Arkansas Editorial Says Mike Huckabee Is Closest of all Candidates to Hillary Clinton

A recent editorial (Sept. 10, 07)  entitled "Hillary vs. Huckabee?" in the Arkansas paper, The Leader, begins by saying: "Mike Huckabee said on ABC’s  'This Week with George Stephanopoulos' that he would be the Republicans’ best candidate because his record contrasted the most sharply with hers. Our former governor might be the GOP’s best candidate against Sen. Clinton, at least among the present and forthcoming challengers, but his strength would be that he is closest to, not farthest from, Sen. Clinton on the issues and their records. (See below for more excerpts from the article and the link to the article: )

The Leader's editorial  reminds me of  one of  Arkansas's best known liberal writer John Brummett's article,  February 1, 2000 in which he says : "As it happens, Huckabee governs about as Clinton governed, and Boozman [Huckabee's appointee]  directs the state Health Department about as Dr. Joycelyn Elders directed it, save the brutal and over-the-top rhetoric...The state's leading liberal Democratic journal (the only one), the weekly Arkansas Times at Little Rock, has in recent issues put Boozman on the cover and suggested it might have been wrong about him and put Huckabee on the cover as 'Arkansan of the Year' and extolled his Clintonesque moderation...  His moderation is evident in that his most touted program is a form of liberal-lite. It is the expanded and modified Medicaid for kids in families of the working poor that he calls ARKids First.  In another article Brummett had this to say " Mike Huckabee, despite his rhetoric and religious conservatism, has been more of a moderate progressive, like modern Democrats, at least in a broad historical context encompassing race and immigration and spending."

Monday, September 10, 2007 Excerpts from The Leader Arkansas paper.

EDITORIALS>>Hillary vs. Huckabee?

Fantasizing about a race for president against Sen. Hillary Clinton, Mike Huckabee said on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” that he would be the Republicans’ best candidate because his record contrasted the most sharply with hers.
Half of his equation could be right.

Our former governor might be the GOP’s best candidate against Sen. Clinton, at least among the present and forthcoming challengers, but his strength would be that he is closest to, not farthest from, Sen. Clinton on the issues and their records. Better than the others, he might carve into the middle ground of independent voters who would otherwise tilt toward the Democrat.

We noticed that he was not very specific on their contrasts. It was strange that he vaguely mentioned two comparisons: education and health care. It would be hard to separate the former Arkansas governor and the former Arkansas first lady on those issues, based on their Arkansas records. It was on education and health care that as Arkansas first lady she made a lasting imprint.

She was the author of the higher school standards that were approved in 1983 over her husband’s imprimatur, and she worked to expand children’s health-care initiatives, founding the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. Huckabee claims education and children’s health care as his best innovations.

So what is the contrast? You will remember that ArKids First, the great expansion of government-paid health insurance for children, was Arkansas Advocates’ suggestion to the newly sworn in Gov. Huckabee in 1996. He eagerly embraced it and calls it even today his proudest achievement. Sen. Clinton’s husband, as president, brought it about on the national level a few months afterward.

We presume that Huckabee, alone among the GOP presidential candidates, favors expanding the national children’s health initiative, which Sen. Clinton and all the Democratic members of the congressional delegation favor.

As governor, Huckabee sought and won a federal waiver for a plan to have the federal government — that’s you — subsidize health insurance for poor adult workers. Other Republicans, including President Bush, are opposing that remedy as creeping socialism.

Education affords the best comparison. Huckabee likes to lump the Clintons together as a unit, which is fair. So how do they stack up? Hillary’s tough school standards in 1983 forced some gradual school consolidation as school districts failed to measure up to the standards over five years.

Huckabee demanded wholesale and immediate school consolidation and abolished more than 50 of them in one swoop. He wanted more than 100 other school districts consolidated but the legislature balked. Does he dare boast about that?
Taxes? Huckabee raised them considerably more in 10 years than Clinton did in 12. Clinton vetoed a 4-cent-a-gallon gasoline tax, and it passed over his veto.

Huckabee fathered a 4-cent increase in gasoline and diesel taxes. He claims before conservative audiences that the voters, not he, approved those taxes, but that is not true. Debt? The Clinton regime produced a small increase in general state indebtedness, to fund water projects and college construction.

