by Max Brantley
The truth is a little more complicated. Huckabee’s campaign would’ve been just as nasty in his attack ads against Mitt Romney if his campaign had been able to afford attack ads against Mitt Romney. And those “nice” Evangelical social conservatives who dominate the Iowa Republican base also tended to be kinda-sorta… Let’s just say that, while trailing in campaign funds, the ordained Baptist pastor had a certain built-in advantage over the Mormon.
But there was a mean streak to him then — a “thin-skinned” quality, as Arkansas political observers noted at the time. His career ever since that run has been a gradual unearthing of that trait to the point where it’s overwhelmed whatever “charm” there ever was. Much like his fellow conservatives, that meanness has been encouraged by the presidency of President Barack Obama, about whom Huckabee has had much to say from his various lucrative media platforms.
It’s not just about Obama. Huckabee’s nastiness, twinned with that other latent-but-not-anymore quirk of his, weird vulgarity, is on full display in his new book, Guns, God, Grits and Gravy. (God, depending on how humble He’s being at any given time, would only approve of one of those things.) Early excerpts suggest that Guns, God, Grits and Gravy will be a masterpiece of The Insane, or at least a “non-traditional” pre-presidential campaign book.