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Mike Huckabee 2016: 7 Highlights from Pre-Politics Life of GOP Presidential Hopeful

Image: Mike Huckabee 2016: 7 Highlights from Pre-Politics Life of GOP Presidential Hopeful
Mike Huckabee speaks alongside former President Bill Clinton at an announcement of a new partnership to fight childhood obesity on October 20, 2005 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 27 Jan 2015 05:54 PM

With the recent news that Mike Huckabee is giving up his talk show on Fox News, many have speculated that the former Arkansas governor is gearing up to make another run at the Republican nomination for presidential candidate in 2016.

Huckabee should have solid name recognition — since he also ran in 2008 and won the Iowa caucuses — but here are seven facts about Huckabee's pre-politics life you might not already know.

1. Like former President Bill Clinton, Huckabee hails from Hope, Arkansas. The two didn't know each other when Huckabee, who's younger by almost a decade, was growing up, but Huckabee's dad and Clinton's mother were classmates while in high school. Still, Huckabee didn't know Clinton was from Hope until much later. "We always thought of him as being from Hot Springs," Huckabee told C-Span.

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2. Huckabee has not forgotten at least one humiliation from his youth. He referred to himself as a "timid little guy" who felt vulnerable inside, and he remembers in seventh grade when his gym teacher put him on a team of the class's worst basketball players and made them play a game in front of the rest of the students. "It was just to get others to laugh at us," he told The New York Times. "I remember how humiliated I felt, being singled out."

3. Not only was Huckabee the first male in his family to graduate from high school, he was accepted into Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. He couldn't resist, though, returning to his roots. After finishing his freshman year, the 18-year-old Huckabee married Janet McCain, his high school sweetheart.

4. It's no secret that Huckabee likes to play bass guitar, but he also spent part of his time in college as a rock radio DJ. Even with that extracurricular activity — and the fact he was already married — Huckabee completed his four-year degree in less than three years.

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5. Aside from moonlighting as a DJ in college, Huckabee also spent his Sundays preaching at a local Baptist church. Then, he turned an interim pastor position into a 12-year job. "In 1980, a church in Arkansas asked me to come and speak for them, and I did," Huckabee told ABC News in 2007. "Then they asked me to come back and speak again, and I did. Then they said, you know we're without a pastor. Why don't you be our interim pastor, which means you speak every Sunday until we find somebody to do it permanently. And after about four months, they said, why don't you just stay? And that's how I became a pastor."

6. In 2007, The New York Times asked Huckabee what bands he'd like to play his hypothetical presidential inauguration. His answers included a few understandable choices for a man of his age — the Rolling Stones, John Mellencamp, and Stevie Wonder — and one not-so-obvious selection: Grand Funk Railroad. "That," he told the paper, "is a groundbreaking group."

7. Huckabee occasionally slaps the bass for a classic-rock cover band called Capitol Offense. According to U.S. News and World Report, Capitol Offense has opened for such bands as REO Speedwagon, the Charlie Daniels Band, and yes, Grand Funk Railroad.

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With the recent news that Mike Huckabee is giving up his talk show on Fox News, many have speculated that the former Arkansas governor is gearing up to make another run at the Republican nomination for presidential candidate in 2016.
mike huckabee, 2016, pre-politics, hightlights
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2015-54-27
Tuesday, 27 Jan 2015 05:54 PM
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