A quip and a shoeshine | Arkansas Blog

Monday, August 13, 2007

A quip and a shoeshine

Posted By on Mon, Aug 13, 2007 at 6:29 AM

Mike Huckabee's second-place straw poll finish earns him a front-page NY Times slot, even though the article acknowledges the diminished  importance of an event lacking three major candidates and much of a turnout. The focus is on Huckabee's penchant for quips.

Mr. Huckabee’s use of humor amounts to a style of politicking that many audiences have found engaging, and that stands out in an era of bloggers and journalists recording a candidate’s slightest slip.

Shtick in politics has its risks, as Mr. Huckabee is probably about to find out if he gets the attention he said on Sunday that he deserved. But for now, his humor may go a long way in explaining why he finished ahead of a decidedly more somber Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas. Both men made similar conservative appeals to similar voters.

“Campaigns shouldn’t always be painful,” Mr. Huckabee said when asked about his approach in an interview here. “Politics shouldn’t be like a root canal.”

I don't think I exaggerate when I say Huckabee's brand of humor is often not much better. He seems to have been avoiding the potty humor of late, though, to his credit.

But the important thing for Huck is the narrative. If the national press decrees he's a funny, likable guy, no amount of contrary evidence from his past will be allowed to disturb the narrative. And once the narrative is established -- whether it's a positive one (George Bush as good guy cowboy) or a negative one (earth-tone wearing, dissembling Al Gore; war coward John Kerry) -- it obscures the more important questions. Like: when Huckabee promises victory with honor in Iraq, fair taxes and good health care, those universally acclaimed objectives lack a great deal in supporting detail. Keep 'em laughing, Mike. It's the best medicine, clearly.

Sign up for the Daily Update email

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • University pay ranking puts UA System chief at 57

    The Chronicle of Higher Education recently released its survey of pay of top public and private university leaders in 2016-17. Donald Bobbitt, president of the University of Arkansas System, checked in at No. 57 on the list of 251 public university leaders.
    • Jul 22, 2018
  • Winds, race and an open line

    The open line includes power outages, Republicans and racism.
    • Jul 21, 2018
  • EPA sues over 2013 oil spill near Magnolia

    The oil spill many probably never heard about — far bigger than the Mayflower pipeline rupture — has now led to a federal lawsuit against the owner of the operation in Magnolia where the spill occurred.
    • Jul 21, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Viewed

  • Corruption probe nets another guilty plea, implicates another senator

    Jerry Walsh, 72, who ran the now-defunct South Arkansas Youth Services, has pleaded guilty to paying $120,000 to an unnamed Arkansas state senator in return for action favorable to the agency, Walsh and others.He pleaded guilty today in federal court in El Dorado. The scheme altogether diverted $380,000 in public money.

Most Recent Comments



© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation