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May 18, 2011

Vol 37 • No 38

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Evangelicals making tracks in Hot Springs

Hot Springs is the town where you gamble on the ponies, tread in the steps of gangsters taking the waters, and where a club on one of its most busy streets advertises "Strip Karaoke." But there's another spring bubbling up in the so-called Spa City, one that's bringing holy water to the surface.

After arrest, rocker finds Jesus and a job in the Hot Springs court system

Maybe it's no surprise that the son of the mayor of Hot Springs, a tattooed rock and roll musician who found Jesus in a Christian rehabilitation program after he was arrested on drug charges, is now a probation officer for Hot Springs Municipal Court.

Mid-Southern winners at HAM

Bill Lewis won the Gold Award.

Jeff Nichols' new movie will give you nightmares

See the first clip from "Take Shelter," which just screened at Cannes

How low can Huck go?

If you were around in the 1980s, you surely remember that the U.S. was under attack by knife-wielding men of color who looked something like a cross between Barack Obama and L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, roaming our trash-laden streets. No? Well, you can now revise your memory with former Gov. Mike Huckabee's Learn Our History video tales for children.

Toy stores guide

From wholesome, organic wooden blocks to tawdry, nose-less Bratz dolls, Little Rock and its environs offer toys to suit many tastes.

What about Hoxie

Another school integration monument proposed for the Capitol.

Drop in

Another house was lifted into place in the Pettaway neighborhood of downtown last week, as the University of Arkansas delivered a contemporary modular home designed by 4th- and 5th-year School of Architecture students to 1805 Commerce St.

Prevalent offers

Prevalent means "widespread; in general use or acceptance" and "having the superiority or ascendancy."

Orval, May 18, 2011

Good week for Mike Huckabee; bad week for the City of Morrilton

After forcing viewers to watch him interview Mario Lopez, jam with Ted Nugent and pitch his execrable new cartoon "history" project on his Fox TV show Saturday night, Huckabee announced that he would not run for president. He was listening to his "heart," he said. Those paychecks from Fox and Citadel Broadcasting may've had something to say about it, too.


This Modern World, May 18, 2011

To anger

The Dalai Lama appeared in Fayetteville last Wednesday afternoon before a crowd of 10,000 people. Around the same time, I was in Little Rock, flinging my cell phone across the room.


Well, it's only three days till the end of the world, and while I'm not a true believer, there are some last-chance just-in-case matters to be attended.

The Wasilla of Saline County

The Dalai Lama appeared in Fayetteville last Wednesday afternoon before a crowd of 10,000 people. Around the same time, I was in Little Rock, flinging my cell phone across the room.

Hot Springs film festival plagued by debt

All but one staffer furloughed.

Grab a seat

Movies in the Park announces schedule

"Ghostbusters," "Dirty Dancing" and "How to Train Your Dragon" among those showing.

On 'Frontline: Wikileaks" and Arkansas Netflix picks

It is the human condition, we suppose, that all of us who live long enough will feel like we just stepped out of our time machine here in a future where everything seems faster, brighter and more complicated than it should be.

First-look drama

Fayetteville's TheatreSquared and The Rep partner to present The Arkansas New Play Fest in North Little Rock.

Gunning for TV

Fayetteville Circuit Judge Mary Gunn, whose televising of her drug court came to an end after a judicial ethics panel criticized it and broadcaster Jones TV pulled out, has talked to Washington County Judge Marilyn Edwards about possibly using her old courtroom in the County Courthouse for a future TV show after Gunn retires June 11.

Foo Fighters come to Verizon

Plus Free Love Virgins, the Greek Food Festival, the 'Hands for Haiti' Benefit, the Thick Syrup Anniversary Shows, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, The Greenhornes and Sea Nanners.

Foo Fighters come to Verizon

Plus Free Love Virgins, the Greek Food Festival, the 'Hands for Haiti' Benefit, the Thick Syrup Anniversary Shows, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, The Greenhornes and Sea Nanners.

The history edition

Mixing fun and education doesn't always work, but the exhibit now at the Historic Arkansas Museum is a well-measured blend.

Judd Apatow discovers women

And scores with Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph in 'Bridesmaids.'

