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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Huckabee in College Park

The Huckabee campaign made a swing through College Park yesterday, after his speech to the CPAC meeting in D.C. Saturday morning. (The CPAC folks gave him the 9 am Saturday slot, which shows what they think of him, I guess.) The rally was held in the "Grand Ballroom" at Stamp Student Union, and apparently drew a much larger crowd than the organizers were expecting--they had to open up one of the sides of the ballroom to accommodate the "overflow" crowd. I would peg the crowd at between 1,000 and 1,500 people. There were a large number of students, interested to see the candidate but probably not Huckabee (or GOP) voters. But there were a large number of genuine Huckabee supporters there, too. By the looks of it, with all the people with small children, home schoolers turned out, and there were folks with Huckabee shirts, etc.

It was a short rally. It started almost on time (I've never been to a Dem event that started close to on time.) The president of the College Republicans introduced two Republican members of the Maryland House of Delegates, who introduced Huck. This is actually an interesting problem in Maryland, where there aren't statewide elected Republicans to introduce the candidate. In the College Park area, not really even federal officials from the GOP. So delegates.

It was the standard stump speech Huck's giving right now. Huckabee seems to have decided that his personal background and experience at "making government work" are the keys to victory. He barely mentioned the faith issues, and pointed to his pro-life record almost in passing. That's not to say that there wasn't some "dog whistle" religious stuff in the talk. But I am saying that, unless you were paying attention, he sounded like a pretty secular candidate.

He's funny and can work a crowd--as a Baptist minister should be able to do. I think the stump speech is a little too long, but not by much. The whole event lasted about 45 minutes.


At 10:05 AM, Blogger Paul said...

RE: Republican "election" in WA.

I don't know about you, but I see a pattern here. Whenever there is a close vote count, the Republicans seem to be vote-counting challenged.

In WA, I can't help but feel that the Huckster is on the losing side of the Republican Steal the Vote Machine.


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