Morning Must Reads: May 6

Mark Wilson—Getty Images The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

Hillary’s Immigration Play

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton drew a sharp distinction between herself and the 2016 Republican hopefuls on immigration reform, calling for a full path to citizenship for people who came to the U.S. illegally

Germanwings Co-Pilot Practiced

French air accident investigators say that the co-pilot on doomed Germanwings Flight 4525 tried a controlled descent on another flight that morning

Uber Pulls Out of Kansas

The ride-hailing service halted its operations after state lawmakers overrode the governor’s veto of a bill that would impose stricter rules

Manny Pacquiao Is Facing a $5 Million Class-Action Lawsuit

Manny Pacquiao has been named in a $5 million class-action lawsuit filed on Tuesday claiming the boxer had failed to disclose his shoulder injury to the Nevada Athletic Commission prior to his May 2 match against Floyd Mayweather Jr., as required by law

Hawaii Bill for Birth-Certificate Gender Change Passes

The Hawaii legislature passed a bill that could make it a lot easier for transgender people to change gender on their birth certificates, joining a growing number of states to make the change. “This really is the beginning for trans equality,” said a transgender man

PEN Gala Honors Charlie HebdoAmid Uproar

The PEN American Center recognized Charlie Hebdowith the 2015 Freedom of Expression Courage Award on Tuesday night, despite more than 200 writers signing a letter of protest against the decision. Six writers set to host tables at the ceremony pulled out last month

U.S. Ranks Worst Developed Country for Maternal Health

A woman in the U.S. faces a 1 in 1,800 risk of maternal death, according to a new report, the worst of any developed country. The U.S. ranked No. 42 on children’s well-being, No. 61 on maternal health and No. 89 for political status

U.S. Flooded With Campus Sexual-Assault Complaints

Data sought by California Senator Barbara Boxer and others revealed complaints of sexual violence on college campuses to the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights have grown from just nine in 2009 to over 100 in 2014

Experts Doubtful ISIS Was Mastermind of Texas Shooting

The Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria claimed that the gunmen at a Texas cartoon exhibition were “soldiers of the caliphate,” but experts say that it’s still unclear if and what ties really existed. “What proof has ISIS offered?” said one longtime member of the CIA

Bollywood Star Gets 5 Years in Hit-and-Run Case

Indian actor Salman Khan was convicted of culpable homicide on Wednesday, almost 13 years after he killed a man sleeping on a sidewalk in Mumbai and injured four others by running them over with his SUV

Baltimore Cop Says Arrest of Freddie Gray Was Legal

Policeman Edward Nero, among six officers charged in Freddie Gray’s death, said the knife found in Gray’s pocket was illegal, making the April 12 arrest warranted. Last week, the city’s top prosecutor said in charging the officers that the knife was legal

Nepal’s Cyclists Reach Inaccessible Villages

With an expert knowledge of mountain tracks and the stamina to make it through the mountains, Nepal’s small mountain-biking community is proving to be an invaluable source of relief, bringing food and supplies to villages cut off by the recent earthquake

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TIME Congress

Political Candidates Took 7,625 Uber Rides in the Last Election

Uber At $40 Billion Valuation Would Eclipse Twitter And Hertz
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images The Uber Technologies Inc. logo is displayed on the window of a vehicle after dropping off a passenger at Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014.

Sen. Al Franken has “serious concerns” about Uber’s commitment to riders’ privacy, for which company executives have, in his estimation, shown “troubling disregard.”

The on-demand car booking service, Franken further asserted in a letter to the company, has used customers’ information for “questionable purposes,” such as tracking the travels of journalists and businesspeople.

But the Democrat from Minnesota has another distinction: Like numerous other federal politicians that could help or harm the upstart tech firm’s business fortunes, Franken is himself an Uber client.

In all, about 275 federal political committees together spent more than $278,000 on at least 7,625 Uber rides during the 2013-2014 election cycle, a Center for Public Integrity analysis of campaign spending records indicates.

That’s a roughly 18-fold spending increase from the previous election cycle, when federal committees together spent about $15,000 on Uber services. It represents a veritable monopoly, too: Almost no political committee used Uber’s direct competitors, Lyft and Sidecar, according to the analysis, and traditional taxi use declined precipitously.

Bipartisan love of Uber abounds, with politicos of all stripes composing a de facto Uber caucus, voting with their money for a wildly popular but controversial company.

Users include Democrats such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz; Republicans such as Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz; and a host of political action committees, super PACs and national party committees.

“Uber is the most safest, most reliable and convenient transportation option,” company spokeswoman Natalia Montalvo said when asked why politicians of all philosophical leanings are so readily embracing its services.

Uber itself has also become decidedly political of late.

Most notably, Uber has hired dozens of lobbyists and former political operatives — top President Barack Obama adviser David Plouffe among the latter — to plumb the pathways of power both in Washington, D.C., and most of the nation’s statehouses.

Much is at stake for the 6-year-old company: Its “ride share” services are still unsanctioned or even illegal in some communities, and Uber has at once aggressively sought governments’ approval to legally do business — while minimizing the kinds of strict operational rules and regulations that taxi and other ground transportation companies must often comply with.

Company officials, who regularly tout Uber as a way to reduce drunk driving and boost local economies, have also sought to calm political nerves following a jolt of bad publicity.

Uber drivers have been accused of and arrested for sexual and other assaults. In November, a top Uber executive threatened to publicize details about the personal life of a female news website editor who had publicly criticized Uber. The company has also caught heat for its use of “God view” — an interface that allows some employees to track the movements of its clients, politicians included. Its chief executive, Travis Kalanick, devilishly told Vanity Fair in December that he’s “like fire and brimstone sometimes” when sparring with detractors.

At the federal level, Uber spent $200,000 last year on government lobbying efforts and has already spent $110,000 during this year’s first quarter, according to federal records. (Lyft, which didn’t return requests for comment, has spent $40,000 so far this year.)

Uber in 2015 has used one in-house and seven contract lobbyists to, in its own words, lobby on “issues related to expanded consumer choice and small business opportunities through app-based technology,” among other concerns. Several of them previously worked for members of Congress, according to OpenSecrets.org.

Meanwhile, Uber lobbyists advocate for the company in 45 out of the nation’s 50 statehouses, a Center for Public Integrity analysis of state lobbying registration records indicates.

Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota and Wyoming are the only states where Uber doesn’t appear to have formally registered lobbyists operating on its behalf.

This much is certain: Uber has indeed begun reshaping the way political candidates and campaign staff mobilize resources and move themselves around, said Matt McDonald, a partner at Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm Hamilton Place Strategies, which last year published a white paper about Uber and politicians that asserted, “The nature of oversight changes when someone is both regulator and consumer.”

And that, McDonald added, “is all for the better if you’re Uber.”

Privacy practices concern Franken

Politicians’ shades-of-gray relationships with Uber contrast with red-and-blue Washington, D.C.’s frequent black-or-white stances on all sorts of issues: immigration, taxation, oil pipelines, same-sex marriage.

Take Franken, among the U.S. Senate’s most outspoken critics of Uber.

An aide readily acknowledged the company’s utility, both for his governmental and campaign offices.

“He still believes the company has not adequately answered his questions about some of its privacy practices and continues to have concerns about how its employees access, retain, and share customer data,” Franken spokesman Ed Shelleby said, while also noting that “no prohibition for services like Uber, formal or informal, exists in either office, and Sen. Franken himself has taken Uber.”And even the most ardent Uber supporters, such as Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., who mentions the company when lauding the “democratizing force of technology” and is sometimes personally courted by the company when traveling, today sound notes of caution when discussing it. No U.S. Senate campaign spent more money on Uber last cycle than that of Booker, which ran a $4,689 tab.

