Thursday, December 27, 2007
Matt Lewis (Townhall blog) has provided a fair and accurate summary of the current Republican race for the nomination, click HERE. From an objective perspective, he is spot on. That being said, given certain internal dynamics, I am convinced that Mitt Romney (who most controls his future according Matt) will carry the day in Iowa and New Hampshire, and on to the nomination.
An interesting post from Jeff Fuller at Iowans for Romney, which lends credence to Romney's strength in Iowa and his likely victory!
Monday, December 24, 2007
Even so, it's all about building dynamic leadership teams that can address the challenges we face as a nation, drawing strength and direction from the values and principles of the President, and recognizing that no one President is able to do what needs to be done alone. Hence, the call of Leadership, to govern with vision, principles of success, ethics, communication and capacity.
An interesting comparative -
Mitt Romney - Governor Romney's history provides a significant perspective on building dynamic leadership teams, whether in private and philanthropic enterprises or public service. His successes in business are legendary, and the teams he led for 25 years to turnaround innumerable and significant business are supportive of his candidacy, with little if any exception. His success in bringing together the needed leadership resources to turnaround the 2002 Olympics, is equally legendary. And, again, those whom he led in this endeavor support his candidacy, with little if any exception. And, as Governor of Massachusetts, he brought together critical resources to turnaround the Commonwealth, and those whom he led in this endeavor support his candidacy, with little if any exception. After 40 years of experience in business, philanthropy and government, Mitt Romney has built, with breadth, key and critical resources to lead important initiatives for change. They stand with him today, a statement that no other candidate can make who is running for the office of POTUS. What is of further interest; after 40 years the one thing that can be said of Governor Romney, is that he is a man of integrity, high moral standards and ethics, a man of great character. He has led with principles of honor and success, and without compromise to his ethics and integrity. Mitt Romney brings in the best and brightest to make a difference. Why is it that the Democrats are more opposed to, and critical of Governor Romney than any other Republican candidate?
Mike Huckabee - We can look to Governor Huckabee's 10 1/2 years in Arkansas to see how well he governed and built effective teams to bring critical and needed changes for Arkansans. Amid innumerable ethics charges and violations, compromises to Governor Huckabee personal integrity (questionable compensation outside of his gubernatorial position), and lack of support from his Republican constituency, it appears that his leadership in Arkansas was significantly lacking. I can understand as a Republican Governor that the Democratic leadership and biased media in Arkansas would be opposed to Governor Huckabee's Presidential candidacy, as it would speak to his principled leadership as a Republican. But, when Governor Huckabee's strongest opponents are the Republican leadership in Arkansas, it speaks volumes to the lack of leadership. It is also illustrative that he has been a rogue in the Republican Party, without engendering needed support. What greater illustration is there of failing to build dynamic leadership teams within the principles that he stands for? Mike Huckabee brings in those who make him feel good and lift him up.
Rudy Giuliani - We have a great opportunity to look at the capacities of Mayor Giuliani, and with whom he chose to bring into his leadership teams. It is apparent that he surrounded himself with those he trusted most; Bernard Kerik comes to mind. To his credit, he and his team accomplished a lot in his mayoral reign. The question one must ask, is at what cost? Surely, ethics were challenged, principles of integrity were questioned, and he surely didn't engender the support of his constituency in his dictatorial approach ('my way or the highway'). It was more about Rudy than it was about his team; why else was Commissioner Bratten dismissed as Police Commissioner. Looking beyond his crisis management of 9/11, the precedence established in his leadership was one of a dictatorial and conflicted reign where his constituency of New York City held him in low esteem. If his leadership were held in high esteem by his NYC colleagues, it would be self evident in the depth of his team, which is principally a small group held tightly in Giuliani Partners. Rudy Giuliani brings in those who honor him.
John McCain - Without any history of leading or governing, only legislating, Senator McCain is an unknown quantity and it is difficult to know who he might engage on his team. We do know who he has invited into the inner sanctum of his campaign, initially, subsequently and currently. Senator McCain has had anything but constancy of leadership within his campaign, nor has he been able to lead with confidence, evidenced by the rampant spending and misplaced trust in his campaign leadership. What is certain is that he is without needed leadership/governing experience, specific to being POTUS. However, John McCain would bring in those who would stand with him in defense of America, but would not challenge his positions.
Fred Thompson - Without any history of leading or governing, only legislating, Mr. Thompson is an unknown quantity and it is difficult to know who he might engage on his team. We can look to his Presidential campaign for a glimpse into his ability to lead a dynamic team for an intended purpose. The fits and starts and lethargy of his campaign are good indicators of his leadership. Mr. Thompson has not had any consistency in his campaign leadership, notwithstanding his claim of being the consistent conservative. Another indicator his resident in his decisiveness (how long did it take him to commit to run?) What is certain is that he is without needed experience in leadership. It is hard to know who Fred Thompson would call on.
Duncan Hunter - Without any history of leading or governing, only legislating, Mr. Hunter is an unknown quantity and it is difficult to know who he might engage on his team. What is certain is that he is without needed experience in leadership.
Ron Paul - Without any history of leading or governing, only legislating, Dr. Paul is an unknown quantity and it is difficult to know who he might engage on his team. What is certain is that he is without needed experience in leadership.
Hillary Clinton - Without any history of leading or governing, only legislating, Senator Clinton is an unknown quantity and it is difficult to know who she might engage on her team. What is certain is that she would hope to resurrect the Bill Clinton team to govern, a team fraught with ethics and integrity challenges. That presupposes she could garner their support, as most have been in opposition to the Clinton's since they left the administration, in fact many are supportive of Barack Obama. For certain, having never led any enterprise, she is without needed experience in leadership. An interesting study would be to list all who have worked with, or served with Bill and Hillary Clinton, and pose the question, do they support them today? A long list to cull through, but a very short list of those still supportive. I suppose we can count Sandy Berger among the supporters.
Barack Obama - Without any history of leading or governing, only legislating, Senator Obama is an unknown quantity and it is difficult to know who he might engage on his team. He is a man of character and honesty, but to what end. He has recently surrounded himself with many who were associated with Bill Clinton. That doesn't speak well to principles of integrity and ethics. What is certain is that he has never led an organization and is ill-equipped to do so, being without needed experience in leadership.
John Edwards - Without any history of leading or governing, only legislating, Mr. Edwards is an unknown quantity and it is difficult to know who he might engage on his team. What is certain is that he is without needed experience in leadership.
Bill Richardson - As a Governor, we can observe and study his successes and failures in New Mexico. We can further look to his experience in leadership elsewhere. Governor Richardson is by far the Democratic candidate with the deepest leadership experience. Notwithstanding his leadership experience, he has not been able to build deep resourced teams to govern New Mexico. Given limited resources and challenged policies, it is hard to give credence to his candidacy.
Joe Biden - Without any history of leading or governing, only legislating, Senator Biden is an unknown quantity and it is difficult to know who he might engage on his team. What is certain is that he is without needed experience in leadership.
Christopher Dodd - Without any history of leading or governing, only legislating, Senator Dodd is an unknown quantity and it is difficult to know who he might engage on his team. What is certain is that he is without needed experience in leadership.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Huckabee reminds me too much of Jimmy Carter -
-Lack of serious judgment and perspective with regard to America's role in the World
-Misapplication of Biblical teachings to foreign policy
-Jimmy Carter, in his inaction in Iran, helped foster the radical jihadists that we face today
-Misapplication of Biblical teachings to the criminal element of society
-1,033 pardons and commutations
-Huckabee's failure to understand the principles of justice and mercy
-Has played the Religion Card
-Huckabee is more obvious than Carter
-Governor of small state with little experience
-Prideful in political positions and easily offended, unteachable
-Ignorant to economic dynamics
-Simple-minded, unable and unwilling to apply needed analytics to complex problems
-Arrogant and condescending when speaking of issues to the American People or contemporaries
No Laughing Matter: A serious look at Gov. Mike Huckabee's record and policy beyond the one-liners.
