Almost everyone agrees that Mike Huckabee is a likable guy.
From my own interactions with him, I can testify that Huckabee is a guy I’d enjoy spending time with. He listens well – and, as a result, a conversation with him is always worthwhile.
Don’t believe me? Just watch 15 minutes of his FOX News show, and you’ll be amazed at the way he treats both friend and foe with courtesy. He’s genuinely willing to listen to others’ arguments.
The notoriously liberal publication, Newsweek, even showed him grudging appreciation in a 2007 profile, saying: “Huckabee comes across as an easygoing, down-to-earth guy. The former Arkansas governor is self-deprecating, approachable and genuinely funny.”
But we don’t elect presidents because they’re nice guys. Both Barack Obama and George H. W. Bush were known to be aloof, distant and, at times, vexing. Yet both ascended to the White House.
The real question is whether Mike Huckabee is tough enough for the office.
The Importance of the Moral Compass
Does Huckabee have the courage and fortitude to make the difficult calls that a president faces day in and day out? Can the nice guy also be the tough guy in the oval office?
Presidents have to perform an extremely challenging balancing act. They must be tough with their opponents, but not so tough that the opponent is forever estranged.
Both Barack Obama and George W. Bush have had difficulty reaching common ground with their adversaries – and, as a result, the country has faced 16 years of partisan division and political sniping. Going forward, the country desperately needs a president who won’t excoriate his political opponents. We can’t afford more division and bitterness.
That’s why I think Mike Huckabee could very easily fit the bill. His style is much closer to that of Reagan and Clinton than Obama, Bush and Nixon.
You see, despite his happy-go-lucky personality, Mike Huckabee has an inner toughness that’s difficult to see at first glance. I believe that he’d make the tough decisions if elected president, and the reason is his character.
Most politicians follow the prevailing breeze, especially on difficult cultural and moral issues. For example, when Americans opposed gay marriage, the politicians were unified against it. But as the polls changed, many of the same politicos decided to support gay marriage.
Mike Huckabee is just the opposite. I have full confidence that his beliefs won’t change – even on the toughest issues facing America – regardless of the social and political winds around him.
Reagan was similar in this regard. Both men have an inner compass that keeps them consistent on the issues. Reagan could be trusted to negotiate with Mikhail Gorbachev, because people understood his firm belief against communism. Americans knew Reagan would never sell us out. We trusted him.
But today, when Barack Obama negotiates with Putin or the Mullahs in Iran, we have none of the same confidence. He, like so many other politicians, has changed his stance on important issues (including gay marriage), and that destroys credibility in the eyes of the people.
Mike Huckabee has the ability to restore trustworthiness to the White House, and, therefore, he has what it takes to be president.
Your eyes on the Hill,