The day before the Virginia primaries, there was a Rally for Mike Huckabee at the Holiday Inn-Executive Center on Greenwich Road. The room was filled even for a Noon on Monday. Following are my observations.
I arrive about 10:55. There is already a line formed to get into the room. I talk with the two people ahead of me; one wants to know about my blog. Volunteers pass out signs to us; they're to be returned afterwards to be used at the next Rally. Crawford Millen comes down the hall and greets me; we were both Nick Rerras volunteers.
They start letting us in the room at 11:10. At 11:20 I get the first glimpse of the Secret Service; the big surprise of the day is how little security there was. (Don't they remember George Wallace and Bobby Kennedy?) Around 11:25 the camera crews start setting up in the rear. The discussion in my part of the room focuses on Mitt Romney and Code Pink.
At Noon we start with a few chants, then do The Wave with our signs. Mike Ferris starts things off at 12:08, followed by Duncan Hunter at 12:11.
At 12:15 the man we've been waiting for comes through the curtains. Mike Huckabee gave a 35 minute speech without notes. Some of the highlights:
On staying in the race - party leaders may have tried to declare it over last week, but it's not over until someone gets 1,191 delegates.
On growing up - his Mother grew up in a house with dirt floors, no electricity, and no running water. His Father worked as a fireman during the week and a mechanic on the weekend. Given the dirty work, Lava soap was the only soap in the house. Mike was in college before he learned a shower wasn't supposed to hurt.
On the war on terrorism - if al-Qaida, the Taliban, et al want to give us trouble, "we'll send them to see the 72 virgins."
On national defense - wants to raise defense spending from the current 3.8% of GDP to the Reagan level 6%. With China building three subs for every one we do, we have a problem.
On energy independence - the U.S. would achieve it within 10 years. We can't be beholden to the Saudi royal family, Hugo Chavez, and Vladimir Putin.
On the Fair Tax - will abolish the current tax code and replace it with a national sales tax. For emphasis, he tore up a 1040 form and tossed the pieces.
On expierience - he's the only candidate who has been a government chief executive (Governor of Arkansas).
On illegal immigration - refered to his nine-point plan. Will have a border fence with Mexico built within 18 months of taking office.
The clincher for me: Paul Weyrich called earlier this morning and is endorsing him. The same Weyrich I referenced in my previous post.
The bottom line: Mike Huckabee is a good man and the only real hope of stopping John McCain from getting the nomination. Please vote Mike Huckabee in tomorrow's Virginia Republican primary.