The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

21 December 2007

Time: Huckabee's Strength Tied To Rush's Opposition


MSM Take On Huckabee's Surge Defies Logic

In their attempt to explain Mike Huckabee's recent surge in the polls, can you make heads or tails of the mainstream media's bizarre analysis?

Here goes: Huckabee is soaring because conservatives are frantically looking for an anti- establishment candidate to support. Okay, so far, that sounds about right.

But take a look at how Time Magazine / Real Clear Politics contributor Steven Stark defines "establishment":

They Love Him For the Enemies He's Made

George Will doesn't like him. Neither, apparently, does Rush Limbaugh. The Bush wing of the party now apparently distrusts him. He hasn't done well by Drudge (at least so far) and today even Peggy Noonan has her reservations.

The good news for Mike Huckabee is that he's doing one hell of a job of reuniting significant portions of the old Reagan coalition. The bad news is that it's increasingly arrayed against him.

The point, of course, is that in this case, what looks like bad news may well be the opposite. Insurgent, dissident candidates always feed off the attacks of the establishment in ways other candidates don't. It was General Edward Stuyvesant Bragg who said of Grover Cleveland, "They love him most for the enemies he has made," and in Huckabee's case, his supporters might well be thinking the same thing.

It's true that Limbaugh and Drudge aren't commonly thought of as establishment figures. But the truth is that they've now been around long enough to be, well, part of the woodwork. To a discerning observer, they're not part of the chattering class. But to an evangelical voter who doesn't follow politics that closely or a new voter angry enough by the turn of events in the country to finally get involved? Limbaugh, Drudge, Will - what's the difference?

Jim Pinkerton astutely put his finger on all this recently. Look at what's dominating the news - school and mall shootings, Britney's sister is pregnant, baseball is full of cheaters. The only candidate even remotely addressing the crisis of the American spirit - and that's what it is - is Mike Huckabee.

Does this make sense? Conservatives are turning to turning to Huckabee because he's in touch, while Will, Limbaugh, Drudge and others aren't?

Note: here's what started the whole controversy.

If our MSM friends actually listened to Limbaugh or followed Drudge, it would be clear they are covering the very issues cited here. Though he initially opposed it, Rush did discuss the Spears pregnancy, while Drudge was all over the baseball scandal.

In your Radio Equalizer's view, Huckabee is ahead because conservatives don't know where to turn and are moving toward a candidate with a shaky track record out of complete desperation. It hasn't anything to do with Rush, Drudge, Noonan or Will.

On today's show, Rush opened his monologue by fingering Huckabee strategist Ed Rollins for creating the idea that Rush is part of the "establishment chattering class". Rush sees parallels between the Perot campaign of 1992 and Huckabee in 2008, but denies he has attacked the former Arkansas governor.

Later, Rush clarified this statement, saying he initially thought this attack was coming from somewhere else, not Huckabee or Rollins.

Hot Air has today's Limbaugh audio here.

MEANWHILE: Condi Rice is denouncing some of Huckabee's recent foreign policy comments.

NEW: Excellent coverage on this topic from NRO's Campaign Spot

MORE on Rollins and Limbaugh from CBS:

CBSNEWS.COM: Let’s start with the attacks on Governor Huckabee from a lot of Republican establishment figures lately. Rush Limbaugh has called him “the Huckster.” Rich Lowry, the editor of the National Review, has said it would be suicide to nominate him. Why do you think he's provoking all of this criticism?

ED ROLLINS: Well, I think first of all he is not an establishment candidate. I don't think anybody anticipated early on when he started to run that he would do as well as he's doing. Some of these guys have picked other candidates.

And I think, to a certain extent, the alleged wise men have sat around in either the studios, or the newsrooms, basically writing magazine articles. They didn't see it coming and I think they underestimated him.

NRO'S CAMPAIGN SPOT continues to cover Rush's response:

Rough Day For Huckabee on the EIB

Forty minutes in, and Rush Limbaugh is continuing to pummel Huckabee:

"I've not attacked him. I've studiously avoided it. But I've raised questions. I'm going to keep asking the questions if I feel they're warranted."

"The very fact that I have looked at his record has stirred great anguish in his campaign."

"If he wants to tag me, or some of his supporters, want to tag me as being part of a New York-D.C. axis... the New York-D.C. axis is the drive-bys!"


OFFICIAL LIMBAUGH transcript now available here. Atlantic update post here: see what started the fuss.

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  • See a tongue-in-cheek graphic that defines candidate

    By Blogger Daniel DiRito, at 21 December, 2007 13:53  

  • Rush speaks, even conservatives puke!!! Americans are sick of filth like Limbaugh, Will and Drudge , lying to them and acting as Bush apologists instead of talk show hosts.

    Sounds like Limbaugh is even irrelevant with conservatives.

