Des Moines Mariott, 5:40 PM: Chuck Norris won't roundhouse kick Mitt Romney in the face. Instead, he explained to a room of bloggers at a Mike Huckabee Q&A event at the Des Moines Marriot, he's "gonna choke 'im." At this, Mr. Huckabee smiled, sheepishly, seemingly thrilled with the crowd's approval. Justifying his use of ass-whoppin' on behalf of the weight-battling candidate, Mr. Norris listed Romney's offenses - he's "flip-flopped" (a campaign term as overused and stale as a Chuck Norris joke) on gay marriage and abortion rights. Worse, Norris cautioned, deadpan, "Mitt Romney has $100 million." The right-wing bloggers smiled. Huckabee remained, hands in pockets, with the look of slightly bewildered glee plastered on his face.
After a brief introduction by the candidate himself, Norris went on to monopolize the time as Huckabee's spokesman, explaining away Huckabee's "alleged" weaknesses with an almost wifely affection. On the subject of Huckabee's former position as a Baptist Preacher, Norris chuckled, "It's not as if he stepped down from the pulpit to run for President. He was governor for a long time." Reiterating up the Romney Inferiority Factor, Norris pumped up his claim, "I don't know how long Romney was governor, but I'm sure Mike was in office at least as long as that." Apparently Chuck Norris is unaware that his favorite Good 'Ol Boy held his gubernatorial office for an unprecedented ten years. He went on, "I don't call him 'Pastor Mike,' I call him 'Governor Mike.'"
The point, we were reminded, wasn't to talk-up Huckabee's credentials. They seemed to be universally understood and accepted. The point, was money. And Chuck Norris asked for money. "What Mike needs," he said, "is money." He had a plan. The plan was to throw a Mike Huckabee for President Barbecue on Chuck Norris's 700-acre Texas ranch. With a 2,000 sq. ft gymnasium. And martial arts room. "It's really something," piped in Mrs. Norris from the peanut gallery, "we've been building on it for 15 years."
For those in the "blogosphere" unable to attend, Mr. Norris explained, he would host a virtual barbecue. "I'll give a video tour of the property!" He sighed. "We can go to our rec. room, which is a 2,000 square feet rec room, which has everything in it." For access to everything, Chuck Norris asks for only $10. But there's more. He would also give a Martial Arts demonstration. This is to be the day's entertainment. As an afterthought, he wondered aloud if he could get Mike's band to play. Confident in his pitch, Mr. Norris asked the bloggers for their blessing.
His followers bit. One blogger in the audience raised the possibility of many barbecues, held across the nation, creating some sort of mega-barbecue for all Huckabeeites to enjoy virtually together. The idea: Chuck Norris Approved. It would be the biggest day of barbecuing in history. "That's a lot of barbecue," responded the candidate.
Mrs. Norris, thrilled at the hostessing prospect, blurted, "say it again!" So Chuck did. He restated the entire barbecue pitch. And the crowd again heard about the virtual tour, the 2,000 square foot rec room, the martial arts demonstration, the paltry $10 charge, the presence of Huckabee. All of it. And Huckabee remained, the Teller to Chuck's Penn, smiling silently to the side.