The Campaign Spot

Careful With That ‘We Like the Simple Life’ Routine, Governor Huckabee.

From the Thursday edition of the Morning Jolt:

Careful With That ‘We Like the Simple Life’ Routine, Governor Huckabee.

Our Charlie Cooke is getting tired of Mike Huckabee’s homespun schtick:

Huckabee is essentially attempting to become to the Right what the likes of Neil deGrasse Tyson have become to the Left: namely, a proxy figure who can be used as shorthand by the lazy and the lost to signify their allegiance to a set of cherished cultural values. “We like the simple life,” Huckabee announces in his book. “Status is a Ford 150 truck; luxury is crawfish étouffée and slaw on your pulled-pork sandwich; and privilege is front-row seats at a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert.” And unlike those “misfortunate” souls in “Manhattan, the Washington Beltway, or in Beverly Hills,” we know the joy that one can get from wading “in chest-deep water to hunt mallards.” Insofar as it goes, there is nothing wrong with this. Indeed, I like many of these things too. But the self-conscious spinning of local tradition into a national political aesthetic is invariably irritating, and, typically, electorally counterproductive. There are many wonderful things about the world Huckabee is attempting to represent. But surely, just surely, it is possible for a southerner to run for high office without dressing up as Forrest Gump?

A quick point about that line, “Status is a Ford 150 truck; luxury is crawfish étouffée and slaw on your pulled-pork sandwich” . . . 

Governor, I think you have to be a little careful about suggesting that you’re all about the “simple life” with a more humble definition of luxury than all those coastal elites.

For starters, your three-story beachfront house in Florida — with 8,224 square feet of living space, and 2,969 square feet of porch and deck space — is worth $2.8 million. It’s a nice house, with a built-in radio studio.

And he’s flown quite a bit on private planes in recent years.

Huckabee had a $500,000-per-year contract with Fox News. His speaking fee is listed at $50,000 and above.

And then there’s all the money that’s gone to his PAC . . . 

Over the last six years, the Fox News host’s political action committee, which was created to raise money for GOP candidates, has paid nearly $400,000 to members of Huckabee’s extended family, while spending just a fraction of its multimillion-dollar fundraising haul on the Republican contenders . . . 

Since its inception, Huck PAC has never spent more than 12 percent of its funds on candidates or other PACs. It gave only 5 percent of its revenues — that is $47,000 of $1,063,142 — to candidates during the 2012 cycle.

He’s welcome to enjoy all that; to contradict our president, he built that. But I’m not so sure that fits most people’s definition of “the simple life.”

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