January 8, 2008
Chuck Norris for Secretary of Defense
Or maybe it's the other way around, and Huckabee is the one running for President. I couldn't really tell. After all, Mike Huckabee was the one who introduced Chuck Norris, and Huckabee spoke so eloquently about him that it almost felt that the candidate was endorsing Chuck Norris. And, frankly, the endorsement worked. If ever there is an election for Action-Hero-In-Chief, thanks to Mike Huckabee, I'm definitely voting for Chuck Norris.
I know what you're thinking. Chuck Norris never came to your middle school cafeteria. He never came to mine either, but I'm sure the students at this middle school were thrilled. I dare say that not everyone came for the politician. Or maybe I'm wrong, and Huckabee is just really good at bringing teenage boys into the political process. As one kid near me said to his friends, "I mean, come on, it's Chuck Norris. I don't even know who this other guy is."
The two of them were campaigning all weekend, in what has been dubbed "The Huck and Chuck Show." Chuck Norris even attended a Chowderfest on Sunday. You didn't see that one coming, did you? Frankly, if I were the chowder, I would be scared.
Technically, this wasn't a political event. It was a charity event called "The Reason for Giving." For the first part, Huck and Chuck (along with their wives) sat on the stage and listened to a few speeches by the organizers. Next to them, there was also a police officer, who seemed to be under the mistaken impression that he was protecting Chuck Norris, when everyone knew that Chuck Norris was protecting him.
While Huckabee didn't give a political speech, at one point he did give a little pitch for his fair tax plan. He promoted the idea of helping others, but felt that this was best done through personal charity rather than through the government. His argument is that the government just doesn't do a good job of helping the poor. "When the government is helping you, they're also doing something else to you too," he joked.
There were a number of charities involved, including one that helped people with home heating costs and another called MooreMart that sends care packages to U.S. troops overseas. Huck and Chuck even presented a box of soccer balls to be donated to the troops. They weren't inflated, though Huckabee quickly announced, "These soccer balls were originally inflated, but Chuck Norris stared at them, and they withered away."
Afterwards, my goal was to get Chuck Norris' autograph for my girlfriend's daughter. Meag's a blue belt, and she's a big fan of Chuck Norris. Sometimes, she just likes to say "Chuck Norris" repeatedly, but really who doesn't?
Unfortunately, I was not alone in this pursuit. Half the audience was trying to get him to sign something, and most of them surged ahead of me. Many had pictures, signs, and even baseballs for him to sign. When Norris went to the back of the stage, his wife even signed a few baseballs for his fans. (I wonder what the resale value for those will be on eBay.) One woman even brought a complete DVD set of "Walker, Texas Ranger," which would have been nice to have watched during the hour we waited for them to appear.
Later, I stood by the campaign bus watching the last of the crowd, when the two of them approached. At last, I had my chance to be a hero. Or at least I almost did, until a Huckabee campaign staffer stepped in front of me. He said that the bus was leaving, and there was no more time for autographs. I must have looked particularly sad, because, as he walked away, Chuck Norris reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out a card with his autograph on it.
"Here you go, Man!" he said with a smile. Now, I don't even really care much about Chuck Norris. I'm not sure if I've even seen one of his movies. But in that moment he did make me happy. Such is the benevolent power of Chuck Norris, not quite powerful enough to make me vote Republican, but still pretty powerful.
©2008 Joe Lavin