Huckabee accounted for bigger increase in general state debt — the kind that taxpayers are obliged to service — than all previous Arkansas governors combined. Sen. Clinton is nailing down union endorsements in the Democratic primary. Huckabee is the only Republican candidate to seek them.

For rest of article see this link:

Quotes from other Arkansas articles that support the thesis that Mike Huckabee Is Closest of all Candidates to Hillary Clinton:

Huckabee's pro illegal alien agenda- unbelievable!


·                    See following link for n Arkansas newspaper articles that outline Huckabee's pro illegal alien agenda. One quote from the article  will give you an idea: "Gov. Mike Huckabee said Thursday that a bill to deny state government benefits and voting rights to illegal immigrants is 'inflammatory... race-baiting and demagoguery.' He challenged the Christian values of its main sponsor."  We don't believe that Hillary could do any better!


Government Control


·                    As an example of Huckabee's idea of government control  vs local control, he actually called for superintendents to be appointed by the State Department of Education, saying in his educational plan, A superintendent, who will have the authority to hire and fire principals and central office staff, will administer each district.  The authority to hire and fire the superintendent will rest with the director of the state Department of Education, [whom Huckabee appoints].  Only Hillary Clinton could dream of  such arrogance and power.   For this and other such outrageous government control ideas from Governor Huckabee's own paper  on education , see this link:'s%20Ed.%20Plan%20-2%20Parts.htm  Also see this link with numerous examples of how Huckabee and his appointed Director of Arkansas Department of Education did a better job than Hillary in government takeover of the schools in Arkansas. 


Health Care & Other Issues


·      Getting health coverage for every Arkansan is now a goal of Gov. Mike Huckabee's administration, the governor and top administration members confirm. (Isn't that just what Hillary tried at the very beginning of her husband's presidency?) "Health care for all ranks high on list for governor," Monday, June 5, 2000 Arkansas Democrat Gazette. 


·         Concerning Huckabee's Arkansas Kids First Department of Human Services Director Tom Dalton said, "This program will put us in a very small group of states that virtually provides a kind of universal coverage for children.   Few states will cover children up to 20 percent oft he poverty level.  I don't know of any in the South. "  Plan would bridge gap in health-care system"  "Plan would bridge gap in health-care system", by Kevin Freking,  Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Feb. 9, 1997


·      Advertised on handouts to use in schools to recruit people to sign up for Arkansas Kids First the following quote is found:  "We are looking for organizations to partner with us in an outreach effort to contact families and children....When children are enrolled in ARKids First, their coverage includes the following: (How many of you have insurance this good, even with your exorbitant priced plans?) Name of pamphlet "About ARKids First" obtained from school counselor who said they were given instructions to find as many children as possible for the program.


Physician Office Visit


Inpatient Hospital

Dental Care

Home Health


Laboratory and X-ray

Durable Medical Equipment

Prescription Drugs

Outpatient Hospital

Vision Care

Outpatient Mental and Behavioral Health

Speech Therapy


Medical Supplies

Nurse Midwife and Nurse Practitioner"


·     Concerning "Our Kids First" health insurance for children, Huckabee is quoted as saying, "The program will push Arkansas from near the bottom among the 50 states in expenditures for health care for children to first in the country.  The program is already being "heralded as a model for other states," ("Session could be regarded as very effective" March 28, 1997 Jonesboro Sun.) On the same day this article was published, The Sun also published  an AP article saying,   "The intense focus is (health insurance) is driven by Democrats' effort to incrementally expand access to health insurance...Clinton aims to cover 5 million children over the next four years by enrolling more who are eligible for Medicaid, and by giving states $750 million a year to develop or expand subsidy programs. (Arkansas Our Kids First children's health care is paid for by state and federal money.) 


