December 26, 2007

Huck Goes a-Hunting

A fairly shrewd move, to be sure, as it highlights yet another difference between Huckabee and fellow Republican front-runner Mitt "I've been a lifelong hunter... both times" Romney.

James Oliphant wrote an amusing post on the subject, but part of it made me cringe:

Huckabee's party drew farther and farther away, circling their targets. POP! POP! Another pheasant down, the killer unknown. The journalists shivered and stomped their feet. Checking BlackBerrys is tougher with gloves on. Another hunter explained that pheasant is usually cooked with the buckshot still in the body. "You just spit it out," he said.

The party was still circling, coming back toward us. The reporters edged out to try and make out the scene. Another bird surfaced and it flew, and flew, and flew.

Right toward us.


We ducked our heads and scattered. "That was too close," a cameraman said. Nobody was wearing orange anything. The hunting expert said the buckshot wouldn't hurt us if it landed on our heads.

Huckabee's party drew closer and he seemed pleased at our discomfort. He produced three slain pheasants. Huckabee said he had shot one of them, but of course, there was no way to know.

It's not buckshot used in pheasant hunting, Mr. Oliphant. If it was, it would most assuredly hurt you should it happen to hit you in the head, and being roughly the size of pistol bullets, buckshot could quite possibly kill you.

More worrisome, however, is the characterization that someone in Huckabee's party shot in the direction of the press, and Huckabee seemed "pleased at our discomfort."

If that is just awkward phrasing that suggested Huckabee drew delight from firing a shotgun in the direction of the press, then perhaps Mr. Oliphant needs to be gently reminded that "words mean things."

If however, Huckabee did draw visible pleasure from someone in his party shooting close enough to the press to cause them to scatter, then his Reverend Gomer Pyle act seems to be just that... an act.

Update: It's official: Huck's entourage almost bagged some journalists:

The former Arkansas governor, who has surprised the rest of GOP field with his front-runner status here, was the first candidate to hold an event the day after Christmas. Flanked by about a dozen reporters, he wore a microphone from CNN as he went shooting, with Dude, his 3-year-old bird dog, and Chip Saltzman, his campaign manager, at his side.

In the first 30 minutes, Huckabee, Saltzman and a friend shot three birds. Their last shot flew over the heads of reporters, one whom cried out: "Oh my God! Oh my God! Don't shoot. This is traumatizing."

Oddly enough, these are the only two media mentions I've found of the near miss, even as they duly reported his crack about Vice President Cheney's hunting mishap in which he shot a fellow hunter while bird hunting.

I wonder if the media would have been so kind to other candidates in a similar situation, but then, I think we already know the answer to that.

Piling in on Huckabee's unsafe hunting trip now may deprive them of the "easy kill" they desire later in the general election.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at December 26, 2007 03:28 PM

We all know "journalists" know next to nothing about guns or hunting. 5 seperate "journalists" could write that they were shot over and I wouldn't put any stock in it. I bet there wasn't anything out of the ordinary about the situation.

Posted by: Capitalist Infidel at December 26, 2007 08:52 PM

When it came time to serve his country, Sen. Mikey ran away.

Posted by: King Groundhog at December 27, 2007 01:12 AM

"This is traumatizing"?? Am I the only one who hears this shrieked in a high falsetto?

Posted by: ramona at December 27, 2007 10:15 AM

He'd better check his sites, he missed quite a few turkeys...

Posted by: Mark at December 27, 2007 05:30 PM

I find that shooting prairie chickens is not very sporting, so no harm, no fowl.

...also did I mention that they tend to be a little tough and quite "gamey?"

Posted by: everydayjoe at December 27, 2007 07:11 PM