Mr. Huckabee is a likable fella.
He has transitioned smoothly from the heavy hitting arena of state and national politics to snagging that all-too desirable gig as a television talking head on Fox's cable news channel.
He's easy to talk to and has the calming effect of a erudite psychologist; his southern Baptist charm and sensibilities reveal Huckabee's small-town cache...music stars, Hollywood moguls, John Q. Public and of course...politicos of every stripe and persuasion open up to him. However, Mike Huckabee has a problem that makes Tiger's (on-again-off-again semi-scandal) look provincial.
And, of course, the mainstream media haven't really focused on Mr. Huckabee's Willie Horton problem.
Make no mistake - Huckabee will be vilified if he chooses to run again for president in 2012. He did have the courage to man-up and appear on Bill O'Reilly Monday night and tell his side of the story regarding a certain convicted - then jailed, commuted, paroled and convicted again subject.
That subject - Maurice Clemmons - turned out to be a ruthless, evil cop killer.
Mike Huckabee was once even sued while Governor of Arkansas by then Circuit Judge Robert Herzfeld for allowing too many criminals out of prison. Yet, as he stated on O'Reilly's program Nov. 30, 2009:
MIKE HUCKABEE, FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR: Well, Bill, first of all, I think the tragedy of this — if I could have known nine years ago this guy was capable of something of this magnitude, obviously, I would never have granted a commutation. It's sickening. The two people in this country that I value the most are soldiers and police officers, because they're the only thing standing between our freedom and total anarchy. And in the case of this particular individual, he was sentenced to 108 years for two crimes when he was 16. The post-prison transfer board, the process, and I'll be very brief about this, but to understand they recommended to me as governor for his commutation, which didn't release him, it simply cut his sentence to 47 years. That would give him parole eligibility. That was the commutation. I'm responsible for that, and it's not something I'm happy about at this particular moment, in light of that."if I would of known what the future held for this man, I would of never allowed his commutation to go forward."
O'Reilly, feeling some sorrow and compassion for a colleague, interrupted Huckabee during his contrite apology on national television by downplaying Mr. Huckabee's unfortunate decision to commute Clemmons in 2000.
The fact is, most Governor's parole, commute and otherwise free dozens of convicted felons at the end of their terms in office. In fact, I was surprised to hear that Huckabee actually read the dossier on Clemmons before he was processed. Most Governor's simply take the word of many judges, prosecutors and parole administrators, when deciding on clemency matters.
However, when the dust clears, and the pictures, videos and soundbites surrounding the tragic deaths of the four Lakewood, Wash. police officers are queued and the grieving family, friends and colleagues are seen mourning for their loss - Huckabee will die a slow and tortuous death.
I can picture a fellow primary candidate now, during a GOP debate, bring up the matter when the debate moderator asks the question: 'how will you handle the growing problem of prison overcrowding if you are elected president?' A few seconds later, we hear a smug Newt Gingrich rip into Huckabee before a national audience, much like Cheney ripped into his campaign-contributing hunting buddy with his 12-guage shotgun at a friend's south Texas ranch during the Bush-Cheney years.
Campaign slogans pop up at political rallies professing 'We like Mike' and 'Huck's our Guy' juxtaposed next to banners exclaiming - 'Pardon Me! I Hucked Up!'
Yeah, he's a nice guy...apparently too nice.