Arkansas Gov. Moves Into Triple-Wide Trailer

ByABC News
August 24, 2000, 3:20 PM

L I T T L E   R O C K, Ark., Aug. 24 -- Gov. Mike Huckabee celebrated his 45th birthday in a new home today, giving a nationally broadcast tour of the roomy and comfortable manufactured mansion where he will live while his regular home is being repaired.

The 2,133-square-foot triple-wide home features two living rooms one equipped with a remote control gas fireplace a large master bedroom and bathroom and three wooden outdoor decks.

One of the things I think people are surprised by is just really how roomy and comfortable it is, how well-lit it is, Huckabee said, standing by the kitchen sink during a live tour for NBCs Today show.

This is not the typical feel of what people perceive as a mobile home, and thats why the manufactured housing industry really deserves the term, manufactured housing, he said.

Laughing Off Trailer Jokes

Wednesday, first lady Janet Huckabee led neighbors and reporters through the new home after a ceremony with the mobile homes manufacturer. This morning, she was joined by the governor as they led one last cameraman through the house they now hope to keep private.

The tours are intended to put a positive spin on a move that has been the subject of jokes by Jay Leno and other comedians. Today host Matt Lauer jokingly asked if the mobile home had indoor plumbing.

Huckabee said he doesnt mind the jokes and fired back a few ofhis own aimed at Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore and theClinton administration.

Were blowing the stereotypes by letting people see that thisis not some pull-behind-the-truck trailer, Huckabee said. Thisis a beautiful, very nice home. Were thrilled to death to haveit.

Mrs. Huckabee said the first family could live in the mobile home for up to 2½ years while the mansion undergoes plumbing and wiring improvements and perhaps an expansion. She is leading a fund-raising drive for an $8 million project that would add a large reception hall, new residential wing and perhaps a cement pond (swimming pool) and sculpture garden.