Don't do it, the Lord tells Huckabee

The only news from Mike Huckabee's predictably vintage political stunt Saturday night is that, for reasons undisclosed, the Good Lord did not want the Huckster to seek the presidency.

Comings and going

Newsmakers came and went in headlines last week.

Cluckin' for a cause

Up in Faulkner County this Friday from 1 to 2:30 p.m., children from Conway School District's nine elementary schools and two 5-6 grade schools will be collectively strutting their stuff to help poor children in Africa, during the third-annual Chicken Dance Marathon.

Training day

All Aboard features meals by train, but not much else.

Flying wild

Flocks of birds have endangered planes at some airports. At Little Rock National, the threat is from clouds of currency, flung like paper airplanes by Airport Director Ron Mathieu.


Not what we intended

Last week, we addressed the terrible voting pattern of the three Republicans in Arkansas's delegation to the U.S House of Representatives. This week, the putative Democrat is voting with them.

Dining Update: Rivershore Eatery

The River Market is what you might call a sandwich-rich environment. You can find tasty offerings at the Coast Cafe, Boulevard Bread and Tropical Smoothie Cafe. Now you can add Rivershore Eatery to that list.

See the Little Rock government payroll

In the Times' new searchable database.

Say hello to Haru

Sushi? In Cabot? The heck you say.

A town without a bank

Bancorp South closings will leave three towns without a bank.

Bryant v. Conway goes viral

A trick play which led to a goal in a contest between Conway and Bryant High Schools has gone viral.

The next campaign finance step

Republicans plan a super PAC that will coordinate fund-raising with candidates. It could create a gigantic sewer of soft money the likes of which has never been seen.

Paul Ryan plays with matches

Think the Republican budget genius is right? Think investors are willing to stand pat "for a few days" if the U.S. stops meeting its payment obligations?

The airport audit

Little Rock Municipal Airport Commission chief Virgil Miller said this morning that he asked airport Executive Director Ron Mathieu to "think through" his decision to turn in his airport credit card after yesterday's commission meeting.

Wednesday To-Do: Foo Fighters-Motorhead

Twenty years ago, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" debuted and modern rock radio has been heard through a distortion pedal ever since. Sixteen years ago, in the months following Kurt Cobain's "fade away," Nirvana's drummer released a block of home-recorded punk-poppery under the dashed-off name Foo Fighters.

Boehner: between reality and the Tea Party

John Boehner and the Republicans are stuck between reality and Tea Party expectations.

Chesapeake fined big in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has fined Chesapeake Energy over $1,000,000 for drilling violations.

Fayetteville police make arrests in shooting

Fayetteville police made arrests in connection with yesterday's shooting, which was captured by a neighbor's smart phone and uploaded to YouTube.

Now for something fishy

A group of images inspired by Matt McLeod's show and sale Friday, 5:30-9 p.m. at Pulaski Heights Christian Church.

The Libertarians are coming

The Libertarian Party submitted over 16,000 signatures to the Secretary of State's office yesterday and plans to field local and state-wide candidates.

Mass layoffs on the decline

Talk Business reports mass layoffs are on the decline

Justice Adkisson dies

The Pulaski County Bar Association has sent out a notice that Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Richard Adkisson died this morning.

Cedric the Entertainer to Robinson

One of "The Original Kings of Comedy," Cedric the Entertainer, is coming to Robinson on June 18.

Mann ordered to pay $1 million in restitution

Randeep Mann was ordered by a court to pay $1 million in restitution for his crime against Dr. Trent Pierce.

Watch ol' Bandit run at the LRFF

To close the Little Rock Film Festival this year, the LRFF and Movies in the Park will present a special outdoor showing of the 1977 fast-cars-and-mustaches epic "Smokey and the Bandit," starting at dusk on Sunday, June 5th at the Riverfest Amphitheater.

Over and out (I think)

This sentence in a Salon story today about the effect of fracking on our food supply caught my eye: In Louisiana, 16 cows that drank fluid from a fracked well began bellowing, foaming and bleeding at the mouth, then dropped dead.

ZaZa chef-owners to open new restaurant, Big Orange, in August

ZaZa’s John Beachboard and Scott McGehee plan to open a new restaurant in August in the Promenade at Chenal. Big Orange: Burgers, Salads and Milkshakes is headed for a 3,450-square-foot space originally constructed for the chain Blanc Burgers at 17809 Chenal Parkway, next door to Bravo Cucina.

The late early line

Or is it the early late line? Anyway.

Republicans block Pryor FEMA bill

It's only a temporary setback because several members of the majority Democratic membership were absent, but Republicans yesterday defeated Sen. Mark Pryor's bill to prevent FEMA from forcing repayment of disaster aid paid to an elderly Stone County couple.

Blog housekeeping

At least one long-time blog reader found himself suspended from commenting last night. I suspect it was a result of my hasty work to clear out a persistent bunch of spam that has been pounding us this week.

Ride your bike to work

Metroplan is promoting Friday as a "Ditch Your Keys" and "Ride Your Bike to Work" day.

Arrest made in restaurant robberies

The LRPD might be a little slow going after drivers of reported hit-and-run drivers with legislative plates, but it's true they have other fish to fry.

Health Department bans cakes with melatonin

The Arkansas Department of Health has moved pre-emptively against one of a number of products marketed with the suggestion that they provide a tiny bit of the feel-good effects of a marijuana brownie, but legally.

The Car

Brent Renaud of the Little Rock Film Festival just e-mailed to confirm that, in addition to a special appearance by "Smokey and the Bandit" writer/director Hal Needham at the LRFF-closing showing of "Bandit" at Riverfest Amphitheater on Sunday, June 5, another star will be in attendance: a movie-correct replica of the 1977 Trans Am made famous in the film.

Mark Biviano linked to hit-and-run UPDATE

Interesting story in Democrat-Gazette today (pay wall) about a report of a hit-and- accident involving Tea Party favorite Mark Biviano, a Searcy state representative.

Last night: Foo Fighers-Motorhead

Check out photos of the show, courtesy of Brian Chilson.

Justice Gunter announces retirement

As expected, Supreme Court Justice Jim Gunter

Burger joint of the week: Myer's Cruizzers

Sonic may currently have the corner on chain operations attempting to replicate the historic pull-up-and-order drive-in, but a little operation in Mena does the chain not one but about eight better.

"Southword": OA, Anderson and NPR

Little Rock photographer and Oxford American team up with NPR for "Southword."

Oxford American links with NPR

Oxford American has joined forces with NPR to produce Southword, a multi-media series on Southern topics.

Raymond Frazier to lottery commission

Raymond Frazier was appointed to the Arkansas lottery commission.

More legal challenges to gas drilling

The state — legislators, regulators and governor — hasn't moved aggressively to guard the environment from ill effects of gas exploration in the Fayetteville shale.

Supreme Court hears power plant appeal

The Arkansas Supreme Court today heard oral arguments in the case challenging construction of the SWEPCO coal-fired generating plant in Hempstead County.

Headed toward the Crystal palace?

Thomas Hart Benton sale at Sotheby's auction this morning.

Seven historic sites worth saving

The Historic Preservation Alliance has released its annual list of endangered properties. It includes historic houses in Benton, Pine Bluff and Little Rock (one being the Packet House, which may be saved by a pending proposal to develop a restaurant there); a cemetery; a Civil War battlefield, and more.

Company to change filtering of gay sites UPDATE

The ACLU, which has brought complaints nationwide, including in Arkansas, about schools that use web filters to block access to educational websites about sexuality, says one major supplier of such filters is going to remove the objectionable portion of the filter. The eStem Charter School in Little Rock has changed its filter in response.

GOP: Free speech costly

Republicans have successfully filibustered President Obama's nomination of California law professor Goodwin Lieu's nomination to the 9th Circuit U.S. court of appeals.

Friday To-Do: Free Love Virgins

The jangle-pop act from Little Rock's early '90s reunites at Prost after 16 years apart to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

Friday To-Do: 'Hands for Haiti' Benefit

Local musicians perform at the Clinton Presidential Center to raise funds for an Little Rock aid team's upcoming trip to Port-au-Prince.

Weekend To-Do: Thick Syrup Records Anniversary Weekend

The local label celebrates its fifth year at White Water Tavern on Friday night and Maxine's in Hot Springs for Saturday.

Weekend To-Do: Greek Food Festival

You know the drill. Pretty much the best Greek restaurant in the state opens for three days.

