At it again

Mike Huckabee, who’s come under the media microscope (even more so than before) recently received more attention for his admonitions toward Natalie Portman and other single celebrity soon-to-be moms for showing a glamorized version of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and motherhood.

Huck on most unmarried mothers: “There aren’t really a lot of single moms out there who are making millions of dollars every year for being in a movie,” he said. “And I think it gives a distorted image. … Most single moms are very poor, uneducated, can’t get a job, and if it weren’t for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death and never have health care. And that’s the story that we’re not seeing, and it’s unfortunate that we glorify and glamorize the idea of out-of-wedlock children.”

Yes, this man is a potential presidential candidate in 2012.

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12 Responses to At it again

  1. James says:

    It would be terrible to have a President that supported families and who spoke out about the problems our society has that are caused by single parents, wouldn’t it?

    It’s the new American dream. Have a kid and live off of the hard work of other people while sitting at home watching TV all day on a giant flat screen my tax dollars paid for. I’m surprised you support this lifestyle to the point where you will publicly bash those who are against it.

  2. Admin says:

    I don’t support this lifestyle in the least. However, I also don’t think Huckabee is taking into account the millions of single mothers who don’t live off the government’s dime but rather support their children and themselves through good old-fashioned hard work. Women like this are out there and it doesn’t seem right for him to lump every single mother into one category like this.

  3. Robin says:

    My question to the former governor is: Why are you singling out Natalie Portman when one of your fellow “may be running” candidates served his wife with divorce papers while she was recovering from cancer surgery so he could marry his mistress? And did marry her, then left HER for another mistress?

    It would seem to me that Newt Gingrich has had more experience desecrating family values than Natalie Portman.

  4. Gene L. Summers says:

    Yesterday, while waiting for a friend to come out of Wal-Mart, I watched a woman who was somewhere in her thirties with all the bling you can imagine walk out to the parking lot with a t-shirt that boldly announced “7th in the oven”. There is no longer any shame to an out-of-wedlock child. How sad.

  5. James says:

    Robin: Huckabee didn’t comment on Palin because they weren’t talking about Palin. He didn’t make this statement of his own accord, he was responding to a comment the interviewer made about a particular person. The article linked by the News Times here distorts the story so it appears as if he just got up and made a statement out of the blue. Unfortunately this is typical of journalism today. The media has no desire to accurately report stories if they can make a Republican look bad or a Democrat look good.

    Admin: How can you say you don’t think he’s taking into account single working mothers? His comments refer to poor women who irresponsibly have children out of wedlock then get on welfare since they can’t support them. There are a lot of moms out there that do work hard for their kids. They’re not the problem, so why would he mention them?

    The point of his whole statement is this: “…it’s unfortunate that we glorify and glamorize the idea of out of wedlock children. ” Since you attacked a man for making that point, you must be opposed to it. Could you tell us why you are so opposed to that statement and why you feel it’s acceptable to glamorize having children out of wedlock regardless of all the problems it causes the children and the huge expense it is to taxpayers?

  6. Mark B says:

    The quote from Huckabee actually proves he is not lumping every unwed mother into a single category. He points out that very few will make millions of dollars (even though Portman and some others may). He also says “most” rather than saying “all” or “every.” Last time I checked, the word “most” meant more than half. Sounds like he’s saying there are at least two categories and one of them is the category including Portman – those who are successful and can economically support a child. I would also suggest that his comment doesn’t demean unwed mothers. Being poor and uneducated is not shameful, it is simply not a desirable condition. Unwed mothers are more vulnerable and their babies are more vulnerable. Something none of us wants.

  7. Ken Hamilton says:

    I shudder to think what will happen if Mike “Nanny State” Huckabee becomes president. I could see him pushing a tax on anybody who has a higher Body Mass Index than what Mr. Huckabee thinks he/she should be allowed.

  8. Admin says:

    Robin, James is correct, he was responding to a question from a reporter when he answered this way. I like your point about Gingrich; I wonder what Huckabee would have to say about him if given half the chance. The sad fact is by tossing around this “Will he? Won’t he?” question for a presidential run and keeping himself in the media by commenting on EVERY political and non issue he gets wind of, Huckabee is keeping his name on everyone’s mind (and probably book sales up) heading into the 2011 politicking season. And that’s what this is, another political maneuver by a politician.

    Gene L. Summers, no there’s not, you are correct sir. However, I think it’s a travesty that all the blame falls on the woman (and yes, this is a fact of nature), but the reality is that there is a man who was just as involved as she was who is allowed to remain nameless and societally blameless. What irks me about your story is — assuming she’s unmarried and on welfare — that she was touting her seventh pregnancy in this way. But, that being said, I don’t think every woman unmarried and pregnant should be judged harshly. Who knows? She could be one of the millions who turns down the federal dollar and actually works to care for her children.