- Gov. Mike Huckabee: "And the ultimate thing is, I may not be the expert that some people are on foreign policy, but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night." (WABC Radio's "Imus In The Morning," 12/4/07)
- National Review: "The Holiday Inn Express Candidate." "In sum, conservatives should have worries about the depth and soundness of Mike Huckabee’s foreign-policy views. And staying at a Holiday Inn Express is not going to be enough to allay them." (Editorial, "The
HolidayInn Express Candidate," National Review, 12/10/07)
"Huckabee did give a long speech on foreign policy at [CSIS]… It combined a superficial rendering of conventional foreign-policy wisdom — which of course included many unfair criticisms of President Bush — with Huckabee's inimitable folksy delivery. … Huckabee's views are the uneven grab bag to be expected from someone who hasn't thought much about foreign policy." – National Review (Editorial, "The
Gov. Huckabee's Foreign Affairs Essay Closely Mirrors A Speech He Gave In September 2007:
Gov. Huckabee: "This Administration's Bunker Mentality Has Been Counterproductive, Both At Home And Abroad." GOV. MIKE HUCKABEE: "Well, let me begin by saying that to say that American foreign policy needs a change in tone or attitude, or an opening up and reaching out, is [as] obvious as saying that O.J. Simpson might've had a bad month. This Administration's bunker mentality has been counterproductive, both at home and abroad. They've done a poor job of communicating and consulting with other countries, just as they have, frankly, with the American people." (Gov. Mike Huckabee, Remarks To The Center For Strategic And International Studies,
- Foreign Affairs As Playground Politics. GOV. HUCKABEE: "There's a sense in which our situation with prestige in the world is a great deal like many of us experienced as a child growing up in a neighborhood where there was one kid, one kid who was just exceptional at everything he did. He made A's, and never anything else; he could run faster; he could jump higher; he could throw the ball further; he never struck out. You know the kid; I hope you weren't that kid." (Gov. Mike Huckabee, Remarks To The Center For Strategic And International Studies,
, D.C., 9/28/07) Washington
Gov. Huckabee: "Full Diplomatic Relations" With
- Diplomacy With
Is Like A Fight With Your Sister. GOV. HUCKABEE: "We haven't had diplomatic relationships with Iran in almost 30 years, most of my entire adult life, and a lot of good it's done. Putting this in human terms, all of us know that when we stop talking to a parent, or a sibling, or even a friend, it's impossible to resolve the differences to move that relationship forward. Well, the same is true for countries." (Gov. Mike Huckabee, Remarks To The Center For Strategic And International Studies, Iran , D.C., 9/28/07) Washington
Gov. Huckabee: An Embassy In
Gov. Mike Huckabee: "And When President Bush Included
Gov. Mike Huckabee: "I Know That We Cannot Live With Al Qaeda, But There Is A Chance We Can Live With A Domesticated
Gov. Huckabee: Bin Laden Is "Protected Indirectly By The Pakistani Government." GOV. HUCKABEE: "Now, while our failure to engage
Gov. Huckabee: The War In
Gov. Huckabee: By Supporting
- Gov. Huckabee: "I Would Prefer To Skip The Next Attack And The Exasperated Fury That It Will Rightly Generate And Cut To The Chase By Going After Al Qaeda's Safe Haven In
." (Gov. Mike Huckabee, Remarks To The Center For Strategic And International Studies, Pakistan , D.C., 9/28/07) Washington
Saturday, December 15, 2007
What is it going to take for the people of Iowa and America to realize the lack of substance and true character of Mike Huckabee?
Recent issues, articles and commentaries reflecting or reviewing Mr. Huckabee's positions, comments and experience as Governor raise the specter of concern, some of the substance of which are highlighted below -
1. Multiple ethics charges of which some are listed below ("where there is smoke there is usually fire"):
- Campaign Cash - failure to report income and reimbursements
-Action America - failure to disclose income and reimbursements
-Gifts - accepted gifts above legal limits ($130,000)
-Governor's Mansion - personalized government funds and claimed government property as his
-Computer Drives - destruction of government property
-Theology Degree - embellishment/misstatement of resume
Commentary: There is never a time when anyone, yet alone the leader of the free world, should sully the themselves and/or those that they represent with dishonesty and the situational ethical standards of society. Be Truthful in all things. The President of the United States should live to the highest standards of ethics. As a side note, this reminds me too much of the Clinton White House; business as usual in Arkansas.
2. Clintonian responses
-To ethics charges he claimed that the Arkansas Democrats conspired (Hillary's right wing conspiracies)
-Claiming ignorance and innocence to his knowledge of LDS doctrine when he led discussions for the Southern Baptist Convention on LDS doctrine
Commentary: See commentary above
-To the resume claim above, he says it was insignificant and inconsequential to misstate even though it was a qualifier for his foreign policy experience with the radical jihad
-Claims of educational successes that lead the nation when in fact Arkansas was in the bottom half of all States
Commentary: If Huckabee cannot speak truthfully now, when will he? The true character of a man is evidenced when facing challenges. In the midst of Mr. Huckabee's campaign challenges he stretches truth and qualifies answers beyond the pale.
