Thursday, October 1, 2009


Michael Dale "Mike" Huckabee (born August 24, 1955) is a Republican politician and political commentator for Fox News Channel and ABC Radio who served as governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007. Huckabee finished second in the 2008 United States Republican presidential primaries; he announced his candidacy on January 28, 2007. Following losses to John McCain in the Texas, Ohio, Vermont, and Rhode Island primaries, McCain became the presumptive Republican nominee and Huckabee exited the race on March 4, 2008.

Huckabee is the author of several books, a non-ordained Southern Baptist minister and a public speaker. He and his wife, Janet, have been married for 33 years and have three grown children: John Mark, David, and Sarah.
Early life and education

Huckabee was born in Hope, Arkansas, to Mae Elder (1925–1999) and Dorsey Wiles Huckabee (1923–1996), both natives of Hope. His surname is of English origin. His father worked as a fireman and mechanic, and his mother worked as a clerk at a gas company. His father was a strict disciplinarian, and left a lasting impression. Speaking to Charles Gibson of ABC News, he explained with a grin: "My father was the ultimate patriot. You know, he'd lay on the stripes, and I'd see stars."

Huckabee's first job, at 14, was working at a radio station where he read the news and weather. He was elected Governor of Arkansas Boys State in 1972 and is a Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Foundation Alumnus. He was student council vice president at Hope High School during the 1971-72 school year. He was student council president at Hope High School during the 1972-1973 school year. He has one sister, Pat (Harris) who is a middle school teacher.

Huckabee married Janet McCain on May 25, 1974. He graduated magna cum laude from Ouachita Baptist University, completing his bachelor's degree in Religion in 2½ years before attending Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He dropped out of seminary after one year in order to take a job in Christian broadcasting. He has two honorary doctoral degrees: a Doctor of Humane Letters, received from John Brown University in 1991, and a Doctor of Laws from Ouachita Baptist University in 1992.

Huckabee is an Honorary Member of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity.
Pastoral career

At 21, Huckabee was a staffer for James Robison, a television evangelist. Robison commented, "His convictions shape his character and his character will shape his policies. His whole life has been shaped by moral absolutes."[11] Huckabee has stated, "Politics are totally directed by worldview. That's why when people say, 'We ought to separate politics from religion,' I say to separate the two is absolutely impossible". Huckabee believes in Biblical inerrancy. Prior to his political career, Huckabee served as pastor at Beech Street Baptist Church in Texarkana from 1980–1986 and then at Immanuel Baptist Church in Pine Bluff, Arkansas from 1986–1992. In both Texarkana and Pine Bluff Huckabee started 24-hour television stations "where he produced documentaries and hosted a program called Positive Alternatives. He encouraged the all-white Immanuel Baptist Church to accept black members in the mid 1980s. He served as president of a religion-oriented television station. In 1989 Huckabee ran against the Rev. Dr. Ronnie Floyd of Springdale for the presidency of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. Huckabee won and served as president from 1989 to 1991.
Early political career

In 1992, in Huckabee's first political race, he lost to incumbent Senator Dale Bumpers (D), receiving 40 percent of the vote in the general election. That same election saw Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton ascend to the Presidency, making Lieutenant Governor Jim Guy Tucker the new Governor. Huckabee narrowly won a special election for lieutenant governor on July 27, 1993. He defeated Nate Coulter, who had been Bumpers' campaign manager the previous year[22] (51%-49%).[7] Huckabee became only the second Republican since Reconstruction to serve as Arkansas lieutenant governor, the first being Maurice Britt from 1967 to 1971.

Dick Morris, who had previously worked for Bill Clinton, advised Huckabee on his race in 1993, 1994 and 1998. Huckabee commented that Morris was a "personal friend". A newspaper article reported on Huckabee's 1993 win: "Morris said the mistake Republicans always make is that they are too much of a country club set. What we wanted to do was run a progressive campaign that would appeal to all Arkansans.' Morris elaborated, "So we opened the campaign with ads that characterized Mike as more of a moderate whose values were the same as those of other Arkansans.

In April 1994, Huckabee withdrew from a speaking engagement before the Council of Conservative Citizens. He commented, "I will not participate in any program that has racist overtones. I've spent a lifetime fighting racism and anti-Semitism."[24]

In 1994, Huckabee was re-elected to a full term as lieutenant governor, beating Democrat Charlie Cole Chaffin with nearly 59 percent of the vote. While Lieutenant Governor, Huckabee accepted $71,500 in speaking fees and traveling expenses from a nonprofit group, Action America. R. J. Reynolds was the group's largest contributor.

