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Revisiting Governor Huckabee's ACU Questionnaire


Beyond the Sun-tzu....

ny answer to the American Conservative Union's first quesiton — "Why do you want to be President?" — is always and unavoidably fraught with platitudes, so it's not as helpful as the second — "What is your mission statement for America and the three most important goals you intend to achieve as President?"

Governor Mike Huckabee's answer:

America's mission is to retain our military, economic, and moral supremacy. To retain our military supremacy, we must increase the size of our active armed forces and increase our defense budget back up to the 6% of GDP it was under President Reagan. We must continue with the anti-missile defense system and fight nuclear proliferation and acquisition of any nuclear materials and knowledge by terrorists.

Señior Señator Juan MqQain's, still stuck in the platitudinal deliveries of his first answer, isn't as particular. While Señor Amnesty (D-MEX) generally says he wants to make us more secure, Governor Huckabee (R-USA) specifies how.

With regard to America retaining her economic supremacy, Governor Huckabee continues to be specific:

We need to reform our tax system by abolishing our existing personal and corporate tax system and moving to the Fair Tax, which will make our businesses more competitive overseas, bring home trillions of dollars that have moved off-shore for tax reasons, and bring foreign investors here. We need to reform our education system to give our students the knowledge, skills, and creativity they need for the jobs of this century. We need to reform our health care system to move from an employer-based system to a consumer-based system that will free our businesses from the burden of health care costs, focus on prevention rather than intervention, and allow Americans to own their health care. I want to lead the technological breakthroughs that will allow us not only to end our dependence on fossil fuels and clean up this planet, but also sell those technologies all over the world.

Euthanize the IRS. Modernize our education. Individualize our own health care. By contrast, Señior Señator MqQain wants to euthanize mistrust, modernize entitlements, and individualize handouts.

Governor Huckabee continues:

To retain our moral supremacy, we must champion our culture of life, which stands in stark juxtaposition to the terrorists' culture of death, and we must protect and strengthen our families.

Señor Open Borders, meanwhile, is more worried about a "worthy political process."

The next set of questions — "Describe your education and preparation to serve as President. Who and what have informed your intellectual preparation to be President? What has practically prepared and informed you to be President?" — also yields a contrast between the specific and the vague.

Right off the bat Governor Huckabee can name more than a few who've informed his intellectual preparation:

Phyllis Schlafly, Paul Weyrich, Howard Phillips, Francis Schaeffer, C. S. Lewis, Thomas Sowell, George Will, and William F. Buckley, Jr.

Señor Keating V's, on the other hand, has been informed by Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan, and Ronald Reagan. Oh, and also Ronald Reagan.

As for his particular preparation to be our next president, Governor Huckabee points to a wealth of specifically relevant, hands-on experience:

Being Governor provides the best preparation for being President because it's executive experience. In Congress, you can pass the buck 535 times, no one is really responsible for anything. As a Governor, you have to lead, you have to balance budgets and provide services to your people. I led the effort to reform our education, economic, and health systems to gain high-paying jobs, high-achieving schools, and high-quality health care, all with a legislature that was overwhelmingly Democrat.

State Governors lead a whole population of ordinary citizens to greater freedom and wider prospects. Señior Señators lead a backroom gang of elitist prima donnas to stifling those citizens' speech and eviscerating their national borders.

Although Señor MqQain emphasizes the fact he heard a speech in 1974 by — you guessed it — Ronald Reagan, Governor Huckabee provides much more substantive evidence of personal top-executive leadership:

I cut taxes 94 times, including the first broad-based tax cuts in Arkansas history. I eliminated the marriage penalty and capital gains on home sales. I doubled the standard deduction and the child care tax credit. I left office with a surplus of almost $850 million, setting the stage for additional tax cuts. I led the successful effort to amend our state constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. I make Arkansas only the third state to adopt "covenant marriage." I passed all the pro-life legislation I could — banning partial birth abortion, requiring parental notification, requiring informed consent before an abortion, requiring the option of anesthesia for the baby during an abortion, allowing a woman to give birth and leave her baby safely at a hospital, and making it a crime to injure or murder an unborn baby.

As Chairman of the National Governors Association, I had the opportunity to change national policy. When I became Chairman, Medicaid spending had passed spending on elementary and secondary education to become the largest single item in state budgets. Through patient but persistent negotiation, I got the governors to agree unanimously on a plan and then got the plan through Congress. Our plan didn't just save the taxpayers money, it made basic care available to more people and gave the states more authority to design and administer their programs, since we know the needs of our citizens better than the federal government does. Also during my chairmanship, the National Governors Association took my Healthy Arkansas Initiative and turned it into the Healthy America Initiative, promoting wellness and health care savings through good nutrition, exercise, avoiding tobacco, and maintaining proper weight.

Hurricane Katrina prepared me to be President because it gave me experience in crisis management, when I directed the rescue and relief of 75,000 people. As Governor, I had dealt with severe ice storms, tornadoes, and other emergencies within Arkansas, but Katrina was a major national disaster, one of the worst in our history. The scale and scope of that undertaking was the type of challenge I will face as President, and I met that challenge. Even though these people were displaced by a hurricane, the results were the same as if Al Qaeda had blown up the levees, so it was experience relevant to coping with a terrorist attack as well.

We had plenty of state facilities, like armories we could have used — big, cavernous, impersonal places — but to me that wasn't housing people, that was warehousing them. In looking for alternatives, I thought of our church and scout camps, which had just closed for the season, and I invited their leaders to my office to ask if they would re-open for us. Not a single one said no. I had a clear vision of how I wanted to welcome and care for these people: they were beyond hungry, thirsty, dirty, and exhausted, they had been traumatized and dehumanized, and we brought them back to life. I have been tested, and I have proven my ability to provide creative, decisive, and effective leadership during a major catastrophe. My crisis management ability is one of the reasons Time magazine named me one of America's five best governors.

Governor Huckabee successfully led the State of Arkansas for over a decade. The largest thing Señor Class Warfare has ever managed to lead, besides a committee in Qongress, is the Replacement Air Group training squadron in sunny Jacksonville, Florida for three years.

The above are just the first three sets of American Conservative Union questions. Answers to the remaining seven, which draw an equally stark contrast in experience and abilities between the State Governor and the Señior Señator, will be covered in future parts.

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