by Max Brantley
Well, a former Arkie actually. A reader mentioned this piece in a thread, but I thought worth noting the American Spectator column today on Mike Huckabee by Quin Hillyer, a former editorial writer for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. You go, Quin.
With Sen. Sam Brownback now out of the presidential race, only two candidates in the Republican presidential field -- California's longtime U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee -- can lay claim both to a high degree of purity on the hot-button issues for social conservatives and to a personal life that seems in keeping with those traditional values.
But only one, Huckabee, seems to be gaining major traction... even though the record in Arkansas suggests that he might be the wrong one to rally around.
Ask lots of folks in Arkansas, including Republicans, and a fair number will probably tell you that Huck is for Huck is for Huck. National media folks like David Brooks, dealing in surface appearances only, rave about what a nice guy Huckabee is, and a moral exemplar to boot. If they only did a little homework, they would discover a guy with a thin skin, a nasty vindictive streak, and a long history of imbroglios about questionable ethics.
Once, Gov. Huckabee even had the gall to file suit against the state ethics commission. He lost.
And the Washington Times picked up that money quote, "If they only did a little homework ..." The right-wing echo chamber can cut both ways.
I'm happy to report I got to talk about the former governor for an hour today on public radio in San Francisco. I said some nice things about him. And, yes, the occasional criticism.