"Take Shelter" wins big at Cannes' Critics Week

Little Rock's Jeff Nichols is coming back to America with an armful of Cannes gold.

May-tinis at Stephano's

Kelly Naylor-Wise, Ron Logan, Mike Gaines and music, too.

Jonathan Edwards offers a free show tonight at Juanita's

The '60s folk singer has done away with tonight's $25, instead offering a free gig for whoever wants to swing by.

Judge orders end to state payment for Pulaski desegregation

Federal Judge Brian Miller ruled today that the state of Arkansas no longer must pay to help desegregate public schools in Little Rock and surrounding Pulaski County.

Coming Friday: "Best of the South"

Greg Thompson's annual show opens tomorrow for Argenta ArtWalk.

Thursday night line

It's open for your comments. Final notes: * PROTECTING THE VOTE: Ernie Dumas will be back from traveling just in time next week to speak to the Political Animals Club at 11:30 a.m.

Pieday: Strawberry icebox at Susan's Restaurant

The Springdale eatery brings back the feel of a great old time family restaurant, serving up large portions and a hearty breakfast. And of course there's pie.

Court ruling and Pulaski school zones

The settlement of the Pulaski school desegregation case exempted the three school districts in the county from redrawing school board zones as long as the districts were under federal court supervision.

Get to the Greek Food Festival

More than just pastries, the International Greek Food Festival covers everything from lamb to bread with a new emphasis on vegetarian fare, too.

Tonight in Argenta: Dan Thornhill and more

Lots going on at Ketz Gallery tonight: paintings, jewelry, woodturning.

Kansan named to head UA Law School

Stacy L. Leeds, director of the Tribal Law and Government Center at the University of Kansas School of Law, has been named dean of the University of Arkansas School of Law.

Tonight at Thea: Guy Bell and more

Paintings, Light and Time Design Studio sculpture, performance by Thea scholarship winner.

Mark Martin in Mount Ida UPDATE

Tipped to an interesting exchange at the May 5 Mount Ida Chamber of Commerce, I sent a note to local newspaper publisher Mike Graves about his reported chat with Secretary of State Mark Martin.

No charges against Biviano UPDATE

The Democrat-Gazette reports this morning that the Little Rock Police Department, after 40 days of inactivity, took precisely one day to conclude its investigation of a woman's report that her car was struck by Rep. Mark Biviano's truck as he pulled away from the valet parking lane at the Capital Hotel April 9.

Fracking fluid found in Clinton water supply

Bombshell from KTHV if you care about the environment: Roger Rorie, the mayor of Clinton says chemicals used the in the fracking process to drill for natural gas has been found in the city water supply and an effort is underway to recover what apparently are barrels of chemicals dumped in a creek that provides city water.

Sunday To-Do: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

The femme-fronted Americana rockers return to Revolution as part of the ongoing Bonnaroo Buzz Tour.

Al Bell featured on the Tavis Smiley Show this weekend

The Arkansan and founder of Stax Records will be featured on the radio program, airing locally on KUAR.

Corporate welfare goes religious

This beats all. Kentucky is giving $43 million in public benefits to a creationist theme park.

Big concept: Big Orange

The space that will contain the newest concept restaurant from John Beachboard and Scott McGehee is already filling out. A sneak peak.

Cantilever tale

The Pettaway neighborhood east of Main Street cut a ribbon on another innovative affordable home today.

Will state spend deseg money in Pulaski next year?

So what happens now on state desegregation aid for Pulaski County schools in the aftermath of Judge Brian Miller's strange and unexpected order releasing the state from financial obligations even though he hasn't declared all three districts desegregated, as the original court agreement stipulated.

Paula's peas

Somebody forwarded me this today, and while it ain't Arkansas Eatin', I think it'll surely bring a little humor to a rather gloomy Friday: Paula Deen's recipe for English peas from the

Tonight: Matt McLeod art sale

Little Rock fauvist Matt McLeod is showing and selling his work from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. tonight at Pulaski Heights Christian Church.

"We'll meet again ...

Don't know where, don't know when," as we heard at the close of "Dr. Strangelove."

Prosecutor: Two schemed to set up School Board member

Clark objected strenuously to characterizations in the report. He said he had not schemed to entrap Williams and had not talked with Nellums about any elements of the scheme Jegley outlined.

