A breakthrough contender for the presidential post – Michael Dale “Mike” Huckabee, the 44th governor elected in Arkansas, is not new to the presidential race as he tried his luck before during the 2008 presidential elections won by President Barack Obama. Being a skilled communicator, Huckabee knows how to stir up emotions, garner attention, and engage people into action. This he did with flair in his formal announcement to join the roster of 2016 presidential candidates on May 5, 2015, at Hope, Arkansas, wherein he emotionally told his cheering constituents, “Folks, it is a long way from a little brick red house on 2nd street in Hope, Arkansas to the White House. But here in this small town called Hope I was raised to believe that where a person’s starting didn’t mean that’s where he had to stop. So it seems perfectly fitting that it would be here that I announce that I am a candidate for president of the United States of America.” He couldn’t have said it any better.
This 59-year-old 2005 Time Magazine’s awardee as one of the top 5 governors in the United States surely knows how to walk the talk on his way to success with his excellent prowess with words and deed.When Bill Clinton, then Governor of Arkansas became President, Jim Guy Tucker’s post from lieutenant governor was automatically elevated to governor of Arkansas; leaving the lieutenant governor seat vacant. His landslide victory during the 1993 lieutenant gubernatorial race marked his political career as the 2nd Republican to be elected as lieutenant governor and the 3rd republican ever sworn as Governor in July 15, 1996. He was elected into full term office in 1998.
Aside from his assertive political profile, he is also a great multitasker. Drumroll please. He is a famous television personality of Fox News Channel’s ‘Huckabee” (weekend show) and Cumulus Media’s “The Huckabee Report” , a daily commentary (weekly television talk show and radio stint) as well as evangelical preacher, public speaker, author and co-author of many bestselling books including “From Hope to Higher Ground: 12 Steps to Restoring America’s Greatness” (2007) and New York Times Bestseller “Do the Right Thing: Inside the Movement That’s Bringing Common Sense Back to America” (2008) , and musician as he is also a member of the classic rock band “Capitol Offense” as electric bass guitarist. These myriad of media platforms help him touch-base with his target audience and gave him the visibility and reputation he needs in the political scene.
He breaks barriers and opposes stereotypes by chartering on unwanted domains which many Republicans would most likely avoid. He is unafraid of making a rightful stand and saying his piece when it comes to highly sensitive social issues and condones abortion, rape, incest, and is in disagreement with same-sex marriages. He seals the deal with what he said on air in the American Family Association’s radio show – “Because at that point, you lose me. I’m gone. I’ll become an independent. I’ll start finding people that have guts to stand. I’m tired of this.” Also he said on his speech, “We’ve lost our way morally”. All of these might sound too biblical or way conservative for modern people. Some would even comment that these pressing social needs require radical and practical actions – but Mike knows better. He believes that his allies and supporters extend way beyond the religious conservatives but captures the blue-collar working class as well.
Many would compare him with the original “Man from Hope” former US President Bill Clinton; which he shrugged off by saying “I’ve got a great slogan: give us one more chance” on Bill Maher’s show in 2007. Huckabee ran with the big names in the political arena. His frequent comparison with US ex-President Bill Clinton has worked to his advantage. He further said in a gathering by New Hampshire Republicans in April 2015 “Every time I ever ran for public office, I ran against the Clinton political machine” He added with a pun – “I ran against their money. I ran against them.”
He worked his way up any ladder – whether it be corporate or political; for that matter. He shuns political dynasties having come from a working class. On his presidential launch, he stressed “I don’t come from a family dynasty; but a working family. I grew up blue-collar; not blue-blood”. These remarks could be pointed towards the leading Democrat Hillary Clinton or ex-Governor Jeb Bush who both came from well-known political clans. Frank Rich, a highly reputed politican analyst wrote a column for New York times comparing Mike Huckabee with President Barack Obama in 2007. He said there is one common denominator with these two personalities – wit. They both have the clamor for change and growth in the country – not just in terms of finances but on a moral and socio-economic level. Huckabee believes that the government is not the solution but is actually the root cause of all problems. He observed that it has become likened to a roach motel wherein people come in; but would never come out. Mike Huckabee does not just know the problems in the country; but he also projects tangible and workable solutions. He has the assertiveness, realism, and wit to make it to the presidential seat. Does he have the winning chance? With the combination of his brilliance, knack with words, and passion – You be the judge and vote.