The Chaos In Washington

Just as Obama was having a spectacular weekend, so too was Huckabee.  Romney dropped out of the race making Huck the other man in a two man race, and despite McCain’s tremendous showing on Super Tuesday, the man from Hope was climbing.  He won Kansas by a near forty point margin, and squeaked out a narrow victory in Louisiana, and all eyes turned to Washington state where the two candidates were locked in a see-saw battle with barely any daylight between them

That’s when everything just got weird.

At 87% reporting, with the margin within two percentage points and McCain just regaining the lead, the Republican party halted reporting returns, declared McCain the winner, and called it a day.  Now, I’m not a huge conspiracy theory nut, but you can obviously see what it looks like; the Republican party, in order to protect the trajectory and image integrity of their presumptive frontrunner are now fixing the race in McCain’s favor.

Yet, Huckabee doesn’t seem to want to stand aside.  When Romney dropped out, he did so so as to not damage the party, Ron Paul dropped mainly because reality was sinking in and he had to protect his House seat.  Huckabee’s not having none of it.

Indeed, there’s at least a validation for him staying in the race.  McCain, who is hated so vehemently by movement conservatives of many stripes, practically begs someone like Huckabee who has the grassroots support of a large swath of movement conservatives to challenge him.  Huckabee is now, in this narrative, the Anti-McCain which is a good thing to be given the general animosity in the party towards its frontrunner.

But with Democrats having their own battles on the other side of the fence, Republicans were quickly warming up to the idea of John McCain as the undisputed frontrunner.  Compared to the warring Democrats, the Republicans would appear to be unified, committed to their nominee.

While we can’t know until it’s official, it’s looking like this is what Washington was about–maintaining the integrity of a narrative, and the illusion of party unity.

But Huckabee seems ill suited to stomaching this and has issued a press release:

The Huckabee Presidential Campaign will be exploring all available legal options regarding the dubious final results for the state of Washington State Republican precinct caucuses, it was announced today. Campaign Chairman Ed Rollins issued the following statement: “The Huckabee campaign is deeply disturbed by the obvious irregularities in the Washington State Republican precinct caucuses. It is very unfortunate that the Washington State Party Chairman, Luke Esser, chose to call the race for John McCain after only 87 percent of the vote was counted. According to CNN, the difference between Senator McCain and Governor Huckabee is a mere 242 votes, out of more than 12,000 votes counted-with another 1500 or so votes, apparently, not counted. That is an outrage.

“In other words, more than one in eight Evergreen State Republicans have been disenfranchised by the actions of their own party. This was an error in judgment by Mr. Esser. It was Mr. Esser’s duty to oversee a fair vote-count process. Washington Republicans know, from bitter experience in the 2004 gubernatorial election, the terrible results that can come from bad ballot-counting.

“Frankly, I am disappointed in the way that Mr. Esser has handled this urgent matter. So I call upon Mr. Esser and his colleagues to cooperate fully with the Huckabee campaign-and all Republicans, everywhere, who care about honest and transparent vote-counting-to make sure that every vote is counted and that all Republicans in Washington have the chance to make their votes count. Attempts by our campaign to contact Mr. Esser have been unsuccessful. Our lawyers will be on the ground in Washington State soon, and we look forward to sitting down with Mr. Esser to evaluate this process, to see why the count took so long, and why the vote-counting was stopped prematurely.

“It would be a disservice to every voter in Washington State to not pursue a full accounting of all votes cast.

“This is not about Mike Huckabee. This is not about Senator John McCain. This is about the failings of the Washington State Republican Party. All Republicans should unite to demand an honest accounting of the votes, so that Republicans can have full confidence in the results, and full confidence in the eventual Republican nominee. As I said, we are prepared to go to court, and we are also prepared to take our case all the way to the Republican National Convention in September.

“Our cause is just. We must reemphasize the sacred American principle that all ballots be counted in a free, fair, and transparent manner.”

That is not a solid recipe for success in September, and if this makes big enough headlines some of which stick to McCain, I think it’s reasonable that Huckabee  may do more than just shake up the frontrunner’s status a little bit, but pose instead a serious threat.  And if it does go all the way to the convention, that’s going to be ugly.

Democrats take note, this is what shadiness will get you.  We don’t want this drama going on in our house, do we?

2 Responses to “The Chaos In Washington”

  1. Kathy House says:

    How about a little integrity in your reporting? Ron Paul has NOT dropped out of the race.

    The shenanigans in Washington are not the first in this primary/caucus season, but as Paul’s campaign has been on the receiving end of it no one cared.

    Hucakbee cries foul and it’s all over the news.

    No one wants McCain. He will get SLAUGHTERED by the Dems.

  2. Fine, Ron Paul “suspended” his campaign, which is essentially ending it, which he did. He even explained his reasoning behind this in that he has to now go home to defend his congressional seat for, and I’m paraphrasing it, if he doesn’t his opponents will see that as a victory against him and those who believe in the same ideals.

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