Weekly podcast: The purring pussy edition

Our week in review podcast

Friday night open line

The line is open. Final note: * The University of Arkansas Board of Trustees met today and approved tuition increases announced earlier.

Bourbon, bacon and Biviano

Tea Party Republican Mark Biviano is learning through some unrelenting Arkansas Democrat-Gazette exposure that it is the coverup that can get you in trouble.

Nellums responds, sort of, to Jegley report

I got an e-mail late last night from Michael Nellums, the Mills High principal and Little Rock School Board member, named yesterday by Prosecutor Larry Jegley as a key player in a videotaped effort to make it appear Pulaski County School Board member Gwen Williams had taken a bribe.

Clarification needed on school ruling

John Brummett makes the important point that federal Judge Brian Miller's weird ruling that state desegregation aid should end in Pulaski County needs some clarification.

Advocate: Save the Old Main lawn

Fayetteville historic preservation advocate Paula Marinoni has taken to the ramparts again. This time it's to organize opposition to a University of Arkansas plan to temporarily cut a road across the lawn of Old Main — "sacred ground."

Fried pie time

Ms. Lena's Pie Shop starts selling the pies that made it famous — fabulous fried pies — again in DeValls Bluff.

Going after newspaper legal ads

Interesting battle in Pennsylvania that has implications everywhere. Legislation is pending to allow schools and governments to publish public notices on their own websites rather than requiring newspaper publication.You can imagine the howls from the newspaper industry.

The last open line?

They're coming for the chosen in moving vans? Anyway, just to be on the safe side, I thought I'd open up one last open line early, for some farewells from blog readers.

Shale watch: Where are the regulators?

Good report from Channel 4 on a Van Buren County man, Dennis Brummett, concerned about leaks from a containment pond holding gas drilling waste.

Lignite: Fool's gold

Periodically, an Arkansas politician gets worked up about the state's lignite deposits. But for four decades or more, the bottom line always turned out the same — it's not commercially viable to mine, burn, liquify or whatever.

Biviano's big night: Instant replay?

Watching Saturday night TV, I got to contemplating all British detective shows where England's ubiquitous security cameras solve all kinds of crimes.

Not your grandfather's Browning's

The Sunday line

The line is open for your comments. One note: * An interesting item from Mara Leveritt about a Dane whose interest in the West Memphis Three murder case has created the definitive on-line repository of documents and articles on the case.

Finally, a Japanese buffet

Tokyo House offers a fantastic variety of maki rolls and nigiri, as well as Japanese favorites and green tea ice cream, in a buffet.

Death toll climbing in Joplin, Mo.

Latest news puts tornado deaths in Joplin, Mo., last night at 89, and a Red Cross spokesman says 75 percent of the city is all but destroyed.

Older voters trending conservative

New polling at the University of Arkansas shows elderly voters (65 and over) are trending Republican, an obvious problem for Democrats and President Obama given the high voting participation in the group.

Bill Stovall gets his degree

Rob Moritz of Stephens Media spotlights former House Speaker Bill Stovall, now a top House staff member, who received an undergraduate degree last week at age 51.

Politicians for sale

Stealth money poured in illegally to 2010 congressional races on the Republican side.

Annals of legislative nuttery

I've written before about Rep. Justin Harris, successor to Mark Martin as leading nutcake of the yellow dog Republican contingent from Northwest Arkansas.

Gay life: Is it getting better?

KUAR rolled out today the first of a six-park series, "Gay in Arkansas," reported by Eric Francis.

Little Rock School 'signing day'

Top graduates of the Little Rock School District were honored today at a Governor's Mansion event sponsored by the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Public Education Foundation of Little Rock, Create Little Rock and Centennial Bank.

Arkansas housing sales plunge

Housing sales in Arkansas were down 23 percent in April compared with April 2010, the Arkansas Realtors Association says.

Sookie versus the witches

'True Blood' returns to TV in just a little more than a month.

Mark Martin on the ropes? Nope

The Tolbert Report is keeping up with Secretary of State Mark Martin's planned $50,000-plus retreat to the Soderquist Center at John Brown University, a little government spending I first uncovered with a torturous FOI encounter with the not-so-transparent office.

Cuba, si!

