Favorite

Huck’s bad lib 

At a National Rifle Association meeting last week, former Gov. Mike Huckabee was speaking when there was a sudden crash. Huckabee ad libbed, “That was Barack Obama. He just tripped off a chair. He's getting ready to speak and somebody aimed a gun at him, and he dove for the floor.” A bit of nervous laughter turned to scattered murmurs and then silence.

The line rocketed around the world in a nanosecond, from blogs to mainstream media. Tim Russert asked him about it Sunday on Meet the Press.

Huckabee apologized within hours, but primarily for giving unintentional offense. He offered no insight about the mental predisposition that would suggest humor in an assassination attempt.

Later, with Russert, Huckabee said he'd merely reacted to a “Bobby Knight incident,” a reference to the chair-throwing former basketball coach. He thus followed one cringe-inducing crack with another offhand (if more supportable) slur.

Instead of simple contrition, Huckabee's various responses wandered from sympathy-seeking to defense. It was a “dumb, off the cuff remark” and an “awkward attempt at a joke.” At one point, he said, it was so insignificant, “I didn't even remember having said  it.” Right.

The timing was poor. Huckabee knew that he was to be on Meet the Press two days later to discuss John McCain's presidential candidacy. Asked then if he'd like to run as McCain's vice presidential nominee, Huckabee broke from past demurrals and, as Fox News put it, “made his pitch” to be vice president. “There's no one I would rather be on a ticket with than John McCain,” he told Russert.

What does John McCain think now? Maybe nothing. He's a man prone to verbal flatulence himself. “Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” — that Strangelovian McCain utterance — didn't bother Mike Huckabee a bit. “I thought that was funny,” he told Russert. Ha ha.

Cooler heads than McCain might prefer a little judiciousness on the ticket. Huckabee's a risk and not just for gun jokes, though they are a staple of his. Remember the threat to rob convenience stores for campaign cash? The warning to reporters not to get in the way of his shotgun on a quail hunt? It's enough to make you nostalgic for his potty humor.

Huckabee's appeal to McCain has important grounding. He's the candidate of choice of the politically committed Religious Right wing of the Republican Party. A Little Rock Film Festival showing of the documentary “Silhouette City” provides graphic evidence. In the halls where the James Dobsons, James Kennedys, John Hagees and Rod Parsleys gather to preach dominion theology and the Christian battle to “retake America,” Mike Huckabee is invariably a featured speaker. McCain has attempted to throw in with this crowd, too, but Huckabee long ago earned his key to the executive pastors' washroom. He's fully prepped to wave the bloody shirt of the California gay marriage ruling.

McCain may decide that Mike Huckabee's quick lip is just part of the package. Said Huck to Russert, “… it wasn't the first dumb thing I've ever said and, let me go ahead and announce on this program, it won't be the last dumb thing I've ever said.”
I prefer how an Arkansas Blog reader put it in reworking a famous NRA slogan: “They can take Huck's mouth when they can pry it from his cold, dead foot.”

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Bootstraps for me, not thee

    Mean spirit, hypocrisy and misinformation abound among the rump minority threatening to wreck state government rather than allow passage of the state Medicaid appropriation if it continues to include the Obamacare-funded expansion of health insurance coverage for working poor.
    • Apr 14, 2016
  • Trump: The Obama of 2016?

    Conner Eldridge, the Democratic challenger to incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. John Boozman, launched an assault on Boozman Monday morning rich with irony and opportunity.
    • May 5, 2016
  • Double-talk

    A couple of instances of doublespeak cropped up in Little Rock over the weekend.
    • Jun 29, 2017

Most Shared

Latest in Max Brantley

  • Pork barrel III

    Mike Wilson, the Jacksonville lawyer and former state representative, for the third time last week won a victory for the Arkansas Constitution and taxpayers and set back pork barreling.
    • Oct 12, 2017
  • Fishy lawmaking

    Last week, the legislature decided not to press a fight that could have further upended a balance of power in Arkansas already tilted too far in favor of the legislative branch.
    • Oct 5, 2017
  • LR Central at 70

    The city of Little Rock has finished its "Reflections on Progress" observance of the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High School and the people most affected managed to put well-placed asterisks on the notion that this was a story all about racial progress.
    • Sep 28, 2017
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

October

S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Trust and obey

    • A very timely and beautifully written piece. Indeed, the whole frightening paradigm is about preserving…

    • on October 15, 2017
  • Re: Trust and obey

    • Anyone else ponder how many times donald trump, playboy for five-decades, may have paid for/insisted…

    • on October 14, 2017
  • Re: Conspiracy theories

    • Here's the business end of the Politifact article cited above by Vanessa: "Newsweek's claim is…

    • on October 14, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation