Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Live Blogging The Huckabee Blogger Conference Call

Actually, we're just kidding about the "live blogging" part.

We believe "live blogging" is just about the stupidest way to report anything - "Candidate X is walking over to us... Candidate X is continuing to come this way... Candidate X is holding out his hand towards us... Candidate X... Ah... Candidate X walked right past us and shook the hand of the guy standing next to us... Ah..."

Get it?

Now, how well do you think "live blogging" works when it comes to disseminating complicated ideas from a dynamic environment full of competing ideas?


Take a breath Bloggers. Now take another one. You do your readers justice that way.

(Crib Note: Sometimes we think a majority part of the Gang of 500 "live blogged" their way through the run-up to the Iraq War. But that's another story for another day).

But back to the Governor Huckabee and his conference call with Bloggers that we just finished up (but no "live blogging").

On the call the former Southern Fat Boy sure didn't sound like a candidate who is mired in the 2nd tier (money and polling). He was articulate, upbeat and cheerful. As usual.

And why shouldn't he be? There are 4 solid months till the Ames Straw Poll. Huck's got sterling conservative credentials (a former Baptist Minister and, to take just one tiny example from his days as Arkansas Governor, was the first Governor in the history of the United States to put a Home School parent on the Arkansas state school board).

Sterling. Conservative. Credentials.

Crib Note: We're not even going to dignify the Club For Growth, an organization that helped bring us this, attacking Huckabee's decision to LISTEN to 80% of the Arkansas electorate and (modestly) raise gas taxes to improve the state's infrastructure.

Dividend paying infrastructure ain't free. Besides, we'll take 80% of a state's electorate telling us what THEY want THEIR Governor to do with THEIR tax dollars over some inside-the-beltway organization who (really truly, truly really) believes we can grow ourselves out of this.

Sure we can boys. We'll see you at the bar at The Palm.

And yes, we do like Huckabee. A lot. Its hard not to. Next to John McCain, we feel that Mike Huckabee is probably the most authentic candidate currently in the 2008 race.

But what does that mean?

Authenticity might go a long way with us but it's not worth a bucket of warm spit if it's not backed up with a campaign organization that can get things done on the ground.

In Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina to start.

We can speak to Huck's New Hampshire organization - it seems like its coming together nicely. Everything we've heard while dining (drinking) our way from one end of the Elm Street information pipeline to the other makes it sound as though Debra Vanderbeek is getting Huckabee's soldiers lined up.

Authenticity backed up by field soldiers is a good thing to have for New Hampshire campaigns. And, we look forward to getting an up-close look when Huckabee comes back to the Granite State next week.

But Governor Huck also used the Blogger conference call to let everyone know that he's getting it done (organizationally) in Iowa as well.

Which is why Huck's Iowa campaign organizer, Bob Vander Plaats, was on the conference call to discuss their Iowa operation.

We don't know a darn thing about Iowa. Not. One. Darn. Thing.

But Vander Plaats did say that Team Huckabee has a 99 County grassroots organization based on "life, marriage and the 2nd Amendment" up and running. That sounds good.

Vander Plaats also told we Bloggers that Huckabee's reputation in Iowa is that of "the Main Street Candidate" (as opposed to the Wall Street or K Street candidate). That sounds good to.

Finally, Vander Plaats told us that it was his firm belief that Huckabee would do "extremely well" in the August 11 straw poll. That sounds great (if it's true). And, Huck needs to OWN that straw poll.

Like we said earlier, our opinion of Mike Huckabee isn't worth a bucket of spit - unless he's got the campaign organization to back it up. Time will tell.

In the meantime, Vanderbeek and Vander Plaats might want to talk to the (former?) supporters of this candidate.

We're just saying.