The squeaky wheel might get the grease, but the crazy candidate doesn’t necessarily get the money. The Hill is reporting that Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee “raised just $1.24 million, the lowest of any candidate who has made a top-tier debate this year and half as much as Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, whose poll numbers have dropped over the past few months.”
The latest fundraising figures show that Huckabee spent about $100,000 more than he brought in, leaving him with $761,000 on hand. That’s less in the bank than Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who has only registered at least 1 percent in five out of 20 national polls since August, according to RealClearPolitics.
Rand Paul has crazy problems of his own, as we saw yesterday with his recent comments about socialism. But Mike Huckabee has to aspire to be Rand Paul. And that’s not a pretty picture.
Huckabee’s campaign told The Hill they’re not worried, that they came from behind before, in 2008, and they can come from behind again, in 2016. However, The Hill points out that heading into 2008, they were polling in the double digits. Huckabee today is, needless to say, far away from those cherished double digits.
If you look at the strength of the Religious Right, you would think Huckabee would be doing better. After all, he speaks their language. He says all the crazy things they want to hear. Of course, there are a lot of Republican candidates and Huckabee is scarcely the only one of them saying crazy things.
Is the problem that there is so much competition for the crazy vote, or is it that Huckabee is just too much of a wackadoodle even for the Republican base? Just look at some of the appalling things he’s said:
- He came out in support of the Duggars and therefore child molestation and incest;
- Said he would use military to prevent abortion if elected;
- Likened Obama’s Israel policy to the Holocaust, a remark which offended Jews among many others;
- He came out in support of Kim Davis and was willing to use force to keep from sharing stage with Ted Cuz;
- He tweeted that he didn’t trust Asians with his dog, because they might eat it;
- He says poor criminals should be sold into slavery.
Add to that his opposition to a living wage and claiming that teaching children basic anatomy amounts to indoctrination, and you have a real picture of a man at odds with our shared reality. He’s not alone to be sure, but Carson – and even Trump – seem to be resonating more with Evangelicals, which leaves Huckabee the crazy guy baying from the sidelines.
It is true, as the adage says, that correlation does not imply causation. And therefore there may or may not be causation here. But the fact remains that the crazier Huckabee sounds, the deeper in the hole his campaign becomes.
Whether it is from a over-abundance of Republican crazy or that Huckabee just can’t sell crazy like other Republicans can, or that he’s crazier than the rest of him, crazy isn’t working for Huckabee. Unfortunately, there is no going back from this particular precipice. Republican voters apparently no longer listen to sane-sounding candidates, but even for them there may be a line, and Huckabee may have crossed it.
And that’s the trouble with extremism. If you are moderate, like Hillary Clinton, you can apologize for voting for the Iraq War. An extremist can’t admit he made a mistake because he’s already deligitimized all other options. He can only double-down and bull his way ahead. So far, that hasn’t worked for Mike Huckabee.
Image from Right Wing Watch
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.