Mike Huckabee to raise funds in Bay Area

Hot on the heels of being dropped from prime time to undercard status in Tuesday night’s Republican presidential debates in Milwaukee, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee will be in the Bay Area on Wednesday to raise money for his apparently flagging campaign.

HuckabeeHuckabee will attend a reception Wednesday evening at the Los Altos Hills home of tech entrepreneur Joe Tan and his wife, Mary (insert manger joke here); tickets cost $500 per person, or $1,000 or $2,700 for a photo opportunity with Huckabee. Co-hosts include Christian grant-making charity founder and former tech executive Ken Eldred and his wife, Roberta, of Portola Valley; Cepheid cofounder Tom Gutshall and his wife, Kipp, of Los Altos Hills; venture capitalist Tim Eun and his wife, Amanda, of Los Altos; and several others.

Huckabee now polls at 2.4 percent – in ninth place among GOP candidates – according to an average of five recent national polls compiled by Real Clear Politics, down from a high of 13.3 percent in early March. He has dipped below the 2.5 percent threshold that FOX Business Network and the Wall Street Journal set for participation in Tuesday’s prime-time debate; Huckabee and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who had been in the first three prime-debates, both didn’t make the cut this time.

As previously reported here, Christie will be in the Bay Area next Thursday, Nov. 19 for a fundraiser at the Atherton home of Hewlett Packard CEO and 2010 Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman. Christie now polls at 2.2 percent – in 10th place – according to Real Clear Politics, down from a high of 11.5 percent about a year ago.

Marco RubioA somewhat more successful Republican candidate is on the way too. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. – already the beneficiary of Oracle founder Larry Ellison’s largesse – will return to the Bay Area for a fundraising reception on the evening of Monday, Dec. 7, at the Mozart Foundation Automobile Museum in Mountain View; tickets cost $1,000 per person, or $2,700 including a photo opportunity with the candidate. Rubio is now polling at 11.8 percent nationwide – in third place behind Donald Trump and Ben Carson – according to Real Clear Politics, down from a high of 14.3 percent in May.

The host committee for Rubio’s event includes former longtime tech executive Susan Atherton of San Francisco; angel investor Oren Dobronsky of Palo Alto; buyout firm CEO Saul Fox of Woodside; real estate developer John Mozart of Los Altos Hills; former Accenture general counsel Doug Scrivner and his wife, Mary, of Los Altos Hills; and more than 20 others. Mozart’s car private collection of automobiles including Bugatti, Alfa Romeo, Duesenberg, Pierce Arrow, Packard, and Ferrari is not open to the public.


Mike Huckabee to speak at state GOP convention

Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee will speak at a lunch banquet during the California Republican Party’s Fall Convention on Sept. 18 in Anaheim.

HuckabeeThe announcement comes one week after the state GOP said Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, also a presidential candidate, will headline the convention’s big Saturday-night dinner on Sept. 19.

“As governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee prompted much needed reform and set the bar high for his fellow governors,” state GOP chairman Jim Brulte said in a news release. “A proven leader, I’m very excited he could join us to kick off convention with the first banquet.”

California Republican Party Vice Chairwoman Harmeet Dhillon said Huckabee “has become a strong, but reasonable voice for conservatives across the nation through his time as governor and as a bestselling author and talk show host. With his years of experience, Huckabee is sure to have a great message to share with our fellow Republicans.”

Huckabee, in the same release said he’s “excited to be kicking off the California Republican Party convention and helping build excitement and enthusiasm for the great things California Republicans are going to help us accomplish in 2016.”

Mike Huckabee was the 44th governor of Arkansas, serving from 1996 to 2007. He won the 2008 Iowa caucus, but eventually finished third for the GOP nomination behind John McCain and Mitt Romney; since then, he has made a name as an author, radio commentator and host, and at the helm of his own Fox News Channel show.

Huckabee now polls fifth and Walker polls second for the Republican nomination, according to an average of recent national polls compiled by Real Clear Politics.


Mike Huckabee on the Jahi McMath case

Former Arkansas governor and 2008 Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee weighed in over the weekend on the case of the late Jahi McMath, the 13-year-old girl who died after surgery last month at Children’s Hospital Oakland.


“Look I’m not a neurologist and I wouldn’t pretend to know the level – if any – of Jahi’s brain function,” Huckabee said.

That’s where he should’ve stopped, although he’d already uncorked some blatant falsehoods even before that point.

This girl is dead. Not in a coma. Not in a persistent vegetative state. She’s dead, rest her soul.

This is not just the opinion of doctors at the hospital at which she underwent her surgery; a pediatric neurologist from Stanford University agreed she’s dead. The Alameda County Coroner has issued a death certificate.

