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News analysis: Huckabee's 'likability' gave him the edge over Romney

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  • Illinois
    Jan. 7, 2008 4:14 p.m.

    Huckabee utilized religious bigotry to win.

  • Rich
    Jan. 7, 2008 10:49 a.m.

    The liberal media is making Huckabee their darling. He has been described as a christian socialists. He hasn't really been attacked. The Dems voted far more heavily in Iowa then the Republicans. The huck is riding a "popularity" wave. I'm sure the Democrats and liberal media want this hick in the race. He's a big old target. Research his record and thoughts about governing and you'll see what I mean. A much easier foe to deal with then Romney. After all, if you're going to vote for a socialists, why not a true Dem rather than a psudo Republician?

  • Bookaholic
    Jan. 6, 2008 5:12 a.m.

    At first glance Huckabee seems like an amiable guy, has witty commentary to throw out. But, a closer look is not so appealing.

    He has a poor record in Arkansas--raised taxes a lot, supported illegals over citizens, had lots of ethics complaints, etc. For example, Arkansas has a rule that you cannot accept over $100 gifts unless they are wedding gifts. So, when Huckabee was leaving office, he and his wife (married 28 years) put themselves on wedding registries all over town. Tacky! Also, they tried to take $70k worth of furniture with them when they moved out of the governor's mansion. Very white trash--reminiscent of the Clintons.

    An October poll done by the University of Arkansas found only 8% of the state's voters were Huckabee supporters. In Iowa, he got 14% of the non-evangelical votes. Huck's going nowhere.

    Romney is a much more qualified candidate and that truth will come out in time. LDS bigots may want to sideline him, but when open-minded voters look at the man, his business experience, managerial acumen, good family, and solid conservative values, they will vote Romney. He will be a very articulate voice for the conservative worldview.

    Mitt/Rudy or Fred in '08!

  • I Disagree With...
    Jan. 6, 2008 1:26 a.m.

    "In my Opinion", who said at 11:35 a.m. Jan. 5, 2008:

    "It will be nice if Rommey start(ed) to give his money to poor people instead to dream to became a President. Just my humble opinion."

    While that they seem like a good idea to "give money away" to the poor, what if they are ill-prepared to handle the money properly? "Free money" is not always a blessing. You must be a Democrat for that is the heart of the Democrat party's philosophy...to give the hungry what they need. The true core of the Republican philosophy (which I hope they don't ever jettison) is to TEACH / HELP the man to fend for himself. One philosophy breeds laziness and dependence, the other develops discipline and self-respect.

  • Likeable But Dirty
    Jan. 6, 2008 1:12 a.m.

    Give me a break! While I admit Huckabee does actually come across quite "likeable", his tactics for winning the Presidency are anything but "nice". He makes an attack TV ad, then at the last minute decides not to air it but shows the media the ad anyway? Come on!, that's the same tactic that sleaze-ball lawyers use in court. They PURPOSELY say something controversial in court, knowing full well that the opposing lawyer will "object" and that the judge will agree and order the statement stricken from the records and direct the jurors to not consider the devious lawyer's comments when deciding the case. But the scum-bag lawyer knows that the jurors can never get the "objected" comments completely out of their consciousness. That politicial ploy stinks to high heaven. AND...I recently visited my parents in UT and my mom showed me not one, but 2 letters from two nice "Christian, though non-LDS" organizations urging my mom not to vote for Romney because "he belongs to a cult". (My LDS mom had recently sent them some money to help them in Christian causes). But, nope, I don't see any religious bigotry there.......

    Huckabee's likeable but he plays dirty.

  • To: jgirl18
    Jan. 6, 2008 12:46 a.m.

    Whoa! Hold your horses! You're slamming Romney for blaming his Iowa 2nd place finish on being LDS but I can absolutely GUARANTEE you that Romney has NEVER said his 2nd place finish is due to him being a member of the LDS church! Does he privately believe it? Who knows? I personally do, but I'd bet you a million dollars HE never said that. Why? Because he knows full well that his success in this campaign lies SOLELY in identifying with voters as "a good President and not a good Mormon". For him to complain about religious discrimination would end his campaign faster than a speeding bullet. Sounds to me like you don't like the man BECAUSE he's LDS.

  • Just say no to Gomer!
    Jan. 5, 2008 9:23 p.m.

    Imagine 2 years from now, the economy is failing and Leno and Letterman are having a hey day with the Huckser and republicans. Well don't worry because Gomer could never win a general election.

    There is good reason why Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck and others obviously don't care for Huck!

    If gomer wins the nomination I will vote Democrat for the first time in my life. Then we can blame them for the economy and get the next election!

  • read the exit polls
    Jan. 5, 2008 8:57 p.m.

    This is nuts. Did these experts not read the exit polls (or entrance polls)? A majority of those who voted for Huckabee in Iowa said that having a candidate share their faith was very important in their choice of candidate. I don't know how it could be more clear than that, that this was an anti-Romney-because-he's-Mormon vote.

  • Just say no to Gomer!
    Jan. 5, 2008 8:53 p.m.

    Is it just me or does Mike Hukabee look and sound a lot like "Gomer Pile" from the Andy Griffeth show? Gomer was a very nice and likeable guy too.

