Mike Huckabee sees the love in SCC

Mitch Traphagen Photo

By MITCH TRAPHAGEN

It may have been Cyber Monday for most people in the country, but a few hundred people in South Hillsborough apparently did their Christmas shopping not virtually, but up close and in person, at the Sun City Center Chamber of Commerce.

Early on Monday morning, Mike Huckabee, one-time pastor, 44th Governor of Arkansas, 2008 Republican primaries candidate for President, author and Fox News television host greeted a few hundred fans at the chamber for a book signing. Many of those waiting to meet the Governor held three, four or even five books for him to sign.

Huckabee’s latest book, and the subject of his book tour, is entitled, Dear Chandler, Dear Scarlett: A Grandfather’s Thoughts on Faith, Family, and the Things That Matter Most.

Huckabee, according to the bio on his new book, has worn many hats in his life, including all of the prominent roles previously mentioned plus once being a bassist in a rock band along with being a husband and a father. But when his first grandchild, Chandler, was born, he found that role to be the most satisfying of all. With the birth of Scarlett, his second grandchild, he was further inspired to share his love and the wisdom he had accumulated throughout his life. According to Huckabee, the book, which began as a collection of letters, is something he could give his grandchildren that would last forever.

Certainly one of the problems with being an accessible celebrity is that you are poked, prodded and manhandled a lot. Huckabee surely took his share of that as he chatted and posed for photographs with each person waiting in line. If it bothered him, however, it certainly didn’t show. On the contrary, he seemed to enjoy the interaction with a large group of people he had never met before.

Upon arrival at the chamber office, he spoke only a few words, saving his time for chatting one-on-one with the people lined up to see him.

For an hour on Monday morning, Huckabee listened, shook hands, held hands, accepted hugs, put arms around shoulders and smiled for seemingly endless cameras. And then it was on to the next stop. Chandler and Scarlett would no doubt be proud.

Dear Chandler, Dear Scarlett is available on Amazon.com, at Barnes & Noble, and at bookstores nationwide. For more information, visit www.mikehuckabee.com.

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