    James, I don’t believe celebrities having babies out of wedlock is glamorizing the image at all. No little girl is going to look at Natalie Portman (or any other pregnant unmarried celebrity) and say, “Oh Mommy, I want to be just like her one day,” at least not pertaining to the pregnant part. I don’t believe for a second these poor women are attempting to emulate celebrities’ actions by getting pregnant out of wedlock. I believe it was an irresponsible mistake. I have the utmost respect for the women who then deal with the reality of being unmarried and pregnant by finding a good job and supporting themselves. On the other hand, I’m disgusted by those who use the welfare system as a form of caring for an increasing number of children. However, I don’t fault celebrities (who have more than enough money to support a child) for their apparent glamorization of out of wedlock pregnancies, I fault those who know they don’t have the means to support their children and regardless get pregnant, sometimes for the second, third, fourth or more time.

    On another note James, I wish you wouldn’t attempt to so vehemently attack my “liberalism.” I’ve been with the News-Times for only five months now (as of March 18 anyway) and that is not nearly long enough for you to have a clear handle on how I feel politically. I would ask that you judge me on my writing, not those of other bloggers or journalists. I’d also hope you’d attempt a form of civility when commenting on blog posts — attacking me in a post is a fruitless addition to the conversation. If you feel you have a link to a better story concerning the topic, you are always more than welcome to post it.

    Mark B., you’re right, he did say “most.” However, what I take issue with is that he didn’t give any kudos to the women who can successfully manage being single and having a child. If he’s going to attack the poor unwed mothers for their use of the welfare system (which, I do agree with his viewpoint on this), then he should at least address the other side of the issue. There is a heavy focus on the number of women and families that abuse the welfare system, but not nearly enough on those who can manage their families without resorting to the government dole.

    Ken Hamilton, I enjoy working out, but could you imagine if the man tried to regulate it? Goodness, a lot of people would be in trouble.

  9. Mark B says:

    Admin: Huckabee didn’t attack poor unwed mothers. Saying someone is poor or under-educated because they don’t make much money and haven’t completed high school or beyond is not an attack. It’s simply recognizing that statistically a majority of single moms are poor and under-educated. There is no shame in being either poor or under-educated. Sometimes it can’t be helped. Recognizing it isn’t an attack at all. His comment doesn’t mention them “abusing” the welfare system, but your comment does. Notice his comment says “if it weren’t for government assistance.” Your comment says “I fault those who know they don’t have the means to support their children and regardless get pregnant….” His comment didn’t find fault with the poor, unwed mothers, it just lamented the fact that there are so many and that they do cost society. Finding fault with the poor and unwed wasn’t in his statement, although he was troubled by the way some rich, unwed mothers are portrayed.

    His comment only means that such a poor, unwed mother is at a disadvantage and that, but for government assistance, some of such families would starve. As I said before he’s noting that such women and their children are more vulnerable, and as such do cost taxpayers. That’s the reason more people should want to support traditional marriage – it does reduce (but admittedly doesn’t eliminate) some types of vulnerability. I don’t think anyone would deny that even a single mother who does support her child by hard work could do even more if married and sharing the raising of children with a committed spouse.

    As to his not giving kudos to single mothers who do support their children, I would suggest that he simply is more supportive of children being raised by two parents in a committed marriage. According to the Wall Street Journal, Huckabee’s comments were, in part, related to his recent book which has a chapter about parents and children. I suspect his admission that Portman could support her child is a partial kudo since they won’t need government assistance to avoid starving, but he made another comment to say he’s glad Portman may marry the father. That suggests he thinks it more ideal for children to be raised by such a mom and a dad. Notice, too, that his original comment points out that most unwed moms are not in the position of Portman. His comment also does not seem to say that poor and under-educated moms don’t work hard. Even those who work hard may still require some assistance due to inability to find good paying jobs. A person can be a hard worker and still not be able to find a job that will provide enough income.

    Thanks.

  10. Ken Hamilton says:

    Well, Allison, one think those of us in Arkansas know who lived here during the Huckabee administration is that he is Big Government “conservative” and is quite willing to support government involving itself in the causes he supports.

  11. Admin says:

    Mark B., I concede and admit that you have a point that he used the word “most,” and that many unmarried women supporting their children through hard work could be further aided by a committed spouse. However, I still stand by my comment that he shouldn’t have included “most” women in this category until he can give out good, solid statistics on the matter.

    Ken Hamilton, it’s true, that’s one thing I’ve noticed from reading about Huckabee’s gubernatorial administration. I don’t have the benefit of living through it to inform my perspective, however, I’ve heard more than enough about the “nanny state,” which I assume started largely in part from Huckabee’s campaign to slim down Arkansan waistlines.

    Also, for all, not that any of you will agree with this (I’d say most won’t) but I thought these pieces by Kim Voynar and John Brummett made some good points. Feel free to discuss.

  12. Mark B says:

    According to the Census Bureau stats released in 2009, only 49.8% of single mothers are employed full-time or full year. The article I saw from About.com doesn’t tell us how many of those make good wages or salaries, but I bet it’s not all of them. Of the other 50.2%, 20.5% are unemployed and the rest are part-time or part-year. Only 10% of single fathers are unemployed.

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