    Do we really want "Gomer Pile" for president?

    Now, more than ever we need someone who understands business. If our economy collapeses or our national debt and social security bankrupts us it will affect all of us for the rest of our lives.

    Mitt Romney is the best candidate we've had in years in this area. Lets not let him get away!!!

    Go Mitt!

  • Popularity contest?
    Jan. 5, 2008 7:34 p.m.

    Likability? Charm? Stiffness? Sorry, I was looking for some political discussion but seem to have stumbled into the Miss America pageant here, complete with talent show!

  • Bill in Sansy Eggo
    Jan. 5, 2008 6:25 p.m.

    "Iowa for Romney" didn't mention the other time: Besides Reagan, Iowa was wrong about Bill Clinton, giving him only 3%. Just shows to go ya!

  • Mitt suporter and Mormon
    Jan. 5, 2008 5:28 p.m.

    I have been a member of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints for some forty eight years. I have never heard of any Ward, Branch, Stake or any group of Latter-Day Saint people going to rally against other relegions or people.

    I don't remember Mitt going out and downing anothers way of worship. I have never been contacted by Mitt, or any other person, and asked to vote for someone because that person was a Mormon. I have never been contacted and told that some other religon was a cult, or any other name derogtory to keep me from voting for a person because of his or her faith.

    I don't remember Mitt going out and publishing the fact that he was a mormon, before it was broadcast by the media, and other people, yet he is acused of running on his faith. It was not Mitt that kept up the cry for him to explain his faith, it was non Mormons.

    come on folks lets look for who is best qulified for president, instead of voting for a person based on what church a person belongs too.

  • Okie
    Jan. 5, 2008 4:44 p.m.

    From where I sit back here in the middle of the country and I have watched all the news coming out about Iowa, I would say that Huckabee being a Baptist minister is using religion to get the votes. Is he qualified for the job as President of our United States. I would say NO. He is using his "likeability" to charm people into thinking he is the one to vote for . If people think the country has gone down hill the last few years, Well, if Huckabee gets in there, who knows what will happen to our country. I don't think he knows what is going on out in the world at all. What kind of mess will he get us into? He has made so many snide remarks about Romney and his religion. I have no faith in Huckabee and if he would happen to be nominated for pres. I will not vote for him!!!!!! It would be like jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

  • scary!
    Jan. 5, 2008 4:21 p.m.

    The thought of Huckabee becoming president scares me!

  • Romney
    Jan. 5, 2008 3:48 p.m.

    Romney used the Olympics as a stepping stone to running for governor. In business and politics everything is done for a reason. Mitt would not have taken the Olympics if he hadn't thought it could help him. I have no problem with this. What I do know, is that Mitt was decided to be the best qualified person available, not Mormon. The Olympics were not interested in getting a Mormon just for Mormon sake. There was too much negativity surrounding it for them to be that stupid. Mitt's Mormonism made him uniquely qualified to understand the needs of Olympics in the area on short notice.
    The thing about Huckabee is, if people do their research they can see that he is not the "Christian" candidate. He has very dark, unpresidential actions in his past. Covering all that up, and then saying but I'm Christian, and having the voters not look past the "Christian" is a very sad state of affairs in politics. I'd like to see them both out, so there could be a Republican candidate as the nominee that would actually be electable.

  • Ducked your question?
    Jan. 5, 2008 3:35 p.m.

    Doesn't appear that way to me. It seems like you don't have a reasonable response to their answers.

  • Otis Spurlock
    Jan. 5, 2008 3:34 p.m.

    Romney may have been the only one who agreed to lead the Olympics for no pay. As far as I know, his religion was immaterial to him getting the job of saving the Olympics. However, he knows Utah, he was always a very successful organizer and businessman, and he had the financial independence to do it on his own dime. If there was a non-LDS person who was better and willing to do it, nobody was able to come up with a name. Compare Romney to the people heading up the Olympics before his arrival and tell me he wasn't already better qualified than them all.

    Just Asking - you've received answers. You just don't like them. Your Romney-Huckabee comparison is a strawman, in my opinion, because your precedent assumptions are inaccurate.

  • Just Asking
    Jan. 5, 2008 2:54 p.m.

    Again, both posters responding to me duck the question: Was it Ok for Romney to be annointed as the savior of the Olympics because he was the best qualified Mormon, or was it wrong for Huckabee to use his Baptist background to sway Iowa voters?

    When Romney benefitted from his religious persusion, you say that was right. When Huckabee did the same - in a different setting - you cry foul.

  • Alice
    Jan. 5, 2008 2:45 p.m.

    Huckabee is the Arkansas Gomer Pile, he look, acts and talks like Gomer Pile.
    But he is not the innocent that Gomer Pile represented in the show. I agree with the person who said he scares them. As to Romney flip flopping, who in this forum has not changed his views in the last 5, 10, 15 or even 20 years. People like McCain who use his POW status and Huckabee who uses his past as a minister to get other to vote for him, well, if we choose to vote for them knowing these things then when we don't like what they do when they become President, we need to accept the consequences of voting for someone who was not qualified.

  • Pssss....the law...
    Jan. 5, 2008 2:42 p.m.

