Thursday, June 14, 2007

Smooth-Talk City

There must be something in the water of Hope, Ark.

Former President Bill Clinton, we learn today, earned $10.2 million making speeches last year, up from $7.5 million the year before, for a total of $40 million since leaving office.

At the same time, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has edged up from the Republican pack to 5 percent in the New Hampshire polls as a result of his debate performances and sound-bite skills in interviews.

Cited by ABC as a strong contender for running mate, Huckabee says, “If they think I'm vice president by June, by January they'll think I ought to be president, and that's where I'm headed."

Huckabee, a former Baptist minister, has a way with words, even through he is short so far on campaign funds and media attention.

“One of the frustrations,” he complained the other day, “is that there is more attention on Britney Spears getting out of a car without underwear than there is about who is going to be the next president.”

Huckabee and Clinton were both born in Hope, a city with 10,000 inhabitants, whose other claim to fame is that it produces the world’s largest watermelons. There is one on the city logo, along with the slogan, “A Slice of the Good Life.”

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