The Republican sweep of November 2014 is now fully in the rearview mirror. And the focus in D.C. is squarely on the 2016 presidential election.
Who will win the biggest prize of all and finally replace Barack Obama?
With Hillary Clinton perched high atop the Democratic Party polls, it appears as though she’ll sail to her party’s nomination almost unimpeded.
On the Republican side, the race is as divided and contentious as ever…
Of the prospects, though, one particular man stands out from the crowd. And for this reason, I followed him all the way to Poland so I could share this information with you…
A few duos seem like they may join the race for presidency: Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, Governors Rick Perry and Scott Walker, former Governors Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee… They’re all likely.
Even many lesser-known names such as Governors Bobby Jindal and Mike Pence might also join the race.
In the weeks ahead, I plan to take a close look at each candidate. But this week, my eyes will focus on Governor Mike Huckabee. To give you a front-row seat, I’ve climbed aboard a plane for Krakow, Poland.
A Prestigious Start
You see, Governor Huckabee is starting the first leg of a 10,000-mile political journey in Krakow.
He has traveled to Poland with a group of 100 political and faith leaders for the purpose of studying one of the 20th century’s most important figures: former Pope John Paul II. Before he was elected as Pope, he was shepherd to the Catholic faithful behind the Iron Curtain.
Once he became Pope, he joined with Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan to challenge the legitimacy of the Communist dictatorship in his homeland. As a result, a small democracy movement (which started in the Gdansk shipyards) grew until it toppled the Communist regime.
Soon after success in Poland, the democratic revolution spread across Eastern Europe until the Berlin Wall finally came down 25 years ago this month. The story of this historic effort really begins in the ashes of World War II. The Soviets had filled the power vacuum left over from when the butchers of Nazi Germany fled.
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Next on Huckabee’s hit list are the relics of Hitler’s regime. He’s taking the group to Oskar Schindler’s factory and nearby Nazi concentration camps.
In addition to seeing and hearing Huckabee up close and personal, I’ll be interacting with leaders from the key early primary and caucus states: New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina, and Nevada. The GOP nominee will likely be picked by the time these four races are over. So, I’ll be reporting those details back to you, as well.
From Poland to the White House
As a whole, it’s not an accident that Governor Huckabee picked Poland. Poland stands at the center of U.S. post-Cold War strategic policy. When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, it became U.S. policy for NATO to fill the void left by the retreating Soviets.
Poland (along with the Baltic States) was given membership in the alliance. The wording of the treaty is clear: We have a treaty obligation to go to war with the Russian Federation, should Vladimir Putin decide to try to take over territory historically part of the Russian Empire.
Catherine the Great made Poland central to Russian strategic policy. And since that time, where it was ruled by a Czar or a Soviet, Poland has been traditionally a vassal buffer state. It’s only been for the last 25 years that Poland has truly experienced self-governance as a democracy.
With the invasion of Ukraine, Putin has Poles, Lithuanians, Hungarians, and others very nervous about the future. These former Soviet Bloc countries all understand that the United States has guaranteed the territorial integrity of Ukraine when they unilaterally gave up nuclear weapons in the ‘90s.
These nations watched as Barack Obama failed to live up to America’s commitment to Ukraine. And they’re acutely aware he hasn’t even lifted a finger to help them in their heroic struggle to stay free.
It’s likely that Governor Mike Huckabee would have done much better with a similar challenge.
Your eyes on the Hill,