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Mark Steyn, pre-Romney

Thursday, November 15, 2007
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HH: I should probably try and pick up on Mark Steyn. Mark Steyn, save me. I’m vamping here.

MS: (laughing) I was rather enjoying that.

HH: (laughing)

MS: I was waiting for you to give away the turkucken.

HH: (laughing)

MS: I was hoping for the turducken. I’d never heard of such a thing until about, whenever it was, about ten or twelve years ago. Martha Stewart was a guest on my BBC Christmas show, and went into raptures about the turducken. I didn’t believe it existed. I thought it was something she’d made up, and it shocked me to discover that it actually exists.

HH: You did a BBC Christmas show?

MS: Oh, yeah, yeah. It was very…I used to be more in demand over there than I was later. In fact, I think after that turducken show was when they fired me, so I don’t know whether they didn’t believe in the turducken, either.

HH: (laughing) What was the turducken…what was the Christmas show about? I mean, were you cooking in the kitchen and doing like a morning show in America deal?

MS: No, it was just, it was a talk show, but at Christmas, we used to lighten up, and at seasonal occasions, we’d lighten up and get Martha Stewart in to talk about traditional cooking and decorating and things, and we’d have a few songs, you know, like you do. You lighten up when it gets to the holiday time.

HH: We do, we do, but not this year, not with all of this politics going on. Well, let me ask you while we’ve got you, Mike Huckabee, my first question on my list is Mike Huckabee is the flavor of the month, and I want Romney to tell me the differences with him. What do you think of Huckabee?

MS: I’m a bit concerned about Huckabee when you look at his record down in Arkansas. I wasn’t impressed by him the only time I encountered him live, which was admittedly at the beginning of the year, and no doubt he’s brought himself up to speed a bit since then. You know, I have very grave concerns about the mix with a lot of these candidates. Some of them are good on other things, some of them are bad on other things. But very few of them seem to wrap the whole thing up into the perfect package. And my concern is that Huckabee doesn’t have any great credibility on the foreign affairs thing. He sort of has a kind of perfunctory attitude to that, which I find a little distressing. And then on some of these, some of the fiscal and governmental issues, he’s way too much into the, he has big government aspects to him that I’m not comfortable with.

HH: Do you think he lasts? I mean, he got his little surge, his little pop. I don’t think it lasts, but what do you think?

MS: Well, I think actually, there’s something rather cynical about this going on in the media, this poll in Iowa. I don’t know, I think polls in New Hampshire, relatively speaking, mean something, because it’s a primary election. Polls in Iowa, I don’t think do mean something, because a caucus is a crazy system, and it depends a lot more on all kind of other factors. And I think the media are talking up Huckabee in a way, because he would be their preferred opponent. I can’t imagine a Huckabee-Hillary race in which Hillary doesn’t really make mince meat of him. So I think there’s something slightly suspect in the media’s talking up of Huckabee.

HH: Also on my list of questions for the governor, and it’s now going to be after the break, and I’m going to try and hold you, trick you into coming back afterwards to comment on it, is the Robert Redford comment. Did you see this, Mark Steyn?

MS: Oh, yeah, this thing about…I love Robert Redford, dismissed Mitt Romney as plastic, this comment?

HH: Yes.

MS: Yeah, which I find very odd coming from Robert Redford, a man who only likes to be photographed from his good side. I mean, this is…I think these guys are totally out of touch with reality. I mean, I think it’s true that if I had a criticism of the Romney campaign, it’s that he’s actually, he’s one of these guys who could do with mussing up his hair and unbuttoning his tie, and he does have a slick and groomed image. And so in a sense, it would do him good to be unbuttoned and mussed up a bit. But the idea of being called plastic by Robert Redford, I think, is absurd.

HH: The full quote funs, Redford was talking about Mormons generally, and he said, “They are very adept at not being fazed, and speaking fluently and gracefully. Why? Because every single male who’s a Mormon goes on a mission for two years when they’re 19 or 20. They learn how to deflect blows and stay on message. No wonder Utah is the place that all these Republican Senators go. It’s perfect. So when you see Mitt Romney, he’s already been practicing how to deflect blows and stay on message. But it’s plastic.” Do you think you get away with saying something like that about the Jews and their love of money, or the Chinese and their deviousness?

MS: No, and I would be interested to see if he could get away with saying it about, say, scientologists, to name the preferred religion, for example, of his…

HH: Co-star.

MS: …co-star, Tom Cruise in Robert Redford’s current flop movie. I don’t…I think these guys are yesterday’s men. There’s a huge…you know, I’m Mr. Demography bore since America Alone came out, and I often talk about demographics in Europe. You know, there is a huge demographic surge, a huge demographic wind behind the Mormon back. And it is not going to be possible in a couple of election cycle’s time to demonize this big a chunk of the American population, because they’re growing in numbers. They’re not just in Utah. Mitt Romney is running for president from Massachusetts, a Mormon in Massachusetts. I mean, Robert Redford, I think, just sounds slightly out of it. I mean, he is, it is a bigoted remark, but it’s yesterday’s bigotry. And generally speaking, if you’re going to be a bigot, you ought to be up to speed.

HH: Now speaking of New Hampshire, you’ve got Massachusetts, your neighbor to the south. Ron Paul’s got $5 million dollars and quite an organization in New Hampshire. Have you run into the Paul pods up in New Hampshire yet?

MS: Yeah, and they’re very organized. He swung through my neck of the woods this…on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. He was at the Littleton Diner. The last candidate I saw at the Littleton Diner, in fact, it was Teresa Heinz Kerry, and I asked the waitress whether Teresa had volunteered to refill the ketchup bottles. She didn’t. But this time around, Ron Paul was stopping there. He was in Woodsville. He was doing the Pat Buchanan campaign. You go to the small northern towns that the big media can’t be bothered with, because it’s too far from Manchester Airport, and you win in those small northern towns, the way Pat Buchanan did.

HH: Oh, interesting. After the break, if we don’t have Romney, I’ll ask you more about that if you can stick.

End of Part 1.

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