We heard Friday that the NY Times' regional correspondent was in town for a chat with Gov. Mike Huckabee (we understand she asked him about his peevishness toward the state's prize-winning newspaper of politics and culture). Thanks to DBI for the early tip that the newspaper is going to give the 2008 presidential candidate some invaluable space in the Sunday New York Times, the newspaper conservatives love to hate unless it is puffing them.
Anyway, it's a lovely little feature for the candidate about the guv's weight loss and how he's set an example for other portly governors. The article notes the governor's claim that students' weight has dropped in three years of his get-healthy initiviate, but also the subsequent report that shows Arkansans of all ages are still getting fatter and are among the fattest in the country. The article does note that he's encountered a bit of resistance for his meddling with people's eating and smoking ways of life and that he's taking some credit for an initiative that really arose with the legislature.
The governor is right in saying this is a long-term project (which is exactly why he shouldn't rush to hold news conferences proclaiming victory, as he did on the tiny blip in child weight figures.)
But Mr. Huckabee insists that a lifestyle revolution can happen, citing four behaviors that have been reshaped over the years by concerted government effort: littering, seatbelt use, smoking and drunken driving.
“In each of those cases, in my lifetime, I have seen the needle move from one side to the other,” he said. “People used to throw entire sacks of trash out of their cars without thinking it was inappropriate.”
Driven in the country lately? Folks, many of them smoking, are still motoring down the highway without seatbelts and chucking trash out the window. We have a way to go in those areas, too, if we can just avoid the crazy drivers talking on cell phones.