    Yeah, he was "likeable" in Iowa 'cause everyone there was a white Evangelical. Duh. What was his secret, everyone is asking? There is no secret, it's same "secret" Mitt will have with Utah voters. Gimme a break. "likeablity." Good grief.

  • evensteven
    Jan. 5, 2008 2:31 p.m.

    Just Asking, you are playing the same game the Husckster did with his 'innocent' question. Mormon or not, without the bona fide credentials he had, Mitt would never have been considered qualified to head the Olympics. That said, because he had those credentials, AND is LDS, he was uniquely qualified to head the SLC Olympics. Who else in the world could have brought the same business and cultural experience? Simply no-one. Mitt knows how to run an organization and, as a Mormon, understood the Utah culture and the vast resource the LDS Church could be to pulling off the Games. His Utah learning curve was practically non-existent, a necessity given the condition of the Games when he took over. He needed to be effective from day 1. If that bothers you, so be it. Mitt stepped into a situation that could have gone either way and directed a very successful Olympic Games. Any way you slice it, that is genuine resume material.

    How about a little honesty from now on? Just state your sneering anti-Mormon agenda right up front so everyone knows what you are about.

  • Related? Not sure
    Jan. 5, 2008 2:26 p.m.

    Oh yeah, I have the short list right here. Come'on, Romney's business career is well documented. 2nd - It's how Huckabee uses his baptist religion to his advantage. Sending out fliers proclaiming one to be a religious cultist is inappropriate. Using pastors to conduct your negative affairs while hoping it flies under the radar is very clever. I have no problem with Huckabee getting more votes in Baptist country and Romney getting more votes in Mormon country. When Mormon bishops start belittling Huckabee's religion as cultist, I'll change my stance on Romney.

  • Just asking
    Jan. 5, 2008 2:11 p.m.

    Did you see this short list? Or are you just speculating?

    And you didn't respond to my second paragraph. Great to be a Mormon for Mitt, but woe betide a baptist for using his religion to his personal advantage.

  • Related? Not sure
    Jan. 5, 2008 2:00 p.m.

    He got the Winter Olympics in the same manner that he was involved with the creation of Staples. It's called credentials and having years of experience specializing in that type of work. I don't think being a Mormon hurt his cause since Utah has a large populous, but they didn't need a Mormon, the games needed someone to change the Olympics. He would have been on the short list of candidates to help the Winter games anyways.

  • Just asking
    Jan. 5, 2008 1:46 p.m.

    Romney's religion probably shouldn't come into this debate. But then I can't help wondering...was he selected to "rescue' the winter games because he was the only businessman available in America at the time, or because he was Mormon?

    He uses his Olympic experience as a positive while neglecting to mention how he got the job. Then he whines that he could have won in Iowa if he had been a baptist.

  • Former Huckabee fan
    Jan. 5, 2008 1:44 p.m.

    Early on I too fell under the spell of the Huckabee charm. He has a great personality, warm, friendly, appears humble. But I found out he is really a devious, deceptive, manipulator. He attacks the Mormon Church indirectly, and then lies and claims he was just asking an honest question when he knew the answer all along. The ultimate was his press conference when he announced that "I am not going to go negative and tell the whole world that Romney beats his wife. By the way, here is the tape that I won't show anybody." It is sad that Iowans (and I am a former Iowan) bought it. I am not a Romney supporter and he does have a problem appearing genuine. He needs to say what he really feels and damn the consequences like McCain does. But Huckabee really scares me. I have become an "Anybody but Huckabee republican.

  • Michael
    Jan. 5, 2008 1:43 p.m.

    All of you Romney supporters need to move your positive messages out into the national press. We need to support him at the national newspapers as well as the local. Also, he needs volunteers at his website to make calls in New Hampshire on Monday. We need to put our money where our mouth is and get the most intelligent, articulate, honest, and hard-working candidate elected as our next President!

    Michael in Texas

  • Muth
    Jan. 5, 2008 1:42 p.m.

    The Huckabee win proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Iowa Republicans cannot be trusted with the responsibility of weighing in first on the GOP presidential primaries. That a big-government nanny-state liberal from the same small state and town that gave us Bill Clinton - who is weak on taxes, weak on spending, weak on immigration, weak on crime, weak on limited government, and a cipher when it comes to foreign policy - can win handily on the strength of being "folksy" and wanting to "take this country back for Christ" tells us all we need to know about why this situation of Iowa going first can no longer continue.

  • evensteven
    Jan. 5, 2008 1:37 p.m.

    This article is clearly an attempt to paper over the covert bigotry that pushed Huckabee to his win in Iowa.

    Let's see, an unusually high turnout (35% above normal), Evangelical Christians made up 60% of caucus attendance (nearly double their voting history), one candidate is a Mormon whom the Evangelicals despise, another is a Baptist preacher who has played the religion card. Yeah, that sounds like religion played no role. Guess they really did 'like' the Huckster better.

    On the other hand, for Mitt to have done as well as he did against those odds is really a win for him. Given the demographics of attendees, Huckster should have easily gotten over 50% instead of the 34% he did get. Apparently, even some of his base has problems with him. If likeability were the key, explain Wyoming. Or NH, where Huck is in 5th. Maybe there was some horse trading done to prepare for an eventual McCain/Huckabee ticket?

