The Biggest Loser Poised for Big Win
Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has made headlines with his eat-fresh childhood obesity prescriptions and his own 110-pound weight loss, but it's not his personal Biggest Loser victory that has Democrats taking notice. They think this 2008 dark horse presidential candidate is poised to gobble up his GOP opponents and win the Republican nomination. A preliminary internal review of Huckabee by the Dems says: "With national Republicans in disarray and the GOP base angry and demoralized, Huckabee may be the best positioned to run as a true Washington outsider." It's a winning pattern: Bill Clinton, another Hope, Ark., kid, did the same thing back in 1992.
Republicans are also paying attention. One important look-see came from top Republican Party fundraiser and cosmetics magnate Georgette Mosbacher, who was Sen. John McCain's national campaign cochair in 2000. The Borghese exec hosted a fundraiser at her New York home for Huck and was wowed by his weight-loss story. "It's something so many Americans can relate to, particularly baby boomers," she tells us. But, she adds, he might have only regional appeal, and "we don't need another southern state." Conservatives are also studying him, more wowed by his pro-family stances than his occasional tax hikes. All of which make him a top vice presidential pick if he doesn't break out.
Oh, No! It's Out With the Bow
First his dancing shoes and now his bow tie? Yup, Tucker Carlson, host of MSNBC's Tucker and a brief contestant on Dancing With the Stars, has gone traditional. "I ditched the bow tie for the same reason most men make profound life decisions: on a whim," he says. "After 20 years I was looking for a change, and the bolo tie just didn't feel right."
A D.C. Fan Calls It: the Saints by 3
We laughed when Katrina cleanup czar Donald Powell told us last summer: "You can write that on August 22 I predicted that the Saints will make the playoffs." Well, the New Orleans fan is the one laughing now, as the team is indeed headed to the post-season. His new prediction: The Saints will face the San Diego Chargers in the Super Bowl. In the end, he adds, the Saints will top the Chargers 45-42, based on special-teams heroics. The Texan says that the unexpected Saints juggernaut has done miracles to change the mood in NOLA. "It's huge," he says.
The Future of Politics in an iPod
It wasn't long ago that we told you of how the Democrats and Republicans were preparing a new way to reach voters in 2008 through their mobile technology and iPods. Well, now we know why. Republican pollster David Winston tells us that new research found that 40 percent of 2006 voters ages 18 to 34 own iPods. And many don't make time to watch lots of TV, choosing instead to TiVo their faves or record podcasts. So what will be the best way to reach those critical voters in 2008? Through their iPods, he says, especially when the MP3s go wireless. "That's the next environment," he predicts, "where people will get their information." His tip to the pols: Make the ads riveting. The best example: losing Maryland Senate candidate Michael Steele's family-focused TV ads, some of which featured a cute Boston terrier.