Blessings, Prayer, and the Pledge of Allegiance

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – Mike Huckabee rolled into Orange Countytoday for an event inside the gates of Bayview Estates—a development that billsitself as a “Residential and Equestrian neighborhood.” Something tells me thisisn’t the target audience for Huckabee’s brand of populism. (Although he did gethis biggest round of applause when he started talking about the Fair Tax.) No signs of Mischa Barton yet, but there were some other scenes that only a Huckabee fundraiser canprovide:

  • A Huck volunteer named Sharon was put in charge of having the media sign-in. After one cameraman said his correspondent had already written their names, Sharon responded with a wide smile: “Bless You.”
  • Huckabee was asked about the youth vote by an MTV News correspondent. Mind you that Newport Beach is where that god-awful MTV show Newport Harbor is filmed. Unfortunately, I don’t think Huck watches much MTV, so he didn’t quite note the irony.
  • As Huck shook hands and signed autographs, a greasy guy in his mid-20s tried to impress a bronzed mid-20s gal by saying she should go up to Huckabee and ask him to sign her breast, rock-star style. He was kidding. I think.
  • One of the older women in the crowd had a red LED ticker pinned to her shirt. Huckabee 2008 slowly crawled across her shirt on an endless loop. I should have introduced her to the breast-autograph guy.
  • Before Huckabee gave his stump speech, one of his supporters went on stage to offer an opening invocation. He asked Jesus to give Huckabee strength at tonight’s debate, and he prayed that the American people would come to their senses and support him.
  • The entire crowd pledged allegiance to the flag before Huckabee spoke. The person-to-flag ratio in this estate is probably 5-to-1. I counted a few dozen lining the driveway alone.

In spite of—or maybe because of—all of this, Huckabee managedto raise 100,000 dollars today. Upon hearing the news Huckabeequipped, “Our campaign is so frugal, we could go a month on that. We probablywon’t but we could.” He’s exactly right, if only because Huck will probably be out of the race in amonth.