4. Soft of Criminals
-Pardoned criminals and commuted sentences over 1,000 times (more than 3 of his predecessors combined)
-Wayne DuMond (need we say more?)
Commentary: Now, and not ever, is the time to be soft on criminals. Applying scriptural compassion above the laws and judgments of the land are inappropriate. Applying scriptural compassion in our lives in dealing with others is required. There is a distinguishing characteristic in separating the role of church and state in the US.
5. Soft on Illegal Immigration
-Resident discounts and scholarships for illegal immigrant students
Commentary: Now is the time to stand firm and enforce immigration laws as a matter of National Security and not create magnets for illegal immigration. He didn't do it in Arkansas, why would he do it now. He even called for lifting the Cuban embargo, I mean really?
-Significantly increased the tax burden of Arkansas citizens while claiming 93 tax cuts (see commentaries below)
Commentary: Without intending to diminish Mr. Huckabee's education, competency and capacity, our nation faces critical and serious economic issues, and to trust our economy to a man whose education and work experience has been limited to religion and a population of 2.7 million people is frightening, especially with more qualified candidates in the running. Mr. Huckabee's blind advocacy of the Fair Tax should illustrate the point. It isn't that we don't need fairer and flatter taxes, but to accept without equivocation the Fair Tax is folly.
7. Trite and humorous phrases and responses to queries (there is a place for humor, but not all the time and in things)
-"I may not be the expert as some people on foreign policy, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night." -"Before we put boots on the ground elsewhere, we had better have wingtips there first."
Commentary - Rarely have I heard Mike Huckabee state anypoint without some cutesy phrase, even when discussing serious matters such as foreign policy, the war in Iraq, the economy, etc. He reminds me of Chance, a character played by Peter Sellers in the movie "Being There." Chance was an unintelligent individual that remembered and applied short phrases from the TV. People perceived him to be intelligent and insightful and promoted him in Washington with his "simple brand of wisdom." As is Chance, so is Mike Huckabee.
8. Religion and its Role in the Presidency
-Mike Huckabee has played the Religion Card as his qualifier for office and governance.
Commentary - Mitt Romney framed the role of Religion in America in his Faith in America Address. Mike was not listening, and has taken a divisive approach.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Even so, once spoken words become indelible. As Joseph Kennedy sought to smear the LDS Church and Governor Romney in the 1994 Senate Campaign, of which Senator Ted Kennedy later apologized, the indelible nature of the spoken word achieved its purpose to negatively impact the Romney Senate Campaign. Mike Huckabee had his Joseph and Ted Kennedy moment, words become indelible and reveal a duplicitous and conniving nature; he achieved his purpose. Not that Mike Huckabee's attack will stick, in fact I believe it will ultimately prove to his detriment, it reveals a point of character. Conjunctive with innumerable ethics violations and/or charges against Mr. Huckabee in Arkansas, and given his proclivity to Clintonian answers to questions when challenged on misstatements, the essence of the argument goes to Trust, Honesty and Integrity.
On a further note, Governor Huckabee speaks of this experience as the CEO of a State for 10 1/2 years, more executive experience than any other candidate on the Republican slate. As he stated in yesterday's debate, he was the steward of Arkansas' educational successes which led the nation. In both cases, exception must be noted; Arkansas rank in the bottom half of State educational successes, where Massachusetts ranked first. Governor Huckabee did serve as Governor of Arkansas for 10 1/2 years, a state with a current population of 2.7 million people. I suppose his experience, comparable to that of the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors of Orange County, California is CEO experience, but is it more substantive than that of Rudy Giuliani, or Governor Romney? Governor Romney has led as CEO, private companies, the Olympics and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (population 6.4 million) for the past 30+ years vs the claims of Mike Huckabee. Again, the proclivity of hyperbole by Mike Huckabee goes to the character trait of Trust, Honesty and Integrity.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Today Mitt Romney ran an Ad in Iowa (kindly, I might add) comparing his immigration policies as Governor of Massachusetts with Mike Huckabee's immigration policies as Governor of Arkansas. A fair comparative, and done with respect. Governor Romney didn't use grainy pictures of Mr. Huckabee, or unkind words/interpretations, but written facts. He was even complimentary of Mike Huckabee's personal character. Some blasted the ad as the first negative ad in Iowa, but how else can you compare policy issues without looking at the facts. I appreciate the candor and respect.
