Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Chuck Norris Approved!

"We've got to stop meeting like this"
Scene from 2004 Dean Scream
The Best Event In Town
DES MOINES -- With just 2 days until Iowans caucus, Mike Huckabee rallied an estimated 1500 supporters at the same location Howard Dean infamously screamed his way out of the 2004 presidential election.

Action star Chuck Norris revved up the jazzed up crowd and MSNBC host Joe Scarborough joined Huckabee on stage to play tunes such as "Sweet Home Alabama."

Of the events I've been to, this one was by far the highest energy crowd I've seen. And it was fun -- people were laughing, smiling, joking. You don't see that at all the events here. But you can say this: Huck makes politics fun. Pollster Frank Luntz noted Huckabee had four to five times as many more people at his events today than rival Mitt Romney. Crowd estimates range between 15-hundred and 2-thousand people.

Right now, based on pure energy and crowds, it feels like Mike Huckabee and Barack Obama are on their way to Iowa caucus victories. But that's solely based on feeling, not organization. Organization seems to be the wild card.

"Who says Republicans can't have fun?," Huckabee yelled to the cheering crowd, many who were dancing at the Val Air Ballroom.

When a supporter yelped, "I love you Mike!," Huckabee deadpanned: "Well, I love you too, but we've got to stop meeting like this."

"I want to meet you at the caucus," Huckabee continued to cheers.

Huckabee's stump speech focused on changing the tax system to "Fair Tax," and a pledge of a deep commitment to social and cultural causes like ending abortion and keeping marriage between a man and a woman. Huckabee was also critical of the Republican party.

"Our party hasn't controlled spending. Our party hasn't controlled the borders. Our party isn't right all the time," he said.

He said after Commander-in-Chief, his top goal as president would be to become "Communicator In Chief."

Huckabee also pledged to make the United States energy independent -- but then made an arguably naive statement that we would need Middle East oil as much as "we need their sand."
Huckabee also said one of his first acts as president would be to push through a Veterans Bill of Rights.

In stumping for Huck, Chuck Norris said as a rich person, he'd be willing to pay more taxes to take the burden off the middle class. This line is notable because only about half of the room applauded, which points to Huckabee's populist challenge among strict economic conservatives in the Republican party.

Norris said he didn't like how the media always primarily refers to Huckabee as a Baptist Pastor. "He was also a Governor," Norris said. "They don't call him Businessman Romney. He's Governor Romney," Norris added.

Walker, Texas Ranger also announced he's hosting a virtual fundraiser for Huckabee on January 20th to raise money for a national campaign so "Huckabee can go the distance."

"We've got to get Mike the money for a national campaign," Norris said. He said the plan is to raise $10 million dollars for Huckabee on that day to be used for the Super Tuesday primary on February 5th.

Huckabee's wife Janet also seemed to be relaxed and enjoying the crowd, tossing out a few quips herself.

"I can't wait to be your First Land because it's gonna be too cool," said a beaming Janet Huckabee. "I'm not the other half, I'm the only half," she said, to laughs.

Before Huckabee and the Iowa band "Boogie Wookers" began playing, Huckabee's better half urged the crowd to dance and have a good time: "A lot of people say Baptists can't dance, but as long as they keep one foot on the floor, they're ok."

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