Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Book tour brings Huckabee to Tampa

Former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee signs copies of his new book, Do the Right Thing, at Hyde Park Village on Friday. Autograph seekers stood in a line which Huckabee worked through, then left for another location.


Former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee signs copies of his new book, Do the Right Thing, at Hyde Park Village on Friday. Autograph seekers stood in a line which Huckabee worked through, then left for another location.

TAMPA — Mike Huckabee's national book tour stopped in Hyde Park on Friday, and while it had the look and feel of a whistle-stop campaign for another presidential run, the former Arkansas governor said it's so much more.

"I don't know, 2012 is a long way away," Huckabee said while he sat on a tour bus that arrived at 9 a.m. from an earlier book signing in Sarasota. "What I want to do is help people understand that the Republican Party is not dead."

With a TV show on Fox and a bestselling book, Huckabee has positioned himself to be one of the most prominent conservative voices during the next few years of the Democrats in charge. His tour allows him to share his thoughts on the big issues of the day to a wider audience, like on Friday when he told a reporter he was concerned about the recent federal bailouts of banks.

"Right now, the government is picking the winners and losers of the free market," he said. "They shouldn't throw money at a problem if we don't fix what went wrong in the first place."

Over three weeks, Huckabee is visiting more than 50 cities to promote his recently released book, Do the Right Thing, an inside look at his presidential campaign.

As he stepped from the bus in Tampa, about 75 fans cheered his appearance, which was sponsored by Inkwood Books.

"This is bigger than the presidency," said Kathy Cox of St. Petersburg. "This is about him getting a message out that integrity matters. I like his values. I'm Christian; he's a Christian."

Cox's sister, Nancy Main, was visiting for Thanksgiving from North Carolina. She likes Huckabee, too, and said he could play the same role Pat Robertson has played for years as the proxy for religious conservatives. "He's someone the rural parts of America can relate to," Main said.

Several of those waiting in line touted his plan to eliminate the federal income tax and replace it with a sales tax. It's called the FairTax Plan and advocates say it would offer cash rebates to ensure those below the poverty line don't pay federal taxes on essential goods and services.

Kathy Sorensen came from Treasure Island to catch a glimpse of the man she says would make a terrific president — someday.

"It's not that he's a man of God, because I'm a Christian," Sorensen said. "It's that he has ideas like the FairTax. It is more fair. Poor people wouldn't be buying iPods if we had a FairTax."

Almost everyone awaiting Huckabee's autograph said they currently support the man who has yet to take office, Barack Obama. But for many, the prospect of a Huckabee administration was an attractive one to contemplate in the coming years.

"I love that man," shouted Dennis Krause, a 28-year-old from St. Petersburg as Huckabee passed. "Obama might be a good president, but I'm already thinking about 2012."

Krause brought his guitar. On the spot, started strumming and improvised a ditty.

I have a friend named Mike Huckabee

He's going to be president, don't you see.

Huckabee, who plays the bass guitar, didn't see Krause perform this song. But he did later sign Krause's guitar.

"I play this for my church's Bible class," Krause said. "Mike will be with us now every Wednesday night."

Book tour brings Huckabee to Tampa 11/28/08 [Last modified: Saturday, November 29, 2008 8:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. No touchdown, but fun lesson for Bucs' Adam Humphries


    It didn't end up being a touchdown, but one of the Bucs' biggest hustle plays in Thursday's win over Jacksonville saw receiver Adam Humphries scoop up a loose ball just before halftime, after what looked like an incompletion but was correctly ruled a Jameis Winston fumble.

    Bucs WR Adam Humphries runs to the end zone with QB Jameis Winston trailing -- his alert play wasn't a touchdown because teammates cannot advance a fumble in the final two minutes of a half.
  2. Bucs' Demar Dotson should be back from injury next week


    The Bucs got good news on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI showed only a mild right groin sprain and should be back at practice next week.

    Bucs tackle Demar Dotson, shown last year when he signed a three-year contract extension, should only miss a week of practice with his groin injury and can return healthy for the Bucs' season opener at Miami in three weeks. [Octavio Jones | Times]
  3. Comedy legend Jerry Lewis dead at 91


    LOS ANGELES — Jerry Lewis, the manic, rubber-faced showman who jumped and hollered to fame in a lucrative partnership with Dean Martin, settled down to become a self-conscious screen auteur and found an even greater following as the tireless, teary host of the annual muscular dystrophy telethons, has died. He was …

    In this Sept. 2, 1990, file photo, entertainer Jerry Lewis makes his opening remarks at the 25th Anniversary of the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon fundraiser in Los Angeles. Lewis, the comedian whose fundraising telethons became as famous as his hit movies, has died according to his publicist. [Associated Press]
  4. Mastermind of lottery rigging scam that netted millions faces 25 years


    DES MOINES, Iowa — For a decade, computer programmer Eddie Tipton reliably showed up for work at the central Iowa office of the Multi-State Lottery Association and earned the confidence of his co-workers, a team of technicians entrusted to build computers used to randomly pick numbers for some of the most popular …

    FILE - In this June 29, 2017, file photo, Eddie Tipton, the former Multi-State Lottery Association information security director who admitted to masterminding a scheme to rig lottery games that paid him and others $2 million from seven fixed jackpots in five states, is seen in court in Des Moines, Iowa. Tipton is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday, Aug. 22. (Rodney White/The Des Moines Register via AP, File) IADES501
  5. Pasco County man killed in wrong-way crash on New Jersey Turnpike


    MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. — Authorities say a Florida man driving the wrong way on the New Jersey Turnpike was killed when his SUV crashed head-on into another vehicle.