Nice Try Huckster – UPDATED

huck·ster [huhk-ster]
1. a retailer of small articles, esp. a peddler of fruits and vegetables; hawker.
2. a person who employs showy methods to effect a sale, win votes, etc.: the crass methods of political hucksters.
3. a cheaply mercenary person.
4. Informal.
a. a persuasive and aggressive salesperson.
b. a person who works in the advertising industry, esp. one who prepares aggressive advertising for radio and television.
–verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
5. to deal, as in small articles, or to make petty bargains: to huckster fresh corn; to huckster for a living.
6. to sell or promote in an aggressive and flashy manner.

Haven’t had time to weigh in on the latest candidate to get gotten in this marathon game of gotcha called presidential elections in which front-runners often stumble. Recently Hillary hit a snag with regards to driver’s licenses for illegal aliens in New York. But interestingly two Republican candidates have made their faux pas regarding Cuba. First it was Mitt “Patria o Muerte” Romney and now it’s Mike “I was against the embargo before I was for it” Huckabee whose star was rapidly rising on the GOP front.
Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, at one time signed a letter drafted by Arkansas farm interests asking President Bush to lift the Cuban embargo. But now that he’s running for president, he says he’s for the embargo.
This puts Huckabee’s Cuban-American surrogates in Florida, House Speaker Marco Rubio (who I really like) and others, in a tough position of scrambling, trying to explain that Governor Huckabee has had a change of heart. Cue church lady: “How Convenient?”
I don’t believe Huckabee was unaware of the issues and that he’s recently been enlightened. The fact is that he was the governor of a state in which agriculture is very important. And Huckabee fell for the bait of the promise of Cuban trade hook, line and sinker. He was acting in his self-interests as governor at that time, putting them above the moral and political implications of rewarding one of the worst abusers of human rights without gaining a single concession. That disqualifies him from receiving my vote in January.
Besides, even if one was to accept the excuse for the flip flop at face value, it means that Huckabee is a lightweight that urged the president to pursue a foreign policy with which he was unfamiliar of the consequences. Not exactly what I’m looking for in a president.
Does this mean I’m going to be voting Democrat in November? Don’t be silly. It just means the Republican field is getting narrower for me. It’s a shame because I’ve done a couple of those “candidate meters”, where you answer questions about your views on various issues and it matches you to a candidate based on the candidate’s stance on those issues, and they matched me to the Huckster. Obviously, the Cuban embargo wasn’t one of the issues examined.
UPDATE: Via Hot Air, we get this video of Huckabee essentially saying what I wrote above. At least he’s honest about how his ambitions are what has changed. Still in all it was a nice try Huckster, but no cigar.

8 thoughts on “Nice Try Huckster – UPDATED”

  1. Nobody ever said politics was clean or pretty. Finding a candidate who’s not completely unacceptable is hard enough; finding one with a totally clean bill of health is practically impossible.

  2. Henry,
    You follow US politics closely, and that is a good thing. An educated citizenry is essential to a free society. But, don’t be deluded into thinking that the freedom of Cuba has anything to do with who is elected president next year.
    Reagan was elected (twice): no free Cuba. Bush I was elected: no free Cuba. Bush Ii was elected (twice): no free Cuba. See a pattern? Freedom for Cuba depends on the dissidents, and other Cubans of goodwill who must stand up to the dictatorship.
    US politics has only a very minor role to play. Mostly because there is no real interest in what happens in/to Cuba. There is a BIG difference between a promise your father makes to you, and a campaign promise by a politician (any politician) on the stump.
    Keep up the good work, and keep informing us of the latest pronouncements by US politicians; but, don’t place too much faith on their words.

  3. I was not aware of this. But coming from the a ‘farm state’, I’m not surprised. Even before learning about his embargo dance (can you call it a ‘cha-cha’?), this guy dosn’t pass the ‘trust-test’ with me. I heard him speak, and he came accross as ALL POLITICS, as if he had it popping right out of his veins. I don’t trust this guy.

  4. LittleGator,
    I hear you. But without getting to deep into the embargo talk, at a minimum I want my candidate to be clear on the fact that in the hands of the castro regime the amount of money that lifting the embargo would represent would be disastrous.
    If you can’t trust a politician’s promises then you certainly can’t trust a politician who just changed his mind on one of the highest priority policies that you might have as a voter.
    There’s enough candidates in the GOP field that have never opposed the embargo for me to vote for one who was recently converted.
    That was the only point of the post. It’s way of keeping it honest.
    As I told Joe Garcia, I will condemn Republicans and Dems alike that are against the embargo. That’s because I can. I don’t work for the Republican party.
    It just happens that more often than not I agree with Republicans.

  5. “freedom of Cuba has anything to do with who is elected”
    Sure, buy why reward any candidate who wanted to reward Castro?

  6. I’m not invested in Huckabee in any way, but to be fair, there are people who should know the score FAR better than some guy from Arkansas who have taken similarly wrongheaded (or worse) positions. Sadly, some of them are at least nominally Cuban or Cuban-American.

  7. Honestly, for a lot of people, even politicians who we think should know better, Cuba isn’t THAT big of an issue. Therefore, you get uninformed, narrow-minded, yet well-intentioned (for his farmers) opinions such as Huckabee’s as governor. I know many a decent, moral person who without much knowledge of the Cuba issue, naively thinks that lifting the embargo would help the Cuban people. I’m willing to partially accept that once he began running for president and listened to influential and informed Cuban-Americans, he saw the light.
    I like Huckabee. I still like him despite this latest news. In practically every other issue, I agree with his stances. He’s given me no indication that he would compromise his core values. He looks people in the eye and he gives clear, concise and confident answers. I like his dedication to his faith.
    I may very well vote for Huckabee in January, although I’m still holding out hope that Fred Thompson realizes that he’s in a presidential race and that he better step up his energy level. I haven’t heard him give an assured, confident speech since he officially entered the race.
    Sorry, guys, but that’s how I see it.

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