Mike Huckabee made it clear to reporters yesterday that he'll delay a decision on a 2012 presidential run so he can continue to pile up money from lucrative media activities. He trots out the poor-me routine about how public service has left him in poor financial position.
So I don't want to walk away any sooner than I have to, because frankly I don't have a lot of reserve built up. Most of my life was in public service. And therefore I didn't come away wealthy. I'm trying to recover in order to do public service — in order to run for president the last time, I cashed in my life insurance, my annuities, I pretty much went through everything I ever had as an asset that I thought I might one day live on....
If I do this I'm gonna hopefully be in a position where I'm not so completely destitute at the end of it that I have no idea what to do if I get sick. Or if I retire. Or if I'm retired early, or have a disability. Those are the things I have to think about, because I'm self-employed, I don't have, you know, some safety net to fall into.
Well, Huckabee piled up enough enhanced service as governor to qualify for a pension probably in the range of $50,000 a year, which many government-employed garbage men would kill for. (Huckabee was bemoaning the "parasitic" public employee unions.) He spent 10 years in wholly expenses-paid circumstances (house, servants, cars, planes, food, dog food, dry cleaning). He should have been able to save a significant chunk of money, particularly given all the gifts that rained down on him and his wife during his tenure. He was so impoverished he bought a half-million-dollar house before he left office. His public office was a springboard for his media career, of course.
He works hard, no doubt about it — TV, radio, tours to Israel and Alaska, little books, speeches. He's being rewarded handsomely. Taxpayers of Arkansas helped him build the base for that effort. Time to put the violins away, Huck.