Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and 2008 Republican presidential hopeful who's considering a second run in 2016, has found another way to differentiate himself from President Obama: attacking Jay-Z and Beyoncé.
Huckabee is set to release a book titled God, Guns, Grits and Gravy on January 20, presumably as a move in the invisible primary. According to early excerpts obtained by U.S. News and World Report, Huckabee has some hot opinions about hip-hop's leading couple.
In the book, Huckabee talks about Beyoncé and Jay-Z's performance of "Drunk In Love" at the 2014 Grammy Awards where the two danced around a chair in a cloud of smoke and talent:
"My reaction: Why?" he writes. "Beyoncé is incredibly talented — gifted, in fact. She has an exceptional set of pipes and can actually sing. She is a terrific dancer — without the explicit moves best left for the privacy of her bedroom. Jay-Z is a very shrewd businessman, but I wonder: Does it occur to him that he is arguably crossing the line from husband to pimp by exploiting his wife as a sex object?"
Here's the performance:
Huckabee is right about Beyoncé being talented, but he gets into several levels of muddy sexism with where he goes next. First, Beyoncé's "explicit moves" are mostly done on her own on a chair, and fully fit the themes of the song. Second, any idea that Beyoncé herself is not a shrewd businessman is completely misguided. The woman dropped an album in the middle of the night and no one knew. They are at least equally good business people, and Beyoncé is her own person. If she wants to dance on stage sexily, she will. The idea that Jay-Z controls her decisions is absolutely absurd.
Huckabee's inclusion of the word "arguably" is a smart one. Because outright calling Jay-Z, a rapper, father, and husband, a pimp is actually insane.