|In Brief - Became Governor of Arkansas on July 15, 1996, following the resignation of Gov. Jim Guy Tucker. Elected Governor in 1998 and re-elected 2002. Term limited; not eligible to seek re-election in 2006; served through Jan. 2007. Chairman of the National Governors Association, July 2005-06. Previously Lt. Governor of Arkansas, elected in a special election in 1993, and re-elected, serving through 1996. President of Cambridge Communications in Texarkana, 1992-96. President of KBSC-TV, a 24 hour UHF channel in Texarkana, 1987-92. President of the Arkansas State Baptist Convention, 1989-91. Pastor, Immanuel Baptist Church in Pine Bluff, 1980-86. Graduate of Ouachita Baptist University at Arkadelphia, 1977 and attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Born August 24, 1955 in Hope, AR. [Timeline].|
A Compelling Story
After being diagnosed with Type II diabetes, Gov. Mike Huckabee lost 110 pounds and has successfully completed four marathons, finishing the Little Rock Marathon on March 6, 2005 (chip time 4:38:31), the Marine Corps Marathon on October 30, 2005 (chip time 4:37:34), the Little Rock Marathon on March 5, 2006 (chip time 4:26:05), and the New York City Marathon on November 5, 2006 (5:33:39) (note). (First Lady Janet Huckabee walked the complete distances for the first two). He has become a major advocate for a "culture of health," launching the Healthy Arkansas initiative and, as chairman of the National Governors Association, the Healthy America initiative. Given Americans' ongoing obesity epidemic and battles to lose weight and the associated medical costs, Huckabee's personal story and the policies he has advocated to address the problem could resonate with voters.
The Golden Rule
Arkansas took in more evacuees from Hurricane Katrina than any state except Texas, an estimated 75,000 people. On Sept. 1, 2005 Gov. Huckabee instituted Operation KARE, the Katrina Assistance and Relief Effort, "a coordinated operation involving every part of state government." Announcing Operation KARE, Huckabee stated, "We have fellow Americans who need housing, jobs, schools and doctors. The devastation they face is staggering. If Arkansas had been destroyed instead of Louisiana and Mississippi, what would we want them doing for us? That's the question we should be asking ourselves in the weeks and months ahead. And that will be our mindset in state government until the day I leave office in January 2007. We'll practice the golden rule in Arkansas. This is nothing short of an all-hands-on-deck effort." Huckabee has estimated that 30-40,000 of the evacuees may choose to remain in Arkansas.
Don't Forget the Arts
In 2001 Huckabee successfully passage of H.B. 1883 which required every public elementary school in the state to provide at least 40 minutes of instruction in music or visual art. As chairman of the Education Commission of the States from 2004-06 he has made "The Arts-A Lifetime of Learning" the theme of his Chairman's Initiative. Huckabee is bass guitarist for Capitol Offense.
Huckabee's efforts were recognized with number of awards including the American Public Health Association 's Public Health Legislator of the Year (Dec. 13, 2005) and the AARP's Impact Award (Dec. 5, 2005). On Sept. 27, 2005 the president of Ouachita Baptist University announced > that Gov. Huckabee would direct a new program, the Center for Education and Public Policy at the newly named Michael D. Huckabee School of Education, upon leaving office in January 2007. In the latter part of 2005 Governing magazine named Gov. Huckabee as one of its eight "Public Officials of the Year." In its Nov. 21, 2005 issue Time magazine named Huckabee one of America's five best governors.
Looking to the National
In July 2005 Huckabee became chairman of the National Governors Association, affording him a national stage. Also in July he formed Healthy America PAC, a Section 527 organization (later renamed Hope for America PAC). The notion of a Huckabee candidacy started percolating in the first part of 2005. On February 14, 2005 admirers founded an Unofficial Huckabee for President Campaign Blog. In a May 22, 2005 column, Arkansas News Bureau's John Brummet wrote, "Mike Huckabee really is going to run for president, a person close to him told me matter-of-factly at an accidental lunch meeting the other day." The notion of an obscure small state governor rising to become President may seem implausible, but Gov.Howard Dean (D-VT) had a good run in 2004, in 1992 then Gov. Bill Clinton, who like Huckabee hails from Hope, Arkansas, succeeded, and in 1976 it was Gov. Jimmy Carter (D-GA). Given the sense that politics in Washington is broken, an outsider such as Huckabee might offer, in the words of blogger James Boulder "a refreshing choice in 2008."