Booker “believes ride hailing services can provide good quality, competitively-priced, reliable transportation to customers but shouldn’t be exempt from regulations that ensure consumer safety and privacy,” said spokeswoman Silvia Alvarez, adding that the senator and his staff use a variety of transportation options, “from taxis and Uber to New Jersey Transit, Amtrak and the subway.”

Some of Uber’s top users simply don’t want to discuss the company at all anymore.

The campaign committee of Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis., spent more on Uber services last election cycle — nearly $17,000 — than any other federal political committee. The committee reported 835 Uber transactions during 2013 and 2014, or more than one per day.

Moore personally takes Uber rides because she doesn’t have a car in Washington, D.C., and underwent two knee surgeries in 2013, her office told The Wall Street Journal last year, prior to some of the company’s PR flaps.

Moore’s office declined to comment on whether Moore is concerned about Uber’s privacy standards or business practices.

“This week, our focus has and will continue to be the federal budget and the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank,” spokesman Eric Harris told the Center for Public Integrity.

Emily’s List, a political committee that advocates for Democratic women who support abortion rights, ranked No. 2 in spending — $12,675 — on Uber services during the 2013-2014 election cycle. Representatives there did not return requests for comment.

Other political committees that spent at least $7,000 last election cycle on Uber rides are the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, liberal super PAC American Bridge 21st Century, the Republican National Committee, the Democratic National Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Politicians are certainly free to travel as they please, said Kansas state Rep. Scott Schwab, a Republican and chairman of the Kansas House Insurance Committee.

But Schwab, who backed a bill that aimed to impose tough safety and insurance regulations in Kansas on Uber and similar companies, says the company isn’t concerned about what’s best for the state’s residents.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, a fellow Republican, vetoed the bill last month in the name of “an open and free marketplace.”

Then last week, Uber hired Brownback’s former campaign manager as a lobbyist.

“They don’t really want to see leaders govern or the will of the people prevail in making good policy,” Schwab said of Uber. “I have never seen any company operate like that …. They just want to win like it is a knock-down, drag-out primary campaign.”

Back in Washington, D.C., Addis Gebreselassie, vice chairman of the Washington, D.C. Taxi Operators Association, likewise wants politicians to believe that Uber, for its talk of innovation and positive disruption, is more destructive than anything.

While taxi drivers in the nation’s capital are heavily regulated, from the fares they may charge to how they’re licensed and insured, Uber drivers are not, Gebreselassie argued.

He called on federal politicians, in the name of fairness, to stop using Uber. He also appealed to lawmakers’ safety, saying they’re putting themselves and their staffers at risk by taking rides from lightly regulated drivers who might be inexperienced, or worse, dangerous.

“We don’t want to see anyone get hurt,” Gebreselassie said. “But maybe they won’t see what’s happening here until a big accident happens.”

He sighed.

“How painful it is to be here in the United States, in Washington, D.C., and be treated like you’re in the Third World,” he said.

Convenience wins out

Perhaps it’s because hailing a car through Uber’s mobile app is more convenient, and less harried, than calling a cab.

Maybe members of the political class have endured one too many trips with a taxi driver who couldn’t follow directions, or wasn’t hygienic, or seemed more concerned with yakking on his cell phone than stopping at stop signs.

Whatever the reason, Uber doom-saying and Uber bashing isn’t much affecting the steady march of politicians toward its services, even if its top users appear more reluctant to wax effusive about the company.

Already this year, several dozen federal political campaigns and committees have reported taking trips through Uber, federal records show, even if the teeth of the 2016 election season remain months away. Taxi use is less common than Uber use so far this year.

The company has already run a variety of specials around elections and political gatherings — to new users, a free ride on Election Day, for example — and McDonald of Hamilton Place Strategies predicts the 2016 election could be rife with Uber innovation.

Think software that allows campaigns to book Uber rides for voters, gratis. Or loyalty programs that further sweeten the experience of Uber transport.

“To the extent that campaigns can use these tools to their advantage, they will,” he said. “For taxi services, maybe this is a situation where you want to change the fundamental quality of your product, because you can’t fake your way through this.”

Kalanick, the Uber chief executive, explained in a recent company blog post why the firm will continue to assert itself in the political arena.

“Our roots are technology, not politics, writing code and rolling out transportation systems,” Kalanick wrote. “The result is that not enough people here in America and around the world know our story, our mission, and the positive impact we’re having.”

He’ll have plenty of surrogates on the campaign trail.

Chief among them: Jim Messina, who ran Obama’s successful re-election campaign and has called Uber “one of the most innovative companies in America.”

Messina’s on Uber’s payroll as a consultant.

He’s also a leader of Priorities USA Action, the chief super PAC backing Democrat Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid.

Alexander Cohen and Reity O’Brien contributed to this report

TIME Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Draws Distinction With GOP on Immigration

Republican policies would create a "second-class status" for immigrants, she argued

Hillary Clinton drew a sharp distinction Tuesday between herself and the 2016 Republican hopefuls on immigration reform, and called for a full path to citizenship for people who came to the U.S. illegally.

“Today, not a single Republican candidate, announced or potential is clearly consistent in supporting a path to citizenship,” the former Secretary of State said in prepared remarks before a round table at a high school in Nevada. “When they talk about ‘legal status,’ that is code for second-class status.”

Calling immigration a family and an economic issue, Clinton said she supported expanding programs for so-called Dreamers to help parents of immigrant children stay in the United States.

Clinton raised eyebrows in June when she said that the unaccompanied minors fleeing violence in Central America should not be allowed to stay in the U.S. “to send a clear message.” Immigration activists expect Clinton to firmly embrace comprehensive immigration reform as a central part of her platform in 2016.

In response to a question from one of the round-table participants, Clinton said she would make immigration reform one of her first initiatives if elected.

“We should put in place a simple, straightforward and accessible way for parents of Dreamers and others with a history of service and contributions to their community to make their case and to be eligible for the same deferred action as their children,” she said.

TIME 2016 presidential election

Carly Fiorina Says She Would ‘Roll Back’ Net Neutrality Rules

Republican presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina speaks at TechCrunchÕs Disrupt conference on May 5, 2015 in New York City.
Andrew Burton—Getty Images Republican presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina speaks at TechCrunchÕs Disrupt conference on May 5, 2015 in New York City.

And she wants the government to use technology to "re-engage" people

Carly Fiorina said Tuesday in her first public appearance since announcing her candidacy for the GOP nomination that she would “roll back” the new rules on net neutrality.

The former Hewlett-Packard CEO, arguably the presidential candidate with the most experience in the tech industry, came out swinging against the regulations in a talk at TechCrunch’s Disrupt event in New York City. “You don’t manage innovation, you let innovation flourish,” she said. “Regulation over innovation is a really bad role for government.”

Other Republican hopefuls have also come out in recent months against net neutrality—or the idea that all web content is treated equally—perhaps in opposition to Obama or in order to protect campaign donations, despite the fact that 85% of Republican voters say they oppose the creation of Internet “fast lanes.”

MORE: Why 2016 Republicans Oppose Net Neutrality

At other points during the talk, Fiorina pointed to her experience in the tech industry as a qualification for the Oval Office. “It is important to have someone in the White House who has a fundamental understanding of technology, and a fundamental vision of how technology could be used,” she said, adding that she hopes to use technology to “re-engage” people in politics.

Fiorina also addressed the industry’s inequalities for women, noting that they are “caricatured differently, criticized differently, scrutinized differently, because we’re still different.” To that end, she noted that she was pleased Hillary Clinton is also running for the Democratic nomination. “Obviously I’m running to beat Hillary Clinton, but I think It’s great there there are women on both sides of the aisle running for the highest office in the land.”

