“A Torrid Affair With Helen Thomas”: Highlights From The New Yorker‘s Mike Huckabee Profile

 

Mike Huckabee loves to talk, whether it be on his Fox News show or during an interview with Ariel Levy that resulted in an 8,378-word profile for The New Yorker. And while the article is meant to explore the persona of the likely contender for the 2012 GOP nomination, the shining moments in the piece come when Huckabee opens his mouth and spits out beautiful little gold nuggets, embedded in quotation marks and sparkling amongst the pebble-gray type on the page.

The full article is fascinating, but uber-long. For those of you in the “tl;dr” crowd, here is a sampling of Huckabee’s controversial statements, which are either terribly offensive or downright hilarious. He blurs the line between the two pretty well, as a self-confessed jokester who comes up with knee-slappers like this:

At times, he seems unable to resist the force of his own funniness. I joked with him once that I would write about his (fictitious) affair with Nancy Pelosi. He e-mailed back, “The only thing worse than a torrid affair with sweet, sweet Nancy would be a torrid affair with Helen Thomas. If those were my only options, I’d probably be FOR same-sex marriage!”

But alas, Huckabee married his high school sweetheart, so he is free to oppose homosexuality as he pleases:

In several of his seven books, he tells a story about the time his young son John Mark baked a cake. The boy didn’t know what a “dash” of salt was, so he added a cup to the batter, and the cake was inedible. This, Huckabee asserts, is what happens when human beings come up with their own measures of right and wrong, instead of following the Bible’s. “Consider homosexuality,” he writes. “Until recently, who would have dared to suggest that the practice should be accepted on equal footing with heterosexuality, to be thought of as a personal decision and nothing more?”

Hear that, homosexuals? You’re the salt that spoils the proverbial cake of society. Oh yeah, and giving you the right to adopt would be like handing narcotics to a drug addict or legalizing incest:

“Children are not puppies—this is not a time to see if we can experiment and find out how does this work,” Huckabee told a student journalist at the College of New Jersey in April. “You don’t go ahead and accommodate every behavioral pattern that is against the ideal. That would be like saying, ‘Well, there are a lot of people who like to use drugs, so let’s go ahead and accommodate those who want to use drugs. There are some people who believe in incest, so we should accommodate them.’ ”

As a former pastor, Huckabee’s views on homosexuality aren’t necessarily surprising. His ideas about Palestine (like how it doesn’t exist) are a little more controversial:

“I have to be careful saying this, because people get really upset—there’s really no such thing as a Palestinian,” Huckabee told a rabbi in Wellesley, Massachusetts, at a kosher breakfast on the campaign trail in 2008. “That’s been a political tool to try to force land away from Israel.”

A good chunk of the article focuses on his pro-Israel beliefs, which stem from his Evangelicalism. Also stemming from his religion? His speeches, which he says God helps him write:

Huckabee told me about experiences he’s had with divine inspiration: “There’ve been times when a thought would come to me . . . and as soon as I wrote it or said it I stepped back and thought, Whoa, pretty darn good.” I asked how he knew he wasn’t just smart. “Well, nobody thinks that,” he said, laughing. “Haven’t you read the blogs? I’m a complete idiot. I’m not smart enough to run for President.”

And nothing says “Commander-in-Chief” like a healthy respect for the Apocalypse:

Huckabee believes that history will end and that the Rapture will come, but he doesn’t tie himself to a time line. “I was a lot more sure when I was eighteen!” he said. “I thought it would be one heck of an end-of-the-world war.”

In all honesty, the article makes Huckabee seem like a fairly personable guy – for every self-incriminating quote there’s a blurb about how nice he is. Like the rest of the article, Huckabee said it best himself: “I think that there’s some obvious conflict in me.”

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