Not only is Republican Mike Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor, endearing himself to a growing mass of voters, but he’s gaining the support of a subset of a politically powerful bunch: teachers.
Ex-Bushie, Hoover Institution fellow, and Fordham Foundation VP Michael J. Petrilli explores this phenomenon in a National Review piece.
Petrilli raises many good points, which have been echoed by the folks I’ve been talking to over the last few days for an upcoming story I’m working on about the presidential candidates who were, or are, governors. Democrats in Arkansas, who are the first to admit they don’t see eye-to-eye with a lot of Huckabee’s politics, seem to respect him for his education record. Specifically, they point to his support of tax increases early in his term to help resolve an Arkansas Supreme Court ruling declaring the state’s school funding system unconstitutional. One state legislator, Sen. Jim Argue, a Democrat, even told me that that moment in Arkansas history in 2002 — when the state had to make big decisions about how to fund schools — reminded him of another pivotal moment in state history: the historic and turbulent integration of Little Rock’s schools in 1957.