Anyone who has read my comments lately, knows that I have some problems with Huckabee (see my critical note). But I HAVE been impressed with Mike Huckabee’s personal ability to handle himself infront of a crowd and in front of conflict questions – he is more articulate than many politicans. Here is an example [an excerpt] from boston.com:
Huckabee handles heckler
By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff
WINDHAM, N.H. — Mike Huckabee today calmly handled an angry heckler, turning the confrontation to his advantage and winning applause from a packed crowd that turned out to hear him speak at a local school.
Huckabee had just taken over the microphone from action movie star Chuck Norris, who has been travelling with the former Arkansas governor’s presidential campaign, when a man began shouting from the back of the room.
“Why is Richard Haass, the president of the Council of Foreign Relations, your political adviser?” the man demanded at the top of his lungs, repeating the question over and over again.
Huckabee has named Haass as one of the people he has consulted with on foreign policy issues. The Council on Foreign Relations, a nonpartisan think-tank organization whose members include many former government officials, is a favorite target of conspiracy theorists who think it is secretly plotting to create a one-world government.
At first Huckabee ignored the man, but as he continued to disrupt the event, Huckabee first led the crowd in a loud round of applause for “free speech,” temporarily drowning him out. Then he joked, “Don’t make me send Chuck back there!”
Eventually, as police were working their way towards the man through the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd, he left out the back door. As the man retreated, Huckabee turned the unexpected event to his advantage by praising the man’s right to heckle him.
“The great thing about America is that we’re not going to take him out and shoot him,” Huckabee said. “You don’t have to agree with the politicians and you can throw them out of office. But if you do like them, you can put them in office.
“And that’s why today I’m asking you not to throw me out — because I’m not in. I’m not part of what’s wrong; I’m part of what’s going to be right. I’ve not been part of the Washington scene. That’s one of the reason they’re going nuts down there right now. They don’t know how to figure me out. Of course, they don’t know how to figure themselves out and that’s why this country is in a mess.”
Huckabee, whose insurgent campaign and populist rhetoric has alarmed some in the Republican establishment, then launched into an attack on government spending and the $9 trillion national debt. He said Washington politicians should learn from the Boy Scout rule that one leaves one’s campsite in better shape than one found it.
Later, Huckabee returned back to the topic of the heckler while talking about New Hampshire’s “Live free or die” motto, which has become a staple of his stump speech since arriving the Granite State the day after his win in the Iowa caucuses on Thursday.
“I want you to understand something: I’m not mad at the guy who came and screamed at me,” Huckabee said. “I’m really not, because I value the fact that I live in a great country where he can come and scream at a guy running for president. I’m glad we live in a country where freedom really means something.”