When Pat Robertson ran for the Republican nomination in 1988, he went out of his way to downplay his identity as a religious leader, emphasizing instead his television network and other business ventures. Nearly 20 years later, it is impossible to listen to Mike Huckabee without picking up on his background of 15 years as a pastor. Huckabee is fond of saying that he's a "conservative — I'm just not angry about it." His mood is usually that of a perpetually cheery youth pastor who just might grab a guitar and rock out with the praise band if the spirit hits him. (Huckabee does in fact play bass guitar with his band, Capital Offense.) At the Values Voters Summit, however, Huckabee started off with more fire and brimstone than he has displayed thus far in the campaign, hitting all the red-meat conservative issues: Islamo-fascism (ignoring the threat "will get us killed"), immigration ("we need to build a fence") and abortion ("a Holocaust").

All good preachers know to give their congregations some breathing space before heading into the main point of their sermon. Huckabee used that rhythm as well with a story about the early 20th century evangelist Billy Sunday. And then he got down to business. Zinging his opponents, Huckabee said that social conservatives need a candidate who speaks "the language of Zion as a mother tongue." And challenging the Christian Right leaders who are lining up behind Romney and, to a lesser extent, candidates like Fred Thompson, he urged: "Let us not sacrifice our principles for anybody's politics."

Hitting his stride, Huckabee compared himself to "the prophets of old, the ones who spoke truth to power." And he set up an altar call for his audience, letting them know exactly what they could do as well to stand up to the powerful. In what has to be the first ever presidential candidate shout-out to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, Huckabee made his case for the little guy. "It's a lot better to be with David than Goliath," he declared. Or with Elijah than 850 prophets of Baal. Or with Daniel and the lions than the Babylonians. The point was not lost on the crowd of Sunday school veterans: the Bible is, after all, jam-packed with stories of the seemingly weak who triumph, heroes who shock the naysayers.

"Don't ever let expediency or electability replace our principles," Huckabee urged the crowd. "Come on, Mike!" yelled a man in support. "That's right!" shouted out others.

After his speech, Huckabee was asked whether he was concerned about the disconnect between his showings in the straw polls and the unwillingness of Christian Right leaders to support his campaign. He shook his head. "I'll go with that great horde of people whose names nobody knows rather than the folks whose names everybody knows," Huckabee said. "Their votes are still just one."

Before the straw poll closed, Christian Right leaders milled about in the halls of the hotel: Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, who has made pointed positive statements about Thompson; Gary Bauer, who speaks highly of both Thompson and Romney; and the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins, who recently dismissed Huckabee's chances and criticized him for being too soft on foreign policy and immigration. But the summit attendees who leaped to their feet at the close of Huckabee's address streamed past the heavyweights to cast their votes. If religious voters heed Mike Huckabee's call again once the real voting begins, the battle between the purists and pragmatists in the Christian Right may well be settled in Iowa.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

It's About Issues

This is a simple, but great site that really shows the leading Republican candidates for president in their true light.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Recent Coverage of Huckabee Momentum

The Big Five vs. Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs
National Journal – The Hotline
October 23, 2007
“…the GOP field has become a wide open race between five credible contenders: Huckabee, McCain, Giuliani, Romney, and Fred Thompson.”

Mitt Romney's ballot-box stuffing
October 23, 2007
There are now two major polls that put Gov. Mike Huckabee in a 5-to-1 lead among values voters: the Values Voter Presidential Debate and the Values Voter Summit. Among summit attendees, who paid the registration, airfare and accommodations, and actually heard the candidates' speeches, Gov. Huckabee won more votes than all the other candidates combined – including Mitt Romney. Huckabee earned 51 percent of the vote compared to Romney's 10 percent, Fred Thompson's 8 percent and Tom Tancredo's 7 percent.

Take Your Time, Pick Your Candidate
The New York Times
October 23, 2007
Phil Burress, president of the Ohio-based Citizens for Community Values and member of the executive committee of the Arlington Group, declined to talk about the meeting but said he has personally decided to support Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and Baptist minister. Another well-respected Christian conservative leader, Kelly Shackleford, a Texas lawyer, is also expected to come out on behalf of Mr. Huckabee in the coming days.

Underdog Huckabee Outshines GOP Rivals at 'Values' Summit
The Christian Post
October 21, 2007
Republican White House hopeful and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee received 51.26 percent of the onsite votes in the Values Voter Summit’s straw poll compared to onsite runner-up Mitt Romney’s 10.40 percent, according to announcement Saturday.

