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Horton, DuMond stories recalled

Mike Huckabee’s connection to the suspect in the slaying of four police officers in the state of Washington — Huckabee commuted the prison sentence of shooting suspect Maurice Clemmons in 2000 — is prompting comparisons to two infamous offenders from the past: Willie Horton and Wayne DuMond.

Yael Abouhalkah of the Kansas City Star asks, could this be Huckabee’s ‘Willie Horton moment’?

Meanwhile, CBS News recalls the role Huckabee played in the parole of Wayne DuMond, who later was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault and murder.

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Huckabee to speak at Southern Baptist Convention

Former Arkansas Gov. and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is slated to speak today at the Southern Baptist Convention in Louisville, Ky.

Huckabee, now a talk show host for Fox News, is scheduled to speak at 2:45 p.m. CST. You can listen to his address here.

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You say you want a revolution

The folks at Mike Huckabee’s blog, Huck PAC, say they have been having “issues” regarding comments on the blog, so today they posted a list of guidelines, including the following rule for comments about the president:

“When commenting on the Obama Administration, please follow Governor Huckabee’s policy. You may not agree with the President, but he is the President. Please refer to him as such, and please refrain from using language such as treason, traitor, impeachment or violent revolution.

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‘Former pastor’ label irks Huckabee

Echoing a complaint he made during the campaign, Mike Huckabee today said  too much was made of his past as a Baptist pastor during his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

“It was interesting to me that as a candidate for president I was often introduced as a former Baptist pastor, and I’m thinking, hmm, that’s interesting. It’s been nearly 18 years since I was a Baptist pastor, but I was a governor and a lieutenant governor for a longer period than I was ever a pastor,” Huckabee said during a talk at the University of Arkansas Clinton School for Public Service.

Huckabee says he believes in some cases the attention paid to his past as a minister was “an attempt to try to minimalize the fact that I was coming from being a governor and dealing with issues like transportation and education and health care and budget issues and … Medicaid and a host of other things.”

Huckabee says he had more experience in the executive branch of government, counting his terms as both lieutenant governor and governor, than any other 2008 presidential candidate.

He says it still frustrates him “when people make (his past as a minister) the centerpiece of all that I was.”

The Hope native was pastor of Baptist churches in Arkansas from 1980-1992. He served as lieutenant governor from 1993-1996 and as governor from 1996-2007.

Huckabee made frequent references to his faith while seeking the GOP nomination, including a television campaign ad  in which the words “Christian leader” appeared on the screen. During a campaign appearance in Michigan, Huckabee said he favored amending the U.S. Constitution “so it’s in God’s standards.”

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Janet Huckabee attends Veterans Day ceremony

Former Arkansas first lady Janet Huckabee attended today’s Veterans Day ceremony at the state Capitol. She said she is working hard to make sure the needs of military men and women returning home from deployment, as well as aging veterans with health concerns, are met.

Gov. Mike Beebe recently named Huckabee, who works for the Red Cross, to the Arkansas Yellow Ribbon Task Force, which is working to help veterans across the state.

“We have almost 3,200 soldiers fixing to come back from Iraq and Afghanistan,” she said. “That’s what we’re getting ready for, is their return.”

She said her husband, former governor and Republican presidential nominee Mike Huckabee, is traveling a lot, promoting a book and doing a weekly cable news show.

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The Huckabee show

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee announced on his Web site Wednesday that his show on Fox News Channel debuts Saturday at 7 p.m. Central.

Huckabee had been in talks with Fox about a new show for the last few months. He signed on with the network as a contributor after his failed bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

The Hope native has a broadcasting background. He worked at a radio station to pay his way through college and later founded a Christian television station in Texarkana.

Huckabee said his new show, called “Huckabee,” will air Saturday and Sunday.

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McCain speech spurs November predictions

Arkansans in the crowd for John McCain’s acceptance speech Thursday were so emboldened by the Republican presidential nominee’s remarks they predicted an easy McCain win in Arkansas in November.

