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Blogging Mock Convention: Mike Huckabee

Mike Huckabee: Best Government is Self-Government

After the dust settled from the Carville-Coulter debate, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee brought calm to the setting with a quietly passionate appeal to personal responsibility.

The best government, Huckabee said, is self-government. “Freedom does not exist in a moral vacuum,” he added.

Huckabee told the crowd that he was a generation away from a mother who lived in a house with a dirt floor and no electricity. “I am living a life that would be unimaginable in most cultures, because where you start is where you’re stuck,” he said.

“What makes America a great country is the way we treat each other,” he said. “It is not our economy that will fail us. We will crumble because we have lost our moral center, because our compass internally does not point due north, and we will not be able to claim the moral high ground for every single human being.”

To be free, Huckabee said, a country has to be able to feed itself, fuel itself and fight to manufacture for itself.

Huckabee told the student conventioneers that “I want your world, the one you’re going to inherit, to be every bit as good as the one I’ve been blessed to have. Unless we make some changes in the way we govern ourselves, that’s probably not going to happen.”

Greatness, he said, is what we choose to be in our individual responsibility as citizens before God and before each other.

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Carville v. Coulter: Romney Will Be Nominee

A standing-room crowd in Washington and Lee’s Warner Center settled in for an animated debate between James Carville and Ann Coulter as the opening event of the Mock Convention

As senior Tricia King, general chair of the convention, noted, Carville’s appearance marked the first time that a representative of the party in power (the Democrats, in this case) had addressed a Mock Convention, which is always for the party out of power.

Although there were many points of disagreement on issues like immigration, foreign policy and government spending, they did agree on one thing: when all is said and done, Mitt Romney is probably going to be the Republican presidential nominee.

Carville compared the potential nomination of Romney by Republicans to trying to give  a dog a pill — he just keeps getting spit out. Coulter plainly is not keen on Newt Gingrich: “Newt Gingrich is in the Newt Gingrich business, not the fixing-the-country business.”

Added Carville about criticism of the media: “People use biased media like a drunk uses a lamp post — for support not illumination”

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Calm Before the Storm

Warner Center’s transformation into the convention center is nearly there. Chairs on the floor, stage in place, sound and big screens all working.

In addition to live video on the Mock Convention site and on Cable Channel 18 (Comcast in Lexington), tonight’s opening debate, featuring James Carville and Ann Coulter, will be streamed live by WDBJ-TV, Roanoke’s Channel 7, on its website (www.wdbj7.com/) starting at 5 p.m.

In case you missed this news from earlier in the week, Kelly Evans, the 2007 Washington and Lee alumna who will be moderating the debate with 1986 alumnus Mike Allen, of Politico, has left the Wall Street Journal and will be moving to London later this month to work for CNBC.

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Welcome to our 2012 Mock Convention blog.

Throughout the next three days, we’ll providing a running commentary on the events as the convention unfolds. So check back often.

For starters, those who cannot make it to the sessions have several ways to keep track:

1. The events will be streamed live on the Mock Convention website at http://mockconvention.com.

2. WLUR-FM is carrying gavel-to-gavel coverage over the air and on the Internet. WLUR is at 91.5 on the FM dial and can also be heard through its website, wlur.wlu.edu.

3. Finally, if you are in the Lexington area with access to Comcast, the proceedings will be shown on Cable Channel 18, a production of the W&L Department of Journalism and Mass Communications.