An Interview with Mike Huckabee

By Laura Remson

Here’s all the goodies I couldn’t give you in the newspaper today.

–       After arriving at the Ferrell Center, Lariat photographer Jed Dean and I found our tickets and headed into the reception area. Some may know it as the room where the Bear Pit watches away games and eats pizza. We looked right and through the crowd realized that Mike Huckabee was mere feet away from us.

–       It’s always kind of surreal to see a celebrity in real life. You expect them to be larger than life or really tall. This wasn’t the case. Later, after looking through the photos, the late night staff realized that there is a chance that at 5’10” I’m taller than Huckabee. But it doesn’t matter. His personality more than makes up for it.

–       After speaking with his aides, Jed and I lined up for a photo with the man himself. We figured that if we don’t speak with him, at least there is photo proof that we were there. I left my phone number with his people, hoping for a call at some point that night.

–       It’s important to note here that today I had on a Buc-ee’s truck stop T-shirt. If you don’t know what that looks, it has a giant chipmunk on it. With buckteeth, and a red hat.  I didn’t know that I would be seeing Huckabee today, let alone speaking with him. And yes, the first thing he did was ask me what my shirt was. Wow – good job Laura. We got our photo and seconds later, it was over.

–       Five minutes later in the hall, my phone starts to vibrate. It’s a 254- number and I get my hopes up. “Laura, come back and we can give you five minutes.” FIVE MINUTES! OH MY GOSH, I’M GOING TO MEET MIKE HUCKABEE!!!

–       Prior to this evening, I knew very little about Huckabee. I knew that he was a very conservative candidate who ran for the Republican nomination last year, but was beat out by McCain. Aside from that, my Huckabee knowledge was limited to an SNL Weekend Update appearance where Seth Meyers reminded him that he was out of the presidential race.

–       A minute later we were ushered into a back elevator in Huckabee, a Waco Tribune Herald reporter, and three aides, including Huckabee’s personal assistant. That’s when I realized that Huckabee was talking to me.

–       After asking me about my classification, Huckabee asked me what I would do with my life. The following is what we got on tape –

“…What are you going to do? Be the editor of the morning news?” asked Huckabee.

“I don’t know. I’d love to work for a magazine, but we’ll see what happens.”

“A news magazine or feature?”

“Features”

“Like People or something like that?”

“No, no I would really love to work for National Geographic actually.”

“Really?…I’ll call all my contacts and see what we can do. I have none.”

–       That’s right. Huckabee joked that he would help me find a job. In this day and age for journalists – that would be incredible. At this point I’m still shaking. We followed him down the hall to a holding room. I was holding a microphone and nodding – just like a ‘real’ journalist. Still shaking.

–       We end up sitting down in the holding room where tables of small salads, chocolate cake and what looks like key lime pie are waiting. Also in the room was a student food service worker, Megan, who I had bowling with last semester. “Are you the salad-keeper here tonight?” Huckabee asked Megan, a student food service worker.

–       After a short interview, we got to what really mattered. Where Huckabee should eat in Waco. Names brought up included Georges, 135 Prime and a restaurant Huckabee brought up himself; Ninfas.

–       At the end of the event, Huckabee mentioned the Baylor Lariat article that was written by Megan Keyser yesterday for the event. He said that it was the reason people came to the event and the reason that he himself showed up. “It’s what made me come. She should be running the New York Times these days. She would do it some good. I assure you, she would do it some good. “

This whole event still seems very unreal. This morning, if you asked me what I would be doing this evening, this would not be it. Not even close. Regardless of political affiliation, Mike Huckabee is a great man. He is kind and friendly to everyone. He took time to speak with two students, dressed in jeans and t-shirts, one of which was scared out of her mind. He gave us the same amount of time he did the Waco Tribune, and remained courteous throughout. An hour later – still shaking. Overall, it was an incredible evening.Huckabee, Jed and I meeting officially for the first timeHuckabeee, the Waco Tribune Reporter and myself coming off the elevator

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