Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo
Yet more potential evidence that the 2012 presidential campaign is already upon us.
Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and Fox News personality, has dared President Obama to motorcade to Washington Reagan National Airport with the First Family and have the Obamas submit to one of those very controversial airport pat-down inspection.
Huckabee made his interesting suggestion on Fox and Friends. Huckabee apparently believes that profiling would be a better way to go.
National Journal reports:
"If he thinks this is an appropriate way for us to deal with security as he has defended, then I've said, 'OK, Mr. Obama, take your wife, your two daughters and your mother-in-law to Washington Reagan National Airport and have them publicly go through both the body scanner and the full enhanced pat-down in front of others,'" Huckabee said in an interview on Fox and Friends. "'If it's OK for your wife, your daughters, and your mother-in-law, then maybe the rest of us won't feel so bad when our wives, our daughters and our mothers are being put through this humiliating and degrading, totally unconstitutional, intrusion of their privacy.'"
Huckabee's dare to the president is certainly dramatic though it's unlikely to happen.
Does anyone think the opponents of pat-downs would be mollified by the president submitting himself and his family to be frisked? Obama also would probably be accused of wasting scarce government resources if he did what Huckabee suggests.
To Huckabee's point about the unconstitutionality of such searches, it's unclear if that is true. Courts have sided with the federal government when it comes to security screening though the scanning devices haven't been specifically challenged in court yet.
Courts have generally allowed wide leeway for airport screening under the Fourth Amendment, which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures, according to Adam Winkler, a UCLA law professor who specializes in American constitutional law.
"The courts generally say that there's not much of an expectation of privacy when you're getting on an airplane. That people get searched, that there's a serious risk, starting with hijacking and now terrorism, such that the expectation of privacy is pretty minimal," Winkler said.
Meanwhile, The Hill notes that some polls show Huckabee challenging Obama more for women voters than Sarah Palin would. So Huckabee is clearly someone the White House must pay attention to.
In face, we already know it is because the New York Times' Peter Baker reported in his October NYT magazine piece that some in the White House believe Huckabee is the likeliest Republican presidential nominee.