Tuesday, 29 March 2011 21:07

Will Louisiana, Ark. Miss. Have Favorite Sons With Roemer, Huckabee, Barbour?

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    It’s months before the GOP presidential selection process officially gets underway.  No, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal isn’t seeking the nomination – that we know of.
    Bur former governors of two of the Ark-La-Tex states are: former Louisiana Gov. and Congressman Buddy Roemer, a Bossier City native and Baton Rouge banker, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, host of a Fox TV talk show and scores of radio talkfests, who’s also hustling votes while touting his new tome, “A Simple Government.”

    A book signing by the presidential wannabe was held here recently at Barnes and Noble.
    Roemer, the former 4th Congressional District House member in the 1980's before becoming governor, may drum up a shot at the White House through his self-imposed limit of $100 contributions to his campaign.
    Roemer is one of several Republican presidential wannabes who recently legally classified themselves as candidates by filing required paperwork with the Federal Election Commission and establishing an exploratory committee in pursuit of the GOP nomination.
    On the other hand, Huckabee – highly popular with staunch conservatives and based in New York – appears at this point to have diminished, if not ended, any possibility of nabbing the nomination – though until recently placing second in the polls – because of a gaffe citing President Barack Obama as having grown up in Kenya, rather than in the non-contiguous U.S. state of Hawaii.
    Huckabee, a former Baptist preacher, has humbly apologized publicly for his inaccuracy, pointing out the confusing chronology of Obama’s younger years and noting that all mere mortals make mistakes.
    According to news reports, Huckabee’s gaffe grew from a confused situation wherein multi-racial Obama spent the first five years of his life in Hawaii, then moving with his mother to Indonesia and Kenya for eight years before she abandoned her radical, political activist husband and moved back to Hawaii.
    Obama is recalled as leaving Hawaii eight years later to attend Occidental Harvard in the contiguous U.S., since admitting that back then he was “left-leaning” after eight years under the influence of his mother’s second “Marxist” husband she dumped.
    Critics surmise, however, that the reason Obama hasn’t been keen on the British is his father’s earlier role in the colonization of Kenya.
    As for Roemer, who reportedly got rousing applause after his down-home address to the recent  Iowa state GOP caucus – the lead-in state caucus in the nation fielding Republican presidential wannabes – I’m personally proud, as a Louisianian, that he’s taking a shot.
    If he’s not selected party candidate, such public exposure could serve as a catalyst for a Cabinet position or other high-ranking federal position should Republicans claim the White House in 2012.      
    Having covered and closely observed Roemer on Capitol Hill when he followed in the footsteps of the  late U.S. Rep. Joe D. Waggonner, Jr., D-LA, I’m  amazed that  more hasn’t been made of the former centrist congressman’s earlier outstanding  representation of our 4th District as a qualification toward occupying the White House.
Pat Thorne, a close friend and former colleague of mine in the U.S. Capitol Senate Press Gallery, who also covered Roemer while correspondent for the recent Shreveport Journal, recalls Roemer as “the smartest, most articulate congressman I ever covered.”
Now an online media mogul in Maryland, Pat was glowing during our recent telephone conversation.  “I’ve been delighted in seeing him on his national TV interviews, and proud to have known him back when,” enthused Thorne.
    Fax-Net publisher Lou Gehrig Burnett, who was also in Washington at the time as chief of staff to former U.S. Rep. Jerry Huckaby, agrees with Thorne.  “There is no doubt that Roemer has a brilliant mind – and he is one of the best orators I have ever heard.  I just love to watch him give a speech,” Burnett said.
    Roemer would be no novice on a presidential podium, having in 2008 aggressively participated in the losing presidential bid of Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, down to delivering speeches in McCain’s stead.
    At this point, the frontrunner for  GOP presidential nominee appears to be not former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, the leader of the Republican Revolution in the 1990's, or Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, but Herman Cain of Godfather’s Pizza fame.
    At the Iowa GOP caucus, Cain was adamant over the American dream being under attack by the Obama Administration, and challenged Republicans to take the lead in “steering the nation away from an entitlement society to an empowerment society.”  His pursuit of the presidency, Cain boasted, could help get the nation back on “the right track.”
    Had McCain chosen Connecticut’s Sen. Joseph Lieberman as his running mate in 2008 rather than Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, speculated supporters, he likely would have been elected instead of Obama. And  Roemer might have become a Cabinet member or other high-ranking official.
    But right-wing radio talk show hosts went absolutely nuts over the possibility of a McCain-Lieberman ticket even though the polls showed they could beat Obama.
    This going on three years later, fumed antagonists, Obama’s $1 billion stimulus bill has done nothing but run up debt and hurt businesses through no less than  300 federal regulations.
    In the meantime, don’t discount billionaire Donald Trump with his hotel empire and tight-fisted TV persona, who’s expected to enter the GOP presidential nominee race shortly.
    Could even Cain’s Godfather’s Pizza fame trump Trump?  Will Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour also announce his candidacy – making it a three-connecting states threesome?  Stay tuned.
     Virginia Robicheaux was a longtime reporter and columnist in Washington, D.C.  She has returned to Shreveport.  Phone: 797-8773  

First published by the FAX-Net

FAX-NET UPDATE is published weekly and delivered to your home or office by fax or e-mail. Subscription rates are: $50 for 12 months (50 issues) or $35 for six months. To subscribe, send check or money order to: Fax-Net Update, P.O. Box 44522, Shreveport, LA 71134. If you have questions, tips or want to do a guest column, call 861-0552 or send e-mail to louburnettatcomcast.net. Lou Gehrig Burnett, Publisher.  Willie Rayburn, Assistant to the Publisher.  Virginia Robicheaux, production manager and columnist; Pat Culverhouse, Marty Carlson, Dr. Jeff Sadow, and Chuck Fellers, Columnists and Contributors.  In memory of James Q. Wellborn and Charles Nickel.

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