Governor Romney has sought to frame the Republican campaign for President in competency, policy and integrity, and vision, attempting to keep the dialog on issues, principles and the differences between the respective Republican candidates; it is about the future of America. Last week he elevated the dialog by framing the role of faith, values and religion in the Presidential race, reaffirming the critical importance of faith and pluralism of religion in America; that no one religious belief shall govern or dictate our political landscape, but that a symphony of faith assures strength, freedom and resolve in preserving America as the hope of the world. With a clarion call, Governor Romney sought to frame the leadership in our Society, as it should be, governed by faith and values, and acknowledgment of God in our liberty, and not by any specific religious sect. Leadership demands the seeking of knowledge, truth and understanding before action or words that can harm, demean and destroy. Leadership should unify and inspire, leadership should engender feelings of patriotism and brotherhood for a common cause or principle. Leadership was self evident in Governor Romney's Faith in America address.
Unfortunately, Governor Huckabee wasn't listening. Rather than evidence leadership and character in pursuit of the nomination, he has let his thin skin and quick temper get the better of him. Governor Huckabee has evidenced his guile and duplicity in both word and deed. This Sunday Governor Huckabee is being quoted in the New York Times as having made an inappropriate and inaccurate query with regard to certain doctrinal beliefs of the LDS Church and Governor Romney. His purpose in this query was to ignore the framing of religion in politics and America presented by Governor Romney last week. In fact, Governor Huckabee has sought to demean and smear those of the LDS faith, and specifically Governor Romney by publicly delving into doctrinal matters without foundation, and promoting and taking the typical approach of the ignorant Anti-Mormon bigotry that exists in a small minority of society. He has shown his true self by this public display of ignorance and spite, thus furthering his religiously divisive agenda on the American people. More importantly, he has illustrated with clarity his incapacity for leadership in that which matters most in our society today, to unite all Americans in a common cause and purpose. I struggle in my observations, for under Governor Huckabee's affability is an unkind, mean spirited and prideful soul. My judgments are not to condemn Governor Huckabee, but to call him out for what he truly exhibits in his behavior. My hope is that he can and will change, and that the campaign for the Republican nomination can return to the debate of principles and unity in purpose for the cause freedom and liberty, for a strong economy, a strong military and strong families, even a stronger America.
Here is the link to Governor Huckabee's comments.
Monday, December 10, 2007
I think it is an interesting comparative when listening to Mitt's address and viewing Mike Huckabee's ad with specific reference to his "Christian Leadership." The unifying message of Romney vs the divisive message of Huckabee. It is one thing to be a man or woman of faith, it is another create divisiveness because of religion. All candidates running for office, Democratic or Republican are Christians. Some may be more faithful in their devotions than others, but isn't life's test one that we are all enduring? See the quote from Philo of Alexandria to the right of this post. As I have stated before, if you have to tell me you are honest or a Christian, I am immediately skeptical, it should be self-evident. Another point of comparison is the Presidential and serious approach of Romney vs the previous Chuck Norris Ad including his comedic and non-serious approach to the Presidency.
Another interesting comparative is to read the investigative Newsweek profiles of both Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. Newsweek's primary focus on Romney is his faith with only complimentary commentary on his competency and success in business, philanthropy and governorship. However, in reading the commentary on Huckabee of which there is also a focus on his faith to which he should be complimented and his affability; but then followed by a plethora of concerns expressed on taxes, clear ethics violations juxtaposed with Clintonian responses (I am not sure what the definition of "is" is), his soft positions on illegal immigration and crime, and not being cognizant of current intelligent reports by the NIE (and being dismissive of such). Mr. Huckabee's Clintonian "integrity" causes me great distress. How blind can some be? We saw what happened when we elected Jimmy Carter, an intelligent man of faith, but the worst President in the history of America. Mike Huckabee is the reincarnate of Jimmy Carter. I find it of further interest that Mike Huckabee is under attack by Arkansas Republicans whereas Mitt Romney is under attack by Massachusetts Democrats.
For a host of reasons, I find the media hype and flavor of the month somewhat distressing as we approach the seriousness and critical dynamics of this election. Now is the time to give credence to honesty, integrity, values, electability and capability/competency. There is nothing more that the main stream media would want, a Huckabee representing the Republican Party. How easy would the Democratic victory be!