When the interviewer, a female journalist, asked Fiorina if she would consider a Vice Presidential slot, she bristled and replied: “Would you ever ask a man that question?”

In the past, male presidential candidates like former North Carolina Senator John Edwards and former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson have been asked whether they’re running for VP, and the idea has also been posed for former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, a presumed Democratic candidate. After the journalist responded that she would, the candidate said, “I’m not running for something else, I’m running because I want this job, and I think I can do this job.”

Read next: Carly Fiorina Calls Foul on Vice President Quesion

TIME justice

Attorney General Loretta Lynch Meets with Freddie Gray Family

Attorney General Lynch speaks with congressmen and faith leaders after meeting in private with Freddie Gray's family at Baltimore University in Baltimore
Jose Luis Magana—Reuters Attorney General Loretta Lynch speaks with congressmen and faith leaders after meeting in private with Freddie Gray's family at Baltimore University in Baltimore, MD. on May 5, 2015.

Just days after the city's prosecutor announced officers would face charges in Gray's death

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch made a stop in Baltimore Tuesday, as tensions have begun to cool following a week of unrest and uncertainty.

Lynch, who is one week into her new role as the nation’s top prosecutor, met with community and faith leaders and politicians just days after the Baltimore City prosecutor announced charges against six Baltimore police officers in Freddie Gray’s death. Sens. Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski and Rep. Elijah Cummings were reportedly in the room.

“This is a flashpoint situation,” Lynch said at the meeting. “We lost a young man’s [life] and it begins to represent so many things.”

The death of 25-year-old Gray, who died due to injuries he sustained while in police custody, was the match that lit the proverbial flame in Charm City, leading to days of protest that at one point turned violent. Lynch met with the family of Gray around noon on Tuesday. The meeting was closed off to press. Later in the afternoon, Lynch is expected to meet with Baltimore police and the mayor.

The new Attorney General is following in the footsteps of the now-retired Eric Holder in her visit to a city where a young black man’s death shined new light on mistrust between the community and police. Following the death of Michael Brown in Missouri, Holder traveled to Ferguson to meet with local leaders.

TIME 2016 Election

Democrats Take Fire for Exclusivity Clause in Official Debates

Democratic presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the David N. Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum at Columbia University on April 29, 2015 in New York City.
Kevin Hagen—Getty Images Democratic presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the David N. Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum at Columbia University on April 29, 2015 in New York City.

The Democratic National Committee is coming under fire for its takeover of the presidential primary debate process.

Just minutes after announcing that it will only sanction six contests and that candidates who appear in any debate outside of those six will be barred from attending a sanctioned debate, Lis Smith, a spokeswoman for likely Democratic contender former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley criticized the small number of debates and the exclusivity requirement.

“If Governor O’Malley decides to run, we will expect a full, robust, and inclusive set of debates — both nationally and in early primary and caucus states,” she said in a statement to reporters. ”This has been customary in previous primary seasons. In a year as critical as 2016, exclusivity does no one any favors.”

The DNC said the six debate number was the jumping off point in 2004 and 2008 but it was quickly overridden by candidates and news outlets wanting more. In 2008, Democrats faced off more than 20 times before President Obama won the nomination.

“The precedent that was set was six, but there was no mechanism controlling that,” said DNC Communications Director Mo Elleithee. “We’ve always said that we’d like to come up with a number and stick with it.”

“Every now and then Republicans have ideas that aren’t so terrible, and this was one of them,” he added of the exclusivity clause.

But an aide to one Democratic 2016 aspirant said they were taken aback by the exclusivity clause. “In the discussions that the DNC had with potential 2016 candidates, they explicitly said there would be no exclusivity clause and it was a shock to see that they included one in their press release today,” the aide said. “It was all an elaborate game where everything was worked out in advance with the Clinton people,” the aide alleged.