Huckabee Wins the Hearts of Washington 'Values Voters'
Dr. Tony Beam in The Christian Post Column
October 23, 2007
Dr. Dobson took the podium and used it as an opportunity to remind us what really matters come election day. He recalled the time in 1998 when he stood in front of 400,000 prolife supporters in Washington and vowed that he would never again compromise by voting for someone who was not decidedly and demonstrably prolife. As long as Governor Mike Huckabee is in race thank God we don’t have to compromise. We don’t have to hold our nose and vote. We can march into the voting booth, vote Huckabee, and know beyond the shadow of a doubt that we have stood by the things that matter most.

Competent Conservatism
October 22, 2007
Like most of the Republicans I chatted with, what she's looking for this year is -- above all -- a non-Bushian level of competence. It's that mantle, above all, that the Republican candidates are competing for in states like Florida. And in their vastly different ways, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney and the vastly underrated Mike Huckabee -- the only real contenders now -- have some appeal to these folks on that crucial score. And judging by that same test, the big loser of the weekend was that former great white hope of "common-sense conservatism," Ol' Fred Thompson. His campaign has been an uproarious farce from the get-go, but this weekend in Florida, he just might have managed to shoot himself -- and any chance he might have had of becoming President -- in the foot, once and for all. Thompson's strategy hinged on winning South Carolina and Florida. After this weekend, he'd better make a beeline for Charleston and stay there awhile.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Recap of Presidency IV

Due to personal reasons, I had to leave the Presidency IV event a little early and apologize for not covering the event as thoroughly as I had hoped.

For those of you who attended Presidency IV and wondered why Gov. Huckabee was not present at the candidate rally Saturday and why the campaign was not present with stickers, etc, let me offer this explanation. The Republican Party of Florida was charging each candidate $100,000 to participate ($250,000 after a certain deadline!). For better or worse, this was a money grab for the state party and Gov. Huckabee’s campaign had to make a difficult, yet wise, budgetary decision. While obviously the governor participated in the Fox News debate, the Republican Party of Florida would not permit him to actively campaign during the rest of the weekend events. I know I spoke with many people who were disappointed that Gov. Huckabee did not have a presence so I wanted to offer that explanation.

Just for comparison, Fred Thompson did “pay to play” this weekend and brought great disappointment to his Florida supporters. Each candidate was allotted 20 minutes to speak to the crowd, show a video and work the audience. After a short intro video, Thompson only spoke for 4 minutes, 37 seconds. As the Orlando Sentinel political blog points out, this means Thompson paid $22,000 per minute for his brief presentation to the crowd of Republican activists.

(I was there for his speech…it was really bizarre. After walking on stage with his wife Jeri and she exits stage rear, Fred opened his speech with his already-used line, “Don’t you think she will make a better looking first lady that Bill Clinton.” I mean, I can’t believe his handlers are not advising him against that phrase. It had an affect only the first time he used it and it received press coverage and now every time his says it I believe it plays into the impression that he has a young trophy wife…wouldn’t she look gorgeous in the White House, ha ha. So then he starts rambling off some lines thanking the crowd for hanging around to listen to all these politicians…we sure have a lot of issues to work on…I read Conscience of a Conservative when I was young so I am the most conservative candidate, etc. Before I knew it he gave a semi-strong applause line and then walked off stage. Everyone kind of paused, then clapped a little, then the music started playing and people clapped a little more. Finally, after maybe 15 or 20 seconds, Fred walks back on stage and then down into the crowd to shake hands. Like former state chairwoman Carole Jean Jordan said, “Thompson “appeared to be a reluctant candidate.”)

The prayer breakfast Sunday morning was good. Among the speakers were Mark Merrill from Family First in Tampa, Sen. Mike Fasano and a Jewish rabbi from Tallahassee. Prior to the breakfast I stood outside as people entered and simply greeted them and smiled (with my Mike Huckabee button prominently displayed). Many people stopped to ask about the governor and when he would be onsite.

While driving home Sunday night, my wife balanced the laptop in the passenger seat of our van and we were able to listen to most of the debate online at Foxnews.com. As I told many participants earlier this weekend, just wait until the debate and Gov. Huckabee will bring down the house. Gov. Huckabee did not disappoint. There is great coverage of the Orlando debate on the Mike Huckabee campaign site.

I think Florida Republicans are now waking up to the fact that they do have another viable option in Gov. Mike Huckabee. My humble political assessment is that in Florida, Thompson will start to decline and Huckabee and Romney will rise and compete to challenge Rudy's lead.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Rudy Rally

I just heard Mayor Giuliani speak. He is a good communicator now. He has been coached well because I heard him speak at a political rally back in 2004 and I almost fell asleep.

Social Conservatives Now Clearly Split between Huckabee and Romney

In a nail biter out of DC, the onsite participants and online voters in the Washington Briefing voted for Huckabee and Romney overwhelmingly in the straw poll. Gov. Romney captured 27.6% of the vote while Gov. Huckabee claimed 27.1% - a virtual tie.

