The Plank

Huckabee's Buckraking


I guess Iowans should consider themselves lucky: They get to see Mike Huckabee speak for free. A lot of other people have to pay for the privilege. That's the news from Politico, which reports that, even while he's running for president, Huckabee is still giving paid speeches (often for $25k a pop):

“Unlike the members of the Senate or Congress who continue to get their
paycheck and get a taxpayer-funded salary, and unlike people who are
independently wealthy, if I don’t work, I don’t eat,” Huckabee told
Politico on Wednesday in a phone interview from Iowa.

Huckabee said he has two or three paid speeches scheduled in February and had two or three in November.

He said “a couple in March are scheduled right now,” but none in
December or January because the campaign “has just eaten up” his time.

“I’d like some more, if you wanna give me some publicity — tell ’em to call the [speakers’] bureau," Huckabee joshed.

Huckabee said speaking income “is all I have,” in addition to money from writing. 

Huckabee's up-from-bootstraps/one-generation-removed-from-outdoor-plumbing story is obviously a big part of his appeal. And it's a sad state of affairs when it almost seems like you have to be a millionaire in order to run for president. What's more, since Huckabee doesn't come from money, he obviously needs to find ways to support himself. But he sure does seem to be unusually committed to making a buck.

As Arkansas governor, he made about $70k a year. But he found some creative ways to supplement his income--whether it was the $112,000 in gifts he accepted in one year as governor or creating gift registries at Target and Dillard's when he was leaving office. You almost wonder whether he's running for president for the $400,000 annual paycheck and the lucrative post-presidential book contract. 

--Jason Zengerle 

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