In October 1995, David Pryor announced that he was retiring from the United States Senate. Huckabee then announced he was running for the open seat and moved well ahead in the polls. He won the Republican nomination unopposed.[26]

During his campaign, Huckabee opposed in December then-Governor Tucker's plan for a constitutional convention. The plan was defeated by voters 20 percent-80 percent in a special election. In January 1996, Huckabee campaigned in televised ads paid for by the Republican National Committee and the Arkansas Republican Party against a highway referendum. Tucker supported the referendum, which included tax increases and a bond program, to improve 1,300 miles (2,100 km) of highway. On the referendum, the bond question, which included a sales tax increase and a gas tax increase, lost 13 percent-87 percent. A second question, a five-cent increase on diesel tax, lost 14 percent-86 percent. Huckabee also opposed Tucker's plan for school consolidation.

In May 1996 Tucker, involved in the Whitewater scandal, was convicted "on one count of arranging nearly $3 million in fraudulent loans" and he promised to resign by July 15. Huckabee then announced he would quit the Senate race and instead fill the unexpired term of Tucker.
Governor of Arkansas
Main article: Governorship of Mike Huckabee

In 1996, incumbent Democratic governor Jim Guy Tucker was convicted of fraud. The Arkansas Constitution, like nearly all state constitutions in the United States, does not allow convicted felons to hold office, so Tucker was forced to resign. However, Tucker, insisting he had a strong case for appeal,[30] rescinded his resignation as Huckabee was preparing to be sworn in on July 16. Within a few hours, Tucker reinstated his resignation after Huckabee threatened to initiate impeachment proceedings against Tucker.[11] Huckabee was sworn in as Governor of Arkansas on July 15, 1996. In November 1998, Huckabee was elected to a full four-year term by defeating retired Colonel Gene McVay in the primary and Jonesboro attorney Bill Bristow in the general election, becoming the state's third elected Republican Governor since Reconstruction. In November 2002, Huckabee was reelected to his second four-year term by defeating State Treasurer Jimmie Lou Fisher, garnering 53 percent of the vote. By the end of his term, Huckabee owned the third-longest tenure of any Arkansas Governor. Only Democrats Orval Faubus, who served six consecutive two-year terms (1955–1967), and Bill Clinton, who served 11 years, 11 months (1979–1981; 1983–1992), had longer tenures.

Campaign for United States President, 2008 election
Huckabee announced his run for the White House on Meet the Press on January 28, 2007.

At the August 11 Iowa Straw Poll, Huckabee took second place with 2,587 votes, roughly 18 percent. Huckabee spent $57.98 per vote in the Straw Poll, which is the lowest among the top three finishers. Huckabee drew attention with an unconventional ad featuring Chuck Norris. In a later ad Huckabee wished voters a merry Christmas, and said that "what really matters is the celebration of the birth of Christ. Critics accused him of exploiting the issue of religion, which he denied. According to the Associated Press, on NBC's Meet The Press on December 31, 2007, Huckabee "stood by" a 1998 comment in which he said, "I hope we answer the alarm clock and take this nation back for Christ." Huckabee told NBC that his comment was "appropriate to be said to a gathering of Southern Baptists. Huckabee has credited divine intervention with some of his political success.

On January 3, 2008, Huckabee won the Iowa Republican caucuses, receiving 34% of the electorate and 17 delegates, compared to the 25% of Mitt Romney who finished second, receiving 12 delegates, Fred Thompson who came in third place and received three delegates, John McCain who came in fourth place and received three delegates and Ron Paul who came in fifth place and received two delegates.

On January 8, 2008, Huckabee finished in third place in the New Hampshire primary, behind John McCain in first place, and Mitt Romney who finished second, with Huckabee receiving one more delegate for a total of 18 delegates, gained via elections, and 21 total delegates, versus 30 total (24 via elections) for Romney, and 10 for McCain (all via elections).
On January 3, 2008, Huckabee won the Iowa Republican caucuses, receiving 34% of the electorate and 17 delegates, compared to the 25% of Mitt Romney who finished second, receiving 12 delegates, Fred Thompson who came in third place and received three delegates, John McCain who came in fourth place and received three delegates and Ron Paul who came in fifth place and received two delegates.

On January 8, 2008, Huckabee finished in third place in the New Hampshire primary, behind John McCain in first place, and Mitt Romney who finished second, with Huckabee receiving one more delegate for a total of 18 delegates, gained via elections, and 21 total delegates, versus 30 total (24 via elections) for Romney, and 10 for McCain (all via elections).
Mike Huckabee giving his concession speech after the 2008 South Carolina Presidential Primary in Columbia, SC.

