Hey, let’s have a rational new year

Mike Huckabee was a pioneer in using his public position to encourage people to live healthier lives. He lost something over 100 pounds and wrote a book offering advice to others on how to do the same, “Quit Digging Your Own Grave With a Knife and Fork.” One of my sisters’ Christmas gifts to me in 2006 was a copy of Huckabee’s book. (And, by the way, she’s a moderately liberal Democrat, so this was a non-partisan gesture.) It was a small nudge in the right direction, and along with persistent kindly nudges from my wife, it had the desired effect.

So I was not at all surprised that Huckabee came out in defense of Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity campaign after his fellow conservative Sarah Palin suggested the First Lady was trying to deprive us all of dessert. (Take a look at Fred Hiatt’s nice column on all this.) Oh, come on: Conservatives are especially proud that they always tell us to take personal responsibility. As Huckabee recognized, that’s what Michelle Obama is telling us. And one thing I actually admire about Palin — and I mean this — is that her career as a basketball player has almost certainly encouraged more girls and young women to aspire to be athletes. Palin keeps fit herself. Shouldn’t she encourage others to do so? C’mon, Ms. Palin, listen to your friend Mike and back off your criticisms of Michelle Obama. You could actually save some lives. And it would be a good way to start the new year.