President Obama has issued an order that should effectively open the door for Americans to freely visit Cuba as tourists.

Apportionment hearing TUESDAY night

The state Board of Apportionment staff will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. tonight at the ASU Student Union auditorium in Jonesboro on ongoing plans to draw new legislative districts to reflect the 2010 Census.

Tuesday To-Do: 'Beauty and the Beast'

The Disney classic comes to the Robinson Center Music Hall stage for a three-day stand in Little Rock.

Tuesday To-Do: The Greenhornes

Stickyz hosts a night of loud, swaggering garage rock from a group of Cincinatti veterans and an emerging Nashville duo.

Tuesday To-Do: Sea Nanners release 7" debut

The up-and-coming group of Times favorites releases its debut 7", "Queen of the Brodeo," at White Water Tavern.

SL Jones drops 'The Number 23'

The Little Rock-raised rapper and member Killer Mike's Grind Time rap crew releases his latest mixtape.

School superintendent suspends Michael Nellums UPDATE

Pulaski County School District Superintendent Charles Hopson has suspended Mills High principal Michael Nellums on account of Prosecutor Larry Jegley's report Friday on what he said was Nellums' and School Board member Tim Clark's involvement in a scheme to discredit school board member Gwen Williams.

Fund-raiser for Joplin, by V.L. Cox

She's contributing 20 percent of sales to the Red Cross.

The Monday night line

Your comments are welcome. Parting shots: * THE GANG THAT COULDN'T SHOOT STRAIGHT: Blue Hog Report notes that former Republican congressional candidate Doug Matayo appears to be lacking some required campaign finance reports with the Federal Election Commission.

Downhome and deep-fried

David Family Kitchen serves up soul food, cheap and tasty.

Pony Express arrives with Lincoln news

I was a little bemused yesterday at a flurry of Twitters about Blanche Lincoln's taking a lobbying job in Washington (noted in a front-page story this morning in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette).

Storm closes Alma schools

It may not be the apocalypse but ... Alma is without power and schools are closed today because a storm last night downed so many power lines.

Puzzled by dropping crime rate

Experts are puzzled by a dropping violent crime rate, particularly during a time of economic hardship.

Congressional elections and Paul Ryan's Medicare plan

Everybody's watching that special election in a solidly Republican district in New York where a Democrat may win on the strength of her opposition to the Republican budget plan to end Medicare as a single-payer health system and convert it to a privatized system with vouchers.

Today's topic: Great floods

A panel discussion is set for noon today at the Clinton School on current flooding and memories of the great flood of 1927.

Arrest made in stabbing death

Little Rock police say Corean Sims, 28, of 615 Chickadee, was fatally stabbed in the chest about 7:30 p.m.

Michael Shannon sees a darkness in 'Take Shelter' trailer

See the trailer for Jeff Nichols' "Take Shelter"

Luke's art show

Friends and family of Luke Hunsicker, the much beloved local musician and artist who died of brain cancer last year, will host an art show to benefit the Lucas Clayton Hunsicker Scholarship Fund on Thursday at the THEA Center for the Arts in North Little Rock.

Is college worth it?

Yes, college is worth it, according to a new study. But some courses of study are worth more, lots more, than others.

The Tim Clark-Michael Nellums case file UPDATE

School board member Tim Clark is trying to minimize his role in what a report by Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley said was a scheme to discredit fellow board member Gwen Williams. But evidence from the investigative file doesn't support him.

Gallery 26: Sulac, Uptigrove

Rapture postponed; you can see the show.

UALR shows off collection

Some images from the show.

About those auto bailouts

Chrysler is paying off it's government loan early and Mitt Romney's famous call to let Detroit go bankrupt — to cheers of an approving claque of Republicans — suddenly doesn't ring so hot today, does it?

Life Size Pizza release video for "El Diablo"

The Arkansas-based garage rockers get a little help from a Brooklyn film company for their new video.

Republicans: Can I get a second on this motion?

Rep. Eric Cantor is all over the web today for saying he was inclined to oppose disaster aid for Joplin, Mo., without corresponding budget cuts.

Candidate Huckabee had better ratings

This snippet in Atlantic explains why Mike Huckabee wanted to hang on to his potential presidential candidacy as long as possible — he had more viewers to his Fox show then.