WISCONSINREPORT.COM (01/04/08) - The televised speech by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee following his Iowa Republican Caucus victory were extemporaneous comments, according to a Huckabee campaign worker. Media spokesperson Jim Harris at the campaign office in Little Rock, Arkansas says Huckabee doesn't usually speak from prepared speeches. Harris says there is no prepared text of the off the cuff remarks that consists of words that came from the candidate's heart, after coming in first place in front of Mitt Romney following the Iowa Republican primary balloting. John McCain and Fred Thompson were tied for third place.
"Tonight what we have seen is a new day in American politics," Huckabee told supporters at the victory gathering in Iowa.
"Tonight it starts here in Iowa, but it doesn't end here. It goes all the way through the other states and ends at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue," Huckabee said.
The televised speech that followed consisted of words that were elequent and full of promise for a bright future that might be, should Huckabee become the next president of the United States of America. However, WisconsinReport.com has been told that a text version of the speech is not available, therefore, we are unable to print the moving speech word for word.
Thursday's Iowa turnout shattered the previous record of about 87,000 voters, with more than 125,000 projected to have caucused. Sixty percent of Republican caucusgoers described themselves as evangelicals, according to entrance polls. Those voters went for Huckabee over Romney by more than 2 to 1.
With 93 percent of precincts reporting, Huckabee had won 34 percent of the delegates awarded, Romney held 25 percent, and former senator Fred D. Thompson (Tenn.) and Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) were tied for third, with about 13 percent each.
For Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, the defeat is a devastating blow. He spent millions in Iowa alone, in part by tapping his personal fortune, in the hope of building an insurmountable lead.
From 1996-2007, Huckabee served as the 44th Governor of Arkansas. When he left office on January 9, 2007, he set out on a nationwide tour to promote his fifth book, “From Hope to Higher Ground.” The book reveals his optimistic vision for what America can become with the right kind of leadership and a clear direction.
Governing Magazine named him as one of its ‘Public Officials of the Year’ for 2005, Time Magazine honored him as one of the five best governors in America, and later in the same year, Huckabee received the American Association of Retired Person’s Impact Award. In 2007, he was presented with the Music for Life Award by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) for his commitment to music education.
Huckabee is past chairman of the National Governors’ Association (NGA) and chairman of the Education Commission of the States. During his tenure as governor, he served in other leadership positions including president of the Council of State Governments, state co-chairman of the Delta Regional Authority, and chairman of the Southern Governors Association, the Southern Regional Education Board, the Southern Growth Policies Board, the Southern Technology Council, the Southern International Trade Council and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission.
As former chairman of the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission, Huckabee worked with the 37-state coalition to develop energy policy and lobby Congress on energy matters, such as the regulation of oil and gas production. He also is known nationally for his focus on technology in state government. He created an automobile license renewal system that’s become a model for states across the country. Huckabee directed the creation of other advancements that have made Arkansas a technology leader among the states.
Huckabee became governor in July 1996 when his predecessor resigned. He was one of the youngest governors in the country at the time. Huckabee was elected to a full four-year term as governor in 1998, attracting the largest percentage of the vote ever received by a Republican gubernatorial nominee in Arkansas, and was re-elected to another four-year term in November 2002.
It's now on to New Hampshire for another run at winning another primary battle, but, this one is just five days long. Some political commentators believe Huckabee will have a difficult time pulling off another victory in New Hampshire.
The political pundits largely feel most New Hampshire voters may not be so easily persuaded that Huckabee is the Republican for them. Some of them believe John McCain might come in first place in New Hampshire, which could be the start of McCain's comback.
Other professional political analysts are wondering whether Romney can come back from such a huge loss in Iowa. Romney and his campaign workers and family members had spent a good deal of time trying to persuade Iowa Republican Primary participants to see it his way, so he was prepared to give a victory speech of his own Thursday night.
The question is: Can Huckabee keep on the track that will take him to the November ballot? Or, will it be one of the other Republicans opposing the Democrat who is finally chosen to represent the Democrat's hope to regain the White House?
New Hampshire will be another step to mount along the way, with more to come.