    Less than 120k Reps participated in Iowa. Get real, people. This thing is far from over. Let's see which candidates are still around by the time we get to FL.

  • Chase
    Jan. 5, 2008 1:17 p.m.

    "As an Iowan who participated in this unique and interesting process - from the straw poll to rallies to the huge turnout at the caucuses - I was impressed at how well the Romney campaign was organized and run. He should do very well in the all-important long run through the November election. As to Iowa, no one should discount the anti-Romney campaign staged here by the evangelical voters and their pastors: it was very real and obviously very effective."

    Thank you for your post. I was waiting to read an honest comment from someone with a first-hand experience with the caucus in Iowa without the slant of the media.

  • Please vote
    Jan. 5, 2008 1:03 p.m.

    Politically polished = Huckabee
    Cleverly deceptive = Huckabee
    Could use some work = Romney

    Is there a politician who doesn't sound negative when they point out differences? Everyone should examine the facts rather than political bantor.

    Huckabee goes after religion because he has nothing else to go after. McCain is to smart to do that. Guilani knows that's political suicide. The difference between Romney & Huckabee is that Huckabee has other pastors do his dirty work. By the way, what is the Mormon church doing in support of Romney? Are they going door to door with religious cult fliers? Keep me posted.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 5, 2008 12:58 p.m.

    Well...there ya go...train as a DJ...learn to play the bass guitar...and you're a shoe-in for Iowa.

    (Jaye sings...)"You are in I-O-WAY!"

  • Iowa for Romney
    Jan. 5, 2008 12:46 p.m.

    Iowa has chosen correctly 6 of the last 8 BUT Iowa did not get Reagan. I reminded Romney workers of that numerous times before the caucus and I want to make it very clear here. Iowa did not choose Reagan, arguably the best president of that century. Instead, Iowa chose George Bush with Dupont coming in second. I believe Reagan was third. As an Iowan I am very sorry that the state got it wrong this year and by no means is Romney out of the race.

  • At last!
    Jan. 5, 2008 12:39 p.m.

    I am not mormon but i have to listen to some very uneducated remarks from the educated, there does exist a larger anti-anti requiem so to speak about the lds church. I find it great that some are questioning the media because it is powerul..aren't days ahead for the LDS suppose to get harsh?

  • Flitt Romney
    Jan. 5, 2008 12:38 p.m.

    Yes. Romney is so hard to like. His persona is smug, condescending, and pious. Not to mention he stands for nothing.

  • Last bastion of bigotry
    Jan. 5, 2008 12:05 p.m.

    The last bastion of bigotry in Iowa is against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. There are "Evangelical ministers" that make their living traveling around the rural areas "preaching" the negative "real truth" about the LDS church. I saw one ad this week where he charged $175 for one session with a "free will offering" or $325 plus a mileage charge figured in there somewhere. One well known "Evangelical minister" lives in Nauvoo and is on TV here in Cedar Rapids Iowa three times a week. His ENTIRE ministry is against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Iowa's little dark secret in uneducated circles is this religious bigotry. Those with college degrees here are offended by this underbelly of Iowa, and speak out against this bigotry. The college educated and "real Christians" of all denominations came out in force to make their voices heard. Fourteen counties in northeast Iowa defeated Huckabee with their votes for other candidates.

  • a reader and voter
    Jan. 5, 2008 11:47 a.m.

    I rather liked Huckabee when I first heard him speak. But as time went on and he kept making those snide little remarks I began to see that he has an agenda and I don't appreciate or trust people who act like he does. I don't see him as the President of this United States. I don't think he could handle it, nor do I trust him with all that power. I do not think he should have 'pardoned' murderers and criminals or some of the other things he did. If they were found guilty by a trial and jury, they are guilty and should pay for their crimes.

  • In my Opinion
    Jan. 5, 2008 11:35 a.m.

    It will be nice if Rommey start to give his money to poor people instead to dream to became a President.

    Just my humble opinion.

  • Charles
    Jan. 5, 2008 11:33 a.m.

    Whether you want to believe it or not, Romney's religion had everything to do with why he lost in Iowa. Excuses such as likeablity and whatever is nothing more than an attempt to cover a "soft" bigotry against Mormonism. To be blatantly bigoted would probably be deemed not politically correct but religious bigotry against Mormons is at the heart and core of most evangelical christians. We as Latter-Day Saints may want to fool ourselves into believing otherwise, but being a former Protestant who later joined the Church, I know that this form of bigotry is alive and real in the hearts of most evangicals as well as many Protestants. As Mormons, we are effectively disenfranchised from both the national Republican and Democratic parties. Those Utah Democratics who believe this bigotry only exists in the Republican party are only deceiving themselves. The Reagan coalition is being dismantled by bigoted republican voters and I fully expect the Democrats to take full advantage of this and be swept into office this November.

  • What is there to like?
    Jan. 5, 2008 11:24 a.m.

    He is rude and slanderous? Those are not qualities I look for in a President!

  • wqr
    Jan. 5, 2008 11:05 a.m.

    "Whether you like it or not, Romneys religion DOES have a negative impact on voters. You may be tired of hearing about it, but it doesn't change this fact. Many Evangelicals don't believe Mormons are Christians and believe that they are some kind of cult, both of which couldn't be any further from the truth."