Her family isn’t protecting her life; her life has ended. They aren’t trying to save their daughter; she’s beyond saving. “Whose life is it?” Huckabee asks – it’s nobody’s life, because Jahi McMath is dead.

Medicine isn’t a matter of faith or opinion – it’s a matter of science. Once there’s no activity in the brain or brain stem, it doesn’t spontaneously start again. Sanctity-of-life arguments only make sense when life is at stake.

Surely Huckabee isn’t advocating that every dead person whose grieving relatives can’t let go must be kept hooked up to machines indefinitely at their request; that would be a fiscal impossibility, an absolute abdication of medical ethics, and a travesty of human dignity.

For Huckabee – a politician and commentator who said last month that God hasn’t yet told him whether to run for president again in 2016, and who some believe is welcoming such speculation for other reasons – to insert himself into this debate constitutes reprehensible pandering. For him to connect it to issues like abortion and the Holocaust borders on immorality.


How about ‘Romney-Huckabee 2012?’

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has recorded a commercial taking other Republican candidates to task for attacking Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital of downsizing companies:


I post this less for its content than for what it may portend: I’ve been saying for a while now that Huckabee looks like a strong contender for the vice presidential slot on a Romney ticket.

Huckabee, 56, finished first in Iowa in 2008 – and with a stronger performance than Romney’s this year – due to his strong bona fides with evangelical Christian conservatives, exactly the electorate Romney will need to reassure with his vice-presidential pick. He’s been building his name recognition with a weekly show on Fox News and a syndicated radio show, and building his donor network through his PAC.

By staying out of the field this year, Huckabee has kept his hands clean: There aren’t any embarrassing campaign-trail quotes to dredge up, as there would be with Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann or any of the others who’ve repeatedly hit Romney in recent months. And compared to much of this year’s field, he’s a strong, charismatic campaigner who’s likely to remain gaffe-free.


Iowa – so what?

It’s caucus day in Iowa, and the most recent polls show former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney with a thin lead over Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., a more distant third.

And as one of them pops the champagne corks and looses the confetti tonight, I’ll say… so what?

First, consider who is voting. Iowa has a total population of about 3 million, which is less than half of that of the San Francisco Bay Area; only about 2 million are registered, active voters. About 30 percent of Iowa voters are Republicans, but only a fraction of them actually vote in the caucuses: In 2008, it was a record turnout of 119,000, which was only about a fifth of the active registered Republicans at the time. This, in a state that’s 88.7 percent “white, not Hispanic,” as the Census puts it, and where self-identified evangelical Christians wield disproportionate influence by comprising 40 to 60 percent of caucus-goers.

Second, consider the process. Unlike a traditional primary election where you vote or mail in your ballot and then move on, a caucus – a community meeting at which voters express their preferences – can take some time (each campaign can have a surrogate speak for up to five minutes), meaning those who must work or can’t get out of the house for that long can’t vote. There are no absentee ballots, which also eliminates the votes of active-duty soldiers and college students who have left the state for the winter break.

The Iowa caucuses have been the nation’s first major event of the presidential electoral season since 1972, but it’s hard to keep calling them a bellwether when candidates like Ron Paul and Rick Santorum – who clearly don’t have the ground game, fundraising or policy stances to carry other states – are within striking distance of a win there. The ability to influence a tiny slice of one small, homogenous, rural state says hardly anything about who’s likely to win the nomination. Just ask Mike Huckabee.


Mike Huckabee targets DiFi in fundraising e-mail

Former 2008 Republican presidential primary candidate Mike Huckabee, who’s reportedly mulling a 2012 presidential bid, targeted U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., in a fundraising e-mail today.

The former Arkansas governor’s Huck PAC committee sent out an e-mail soliciting donations for its Stop Senate Democrats Fund:

California needs a conservative United States Senator. Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein has been in Washington too long and it appears she’s stopped listening to California voters – after all, you didn’t want bailouts, you didn’t want the stimulus package and you sure didn’t want Obamacare. Thanks to elected officials like Senator Feinstein you got bailouts, you got the stimulus and you got Obamacare.

Senator Feinstein like all of the Democrats up for re-election in 2012 is a large reason our nation is going bankrupt. Sadly last week, when given a chance to begin to redeem poor legislative choices, Senator Feinstein voted AGAINST the repeal of Obamacare.

Huck PAC is preparing to help conservatives win the California Senate seat and defeat other vulnerable Democrat Senators across the nation. We are asking 100 California supporters to donate this week towards this goal. Will you make a donation of $5 or more to stop Senator Feinstein and the budget-busting Democrats in Washington?