Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Great Speaker. High Energy. Terrible Location.

Mike Huckabee rode his wave of momentum into Roanoke last night. And there was an energy level in the room that gives me the feeling that Mike is going to do very well in Southwest Virginia and possibly the entire State in today’s primary.

Mike Huckabee is a phenomenal speaker. And he knows how to work a large crowd. He had the 500+ supporters screaming and cheering. It’s not hard to imagine him on the pulpit preaching to the faithful. Like most successful preachers, Mike has a way of connecting with each and every person in the room. That skill translates well into the political world.

But as good as Mike was, he couldn’t quite make up for such a terrible location. The Link Museum is just not a place to hold a rally for 500 people. It was cramped and you couldn’t see well. I saw clips of Bill Clinton’s rally at Patrick Henry High School in Roanoke. The contrast was stark. He had a great set up on an elevated stage. The visuals worked perfectly.

As much as I like Huck, I have been disappointed in his campaign’s level of organization. As most of you know, Debbie and I have been working with the campaign since December. But we haven’t had any contact with the campaign over the past few weeks. I had spoken with a staffer last month about helping Mike in Virginia, but never received any direction as to what I could do. A bit disappointing to say the least.

I want to make one more observation about last night. I noticed a lot of the “conservative base” in attendance. These were the same folks that supported Fred Thompson. Then Mitt Romney. And now Huckabee. They are just moving from candidate to candidate, driven by the “Anyone But McCain” mentality. I am glad to have them on board, but I am a bit leery of their last minute support. Then again, these are folks that supported me for years, only to find greener pastures during last year’s primary. I’ll make a note to warn Mike.

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