The bad reviews keep piling up for Mike Huckabee's incendiary comments about Barack Obama (if he wasn't raised by Mau Maus in Kenya he's likely still an anti-American schooled by Muslims). Here it's Timothy Egan of the New York Times, who moves beyond Kenya.
... beneath the veneer of Aw-Shucks-Huck is a public figure, and possible presidential candidate, who has shown a pattern of telling outright falsehoods about himself and the president.
Facing a storm of criticism, Huckabee turned churlish. He said he had simply “mispoken” while promoting his latest book of tired homilies. He meant to say Indonesia, not Kenya.
Churlish in the face of criticism? Yes.
But an even bigger fiction is the one Huckabee tells about the violent felon Maurice Clemmons. Here was Huckabee last month, at an informal gathering of reporters in Washington, after being asked about having granted Clemmons’s plea for early release:
“There was a kid who was 16 years old, he committed a burglary, he was aggravated, but not armed. And for that he got 108 years,” Huckabee said. “One-hundred-and-eight years.”
Not true, as we've written many times.
Clemmons was facing eight felony charges at the peak of a crime spree, not one. He was 17. During a reign of terror, he broke into the home of a cop, stole guns, assaulted and robbed a woman, and broke into the home of state trooper.
In prison, he committed a half-dozen assaults, harassed guards and had sex with inmates as part of a pattern of preying on fellow convicts.
Despite his bad behavior, he would have been eligible for parole after serving 18 years, not 108, The Seattle Times reported. But he got out early, serving 11 years, because Huckabee fell for the oldest con ruse in the book.
While saying he was under “the watchful eyes of the Lord,” Clemmons assaulted two inmates. “God bless you,” Clemmons wrote Huckabee, a Baptist minister, in his plea for mercy. “It is so prayed!”
In that same plea, he claimed to be a model prisoner. In fact, he’d been disciplined 29 times. Had Huckabee checked with prosecutors, prison guards or victims, he would have found grave concerns about letting Clemmons loose on the community. The prison system risk assessment categorized him as “most likely to return to violence.”
Unlike 2008, it appears major media may fact-check the Huckster if he runs for president in 2012. I talked yesterday with a British reporter who'd followed Huckabee in his Iowa caucus victory in 2008 and grown enamored with that same aw-shucks style so many have mentioned. Now he's rueful as the Huckster's loose lips repeatedly reveal his resentful, myth-influenced core. "I was taken," the reporter said.
PS — Perhaps you heard Huck, ever searching for the cultural angle, has turned his attention from the radical Islamic president to Natalie Portman, for glamorizing out-of-wedlock motherhood.
PPS — Quote from George Will, yowza — "careless, delusional, egomaniacal, spotlight-chasing":
"[S]ensible Americans ... must ... be detecting vibrations of weirdness emanating from people associated with the party. ... The most recent vibrator is Mike Huckabee, [who referred in a radio interview to President Obama] 'having grown up in Kenya' [actually grew up in Jakarta and Honolulu] ... A spokesman for Huckabee dutifully lied, saying his employer 'simply misspoke' ... Let us not mince words. There are at most five plausible Republican presidents on the horizon — Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former Utah Gov. and departing ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. So the Republican winnowing process is far advanced. But the nominee may emerge much diminished by involvement in a process cluttered with careless, delusional, egomaniacal, spotlight-chasing candidates to whom the sensible American majority would never entrust a lemonade stand, much less nuclear weapons."