    I love it, conservatives are ignoring the pig man. This is what happens when you go to the White house to get notes for your show. Limbaugh is not a conservative, he is a political operative for the GOP, Americans are sick of it, conservatives are sick of it and us "libs" can sit here laughing asd you fools try to figure out why America is rejecting limbagh

    Go Huckabee!!! ( i do not support Huckabee) but if limbaugh has issues with him, it only means he must be better than the others!

    Maloney, give up on Limbaugh, he is not reading your blog, he will not get you a radio job, he is irrelevant. Limbaugh talks, conservatives puke!!!

    Things have indeed changed....

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 21 December, 2007 14:11  

  • Savage called nim tne HUCKSTER 3 weeks ago. Great that Limbaugh is listening to him.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 21 December, 2007 14:18  

  • Mike,
    For what it is worth I finally had to say something myself.

    As a born again bible thumping Christian who has spent some time in the political trenches and the trenches of the old and "new" media.

    It is not just that he has used his faith as a shield it is that in so doing he has pulled the rest of us into the fight to the point that if we don't defend him we are not part of the "fold."

    He has indeed "defined martyrdom down."

    By Blogger I am Coyote, at 21 December, 2007 17:39  

  • Hey, MoPee? Why not try getting Cenk's soon-to-bhe vacant slot?

    Oh, right... you're even weaker.

    By Blogger TC, at 21 December, 2007 18:17  

  • Off-topic:

    Merry Christmas, Brian...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 21 December, 2007 19:28  

  • The anonymous commentor who said Limbaugh is listening to Savage was mistaken. Limbaugh refers to Huckabee's supporters as "Hucksters"; He doesn't refer to the candidate by that term.

    Minister of Propaganda, you are such a jackass I can't imagine why you are allowed to post here! It isn't Rush Limbaugh who is irrelevant to conservatives -- it is you.

    The next time you comment on another's blog make sure you take your head out of your arse first.

    By Anonymous Tyrant Slayer, at 21 December, 2007 20:06  

  • The feeding frenzy is ridiculous. Huckabee didn't attack Rush. Whoever this anonymous "Huckabee ally" was who spouted the lib talking points against Rush sure got a lot of mileage out of this. He wasn't on the Huckabee campaign -- Marc Ambinder has admitted that much.

    This really smells like a dirty trick by another candidate or someone who just hates Huck. I mean think about it: what could be gained by attacking Rush? Nothing.

    It sure was a nice slimy Christmas present for Huckabee. Gag.

    By Anonymous Sam Brown, at 21 December, 2007 23:18  

  • The Christian right (and other fed up conservatives) are supporting
    Mike Huckabee, but the right’s pundits are not flocking to support
    him, and many of them are actually trying to derail him. Case in point:

    Rush's Hit-Piece on Huckabee (stick with it, audio of Rush)

    The inexplicable anti-Huckabee sentiment in the elite wing of the
    Republican Party is unbelievable!! What is perhaps most baffling
    about the punditocracy taking potshots at Gov. Huckabee is that
    he has everything for which the anti-illegal immigration proponents
    have been calling and yet they still attack Huckabee for adopting
    the plan. Nothing Huckabee does can assuage these neocons who
    have no use for (us) genuine conservative's who believes in social conservatism and populist policy.

    Something is very very very very wrong with this picture. Bottom line:
    The best candidate for the Republican nomination is Huckabee.

    Huckabee - The Conservative Choice

    Copy and paste links to work

    By Anonymous apacallyps, at 22 December, 2007 00:23  

  • t.C, who is Cenk?

    Tyrant slayer
    no educated conservative listens to Limbaugh......... Slay any tyrants lately? Ohhhh that means you would have to serve, asd a Bushie, I'm willing to be, your as far away from a military base as possible. Liberals keep serving, scum like you, just won't fight Bush's war. Why?
    Amoung educated conservastives, Limbaigh is irrelevant, TRUTH. I have never met a conservative, who listens to him, NONE, ZIP, ZERO, NONE. Ohhh that's right I only associate myself with smart folks, conservatives and liberals, no con I ever associate with , listens to limbagh, he is not 100% irrelevant, 10000% irrelevant.

    I will posat where I want, NAZI, why are you posting here?? I'm a well known talk show host (sarcasm, although Im a talk show host), who are you? A retarded child, pretending to be a "tyrant killer", while refusing to serve. The vision of somebody punching you in the mouth so hard all your teeth fall out, is making me giggle with joy.
    don't ever cast your aspersions to the Minister.

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 24 December, 2007 10:20  

  • MOP we know who you are.

    A liar, a loser who has a career in a theater where high school students work till they finish high school and get a real job. We laugh at you with every post. I do see why you support the Dem’s that’s the only way you can get a raise.

    In short MOP you are a L O S E R. HA HA HA

    By Blogger pf1, at 28 December, 2007 00:58  

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