Elleithee declined to detail the nature of internal conversations the DNC conducted with candidates and campaigns, including whether the exclusivity clause was a late addition to the parameters.

“I have been involved in debate negotiations for various campaigns for nearly 20 years and they are almost always have some people who want more and some people who want fewer,” Elleithee said.

Appearing on stage with Clinton would be a significant credibility boost to the likely Democratic field, which includes lesser-known figures like O’Malley, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, and former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb. Clinton aides understandably want to limit her opposition’s potential for a breakout moment on stage, while protecting a candidate who who occasionally struggled during the 2008 primary debates. Minutes after the DNC announced its debate plans, Clinton tweeted her support.

Elleithee added that campaigns were given a heads up about the press release Tuesday morning before it was sent out. But a spokesman for likely presidential aspirant Jim Webb said the former senator’s team had not discussed the debates “internally or externally.”

Additional reporting by Sam Frizell

TIME mike huckabee

Huckabee Aims for Social Conservatives, Christians at Campaign Launch

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee speaks as he officially announces his candidacy for the 2016 Presidential race on May 5, 2015 in Hope, Ark.
Matt Sullivan—Getty Images Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee speaks as he officially announces his candidacy for the 2016 Presidential race on May 5, 2015 in Hope, Ark.

Invoking the gun he received at age 5, the prayers he recited in kindergarten and his baptism at age 10, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee launched his second presidential campaign Tuesday in the small Arkansas town the formed the basis of his small-town, Christian worldview.

A fierce social conservative and former Baptist televangelist, Huckabee stands to electrify the party’s religious conservative corners. Citing his faith repeatedly through his 30-minute announcement speech at a community college, it was clear the former governor plans to keep his Christianity at the center of his national campaign more than he did his failed 2008 bid.

“We ought to get our knees every night and thank God we live in a country people are trying to break into, instead of trying to break out of,” the 59-year-old Huckabee said.

His will be a campaign that blends political scolding and church revival.

It is a message tailored at conservatives who decide the outcome of Iowa’s leadoff caucuses, as well as the Southern states that Huckabee is putting at the front of his electoral thinking. Huckabee is betting voters in these states help him overcome the financial heft of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a fundraising machine, or the enthusiasm of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s libertarian supporters.

But even among Christian conservatives, Huckabee faces competition. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas launched his campaign at the Jerry Falwell-founded Liberty University, for instance. And many influential pastors continue to eye other alternatives, including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who is the son of a pastor.

That leaves Huckabee swinging further right with an increasingly religious message.

“This exceptional country could only be explained by the providence of God,” Huckabee said.

In a speech that advisers say will be the core of his political message, Huckabee rejected the Supreme Court’s authority to decide whether gay and lesbian couples can marry or women can have access to abortion rights. He also called for term limits on justices, as well as members of Congress.

“We’ve lost our way morally. We have witnessed the slaughter of over 55 million babies in the name of choice, and we are threatening the foundation of religious liberty by criminalizing Christianity,” Huckabee said. “Many of our politicians have surrendered to the false god of judicial supremacy, which would allow black-robed and unelected judges the power to make law and enforce it. … The Supreme Court is not the Supreme Being, and they cannot overturn the law of nature or of nature’s God.”

Huckabee made no mention of Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton during his remarks. But no one overlooked the fact that Huckabee and former President Bill Clinton both called Hope their home, although they are a decade apart in age and further distanced in terms of policies and politics.
Neither the Clintons nor Huckabees call Arkansas home these days. The Clintons live in New York; Mike and Janet Huckabee call Florida their base.

The campaign launch contained a fiery message, for sure, but one that Huckabee’s team is betting earns him the nomination that slipped through his hands seven years ago. Huckabee won Iowa’s leadoff caucuses in 2008, propelling him to the top of the pack. But the campaign ran out of money, leaving Huckabee as an also-ran.

