During the year prior to December of 1776, Washington's army had suffered a number of losses at the hands of against the British and their Hessian mercenaries. Though they believed fiercely in the cause of American Liberty, they simply didn't have the resources to make significant headway against the crown. To quote the website of the Washington Crossing Historic Park; "Enlistments were down, desertion was high, and monies from Congress were unavailable."
Seeing a chance for victory on that Christmas night of 1776, Washington and his men marched on (many of them with rag-wrapped feet) across the frozen ground and into the boats. Battling the elements, the enemy troops, and their own instinct for survival , Washington and those American Patriots won the battle at Trenton.
Their victory was a signal to those who previously hesitated to join in what they feared was a hopeless fight; that Liberty was in sight and this was a war that could be won! As a result, the ranks of Washington's army swelled. And though there was still a long hard road ahead, they fought on to win Freedom for the American colonies, and to forge this great nation of ours.
So how does this relate to Mike Huckabee?
Until recently, many failed to see Huckabee as a "top tier" candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. For the major media outlets, it seemed fiscal conservatism, the war with Islamic Fascists, and possibly protecting our borders were the only issues deemed relevant. In those areas, there appears to be little difference among the top fund-raisers, or any of the candidates for that matter excepting one who should really be running as a Libertarian.
It seemed as if fund-raising itself was the primary issue with which the media was really concerned. When they spoke of Mike Huckabee at all, many conceded that he was an excellent speaker and acknowledged his well rounded conservative credentials, but insisted he really couldn't win; frankly for no other reason than because (in their eyes at least) he hadn't been winning. Still Huckabee pressed on, bit by bit gaining supporters in mind if not in wallet.
Then came Christmas! Not that it came by any means as a gift, wrapped up in a bow. Rather, like the circumstances presented Washington and his men on that Christmas night of determination, there came a window of opportunity for Mike Huckabee to show his mettle.
- In Late September, Dr. James Dobson revealed that some politically active evangelicals were prepared to mount a third-party effort, if Republicans nominated a social liberal. This started gaining attention in early-mid October. Huckabee's response was to stand for both social conservatism and unity. While he did suggest that those with such concerns should more actively back his nomination; he said would not seek nor accept a third party invitation, regardless of the Republican outcome. While not directly affecting the Huckabee campaign, this seems to have significantly increased media attention given to the Oct 19-21 Values Voter Summit.
- October 18: Respected Kansas Senator Sam Brownback ended his presidential bid, citing lack of support. One reason Huckabee was seen as the likely beneficiary of this decision: Of the three consistent social conservatives, the Iowa straw poll results showed Brownback behind Huckabee and ahead of Duncan Hunter.
- October 2o: Results of the Values Voters Straw Poll (held online in conjunction with the FRC Action's 2nd Annual Washington Breifing) showed Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney nearly tied, but far ahead of the rest of the pack. Romney finished first at 27.62% to Huckabee's 27.10% second, with NYC golden child Rudy Giuliani finishing eighth at 1.85% among these representative of the voting block credited as the deciding factor in keeping the White House Republican in 2004.
- Mike Huckabee's stellar speech at the Values Voter Summit results in a stunning victory in the on-site polling. Huckabee received 51.26% to Romney's 10.40% second place among those who were actually there to hear the candidates speak. His speech covered not only the expected Values Voter issues of Sanctity of Life, Sanctity of Marriage, and Freedom of Religious Speech. It also covered defeating Islamofacism, fiscal discipline, national sovereignty (including border security), energy independence, and a host of other issues of interest to conservatives. YouTube videos of part1, part2, and part3 (along with various smaller segments from the speech), show thousands of hits each; indicating that the impact of this speech continues to make itself felt among an increasing audience.
- Huckabee had another impressive showing at the Republican debate on FoxNews, Oct 21; where after talking with his focus group, Frank Lutz said “Mike Huckabee had a very good night at this debate - even without a lot of time to talk”. Huckabee also finished second in a FoxNews text-poll following the debate. Though unscientific, the poll results still indicated a significant increase regarding interest in Huckabee.
- Glenn Beck, in his self-described process of "looking for somebody I can vote for", had an hour-long interview with Mike Huckabee, the same weekend.
- Oct-17 Newsweek: Expertinent: A Huckabee 'Surge in' Iowa?
- Oct-19 NY Times: From the Back of the Pack
- Oct-21 WorldNetDaily: My choice for President (by Chuck Norris)
- Oct-22 Concord Monitor: Voters should get to know Huckabee
- Oct-22 Newsweek: The Case for Huckabee (Jonathan Alter)
- Oct-25 Redstate: Evangelicals Flocking To Mike Huckabee
- Oct-30 Des Moines Register: Yepsen: Positive, Reagan-like spirit spurs Huckabee's rise
One of the best published examples of what seems to now be happening comes from the October 25th endorsement of Mike Huckabee from the evangelical outpost, by Joe Carter (with Matthew Anderson and Justin Taylor):
"For several months we have admired the scrappy campaign of Gov. Huckabee but believed it would be a wasted effort to support him with our time, energy, and finances. We bought into the notion that he could never get the GOP nomination since conservative voters would not support him. And the reason we were told conservative voters would never support him is because he could not get the nomination. To quote John Piper (from a different context), 'It’s like the army being defeated because there aren’t enough troops, and the troops won’t sign up because the army’s being defeated.' We can no longer sit idly by and allow the campaign of a worthy candidate and an honorable man to flounder for lack of support. ... Our army may go down in defeat, but it won't be because we refused to enlist in this worthy cause."
There is much more to that endorsement, and I highly recommend it.
Since Oct-25, Mike Huckabee has been rated in double digits in the Rasmussen Daily Presidential Tracking Poll, and has spent 4 of those 6 days ahead of Mitt Romney. His schedule for the next week looks like a who's-who of TV/Cable News, including (in chronological order) "Good Morning America", "Situation Room" with Wolf Blitzer, Neil Cavuto, Bill O'Reilly (who apparently promised Dick Morris a steak dinner if Huckabee ever broke 10% in the polls), "Hannity and Colmes", Charlie Rose, and others.
To cap it all off; Cash (the lack of which past commentators have gleefully bemoaned) seems to finally be rolling into the Huckabee campaign coffers. The increase in people saying "I Like Mike" with their wallets has accelerated too such a degree since mid-October; that Huckabee's online fundraising is poised* to end October having garnered more contributions during that one month than in all of Q3!
Getting over a Million Dollars in one month still won't give Mike the biggest bank in the race. But with the results he's been getting from his previously small budget campaign; this is sure to be giving people in the other campaigns on both sides some sleepless nights.
Mike Huckabee is by no means a sure thing. There are other candidates that some (including social liberals, open borders globalists, and the peace at any cost crowd) might find more attractive. My advise is to support the candidate who both proclaims and has a history of fighting for the values in which you believe. If that candidate is Mike Huckabee, you can no longer use the excuse that "he can't win"; because without question - Mike Huckabee has crossed the Delaware!
*[Update: as of Wednesday morning, Oct 31; "is poised to" can be changed to "will". Not only has this been done in one month, but the vast majority has been raised within the last week of the month!]