Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Why I Like Mike: Putting it Together

The past few months I've weighed the merits of the Republican and Democratic fields of candidates, choosing among the diverse crowd of presidential hopefuls who seems to embody the things we need most in a leader. I play favorites, and I won't deny I'm impressed with the experience and rationality of Chris Dodd and inspired by the story and leadership of John McCain, but until now I've yet to synthesize how I feel about Governor Huckabee, so here goes:

First and foremost I'm a sucker for candidates who take risks, especially when the risks taken end up benefitting average Americans. Mike Huckabee's advocacy for health reform and art education in schools won't be the talk of the political newswires, but many of his proposals are for the betterment of the country in ways many of us aren't aware of.

Whether under the spotlight of the media or a large crowd, Mike Huckabee is able to connect with every person in is presence as if he were meeting with and talking to them one on one. Such a skill is uncommon, and many of the 2008 frontrunners maintain multiple personalities: one for interviews and one for greeting ordinary people and voters. It's reassuring to have a sense of security in your elected official that they won't turn into a different person behind closed doors. Mike Huckabee's honest character would be a breathe of fresh air after living through years of government with very little transparency.

Huckabee's issue page on "Crisis Management" speaks highly of his accomplishments as the Governor of Arkansas, but like the modesty he seems to always display, he never once crosses into shameless self-promotion; polite acknowledgment of one's strengths is admirable, but capitalizing on the tragedy of others can be left to other candidates, not Huckabee. Further emphasizing his strength of character, it seems that for Huckabee, his greatest achievements have been his most personal: his fight to lose weight and his religious devotion, especially.

While other candidates seek to win over our trust and support by touting their military and foreign policy experience only, Mike Huckabee's genuine sincerity and commitment to his values and reputation make him truly stand out in the Republican field.

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