This time, he made sure he had the cash to launch — and then run — the campaign at the ready. Just look at his first day as a candidate compared to how he started in 2007.

When Huckabee launched eight years ago, he chose the television set of NBC’s “Meet the Press” as his venue. He was a little-known former governor from a Southern state who was nipping at the heels of GOP rock stars Rudy Giuliani and John McCain as well as well-connected establishment darlings such as Mitt Romney. Even as he was enjoying success, he still struggled to piece together a flashy campaign and went broke just as he was capturing the imagination of the party base.

This time, it is local marching band outside greeting guests as they arrived, overflow crowds adjoining the auditorium and towering LED screens behind the governor. As supporters filled the auditorium — the largest in the county — three suspended televisions over the stage projected the title of Huckabee’s memoir, “Hope to Higher Ground.” Another two projected his campaign’s logo, and a sixth showed an American flag. Crooner Tony Orlando warmed up the crowd with “Tie A Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree” and a song he said he wrote for Huckabee, “America is My Home Town.”

“We all know Mike Huckabee, right?” said Bob Wickers, Huckabee’s pollster and ad maven. “We had to do something new.”

Huckabee’s advisers acknowledge the path to the nomination remains a challenge. He is unlikely to match the fundraising haul of Bush. He is unable to match the online buzz of Paul. He cannot appeal to a new generation of Republicans as can Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida or Cruz. And he was out of the governor’s office before the tea party propelled Walker into power.

Taking a jab at them, Huckabee said those seeking the White House should resign from their day jobs.

“If you live off the government payroll and want to run for an office other than the one you’re elected to, then have the integrity and decency to resign the one you don’t want,” Huckabee said.

And for Bush, the son of one president and the brother of another, Huckabee had the swipe: “I grew up blue-collar, not blue blood.”

TIME mike huckabee

Here Is the ‘Best Governors’ List the Huckabee Campaign Launch Cited

Republicans Hopefuls Speak At Iowa Faith And Freedom Coalition
Scott Olson—Getty Images Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee speaks to guests gathered at the Point of Grace Church for the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition 2015 Spring Kickoff on April 25, 2015 in Waukee, IA.

In introducing Huckabee at the campaign launch, Asa Hutchinson mentioned this TIME list of the best governors in America

At the launch of Mike Huckabee’s campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination Tuesday, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson listed this as one of Huckabee’s credentials: when Huckabee himself was the top politician in Arkansas, TIME named him one of the country’s best governors.

In one particular way, that 2005 list is an apt piece to cite. “Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is tickled by the rampant speculation that he will seek the presidency,” the story began. “Officially, he’s ‘keeping all options open,’ which is another way of saying he’s trying to figure out how much money he could raise.”

But, the article hinted, if he could raise the money he might go far:

Huckabee, 50, is a good Governor, not just for what he has done but also for who he has become, personally and politically. He is literally half the man he used to be, having lost 110 lbs. after learning in 2002 that he has diabetes and suffering chest pains a year later. He now exercises with martial regularity. More important, but less noted, has been Huckabee‘s political transformation. In his early years as Lieutenant Governor and then in the top job, he offered little more than anti-Clinton resentment and capering populism; in 1996 he warned of “environmental wackos who … want to tell us what kind of deodorant we can use.” Huckabee is now a mature, consensus-building conservative who earns praise from fellow Evangelicals and, occasionally, liberal Democrats.

Huckabee did end up running in the presidential election that followed that story, in 2008, but did not win his party’s nomination. This time around, he’s hoping for a different result.

Read the whole story, in the TIME archives: America’s 5 Best Governors

TIME Debates

Democrats to Face Off in 6 Primary Debates

Hillary Clinton Begins New Hampshire Election Campaign
Andrew Burton—Getty Images Democratic presidential hopeful and former U.S. Sectetary of State Hillary Clinton takes a tour of an engineering lab before a roundtable conversation with students and faculty of New Hampshire Technical Institute, Concord Community College, on April 21, 2015 in Concord, NH.

