I have always liked former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. He's easy on the ears 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 persuasion - open up to him.
However, the 2008 Republican presidential primary candidate, and presumably 2012 presidential GOP candidate has a new public relations problem. It's actually turning into a nightmare.
Huckabee, while being interviewed via radio by WOR's Steve Malzberg on March 1, 2011, had this to say regarding president Barack Obama:
After news of Huckabee’s Freudian slip about Barack Obama spread, Huckabee went silent himself. He dispatched a spokesman, J. Hogan Gidley, to assert that Huckabee “merely misspoke” and that Huckabee “meant to say the president grew up in Indonesia.”
“One thing that I do know is his having grown up in Kenya, his view of the Brits, for example, very different than the average American … But then if you think about it, his perspective as growing up in Kenya with a Kenyan father and grandfather, their view of the Mau Mau Revolution in Kenya is very different than ours because he probably grew up hearing that the British are a bunch of imperialists who persecuted his grandfather.”
After listening to the WOR radio interview myself, it would be very wise for Mike Huckabee to get out in front of this story. He should have a press conference, and without equivocation, he should denounce what he said in a passionate apology.
Huckabee is a seasoned politician and has wide appeal through his Mike Huckabee show on Fox News. His biggest hurdle will be his "Mau Mau" revolution reference. That suggests that he wasn't talking about Indonesia as his press release states, but of Kenya.
Again, he must get out in front of this story forthwith, or suffer the consequences. I think he will speak publicly on this matter, and like any good Christian, his true character will surface by apologizing and asking for forgiveness.
After all, contrition is sometimes more powerful than rhetoric.