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Why Huckabee Won Georgia

How did former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee win in Georgia when he could not win in South Carolina or Florida? One reason: Neal Boortz. The king of Atlanta talk radio for nearly thirty years — nobody has neared his ratings … Read More

By / February 6, 2008

How did former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee win in Georgia when he could not win in South Carolina or Florida?

One reason: Neal Boortz.

The king of Atlanta talk radio for nearly thirty years — nobody has neared his ratings since Sean Hannity in the early 1990s — Boortz popularized the "Fair Tax" in a bestselling book. The basic idea is to replace the income tax with a national sales tax. Boortz has annoyed the religious right for years, but last year a funny thing happened: Mike Huckabee, a candidate known for his liberal economics, needed a conservative talking point for his campaign. He decided to co-opt Boortz's plan so that the Republican base would not accuse him of taxing and spending if he were elected. Huckabee also dropped his proposal for a federal indoor smoking ban, which Republicans (and Boortz) abhorred. But it was his use of Boortz's tax plan that endeared Huckabee to Georgia voters.

Ironically Boortz has long bashed the anti-abortion lobby for its heavy-handed tactics, and opposes using the Constitution to enforce morality, whereas Huckabee wants to amend the Constitution to "God's standards."

But Boortz is championing the Huckster, which means more votes for the latter and more book sales for the former. Crass but effective — for both men.

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