So why all of a sudden is Mike Huckabee on the cover of USA Today, featured in two articles in The Wall Street Journal yesterday, in The New York Times, and all over the internet? One word…
Huckabee is warm, open, affable, strong, convicting, and all with a light touch. He is very unusual for a political candidate running for President. He has just overtaken Mitt Romney – the previous communications ‘Golden Boy.’ Where Romney is telegenic, Huckabee is authentic.
Examples: On the Sunday morning news shows and in the debates, he is articulate, brief and often funny. He doesn’t take himself too seriously, but hits the issues head on. I saw him in an interview on the Glen Beck show, and I don’t think I’ve ever experienced the confidence and quick thinking on serious issues as Huckabee put forth. With a light touch – he often peppers his conversation and interviews with SHARPS that stick, like comparing his unlikely campaign success to the flight of the bumblebee: “The bumblebee, being unaware of these scientific facts (on why it can’t fly,) goes ahead and flies anyway.”
Teaching Point: Open communications counts! Mike Huckabee’s swift rise to the top tier with little money and fame (vs. Guiliani, Romney and McCain) comes on the wave of his ability to communicate – consciously and effectively. That’s not all there is to it of course, but a case in point that with it, you can lead and inspire in almost any setting. He’s a good model to watch and emulate.
PS: Many think his rise is due to conservative values – that’s a very small piece at this stage. Actually in today’s Politically Correct environment it is often a handicap to tough Christian values – which Huckabee is able to do shamelessly, and powerfully. (His statement in a public debate about his belief is a classic.)
PPS: I don’t laud Huckabee because of his values, but as an example of what great communications can do. As a matter of fact, I have lauded in this blog Obama, Clinton and Bush at various times. Just looking at the communications!