In contrast to such perceived Republican frontrunners as Sen. John McCain and Gov. Mitt Romney, Huckabee did not appear to be doing much to build an organization as 2006 progressed, and questions were raised about his fundraising ability. Nonetheless on Jan. 27, 2007, appearing on NBC News' "Meet the Press," Huckabee announced he would form a presidential exploratory committee. "I think America needs positive, optimistic leadership to kind of turn this country around, to see a revival of our national soul, and to reclaim a sense of, of the greatness of this country that we love, and also to help bring people together to find a practical solution to a lot of the issues that people really worry about when they sit around the dinner table and talk at night," Huckabee told Russert.
Huckabee showed very modest results in the first quarter of 2007. A Wall Street Journal article on March 31 reported "he had met his fundraising goal of raising $500,000 for the quarter," compared to the millions raised by the frontrunners. The article quoted him as stating, “If we get to the point where we can’t buy the plane ticket to Des Moines...I’d say, ‘Pull the plug and put this thing to bed.’ ”
Values Voter Summit 2008 in Washington, DC, Sept. 22, 2006. [transcript]
Stump speech - Strafford County Republican Picnic/Pig Roast in Dover, Aug. 27, 2005. [transcript]
THE ISSUE (Broadman & Holman, Fall 1997).
KIDS WHO KILL (Broadman & Holman).
LIVING BEYOND YOUR LIFETIME (Broadman & Holman, Oct. 2000).
QUIT DIGGING YOUR GRAVE WITH A KNIFE AND FORK (Center Street [Time Warner imprint], May 2005).
FROM HOPE TO HIGHER GROUND: 12 Stops to Restoring America's Greatness. (Center Street [Time Warner imprint], Jan. 2007).
Dec. 6, 2006-Honored as the "Role Model of the Year" by Jobs for Americas Graduates (JAG).
Sept. 22, 2006-Speaking at the Washington Briefing: 2006 Values Voter Summit.
Sept. 8-9, 2006-Touring Hawkeye Renewables Ethanol Plant in Iowa Falls; at a fundraiser for State Rep. George Eichhorn (HD-9) in Webster City; at a political event for state Senate candidate Julian Garrett (SD-37) in Winterset, IA. [Hope for America PAC]
July 9, 2006-Event for State House candidate Matt Reisetter at the Tim Boettger farm west of Cedar Falls, IA. [Reisetter for Iowa House]
March 29, 2006-Meeting with members of the NHGOP Executive Committee over lunch in Concord [NHGOP]; Manchester Republican Committee's Republican Lincoln/Reagan Banquet in Manchester, NH. [Manchester NH Republican Committee by Bob Burns]
March 6, 2006-Featured speaker at the Iowa Christian Alliance Spring Kick-Off Event in Urbandale, IA. [Iowa Christian Alliance]
Feb. 25-28, 2006-Presiding over the National Governors Association Winter Meeting.
Jan. 16, 2006-Speaking at the Sioux County Republicans' precinct caucus in Sioux Center, IA. [Jerry Klemme of Hawarden]
Nov. 9, 2005-Receives a Public Official of the Year award from Governing magazine.
Oct. 14, 2005-At the 2005 World Food Prize International Symposium in Des Moines, IA. [Paula Maxheim/The World Food Prize Foundation]
Oct. 13, 2005-With Gov. Tom Vilsack (D-IA) at Ankeny High School in Ankeny, IA. [Talon (Ankeny HS newspaper) staff photog. Tory Anderson]
Sept. 23, 2005-Unveils Healthy America initiative.
Aug. 27, 2005-At the Strafford County Republican Picnic/Pig Roast n Dover, NH. [Jeff Figgins]
June 16, 2005-Addresses the American Symphony Orchestra League's National Conference.
On the Web
(July 6, 2007 grab)
(Feb. 17, 2007 grab)
(Jan. 28, 2007 grab)
(Jan. 4, 2007 grab)
(June 12, 2006 grab)
(March 31, 2006 grab)
Unofficial Huckabee for President Campaign Blog
(Aug. 8, 2006 grab)
|(March 31, 2006 grab)||(Nov. 15, 2005 grab)|
Copyright © 2005, 2006, 2007 Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action