The Democratic National Committee announced Tuesday that it will approve six presidential primary debates for those seeking the nomination beginning this fall.

Each of the four early states — Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina — will host debates, the party announced. The move follows the Republican Party’s effective takeover the debates process following an internal review of its 2012 defeat.

“We’ve always believed that we would have a competitive primary process, and that debates would be an important part of that process,” DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a statement. “Our debate schedule will not only give Democratic voters multiple opportunities to size up the candidates for the nomination side-by-side, but will give all Americans a chance to see a unified Democratic vision of economic opportunity and progress – no matter whom our nominee may be.”

Like the Republican rules, any candidate participating in an officially sanctioned debate must agree to participate exclusively in those debates.

The six debate schedule is more modest than the RNC’s effort, which has capped the number of debates at 11, beginning this August. But Democrats have the inverse problem of the GOP—which is struggling with how to fit a massive field on stage—needing to build out a crop of candidates to debate Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

Clinton’s campaign has expressed openness to debating primary rivals, but has not agreed to any of the as-yet-unscheduled contests.


Morning Must Reads: May 5

Mark Wilson—Getty Images The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

ISIS Claims Texas Shooting

An audio statement released Tuesday said that “two soldiers of the caliphate” carried out Sunday’s attack on an exhibition of cartoon depictions of the Prophet Muhammad near Dallas, Texas, and promised to deliver more in the future

Tears for Tsarnaev

Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev cried as his sobbing aunt took the stand in his federal death penalty trial Monday

Israel Reels From Protests

Scores were hurt in Tel Aviv as Ethiopian Israelis rally against what they say is long-running racism. In full riot gear, the police have responded in force

Baltimore Citizens Mistaken for Indicted Officers

A school cafeteria worker and a plumber in Maryland said Monday their lives have been turned upside down after court documents mistakenly identified them as the police officers charged in the death of Baltimore 25-year-old Freddie Gray

Hillary Clinton to Testify Once More Before Benghazi Panel

Hillary Clinton is willing to testify once — and once only — on Capitol Hill later this month about the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, and her email practices during her tenure as Secretary of State, her attorney told lawmakers Monday

How Millennials View Sex Compared to Their Parents

Millennials are more tolerant of premarital sex than earlier generations, but they tend to have slightly fewer partners than their parents did, according to a new study. “Millennials have never known a world where premarital sex was a taboo,” a researcher said

Mike Huckabee Eyes Southern States

White House hopeful Mike Huckabee is pinning his hopes on the 11 contiguous states that run from Florida to Missouri and Texas to South Carolina, as he seeks to avoid a repeat of the spectacular flameout of his 2008 run

Obama to Name a New Joint Chiefs of Staff Head

President Barack Obama is to nominate Marine General Joseph Dunford Jr., a widely respected, combat-hardened commander who led the Afghanistan war coalition during a key transitional period during 2013–14, as the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Happiness Factors Have Changed Dramatically Over 80 Years

Psychologists from Bolton, England, have re-created a famous study conducted in the same town almost 80 years ago that sought to find out what made people happy. While security remains at the top, religion fell to the bottom of the current list

Chris Brown Suspected of Beating Man in Vegas

Las Vegas metropolitan police responded to reports of an assault during a basketball game at Palms Casino Resort. The 25-year-old singer threw a punch at a male suspect, according to police, who was hit again by one of Brown’s acquaintances

Refugees Spurn Australian Resettlement Offer

Australia has reached a deal with Cambodia to resettle an unlimited number of asylum seekers, currently in Australian government detention on the Pacific island of Nauru, in exchange for $31 million. However, the move has been met with resistance by refugees

Sleepwalking May Be in the Genes

New data shows that children were three times more likely to walk in their sleep if they had one parent who was, and seven times more likely to sleep walk if both parents had a history of it; sleep terrors are also likely to be hereditary, the study found

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