Jonathan Barnett of Siloam Springs said McCain would win Arkansas by eight points.

“He is on a roll,” Barnett said as hundreds of red, white and blue balloons fell to the floor of Xcel Energy Center just after McCain’s address. “He’s going to be hard to beat in Arkansas.”

“I think we will bury him in November,” Jim Reavis, a Fayetteville delegate, said of Democratic nominee Barack Obama. McCain “showed his character and I think he has a lot more of it than McCain.”

Barnett said that, while the McCain and Obama speaking styles are different, McCain connects to average Americans.

“He’s got a little softer approach,” Barnett said. “He absolutely has a different style. He is just skilled differently.”

Bill Poynter of Texarkana said he fielded telephone calls all night from inspired viewers.

“They were saying how good everything was going,” Poynter said. “All of them were energized and excited, people from both parties.”

Jim Harris of Saline County, who is brother-in-law to former governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, said: “I think McCain’s patriotism has come through. This speech is going to get people who were undecided to come into the McCain camp.”

Harris said undecided voters will be swayed by Republican policy on energy and oil exploration.

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Huckabee math

The most-applauded line of Mike Huckabee’s speech to the Republican National Convention looks like the most inaccurate.

In speaking about Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the GOP’s vice presidential nominee, Huckabee said: “She got more votes running for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, than Joe Biden got running for president of the United States.”

Wasilla has a population of about 9,000. Biden received close to 80,000 votes in his presidential bid earlier this year.

Biden is now the Democratic vice presidential nominee.

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No respect for Huckabee

A poll released today shows Republican insiders have no love for Mike Huckabee as they look ahead to the 2012 presidential election.

The National Journal, a Washington-based publication, surveyed 78 high-profile Republicans from the GOP convention in St. Paul, Minn., asking them to pick their party’s front-runner for 2012 if John McCain loses in November.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was the top choice by a wide margin, drawing 55 percent.

Huckabee got just 3 percent.

One insider was quoted as saying about Huckabee: “The best campaigner of the lot, but he will only succeed if he can finally learn how to raise some money.”

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Huckabee speech text

Here’s the text of Mike Huckabee’s remarks, as prepared for delivery Wednesday at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.

As much as I appreciate the opportunity to speak tonight, I really was originally hoping for the slot on Thursday called the acceptance speech. But I am delighted to speak on behalf of my 2nd choice for the Republican nomination for President, John McCain — a man with the character and stubborn kind of integrity that I want in a President.

I grew up at a time and in a place where the civil rights movement was fought. I witnessed first hand the shameful evil of racism. I saw how ignorance and prejudice caused people to do the unthinkable to people of color not so many years ago.

So, I say with sincerity that I have great respect for Senator Obama’s historic achievement to become his party’s nominee — not because of his color, but with indifference to it. Party or politics aside, we celebrate this milestone because it elevates our country.

But the Presidency is not a symbolic job, and I don’t believe his preparation or his plans will lift America up.

Obama was right when he said this election is not about him, it’s about YOU.

When gasoline costs $4 a gallon, it makes it tough if you’re a single mom to get to your job each day in the used car you drive. You want something to change.

If you’re a flight attendant or baggage handler and you’re asked to take a pay cut to keep your job, you want something to change.

If you’re a young couple losing your house, your credit rating, and your American dream, you want something to change.

John McCain offers specific ideas to respond to this need for change. But there are some things we never want to change — freedom, security, and the opportunity to prosper.

Barack Obama’s excellent adventure to Europe took his campaign for change to hundreds of thousands of people who don’t even vote or pay taxes here.

It’s not what he took there that concerns me. It’s what he brought back. Lots of ideas from Europe he’d like to see imported here.

Centralized governments may care for you from cradle to grave, but they also control you. Most Americans don’t want MORE government — they want a lot less.

Abraham Lincoln reminded us that a government that can do everything FOR us can also take everything FROM us.

