But enough snarking. The likely 2008 GOP presidential candidate also did something nice to one of our own this week, U.S. News contributor Suzi Parker, who's based in Little Rock. Her dad is ailing, and the guv phoned her. "He called me to see how my dad was," she says. "Arkansas is a small state." And while he was on the phone he even dropped a newsy nugget: Since his high school days, he has accumulated hundreds and hundreds of books, including an extensive theological library from his college and seminary days and many years as a pastor. "Since becoming governor, I have also collected a number of books, on subjects ranging from current events to health to theology," he told her. But instead of donating them to a library as he leaves the governor's mansion after 11 years, he's giving most to the Arkansas Department of Corrections for inmate libraries. "I'm still in the process of boxing and sorting, and will hopefully complete the task shortly after Christmas but before the New Year," he says.
By Paul Bedard