Mike Huckabee’s candidacy continues to grow and gain momentum – just look at the latest Mason-Dixon poll that has him at 5% in New Hampshire, or the buzz about Mike Huckabee being a potential choice for Vice-President (an idea that he’s beginning to warm up to). However, as Huckabee’s campaign gains steam, the scrutiny of his life will intensify…
Back in April, we blogged about the arrest of his son, David Huckabee, after airport authorities found a loaded gun that he accidentally left in his carry on luggage. Recently, Radar Online took a deeper look at the potential liabilty of Mike Huckabee’s son:
In 1998, a teenage Huckabee (he’s now 26) was fired from his job at a Boy Scout camp for his reported involvement in an incident where a stray dog was brutally killed. While an elected student leader in college, his questionable private business dealings with a student organization created a local controversy that resulted in Huckabee bitterly paying for business licenses with over 6,000 pennies. A Little Rock paper even ran an unsubstantiated charge about marijuana that earned them a libel suit.
In some ways the increased scrutiny is a double edged sword. On the one hand, it means that Gov. Huckabee is beginning to break away from the pack of second tier candidates, which is no small task on the Republican side with 3 frontrunners and two strong candidates on the sidelines (Fred Thompson and Newt Gingrich). On the other hand, these kind of issues run the risk of leaving voters to wonder whether or not Huckabee has liabilities that would overshadow his strengths. While, I don’t think the existing controversy about his son will have any noticeable impact on Huckabee’s campaign or his momentum, it may hurt him down the road if his star continues to rise or, more likely, significantly hurt his chances of getting the vice-presidential slot.
In my opinion, the Huckabee campaign should get control of this issue now. Instead of letting others introduce David Huckabee to potential voters, they should remove David from the shadows and involve him with the campaign. Let him post a few blog posts or appear at a few events in support of Mike Huckabe. Give voters the opportunity to evaluate him themselves, so that any subsequent criticism of David will be evaluated against their positive experiences with David.
[Photo Credit: Rador Online – Mike Huckabee (inset) and David Huckabee]