·    Huckabee wrote an article entitled "Why I Am Against Instituting School Prayer" published July 1999.  At the following link a liberal praises him for that article saying,  "But Huckabee said he never could understand why so many people 'railed against (the absence of) prayer in schools when they didn’t even pray at home.' … “I felt it was not the schools’ job,” he said, to teach his children to pray, but the family’s... For himself, Huckabee quipped, “I prayed in school every time I took a math test.' This writer goes on to say, "That’s, um, right. In fact, when I worked at Americans United for Separation of Church and State, I’d make practically the same argument on a regular basis."   At the close of the article this writer said "He [Huckabee] doesn't have a prayer" in getting the conservative nomination. Name of article "I prayed in school every time I took a math test"


·    Another article with headline reads: "Huckabee says year-round school in Tennessee model for Arkansas."  Hillary Clinton wants schools to be open from 6:00 am. to 6:00 p.m. year round to  match the parents' work schedules. Arkansas Democrat Gazette, September 23, 1997.


·    "Huckabee touts national certification as goal for Teachers" is the headline of another article.  Arkansas Democrat Gazette, August 9, 1999.


·     Gov. Mike Huckabee on Friday announced another condition he wants before he calls a special legislative session on education — the appointment of a panel of teachers to meet in secret to offer advice to himself and the Legislature…  The panel of teachers Huckabee would appoint would consist of nine teachers who would be current or former state “teachers of the year” or Milken Award winners. ( Milken Awards are Presented on the Basis of Innovation, Not on Test Scores or Academic Achievement and are given to Educators who incorporate global UNNESCO curriculum)  For another article that gives extensive details on Milken Award Winners, see this link:'%20Input.htm " Huckabee Wants Teacher Input from Milken Award Winners"


·    "Clinton, Huckabee joins obesity fight." is the headline of an article in Arkansas Democrat Gazette May 4, 05 with a picture of Huckabee and Clinton together at a microphone.  The first paragraph reads,   "Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee addresses reporters during a news conference with former President Clinton on Tuesday in New York. In many schools  in Arkansas now the teachers can no longer allow cupcakes to celebrate their young students' birthdays, and all students have to be weighed annually and parents notified of their weight problem.  (Some teachers have nicknamed Huckabee's obesity fight as "The Fat Police".)




·        The House of Representatives approved Thursday what would be the largest ever Arkansas state tax increase, sending the $360 million-a-year measure for education to the Senate for expected approval today.  (Arkansas Democrat Gazette, February 6, 04 by Michael Rowett and Michael Wickline)  This was at the request of Governor Huckabee.

·        Headline:  Spending nearly double '97 figure.  State lawmakers learned Tuesday that state government's expenses nearly doubled the past 10 years.  the state Department of Health and Human Services’ expenses increased from $ 2. 139 billion to $ 4. 198 billion. The General Education Division’s expenses increased from $ 1. 689 billion to $ 2. 873 billion. Huckabee was governor during all those years. (Arkansas Democrat Gazette Oct 11, 2006  by  Wickline.


·          By the end of his ten-year tenure, Governor Huckabee was responsible for a 37% higher sales tax in Arkansas, 16% higher motor fuel taxes, and 103% higher cigarette taxes according to Americans for Tax Reform (01/07/07), garnering a lifetime grade of D from the free-market Cato Institute… Under Governor Huckabee's watch, state spending increased a whopping 65.3% from 1996 to 2004, three times the rate of inflation (Americans for Tax Reform 01/07/07). The number of state government workers rose 20% during his tenure (Arkansas Leader 04/15/06), and the state's general obligation debt shot up by almost $1 billion, according to Americans for Tax Reform. "Mike Huckabee's Record on Economic Issues" Club for Growth Releases First Presidential White Paper


·         Arkansas state government jobs increased 10.3% from 1997-2004 (7 years)   Total salaries increased by 74.1%  "Payroll increased.  Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Arkansas state government payroll January 9, 2005


·        "Arkansas one of three states to raise taxes by 5 percent-plus," study finds is headline in article, Wednesday, July 22,04 by Doug Thompson, Arkansas News Bureau.


We don't hear Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee touting these things on the campaign trail now that he is appearing before conservative voters in the nation. 

To those that have followed Mike Huckabee's governing philosophy in Arkansas, this editorial that says Huckabee is closest of all the candidates to Hillary Clinton comes as no surprise. Mike Huckabee was able to push Hillary Clinton's governmental controlled educational reforms faster than she, herself,  was able to do as the Governor's wife.   If there is any surprise, it is that a paper would have the courage to say it.


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