Lest I be accused of noting nothing but bad things about Mike Huckabee, it is worth noting that this past Sunday the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, a right-leaning paper (where I once worked) that tended to support Huck’s agenda while sometimes questioning his judgment and/or ethics, came to the ex-governor’s defense against Mitt Romney’s criticism of him on the subject of college tuition for children of illegal aliens. Their defense did NOT give a blanket endorsement of Huckabee’s character, but it did say that in this case he showed more character than Romney. Key parts of the editorial:
Mitt vs. The Huck
DON’T LOOK now, but the presidential campaign just got interesting…
The interesting part of this or any other political campaign is when character reveals itself. That’s when We The People get an insight into a candidate. Funny thing about these character tests-the winners don’t necessarily go on to be elected. They’re luckier than that. They leave the campaign with their integrity intact. They get to sleep well at night. And when they look in the mirror the next day, they don’t have to explain their new, slick selves to their old ones.
All this came to mind when the political news out of Iowa (but we repeat ourselves) took a predictable turn: A candidate decided to do a little demagogin’.
The candidate: Mitt Romney. The issue: ILLEGAL ALIENS!
The target: Michael Dale Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas and suddenly surging candidate for president. At least in Iowa, USA.
Mitt Romney had ripped into The Huck for supporting legislation that would have given the children of illegal immigrants in Arkansas the same college tuition breaks available to other instate students.
Why not? Those kids had done well in high school by dint of hard work.
Why slam the college door shut on them?
Of course such an idea is unspeakably fair, even enlightened. Mitt Romney, who sounded a little desperate, wasn’t having any of it.
“Giving a better deal to the children of illegal aliens than we give to U.S. citizens from surrounding states,” said former Governor Romney, “is simply not fair and not right.”
How . . . slick.
What the ex-governor from Massachusetts leaves out is that these kids may have been brought here as babies or toddlers-and then reared right here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. They grew up in-state, went to high school in-state, and have the grades to make it into a state college. Why not give them the same deal as any other kid who did the same?
Watching his lead in Iowa being nibbled away by this upstart from Arkansas with no campaign chest to speak of, Mitt Romney faced a character test: to demagogue or not to demagogue. He failed it…. As for Candidate Huckabee, he had two choices: (1) He could spin his way out, claiming Mitt Romney was overstating his position back home in Arkansas, or that he’d come to change his mind after seeing the light on the road to Des Moines. Or (2) he could own up to the fair stand he’s always taken, even championed, back in Arkansas, and explain why he thought, and still thinks, it’s a good idea to love one’s neighbor as oneself. He chose Number Two.
… The upshot of this little exchange in Iowa: Mitt Romney failed his character test; Mike Huckabee passed his. Who is this Michael Dale Huckabee, anyway-some kind of Christian?
—–A new poll shows Mike Huckabee in second place among Republican candidates in Iowa, and catching up with Mitt Romney.
What’s going on here? Can sticking with your principles actually pay in American politics? Hard to believe. But maybe there’s an explanation. …
At one meet-and-greet session in West Des Moines, a little ol’ lady in the front row peppered Mike Huckabee with question after question about ILLEGAL ALIENS! She seemed convinced They were plotting to take over Us-not just trying to become one of Us.
After the candidate’s speech, the newspaperman went up to the little ol’ lady and asked if Mike Huckabee had satisfied her on the question of, you know . . . Them! She shook her head no.
So who would get her vote?
Huh? Why for goshsakes?
She said she thought she could believe what he said.
Not a bad editorial. I’ll have plenty more to say about Huckabee later.
Notice to Readers: The American Spectator and Spectator World are marks used by independent publishing companies that are not affiliated in any way. If you are looking for The Spectator World please click on the following link: https://thespectator.com/world.