    To apply a religious test to a candidate for US President is a violation of the US Constitution.

  • L. Clark
    Jan. 5, 2008 11:03 a.m.

    I agree whole-heartedly that there is a big difference between the personalities of Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. The first thing I noticed was that Huckabee had a personal touch and more "human" side than Romney had. Romney cannot approach the road to the presidency with hard-line political views and money. It is all about people- and if he cannot take that perspective he will not win the presidency. He needs to understand people- listen to them, talk WITH them (not just at them), and discover who and what they are. Running big corporations and the Olympics takes a guy like Romney- one who "gets things done." But he needs to make sure he doesn't steamroll people in the process. He needs to value them.

  • Vern Johnson, Nashua NH
    Jan. 5, 2008 10:51 a.m.

    It is difficult to like Romney. Every negative remark about Huckabee in this comment thread is equally if not more applicable to Romney. He is a lying son of privilege, and totally unrepresentative of the rest of the Mormon people. If there was any religious bias involved in Iowa, it was there because Romney courted it. His speech about faith was a dismal failure and his constant allusion to values was clouded by the lies he cannot cease to employ. Romney lies about himself personally, his record as Governor of MA, the record of his competitors and his endearing connection to the worst president in American history. The Mormons should follow a larger variety of the media more carefully and fact check the garbage Romney slings. We've had liars aplenty in the White House and now is not the time for one more. Romney is headed for another train wreck in New Hampshire, and when that happens it will be time for you Utahns to stop worshiping this loser.

  • Stewart
    Jan. 5, 2008 10:42 a.m.

    If Romney were to have won in Iowa, it would be comparable to a Huckabee win in Utah. Faced with a choice of an evangelical and a Mormon, the choice was clear to many of the voters and no other issue rose even close to that level. The same will happen in Utah, and not even Huckabee's winning personality will matter. Other issues have less meaning to many of the voters. This is not good or bad, it is just the way it is.

  • From Iowa
    Jan. 5, 2008 10:42 a.m.

    I hardly know where to start on Huckabee because there is so much fodder for the cannon. If everyone came with a lie detector embedded in their head it would be deafening when Huckabee speaks. I know mine sounded like an airplane cockpit going down from 50,000 feet.
    When you play the game password and you are trying to get your teammate to say a word but you can't say the word. That was Huckabee's whole evangelizing rally. Evey thing he said was designed to have you thinking something negative about Mitt Romney without actually him actually saying the words "Mitt Romney" When the press got to question him they said how is Mitt Romney not supposed to take everything you say as negative? Then Huckabee said and I quote "They can think whatever they want"

  • Mc
    Jan. 5, 2008 10:20 a.m.

    The New Hampshire primary allows voters to register at the polls. Right now McCain is ahead because he is attracting independent voters who might usually vote democrat. A political analyst I heard predicted that a win for Obama in Iowa would draw those independent voters in NH back to vote in the Democratic primary instead of the Republican primary. That would work in Romney's favor, as mostly true Republican will be voting and he is in the lead with that group in NH. Don't count him out yet.

  • Loosen up, Mitt!
    Jan. 5, 2008 10:14 a.m.

    I really like Mitt Romney because he's a financial wizard, he's honest, and his values are right on the money. I saw him on TV after the votes in Iowa, and his hair was falling down over his forehead, and I thought, "I love it! A little more casual is what he needs." Not so stiff. He's a really good candidate, and I hope America is smart enough to put him in the White House.

  • Cindy
    Jan. 5, 2008 10:02 a.m.

    Oops...I had meant to say that if Huckabee had stayed out of the race, I think the issue of Romney's religion would NOT have been an issue at all.

  • Cindy
    Jan. 5, 2008 10:00 a.m.

    IMHO I don't think that Romney's religion would have been an issue if Huckabee stayed out of the race. Huckabee is of evangelical faith, which is probably the harshest critics of anything LDS. I don't think Huckabee had his own presidential aspirations, as much as he didn't want to see an LDS candidate successfuly run.

  • Goodbye MITT
    Jan. 5, 2008 9:57 a.m.

    You will be missed.

  • Barbara
    Jan. 5, 2008 9:56 a.m.

    The fact that Huckabee resembles familiar actor, Kevin Spacey, might play a part in his popularity. If a man who looked like Gene Hackman ran, I might vote for him on that basis alone. (Smile)

  • The Romney
    Jan. 5, 2008 9:53 a.m.

    I find the Romneytron2000 quite lifelike at times. There are still giveaways, but overall I find robot technology improving every year.

  • Iowa Voter
    Jan. 5, 2008 9:46 a.m.

    As an Iowan who participated in this unique and interesting process - from the straw poll to rallies to the huge turnout at the caucuses - I was impressed at how well the Romney campaign was organized and run. He should do very well in the all-important long run through the November election. As to Iowa, no one should discount the anti-Romney campaign staged here by the evangelical voters and their pastors: it was very real and obviously very effective.

  • Kevin of Arkansas
    Jan. 5, 2008 9:44 a.m.

    I think it is a scary thing that a Batist Minister won as a presidential candidate. Why does Huckabee not have to defend his religious stance and how it will influence his presidency? I do not think that Huckabee will end up being the republican nominee because other than his religous views, he really isnt a strong candidate. Even if he does become the nominee, I do not think he will win the presidency. Having seen his record in Arkansas, he is as crooked as the others and the democrate (whoever that may be) will dig up all the dirt he did here in Arkansas.

  • the media rules
    Jan. 5, 2008 9:43 a.m.

    people at least some of you are recognizing the influence..the public is spoon fed the war attrocities yet it is very simple, when a bomb goes off on the other side of the world , does it not effect the children on the other side, the media would have you think not, yet it is our children who are risking dieing in a strange land also never to return.the media rules and is a big machine ran by?

  • Double Meanings
    Jan. 5, 2008 9:31 a.m.

    To Keith in CA - when it comes to what Mitt says, you have to understand the meanings of the words. He told MA voters that he would not raise their taxes - but he did create thousands of "fees" to pay for services. Fees, taxes - still comes down to more money out of your pocket to pay for what you want. So, before you think you like his message- make sure you understand the small print that explains all the details.

  • Scott E
    Jan. 5, 2008 9:26 a.m.

    Whether you like it or not, Romneys religion DOES have a negative impact on voters. You may be tired of hearing about it, but it doesn't change this fact. Many Evangelicals don't believe Mormons are Christians and believe that they are some kind of cult, both of which couldn't be any further from the truth. Dismissing bigotry doesn't make it go away. I think a McCain-Romney ticket would be a winner.

  • Bill Arnquist
    Jan. 5, 2008 9:14 a.m.

    Romneys intense campaigning in Iowa woke up a lot of voters. His efforts, in effect a kind of plowing and planting, set up the state for Huckabee harvest the votes at the Caucus.

    Romneys intelligence and experience clearly qualify him for the job. He does not need to oversell himself. He should focus on sincerity, the moral high ground and the personal likeability he has worked so hard the past year to establish.

  • timing is everything
    Jan. 5, 2008 9:11 a.m.

    It also played in favor for Huckabee to appear on the Tonight Show w/Jay Leno the night before the Iowa caucus. It was the first night of the return of Letterman/Leno/Conan since the writers strike, and millions of late-nighters were chomping at the bit. Huckabee came out warm, friendly, funny, and even kicked back and played electric guitar with Kevin Eubanks and the band. Politics aside, it did help support the "likability factor".

  • Kevin
    Jan. 5, 2008 8:55 a.m.

    He talks like Jimmy Stewart and looks like Kevin Spacey, but he is the end of Barry Goldwater conservatism if he becomes the party candidate. He's very likable, even funny. His acceptance speech was pure fluff. Religious conservatives thrive on fluff. Wall St. can stomach religious conservatives if they are economic conservatives. But it cannot stomach an anti-business Bible thumper. The rest of the country will weigh-in on this very quickly.

  • liberal larry
    Jan. 5, 2008 8:55 a.m.

    Mitt's natural constituency is the moderate, main street, republican. He also has a stiffness, reminiscent of Al Gore, which doesn't appeal to the personality driven evangelicals. He should have just taken his lumps with the far right, stayed true to his nature and gone after the republican middle.

  • Alan
    Jan. 5, 2008 8:51 a.m.

    There is nothing likable about Huckabee's tactics, and especially those of his supporters. Last week, Huckabee said Romney had lied about his record, which itself was untrue. (The Romney campaign backed-up Romney with facts on its Web site. And, by the way, changing one's mind on an issue does not make one a flip-flopper. That label belongs to those who go back and forth, and back and forth. Romney has gone FORTH abortion, and he added his position on gay marriage to his existing one on gay rights. Those who can't accept that kind of "flip-flopping" shouldn't vote for ANY candidate.)

    And, of course, Huckabee has been two-faced regarding his handling of Romney's Mormon faith. When one labels one's self the "Christian" candidate, that casts a negative, dismissive glance on all the other candidates. It's amazing how Huckabee whined about Romney's "negative" campaigning, which straightforwardly illustrated policy differences in a non-personal way. (One of Huckabee's campaign leaders publicly wished to punch Romney out. How likeable!) Then Huckabee stood by and watched his surrogates mock Mormons while giving only a token denial of religious bigotry.

    To non-evangelicals and even to some evangelicals, there is nothing likable about Huckabee's behavior.

  • Richard G.
    Jan. 5, 2008 8:39 a.m.

    I'm a hardcore atheist who thinks religion should stay the heck out of poilitics. But the Huckster comes off as likable while the Mittster reminds me of the robot Lincoln at Disneyland. His plastic mechanical fake smile persona just bugs me and a lot of other people.

  • Carlos
    Jan. 5, 2008 8:32 a.m.

    Remember, Clinton and Bush were likable, too....

  • Keith, California
    Jan. 5, 2008 8:30 a.m.

    I'm amazed at the comments I read in the media. Does anyone listen to what the candidates say. I've heard Romney state his positions several times. Mitt, don't raise taxes--secure the borders. You'll be elected president.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 5, 2008 8:28 a.m.

    Maybe Romney isn't the best candidate. Unspeakable as it is here in Utah and the Mittney news, it's got to be at least considered that we aren't looking at the candidate nearly as much as we're looking at the mormon.

  • Spence
    Jan. 5, 2008 8:20 a.m.

