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Storming the State House: How the game was played and won

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives Mike Hubbard’s, (R) from Auburn, book is a very good read and is very informative about the last ~18 years of state politics.  Veteran political watchers will learn some facts and details that even they did not know.  However the book avoids being so politically sophisticated that it would bore political newbies.  It explains the political game in simple terms, much like a football coach’s book after a successful season.  It includes information about most all of the players on the political Alabama scene during the recent time period.

Rep. Jim McClendon (R) from Springville admitted to ‘The Alabama Political Reporter’ that there were some things in the book that even he did not know.

Hubbard gives particular focus on the team of political professionals that Hubbard personally assembled while he was Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party.  The book chronicles Chairman Hubbard’s successful bid to seize control of both Houses of the Alabama legislature in the 2010 election for the Alabama Republican Party for the first time since 1874.

The book is an autobiography of Mike Hubbard so the first two chapters tell the story of Hubbard’s childhood, college days, and career in Auburn and Georgia College athletics.  Mike Hubbard established his long career in athletics with the Heisman campaigns he ran for Georgia running back Herschel Walker, Georgia defensive back Terry Hoage, and Auburn running back Bo Jackson.  Hubbard’s career in sports and sports media would teach Hubbard the world of radio and television broadcasting and advertising…..knowledge and skills that Hubbard would later utilize in his growing mastery in the art and practice of partisan political warfare.

Beginning with Bob Riley’s first campaign for Congress, Hubbard and the poultry farmer and businessman from Ashland, AL would embark on a political partnership that would lift both men to the highest levels of success within the political world of Alabama.  Hubbard writes glowingly of his friend and mentor, whom he even named a son after.

The popular former Alabama Governor even writes many short pieces in the book.  Other memories are written by Congressmen, political operatives, friends of Hubbard, even former Alabama Democratic Party Chairman Joe Turnham wrote contributed to the book .

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The book is written from Speaker Hubbard viewpoint and does not pull many punches.  That Speaker Hubbard detests former Governor Don Seigelman is readily apparent.  Former AEA boss Paul Hubbert similarly is obviously not one of Speaker Hubbard’s favorite people.  The Speaker is also critical of some Republicans.  The book makes it clear that there was not a strong working relationship between Hubbard and Alabama State Senator Scott Beason (R) from Gardendale or his political consultant, Chris Brown. Rep. Hubbard blames the pair for some of the Party’s setback during his four year tenure as Party Chairman.

This is a very good book for someone who is contemplating running for office.  There is a lot of detail about the tit for tat nature of political advertising and about balancing positive messages with negative messaging and discusses in detail the importance of fundraising.  This book is a good read for an Alabama citizen who just wants to understand more about his or her state government and would be an excellent read for someone who is new to the world of Alabama politics.  This would also be a very good read for a high school or college government class.  The book might possibly even be a platform for elevating Speaker Hubbard’s political stock for a future statewide run for office.  This book is certainly a must read for the typical ‘Alabama Political Reporter’ reader.

Written By

Brandon Moseley is a senior reporter with over nine years at Alabama Political Reporter. During that time he has written 8,794 articles for APR. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Facebook. Brandon is a native of Moody, Alabama, a graduate of Auburn University, and a seventh generation Alabamian.