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Insight on Huckabee from one who's watched him awhile

December 2, 2007 |  1:02 am

John Brummett has seen this movie before.

An Arkansas native and a veteran political journalist in the state, he watched -- and wrote about -- the rise in national politics 16 years ago of Bill Clinton. He knew well Clinton's strengths and weaknesses. And he gave fair -- and prescient -- warning of how they may play out in a Clinton presidency.

Now another ex-Arkansas governor is on the ascent in a presidential race -- Mike Huckabee. Indeed, the political world will be buzzing today with word that Huckabee leads among likely Iowa Republican caucus-goers in a new poll by the Des Moines Register (a particularly reputable survey).

So once again, Brummett has been holding forth about a White House candidate that he once covered up close and personal. And one of his recent columns about Huckabee was especially noteworthy.

Much has been made of Huckabee's past as a Baptist minister. But, Brummett asserts, a more crucial element to understanding him is his background in radio.

Here's the columnist's key sentence: "His superficially likable nature, which provides the essence of his oddly succeeding presidential campaign, comes via a disc jockey's shtick rather than a pastor's."

You can read the rest of the piece here. And in today's Times, Richard Fausset provides a detailed look at some of the controversies that marked Huckabee's tenure as governor.

-- Don Frederick