I promised myself that I would take a day off from being angered by Huckabee, but then I woke up and saw him on yet another puffball interview on Fox News (NO hard questions) this morning and within three minutes he was exaggerating (lying) for no good reason except to make himself look braver and better than he is. Talking about whether or not he is a real conservative, Huck said (quotes are approximate) he was “with Ronald Reagan back in late 1979 and eearly 1980 when he was in last place in the polls and the front runners were John COnnally and Howard Baker and Bob Dole and George Bush.” That’s nonsense. Reagan NEVER was anywhere NEAR last place in the polls for the 1980 race. In fact, he led almost every national poll of Republicans taken in 1979 and 1980, although sometimes he fell slightly into second place behind either Gerald Ford (in a hypothetical matchup; he never announced as a candidate) or George Bush. It took no particular courage to be for Reagan in 1980 — and certainly not in Arkansas, where Reagan ran well all along. (From memory of something I recently read, I think Reagan got six of the 12 earliest awarded Arkie delegates in a multi-person field.)
It’s a small thing, but it is part of a disturbing trend where Huck just can’t stop himself from self-promotional untruths. If he had merely said, “look, I was with Reagan as early as late 1979,” it would have been a point well taken. But instead he had to puff up his support into something braver, more noble than it was.
The steady drip-drip-drip of small untruths and ethical shenanigans and the like during my time covering Huck in Arkansas turned me from a Huck admirer to (obviously) a critic. THe man lies the way Bill CLinton does, with great facility and no conscience about it. That’s why I say the man is NOT authentic, that he fakes sincerity and authenticity quite well. It’s all an act. As is his”nice guy” schtick. Why do you think he hired Ed Rollins? So he can play good cop to Rollins’ bad cop, and blame Rollins for all the shivs his campaign sticks into his opponents. And as Mitt Romney found out when Huck did the Mormons/Jesus/Satan routine for the New York Times, Huck knows how to use a shiv. As badly as the big media (rightly) criticized Huck for those comments, they worked remarkably well to drive up Evangelical fears about Mormonism — just as Huck intended.
Anyway, back to the main point: I now await the day when Huck claims to have provided moral grounding for the Reagan Doctrine against the Soviets…..