    Hey, Mitt lived in Salt Lake for almost 3 years and now one got close to him there. I do not believe people think he saved the Olympics, they were on a good track before he came. With his flip flop on issues this campaign is will soon be over. Mitt did not connect with ordinary people.

    Curb the ego, Mitt.

  • Karras
    Jan. 5, 2008 8:17 a.m.

    This is the beginning of the end for Romney, he should of played straight, stuck to sound principles and not flip flopped to get votes. He is not sincere and was out to buy this thing. He has lost touch with the ordinary voter.

    I am sad that Huckabee is rewarded for his faith and the way Romney has dealt with it, he will be punished.

    So long MiTT. Go home to MA.

  • its too late
    Jan. 5, 2008 8:14 a.m.

    Romney decided to play that he is the "true conservative" of the republicans and he wasn't believed. Now if he tries to adjust himself to be a moderate - he will offend those that he sold on his "true conservative" stance. He forgets that with media and the internet he can't say one thing for one crowd and the opposite for the other crowd without those conflicting messages being heard by the other side.

  • jgirl18
    Jan. 5, 2008 7:54 a.m.

    It is getting old to continue to hear about Romney's Mormonism as his excuse for failures in the election. McCain, Thompson, Guillani do not have that excuse, and they do not complain about the votes. They realized that it was their message that did or did not resonate with the people of Iowa. Romney is playing the victim card about how hard it is to get elected as a Mormon - when it isn't true. No body wants to keep hearing this message any more than if we heard the other candidates saying I can't get votes because I'm old, I'm a woman, I am Black, I've been divorced several times, blah, blah, blah. Stop looking for the external excuses and look within for why you turn voters off. To blame it on something else is looking for an easy way to excuse your failure.

  • Ricki
    Jan. 5, 2008 7:49 a.m.

    This article is spot on about Romney. He is stiff, his movements and expressions do not appear sincere. It is as if his hand gestures and responses to questions are practiced. I am NOT saying that he cannot be trusted, but what I am saying is that when someone is that polished I don't see that person as genuine and I do not trust them.

  • Iowan
    Jan. 5, 2008 7:49 a.m.

    Having listened to both Romney and Huckabee speak in person I would agree that Huckabee is likable. He is a sweet talker but looking at his track record he is as stubborn and hard headed as Bush. It is his way or the highway. Look at Arkansas, even his own state doesn't like him. When he opens his mouth on real issues, like foreign relations, he sticks his foot in it. Granted Romney shot himself in the foot when he ran all of the negative ad campains but the only reason why Huckabee won is because Romney is a Mormon. It wasn't about the appeal of Huckabee but the dislike of Mormons that evangelicals have. Look at exit poll comments by them, that speaks for itself.

  • Who is Huckabee?
    Jan. 5, 2008 7:48 a.m.

    Re: Iowa Caucus

    Huckabee hasn't won anything by winning the Iowa Caucus. Iowa is a liberal state. Romney did well given the political demographics and Guliani and McCain paid little attention to it. The little covered fact was Huckabee garned the Baptist/evangelical vote....and the democrats fought it out...that all that happened. Huckabee will have to demonstrate he can go against the front runners....i.e. McCain, Guliani, Romney and Thompson in the many states to follow. The media is making too big of a thing out of Iowa and the upcoming New Hampshire vote in my opinion. The history of these two venues don not justify all the hoopla in the media. Let us give this process more time and see how this plays out.....please.

  • true blue
    Jan. 5, 2008 7:38 a.m.

    Maybe Mitt put is eggs in only one basket. He did have a very good finish in Iowa, and he'll get at least second in New Hampshire. McCain and Huckabee aren't necessarily strong candidates out of a handful of states.

  • Dix Dan
    Jan. 5, 2008 7:29 a.m.

    Likability had nothing to do with Huckabee's win. With 60% of the Evangelical vote going to him, none of the other candidates could have won. If Huckabee survives New Hampshire, the Evangelical Right Wing of the GOP will have another candidate for the White House. This should cause Utah voters some concern having a candidate who bashs the LDS faith. Will that stop the Utah GOP from endorsing him? I doubt it.

  • The Research..
    Jan. 5, 2008 7:28 a.m.

    Doesn't validate your claims in this article. The key stat from the caucus is this: The evangelical turnout at the caucuses was at 60% of the total voters. That is huge, and more than anyone ever predicted it would be. It was, in fact, double the turnout of evangelical voters in the 2004 general election.

    Romney managed a 60% turnout rate with his organization, which is a great turnout for the unpredictable caucuses.

    But Huck managed to pull together a loose organization comprised of mainly evangelical churches to dupe Christians into voting for him, and that made all the difference.

    Huckabee is a lousy Republican and an even more lousy conservative who is running on nothing more than identity politics - being a Christian leader. And the fact that that is enough to win in todays Republican Party disgusts me. I dont think this bodes well for the GOP, or conservatism, if Hucks success becomes a trend. And I think it reflects badly on undiscerning Evangelicals who vote for a candidate for no other reason than he's part of their tribe.

  • Marky
    Jan. 5, 2008 7:21 a.m.

    Let's see.

    Do I want a president who is an expert in fixing problems and making shrewd financial decisions that lead to saving money and growing business opportunities or do I want a charming, bass guitar playing Baptist minister?

    Do I want a president who has a proven track record of successful negotiation and compromise of his positions with others who do not believe as he does or do I want a president who has doggedly stuck to his own beliefs, regardless of what others think or believe?

    Tough question America. You make the call.

  • Bobbi
    Jan. 5, 2008 7:18 a.m.

    People should stop making excuses such as can't win because I am a Mormon, I am a woman, I am Black, I have been divorced, I have a funny sounding name, my children are out of control blah, blah, blah. Bottom line is do people connect with you, do they believe in you, do they want the same things that you want? When you dummy it down to these excuses - you are insulting the people's intelligence and integrity. Perhaps that is why people lose - they don't like those politicians that would insult their intelligence to blame the reason that they don't like them is for something so unimportant and overlook the serious flaws.

  • JWK
    Jan. 5, 2008 6:51 a.m.

    Likability? This guy scares me. I live next to Arkansas and I have read the things he has done. While he is a good man he allows his religious beliefs to influence his decisions. While that may sound good I am concerned that he will be too trusting of our enemies and allow us to be blindsided again.

    I am concerned that he will be the Republican version of Jimmy Carter, also a good man who allowed his vision of the world to hurt the USA.

  • Andy
    Jan. 5, 2008 6:48 a.m.

    It is not Hukabee's likeability factor that won him the IOWA caucas. It is his honesty, and integrity; something MITT ROMNEY lacks. JOHN McCAIN also has those quality. Not only MITT lost IOWA, he will lose NEW HAMPSHIRE as well to McCAIN; and the wheel will come of the axle of the MITT MOBILE.

  • Matt
    Jan. 5, 2008 6:41 a.m.

    It was his likability among Evangelicals who get to preach politics from the pulpit without worrying about their tax-exempt status.
    Matt-Des Moines, IA

  • Morgan - NYC
    Jan. 5, 2008 6:40 a.m.

    Is there really any doubt that if Romney was an Evangelical, or even a Protestant, he would have easily won Iowa? Or, is there any doubt that many of the Evangelical pastors admonished their followers (either directly or implicitly) to vote for the Baptist or the Mormon? There is no doubt that Huckabee played the religion card and he won big.

  • James
    Jan. 5, 2008 6:28 a.m.

    Nice guy? After some of his snide and obviously planned negative remarks, he seems just like all the rest--determined to say and do whatever it takes to get elected. This is a change?

  • Dave
    Jan. 5, 2008 5:16 a.m.

    I think if there was one thing the Romney campaign should learn from the Iowa caucus, it was how much the American people hate negative campaigning. He completely lost his momentum and Gov. Huckabee overtook him in the polls when he started taking shots at everyone, especially Gov. Huckabee.

    I was on the fence until I watched the debates and listened to the snide, often rude comments made by Gov. Romney. He would only talk about his positions and facts as a mean to attack the other candidates. Completely unprofessional and it hurt him in the end.

  • Hawkeye
    Jan. 5, 2008 3:00 a.m.

    I disagree that Huckabee has a likeability about him that won over voters in Iowa. What the recent Iowa Caucuses show is that whisper campaigns are very effective when used against certain candidatesin this case an LDS candidate who is seen as a serious contender. All Republican candidates--McCain, Huckabee, and Giuliani--have established whisper campaigns designed to scare voters off Romney. In front of the cameras these candidates say religion shouldnt matter and that one should not vote for Mitt because hes a flip-flopper on key issues like abortiona valid point in this campaign. However, that same candidate then leans into a pastors ear and whispers, Do you really want your congregation voting for a member of a cult?

    Democrats are sure to get involved after seeing the success Republicans had in Iowa. I see them being used against Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton as follows: Do you really want to see a black man as president? and Seriously, a woman president?supported by what ever stereotypes the whispering attackers think will work. Whisper campaigns are what will drive shifts in the polls from one candidate to anothernot likeability or a candidates qualifications and stance on issues. Sad.

  • It's the Laundry, Stupid
    Jan. 5, 2008 2:21 a.m.

    Likability? More like familiarity. Isn't Huckabee the guy who plays the Maytag Repairman from those commercials? Well, they do make a fine washer.

  • Objectivity ?
    Jan. 5, 2008 1:25 a.m.

    Honestly aren't you media types taking the Iowa results a little out of context?

    In an extremely conservative state where two out of three votors are evangelicals a New England Mormon running against a Southern Baptist Preacher actually gets nearly a third of the vote.

    Mr. Romney is doing incredably well.

  • way too early
    Jan. 5, 2008 1:24 a.m.

    Iowa is only one state so this is way too early to decide. Iowa hasn't elected any president for us in the past if I am not mistaken, so Romney still has a chance. However, he does need to articulate more strongly why he should be elected and what kind of president he would be. This is like a job interview, where you have to connect what you have done and your cababilities with how you would do it in your new role. He has yet to come with any great ideas about how he would reform government which I would expect would be his strong suit.

    Romney will also be plagued by his abortion fiip flop in the conservative niche where he is playing. I think he would do far better going up against Giuliani in the moderate space and playing for independents as well. The evangelicals have apparently made their move for a minister (Huckabee) who will have a hard time appealing out of his base of 30%.