Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Rise and Rise of Mike Huckabee (part 1 of 3)

There is no denying it, Mike Huckabee is a bonafide main-eventer. In a previous post I discussed the two ways characters in wrestling are elevated to main event status:
a) Being pushed by management
b) The overwhelming demand of the people

Casual observers may not realise that wrestling is actually a meritocracy. Whilst there are main event wrestlers who have become so through their connections with management. There are also wrestlers who earn first-tier status by connecting successfully with the audience. Once the people spot a 'star', its in the interests of management to give in to the demand. Careers are elevated and buried at the mercy of management but ultimately it is the people that decide who they want to see. Presidential Politics is no different.

There are establishment darlings, those with strong name ID and powerful corporate backers. Conversely there are the grassroots candidates who manufacture their own buzz. The money crucial to American Politics however makes it difficult for those in the latter category to jump the final hurdle.

Fred Thompson is an example of a candidate anointed into main-event status. In a previous post I spoke of Thompson receiving a 'monster push'. Even before a single day of official campaigning Fred entered the GOP Presidential race as the instant number 2 frontrunner behind only Giuliani. He was seen by many conservatives talkers as a Republican in the Reagan mold. Someone who could provide a better alternative to the flawed candidates currently available. As Thompson hadn't earned his first-tier status from the ground up his objective is to preserve and justify the confidence already bestowed on him.

Mike Huckabee is an example of a candidate who has won the people over from the bottom up. Mike was originally a high second tier candidate behind more famous Republicans, Giuliani, Fred Thompson, Romney and McCain in that order. The grassroots excitement he has generated has made the media shine the spotlight on him. By most accounts he is closing in on the number one spot nationally. This is an astounding achievement - a midcarder outside the top 4 elevating to become the Number 1 GOP contender.

To be a first tier candidate one must look the part. In politics it is known as 'looking Presidential'. They need to have corporate and media backing as well as possessing intangibles like trustworthiness and gravitas. Things that will convince voters to elect them as leader of the free world. In wrestling all would-be champions conform to a criteria. They need to be of a certain size and physique if they are to be believable as World Champions. They also must possess great charisma.

Sometimes wrestlers or politicians will be lacking in one of these areas which is what relegates them to a midcarder (2nd tier). For a wrestler they may not be big enough or lack the right "look". For politicians, they may not have establishment support, endorsement from the pundit class or strong corporate backing.

to be continued in part 2 of 3

Read 'The Rise and Rise of Mike Huckabee' Part 2 of 3
Read 'The Rise and Rise of Mike Huckabee' Part 3 of 3

Find "Huckamania!" posters here and newer ones here.

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