There has been some controversy over Mike Huckabee’s Illegal Immigration plan.
As written, it looks fantastic, but people have persistently been claiming that it’s actually a variant of Mike Pence’s stealth amnesty, touchback plan.
So, I figured that I would get in touch with Mike Huckabee’s campaign, clear this up once and for all, and do a post on it.
Now, with any of the other top tier contenders, I would just talk to one of my contacts on the campaign. Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney’s blog guys are easy to get in touch with because they’re constantly reaching out to the blogosphere. The same can’t be said for McCain and Giuliani (although John McCain does semi-regular teleconferences with friendly bloggers), but at least I know people who are with those campaigns who will respond to an email.
As far as the Huckabee campaign goes, to the best of my knowledge, they do nothing with the blogosphere (which incidentally, is probably part of the reason they get such vicious coverage. Since bloggers have no relationship with the campaign, they don’t get Huckabee’s side of the story and feel no impulse to temper their remarks because of a connection with the campaign).
Anyway, so I called the campaign, explained that I was with Right Wing News and Townhall (I always like to mention Townhall, because even if they’re not familiar with RWN, Townhall is a big outlet that commands respect amongst Republican politicians) and asked to speak with one of their media people.
I did this for three days in a row and never once managed to get in touch with one of their media people. Notably on one of the days, no one at all picked up when I called the campaign at 8:30 AM & 9:30 AM EST (I called back later in the day and got someone, but geeze, why wouldn’t someone be answering the phone at that time of day at the office of a guy who may be our nominee?)
I left messages on the regular voice mail of one of their media people, on that person’s cell phone, and with the person who answered the phone for their campaign. I explained that I only needed 5 minutes of their time to answer a question and I never got a response back.
Keep in mind here that the point of doing this was to write what I anticipated would be a positive article about Mike Huckabee. I believe that his immigration plan doesn’t contain a touchback provision. Many people think it does and it’s turning them off to his campaign. So, if I were able to publicly correct that misperception (assuming it is a misperception), it would be helpful to him. Still, it was impossible to get an answer.
I’m not trying to beat up on Huckabee here, but if you’re a top tier contender for the presidency, you ought to at least be organized enough to answer queries from the press within three days time. The fact that Huckabee’s campaign wasn’t able to pull that off tells me that his campaign hasn’t completed the transition from a shoestring effort that got by on the strength of Huckabee’s charisma and religious background to the sort of well organized campaign that someone in his position needs to have.