Keith Richards and Mike Huckabee? Well, that’s what the former Arkansas Governor cum Fox News personality would like to see. He tells us that the Rolling Stones’ guitar legend is at the top of his list of dream guests for his new daily “The Huckabee Show” that begins its six-week test run July 26 on seven Fox stations.
“If you can get that to happen, you get to be executive producer of the show,” declares Huckabee, who moonlights as a bass player with his Capitol Offense band. As far as political figures? “I’ve met most of the politicians in the country. I would hardly consider any of them dream guests,” he says.
Huckabee’s new show will be seen in New York, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Boston, Atlanta, Detroit, Tampa and Minneapolis-St. Paul — with prospects for a full network debut as early as the beginning of next year. The once and potentially future Presidential candidate, whose modus operandi precludes the strident contentiousness common among cable news personalities, says he’ll focus on issues with an emphasis on understanding and solutions.
“I have very strong clarion views on tough topics, but I respect people who have different views,” he stresses. “When I have discussions with people who don’t agree with me, that gives me traction to increase my understanding.”
Such was the case, according to Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, when he debated gay adoption with lesbian mom Rosie O’Donnell on her radio show.
“It was a good conversation,” he maintains. (She, at one point, said that hearing his views was “very painful.”) “Obviously, when it concluded neither of us changed each other’s mind. It’s a delicate, touchy subject. The net result is, she still disagrees with me, probably thinks I’m a Neanderthal. But we were not yelling and screaming at each other. I had Bill Maher on my show. I can’t think of anyone I disagree with more, and it was one of the better segments I’ve had. It was interesting to find out why he has such contempt for religion. I didn’t feel I had to argue with him. I consider my audience intelligent and mature enough to form their own conclusions.”
Is having a daily show part of a master plan for his possible 2012 bid for the White House?
“My master plan is just to get up tomorrow morning and do a good job,” Huckabee insists. “And it’s to take the good opportunities when they come. This is one that I could not walk away from.”