Book: A Simple Government: Twelve Things We Really Need from Washington (and a Trillion That We Don't!)
Author: Mike Huckabee
Opening Lines: "Since Barack Obama was elected, plenty of books have been written criticizing his administration and accusing him of all sorts of things -- from being a Marxist to lying about his citizenship to being a Muslim. But if you know me or you're familiar with my commentaries on TV and radio, you know I don't like to make politics personal."
Closing Lines: "I'm as giddy as a schoolboy at the results of the recent election, but the only way to fix our country is to set aside our differences, stop the attack ads, and fully commit to doing what is best for America and the American people. It's just that simple."
Synopsis: Huckabee's book employs a folksy tone and plenty of anecdotes to lay out an alternative to President Obama's agenda, while conspicuously avoiding any personal attacks on the president. Among Huckabee's "common-sense" strategies to balance the budget: requiring senior citizens to wait longer to college Social Security and Medicare benefits and deep-sixing the income tax system for a national sales tax.
Publication Date: February 22, 2011
Number of Pages: 210
List Price: $26.95
Birthday Sentence: (8/24/1955) 8+24+55 = pg. 87: "So the stimulus didn't just waste your money; it planted the seeds from which the poisonous tree of death panels will grow."
Takeaway: Unlike some other well-known Republicans' books, Huckabee's is not a diatribe, and he discusses issues not usually found in the conservative orthodoxy, including protecting the environment (although he is ambivalent about climate change science). He even uses the same Sputnik analogy President Obama used during his State of the Union speech to talk about an "energy race with China." But overall, many of the suggestions Huckabee makes have been found in other politicians' books: merit pay for teachers, an "all of the above" approach on energy, securing the border before considering immigration reform, etc. Huckabee's book does not indicate strongly one way or the other whether he plans to run for president, although there has been little push by him to organize a campaign thus far. But if he does run, expect him to stand out as much for his civil tone he displays here as any particular policy objectives.
For more on the book, read Tim Alberta's analysis.
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