I really tire of hearing how the Democrats care about the working guy as if all Republicans grew up with silk stockings and silver spoons. In my little hometown of Hope, Arkansas, the 3 sacred heroes were Jesus, Elvis, and FDR, not necessarily in that order.

My own father held down two jobs, barely affording the little rented house I grew up in. My Dad worked hard, lifted heavy things, and got his hands dirty. The only soap we had at my house was Lava.  Heck, I was in college before I found out it wasn’t supposed to hurt to take a shower.

I’m not a Republican because I grew up rich, but because I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life poor, waiting for the government to rescue me.

John McCain doesn’t want the kind of change that allows the government to reach deeper into your paycheck and pick your doctor, your child’s school, or even the kind of car you drive or how much you inflate the tires.

He doesn’t want to change the very definition of marriage from what it has always meant throughout recorded human history. It is not above John McCain’s pay grade to grasp the simple fact that human life begins at conception, and he is committed to protecting it.

Maybe the most dangerous threat of an Obama presidency is that he would continue to give madmen the benefit of the doubt. If he’s wrong just once, we will pay a heavy price.

John McCain will follow the fanatics to their caves in Pakistan or to the gates of hell.

What Obama wants to do is give them a place setting at the table.

John McCain is by far the most prepared, experienced, and tested Presidential candidate. Thoroughly tested.

When John McCain received his country’s call to service, he didn’t hesitate, and he didn’t choose the easy path. He sat alone in the cockpit, taking off from an aircraft carrier to fly in unfriendly skies, knowing he might not make it back.

And one day, he didn’t make it back. He was shot down and captured. He was brutally tortured.

He could have eased his own pain and even cut short his imprisonment by uttering a few simple words renouncing his country. But he loved his country and knew that to return with honor later was better than to return without it now.

Most of us can lift our arms high in the air to signify that we want something. His arms can’t even lift to shoulder level, a constant reminder that his life is marked not by what he wants to receive, but by what he’s already given.

Allow me to tell you about someone who understands this type of sacrifice better than anyone.

On the first day of school in 2005, Martha Cothren, a teacher at Joe T. Robinson High School in Little Rock, was determined that her students would not take their education or their privilege as Americans for granted. With the principal’s permission, she removed all the desks from her classroom. The students entered the empty room and asked, “Mrs. Cothren, where are our desks?”   “You get a desk when you tell me how you earn it,” she replied.

“Making good grades?” asked one student.

“You ought to make good grades, but that won’t get you a desk,” Martha responded.

“I guess we have to behave,” offered another.

“You WILL behave in my class,” Mrs. Cothren retorted, “but that won’t get you a desk either.”

No one in first period guessed right. Same for second period.

By lunch, the buzz was all over campus… Mrs. Cothren had flipped out ….wouldn’t let her students have a desk. Kids had used their cell phones and called their parents.

By early afternoon, all 4 of the local network TV affiliates had camera crews at the school to report on the teacher who wouldn’t let her students have a desk unless they could tell her how they earned it.    By the final period, no one had guessed correctly.

As the students filed in, Martha Cothren said, “Well, I didn’t think you would figure it out, so I’ll have to tell you.”

Martha opened the door of her classroom. In walked 27 veterans, some wearing uniforms from years gone by, but each one carrying a school desk.

As they carefully and quietly arranged the desks in neat rows, Martha said, “You don’t have to earn your desks … these guys already did.

They went halfway around the world, giving up their education and interrupting their careers and families so you could have the freedom you have.

No one charged you for your desk. But it wasn’t really free. These guys bought it for you. And I hope you never forget it. ”

I wish we all would remember that being American is not just about the freedom we have. It’s about those who gave it to us.

Ladies and Gentlemen, John McCain is one of those people who helped buy the freedom that we enjoy and the school desks we had.

It’s my honor to do what I can to help him have a desk that he has earned one in the Oval Office.

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