Ron Paul came in a distant 3rd with 14.9% of the vote followed by Sen. Fred Thompson with only 9.8% and then Undecided with 5.7%. CLICK HERE for the full results.

This is really bad news for Fred Thompson.

Of possibly more significance, Gov. Huckabee won 51.3% of the votes from the people who were actually at the event and heard the candidates speak.

…Back here in Orlando, Mayor Giuliani just walked by me while I am sitting here blogging. He waved. I took out my Huckabee bumper sticker and set it so he can see it when he walks back by. :) Oh, and the good mayor received 1.8% from the value voters in that same Washington Briefing poll.

Undecided Voters Abound

My initial impression here at Presidency IV is that Florida is very much in play.

So many people have come up to me and noticed my Huckabee button and asked, “Where can I get one of those?” People tell me that they really like Gov. Huckabee and are open to supporting him (even if they are currently committed to another candidate.)

Bottom line, people are still searching and that gives Gov Huckabee an open door to win their hearts over tomorrow night during the Fox debate.

Presidency IV Begins

I am sitting here in the lobby of the Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando and people are arriving for Presidency IV.

Also I am listening to Rudy Giuliani speak online at the Washington Briefing. He is touting his good work of reducing prostitution and pornography while he was mayor of New York. He is telling this crowd of social conservatives that people of faith need to have a voice in the process. He is inviting these people of faith to stay involved and be engaged. How patronizing. (I will give Rudy credit for showing up, but Christians need to recognize his views on gay rights and abortion are the same as Hillary Clinton.)

At 11:30 all the events here begin with the Governor’s luncheon. I will try to give am update this afternoon sometime.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Mike Huckabee, Of Course

My wife and I were having a conversation in the kitchen the other night about the how things were going with the presidential race. We were talking about several of the candidates, why Mike Huckabee is the obvious choice, why 18% of Iowa Republicans now agree and why more social conservative leaders were not taking a principled stand to support Mike Huckabee.

All of a sudden my 5 year old daughter who was coloring at the table blurts out, “What are you talking about?”

I kind of paused and grinned, knowing the complexity and dynamics of a presidential campaign would be far too grandiose for my little girl to grasp. So I simply replied, “We’ll baby, mommy and I are just talking about the man that we want to be the next president.”

To which my future political analyst replied: “And of course that would be, Mike Huckabee!” :)

We leave for Orlando tomorrow...live blog reports from Presidency IV coming soon.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

5 Days - Presidency IV

My credentials to Presidency IV came by Fed Ex yesterday! I am getting more and more excited as the weekend approaches. Governor Huckabee is going to have a one-two punch into the Republican field this weekend by winning over the Value Voters again up at the Washington Briefing in DC and then winning the Presidential Debate on FOX News from Orlando Sunday night.

And, I learned alos that the American Family Association will be broadcasting the Washington Briefing HERE. So now those of us at Presidency IV can still plug into the events in DC. If you have not had a chance to vote for Gov. Huckabee in the American Values Straw Poll please go do that now: CLICK HERE.

What a great weekend this is going to be – for Florida, for Social Conservatives and for Gov. Huckabee’s campaign!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Presidency IV now only 12 days away in Orlando

The eyes of the nation will focus on Florida October 20-21 as the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) hosts Presidency IV. This historic event will bring together the Republican presidential candidates in the all-important battleground state of Florida.

The schedule of events for the weekend includes candidate rallies, receptions for both the Federation of Black Republicans and the National Hispanic Association, a prayer breakfast, and a reception for the RPOF Jewish Advisory Council. It will all culminate in the Presidential Debate scheduled for Sunday night on FOX news. This will be another incredible opportunity for Gov. Mike Huckabee to outshine all the rest of the candidates for the Republican nomination.

Florida for Huckabee first confirmed Gov. Huckabee’s attendance at Presidency IV in an exclusive interview on May 29th. Here is a little of what Gov. Huckabee told us then: “I expect to do very well in Iowa and New Hampshire and ride that momentum into Florida. Then I expect to do really well here and, having shown strength in a big state, carry that into the Super Primary. So Florida will be a very important part of our overall strategy. As an authentic, consistent conservative with executive experience, I have a message that resonates with Florida's Republicans”

You can look forward to some live blogging from Presidency IV on Florida for Huckabee.

That upcoming weekend in October will prove to be decisive in the Republican primary because coinciding with Presidency IV in Florida is the Washington Briefing in DC. Sponsored by the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family Action, the Washington Briefing is a gathering of who’s who in the social conservative movement. They will come together and cast votes in yet another Straw Poll. So the candidates will be bouncing back and force between Orlando and DC on this upcoming power-packed weekend. And I believe it may be the moment that we see Gov. Huckabee step onto the national stage in a way we have not seen before.