Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee

Born: August 11, 1955, Hope, Arkansas

Spouse(s): Janet Huckabee

Children :John Mark, David, Sarah

Residence :North Little Rock, Arkansas

Alma mater: Ouachita Baptist University

Profession:Politician, Talk Show Host,Author, Public Speaker, & ordained Minister

Religion: Southern Baptist

Political Career :
  • 1992, Ran for U.S. Senate in Arkansas against incumbent Dale Bumpers
  • 1993, Huckabee to run in the special election for lieutenant governor and won, becoming only the second Republican since Reconstruction to serve as Arkansas lieutenant governor.
  • 1994, Huckabee was re-elected to a full term as lieutenant governor, beating Democratic candidate Charlie Cole Chaffin with nearly 59 percent of the vote
  • 1996, Huckabee announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Democrat Senator David Pryor.
  • During that campaign Democrat Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker was convicted on one count of arranging nearly $3 million in fraudulent loans in conjunction with the Whitewater scandal. Tucker announced that he would resign. Lt. Governor Huckabee then withdrew from the senate race and assumed the office of Governor on July 15, 1996.
  • 1998, Huckabee was elected to his first full term as Governor.
  • 2002, Huckabee was reelected to his second four-year term
  • 2008, Huckabee ran for the Republican presidential nomination but withdrew from the race when it became apparent that John McCain had won enough delegates to cinch the nomination.

(Click here for Huckabee’s White House 2012 Presidential Contenders Page)

Mike Huckabee could be a surprise pick by Romney designed to appeal to the Southern and evangelical base of the G.O.P. which need to find a good reason to vote Mitt. But picking him could also be a decision to also appeal to independent voters.  While Huckabee is not necessarily considered a big independent vote getter, if given that mission in a campaign for Vice President, Huckabee could do a good job.  His ability to articulate issues in a folksy, down-to-earth manner is quite effective and his command of the issues is admirable.

One major drawback to a place for Huckabee on the ticket is one of the same issues which probably prevented him from running for President.

When Huckabee was Governor of Arkansas, he pardoned Maurice Clemons, a man who’s criminal history included five felony convictions In 2009, killed 4 police officers in cold blood as they sat in a Lakewood, Washington coffee house.

The fact is that even after Clemons went on a spree in Arkansas that was so violent that a judge saw fit to sentence him to 95 years behind bars, Governor Huckabee issued Clemons clemency, and he did so over the objections of prosecutors.

In 1988 then Vice President George H.W. Bush used a similar incident in the now infamous Willie Horton ad, to decimate the Democrat presidential nominee, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis.

For obvious reasons, this will more than likely derail any chance for Huckabee to selected by Mitt Romney as his running mate.


  • Excellent campaigner who can connect with voters, especially Independents
  • Can help Romney bolster his standing among Southerners and evangelicals
  • Has a fairly decent conservative record on the issues
  • Executive experience
  • High, positive national name ID
  • Helps to firm up Romney’s committment to his opposition to abortion


  • Has a serious Willie Horton-like issue hanging in his closet
  • The material used against Romney by Huckabee in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination against Romney in 2008 could be used against Romney again in 2012.  This is not a lethal factor, but it is a consideration.
  • Huckabee may sincerely not be interested in seeking elected office

General Assessment:

Huckabee would make a decent compromise candidate for Vice President who helps compensate for some of the weaknesses that Romney has among conservatives, Southerners, and evangelicals.

He is a good, smooth talking campaigner who is quick on his feet and could actually make a good choice were it not for the Clemons clemency tragedy, which is far to significant to not become an issue during the campaign and does raise serious legitimate doubt about Huckabee’s judgement.

Huck is a possible but not probable choice for the Republican vice presidential nomination.


Mike Huckabee On The Issues

International Issues Domestic Issues Economic Issues Social Issues
Foreign Policy Gun Control Budget & Economy Education
Homeland Security Crime Government Reform Civil Rights
War & Peace Drugs Tax Reform Abortion
Free Trade Health Care Social Security Families & Children
Immigration Technology Corporations Welfare & Poverty
Energy & Oil Environment Jobs Principles & Values




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3 Responses

  1. I think Gov. Huckabee should be commended for pardoning Clemmons. Arkansas was giving a young BLACK kid an unusually harsh sentence for robbery with NO weapon. Gov. Huckabee did the right thing in reducing the sentence to be in line with the crime. I know we expect a lot of our politicians but NO ONE has the ability to see into the future and anyone who would blame the Gov for something this mentally challenged man did over a decade later, is clearly not looking at this situation impartially. Challenging Gov. Huckabee on this issue should cause racial outrage among blacks. Some are trying to punish Gov. Huckabee for making sure this man was treated fairly.

    • You might want review some of the facts before you establish your opinion. The facts are that everyone other than Governor, including the appropriate parole boards and legal authorities understood the extraordinarily violent and senseless nature of his crime. Everyone except for Governor Huckabee knew that there were no legitimate grounds for pardoning Clemmons. Yet he did. You might want to realize that there are consequences for our actions and the consequences here are that multiple people are dead because Huckabee did want to permit Clemmons to be appropriately punished for his actions. As a result, Huckabee’s reputation is diminished as his judgement is rightfully called in to question for a pardoning a killer whom everyone warned him should not be pardoned for his crimes. You may think it is unfair to hold Huckabee accountable for his poor judgement but you can rest assured that the families of the dead police officers do not think it is unfair. You can rest assured that those who opposed the pardoning of Clemmons and advised the Governor against doing so, do not think it is unfair to him accountable for making the wrong decision. To simply suggest that Huckabee made a mistake and that we should not hold his mistake against him, is naive and I would suggest to you that it is even ignorant. It was wrong of Huckabee to pardon Clemmons and it would be wrong to pardon Huckabee for doing the wrong thing regarding Clemmons. Two wrongs do not make a right.

  2. […] New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and most of all, former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.  On […]

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