On January 15, 2008, Huckabee finished in third place in the Michigan Republican primary, 2008, behind John McCain in second place, Mitt Romney who finished first and ahead of Ron Paul who finished in fourth place.

On January 19, 2008, Huckabee finished in second place in the South Carolina Republican primary, 2008, behind John McCain who finished first and ahead of Fred Thompson who finished third.

On January 29, 2008, Huckabee finished in fourth place in the Florida primary, behind Rudy Giuliani in third, Mitt Romney in second, and John McCain in first place.

On February 5, 2008, Huckabee won the first contest of "Super Tuesday", the West Virginia GOP state convention, winning 52% of the electorate to Mitt Romney's 47%. Backers of rival John McCain threw him their support to prevent Mitt Romney from capturing the winner-take-all GOP state convention vote.[44] Huckabee also registered victories in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia and Tennessee on Super Tuesday, bringing his delegate count up to 156, compared to 689 for Republican party front-runner John McCain.

On February 9, 2008, Huckabee won the first election following Super Tuesday, by winning 60% of the vote in the Kansas Republican Caucuses.[46] This was also the first contest to be held without Mitt Romney, who was said to be splitting the conservative vote with Huckabee and some pundits suggested it was the reason for Huckabee's landslide victory. Huckabee also won the Louisiana Republican Primary with 44% of the vote to John McCain's 43% in second. Although Huckabee won the primary he was not awarded any delegates, because of the state party rules that state a candidate must pass the 50% threshold to receive the state's pledged delegates.

On March 4, 2008, Huckabee withdrew from seeking the candidacy as it became apparent he would lose in Texas, where he had hoped to win and that John McCain would get the 1191 delegates required to win the Republican nomination.
Post-presidential campaign career

On June 12, 2008 Fox News announced the hiring of Mike Huckabee as a political commentator and regular contributor to their 2008 American presidential election coverage, in their New York election headquarters.
Mike Huckabee speaking at Brown University on October 30, 2008

Huckabee recently completed his seventh book, titled Do The Right Thing: Inside the Movement That's Bringing Common Sense Back to America which was released on November 18, 2008.

Even though Huckabee had signed a television contract and a book deal with a pressing deadline, he was mentioned by most to be on John McCain's short list for his Vice Presidential running mate. Huckabee was eventually passed over for Sarah Palin. Before his death, the popular pundit Tim Russert even referred to Huckabee as "Vice President Huckabee" several times when he appeared on Meet The Press on May 18, 2008.

Huckabee also gave a speech at the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota on September 3. In the speech, he expressed support for presidential candidate John McCain, giving an account of McCain's experience as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

Huckabee hosts a weekend show, Huckabee, on Fox News. The show premiered Saturday September 27, 2008, at 8 PM EST.

Huckabee filled in for Paul Harvey in July 2008. A few months later, he signed a deal with ABC Radio Networks to carry a daily commentary, The Huckabee Report, beginning in January 2009. After Harvey's death his show replaced Harvey's broadcasts.

Due to his association with the FairTax, in August 2008, Huckabee was interviewed by Life Is My Movie Entertainment and will be featured in the documentary about taxes and tax reform, An Inconvenient Tax due to be released in 2009.
Possible 2012 presidential campaign

In a November 19, 2008 article by the Associated Press, Huckabee addressed the possibility of running for President in 2012. He said, "I'm not ruling anything out for the future, but I'm not making any specific plans".

Marc Ambinder has identified him as the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.

Amid speculation about a future run for the Presidency, a CNN poll in December 2008 found Huckabee at the top of the list of 2012 GOP contenders, along with former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin, fellow 2008 Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

On December 3, 2008 local NBC news station WLWT asked Huckabee about the prospect of running, to which he said, "I'm pretty sure I'll be out there. Whether it's for myself or somebody else I may decide will be a better standard bearer, that remains to be seen.

A June 2009 CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national poll showed Huckabee as the 2012 presidential co-favorite of the Republican electorate along with Palin and Romney.
Political positions
Main article: Political positions of Mike Huckabee

* Immigration: Huckabee's immigration plan for the presidential campaign is to build a border fence, increase border patrol, prevent amnesty, enforce the law on employers, establish an economic border, empower local authorities, ensure document security, discourage dual citizenship, and modernize the process of legal immigration. He says the United States' number one priority should be to secure America's borders, and supports building a 700-mile border fence. He said of the border, "Police it, absolutely. Militarize it, no. Huckabee supports increases in visas for highly-skilled and highly-educated applicants. Huckabee does not support an end to birthright citizenship.

* War: Huckabee supports the ongoing War in Iraq and the troop surge.
o Huckabee has expressed concern that Guantanamo Bay detention camp is a distraction from the Global War on Terror. Previously, he stated, "[Guantanamo is] more symbolic than it is a substantive issue because people perceive of mistreatment when in fact there are extraordinary means being taken to make sure these detainees are being given really every consideration".

* Social issues: Huckabee opposes abortion, same-sex marriage, and civil unions. In an interview with GQ, Huckabee said, "There's never been a civilization that has rewritten what marriage and family means and survived."[66] In 1992, Huckabee indicated that he was against homosexuals serving in the military, and did not believe that women should be allowed in combat. When asked about the issues of homosexuals in the military during his presidential run, Huckabee said he would not change the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which prohibits openly gay personnel from serving. " don't punish people for their attitudes," he said. "You punish them if their behavior creates a problem, and it's already covered by the Uniform Code of Military Conduct."[68] In 1992, Huckabee said that "homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle, and we now know it can pose a dangerous public health risk."[69] As of 2007, his view that homosexuality is "sinful" and "abnormal" had not changed.
o Huckabee supports increasing George W. Bush's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) from $15 billion to $30 billion over five years. He also supports more funding to fight tuberculosis and malaria.
o In a 1992 statement, Huckabee advocated isolating AIDS patients from the general population.[69] In 2007, Huckabee no longer advocates such an isolation, but he stands by his earlier view, saying that in 1992 "there was still a great deal of, I think, uncertainty about just how widespread AIDS was, how it could be transmitted. So we know more now than we did in 1992, all of us do – hopefully. However, by 1992 it was well known that HIV/AIDS could not be spread by casual contal. In the same statement, Huckabee also opposed increasing federal funding for HIV/AIDS research and suggested that Hollywood celebrities should provide additional funds instead. Huckabee now supports additional funding for HIV/AIDS research.

* Gun control: Huckabee is against gun control and supports concealed carry of firearms.

* Death penalty: Huckabee supports the death penalty.

* Teaching of evolution: Huckabee has voiced his support of creationism. He was quoted in July 2004 on Arkansans Ask, his regular show on the Arkansas Educational Television Network: "I think that students also should be given exposure to the theories not only of evolution but to the basis of those who believe in creationism." Huckabee also stated "I do not necessarily buy into the traditional Darwinian theory, personally." In his endorsement of pro-creationist film Expelled,[7 he describes evolution as "dogma." In the third GOP debate in June 2007, Huckabee was asked by Tom Fahey whether he believed in evolution, and he responded, in part:

I believe there is a God who was active in the creation process. Now, how did he do it, and when did he do it, and how long did he take? I don't honestly know, and I don't think knowing that would make me a better or a worse president ... if anybody wants to believe that they are the descendants of a primate, they are certainly welcome to do it – I don't know how far they will march that back.. ”

* Taxes: Huckabee supports the FairTax as a replacement for the current tax system.

* Space program: Huckabee supports NASA, and said in November 2007 that "Whether it's the medical technologies that saved many of our lives and the lives of our families, it's the direct result from the space program. We need to put more money into space and technology exploration."[83]


Huckabee was made the chair of the Southern Governors' Association in 1999 and served in capacity through 2000. He has chaired the Southern Growth Policies Board, the Southern Region Education Board, the Southern Technology Council, the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, and the Education Commission of the States. He is also a member of the Republican Governors Association and former chairman of the National Governors Association. Huckabee is presently the chairman of a conservative PAC called the Vertical Politics Institute.
Public image
Main article: Public image of Mike Huckabee

In 2000, the Arkansas Governor's Mansion was being renovated and Huckabee moved into a mobile home. The move became the topic of jokes. "It's not a trailer. It's a triple wide," Huckabee said. Huckabee jokingly told Jay Leno that the 2,100-square-foot (200 m2), $110,000 trailer donated by the Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association, "was big enough for your chin." Huckabee said the move saved the state substantial money because support and security staff did not have to move to a new rented location.

In 2000, Huckabee commented, "In almost four years as governor, no issue has excited Arkansans as much as the question of where the University of Arkansas should play its home football games. That debate attracted far more letters, e-mails and phone calls to the governor's office than any other issue we've faced. And those who contacted us felt strongly. I had made my feelings known to the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees, and those Arkansans who agreed with me were effusive in their praise. By the same token, some of those who disagreed were downright vicious in their comments.