By Adam Nossiter and David Bar
The New York Times
December 22, 2007
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – In more than a decade of presiding over this state, Mike Huckabee produced a legacy like few other Republican governors in the South, surprising even liberal Democrats with his willingness to upend some of Arkansas’s more parochial traditions.
A review of his record as governor shows that, beginning in 1996, he drove through a series of changes that transformed education and health insurance in Arkansas, achievements that were never tried by most of his predecessors, including Bill Clinton.
But he is also remembered in the state for a style of governing that tended to freeze out anyone of any party who disagreed with his plans. He did not, for example, seek Mr. Clinton’s conciliatory middle, or try to court skeptical state lawmakers. Though he was considered as persuasive a speechmaker as he had been a pastor, Mr. Huckabee largely kept his own counsel — in politics, ethics and a singular clemency policy that continues to haunt him.
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