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Huckabee signs book in Naperville

Governor Mike Huckabee takes time address his  fans supporters during his book signing Anderson's Bookshop Wednesday November 28 2012

Governor Mike Huckabee takes time address his fans and supporters, during his book signing at Anderson's Bookshop on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 in Naperville IL. | Terence Guider-Shaw~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 1, 2013 6:17AM

Mike Huckabee, 57, is best known as a politician and a talk show host. But the former presidential candidate and governor of Arkansas appeared at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville Wednesday night with an entirely different agenda.

Huckabee came to talk about his newest book, “Dear Chandler, Dear Scarlett” — a book addressed to his grandchildren where Huckabee shares his thoughts on “faith, family, and the things that matter most.”

Huckabee appeared at 7:30 p.m. before a crowd that filled most of the aisles in the bookstore. Staff at Anderson’s said they had issued 70 requests for autographed books, but the crowd clearly numbered well over 100 people. Huckabee emerged from a 40-foot touring vehicle covered with his picture and the book’s cover and spoke with The Sun as he entered the store.

“I began writing this book a year ago and finished it in the spring of this year, so it has nothing to do with politics, and none of us knew then how the election would turn out,” Huckabee said. “One of the problems we have in this country is we focus too much on how elections go and we don’t worry enough about future generations.”

Huckabee later told the crowd his book was an attempt to correct an oversight on his part when he failed to show an interest in his own grandfather — who was a war veteran.

“By the time it mattered to me to learn what my grandfather’s life was like, I was already married with children of my own and he was gone,” Huckabee said. “My grandchildren aren’t old enough to understand what I’ve written here, but I think you’re really going to enjoy this book and the stories in it.”

Huckabee said the two most important “lessons” the books contains speak about the importance of work and treating others with dignity.

“Everyone deserves to be treated with equal respect and is worthy of dignity,” he said. “That’s one lesson I want my grandchildren to know and the other is realizing that the work they do is not about the job itself — it’s that they do it with excellence. There is a woman I talk about in the book who bakes pies — and I value her as much as I do a surgeon.”

Many who came to see the former Arkansas governor said they were inspired by his book and hope to write some reflections for their own children.

“I’ve been keeping notes for a long time on my Blackberry and have wanted to write some things down for my children who range from their late teens to their 20s,” said Naperville resident Tom Iskalis. “I hope by reading this book it will be the catalyst to show me how I might do that.”

Bob White of Naperville said his wife bought the book earlier and sent her husband to Anderson’s to get it signed. White too admitted keeping a log of his grandchildren’s adventures and said Huckabee’s book “got him thinking about leaving some advice for the grandkids.”

“I enjoy watching his show and I agree with a lot of his beliefs,” White said. “I think it’s important to leave some wisdom for your children.”

Carol Stream resident Kathy McLeister bought three copies of the book and planned to give two away as Christmas presents. She said Huckabee serves as a wonderful “voice for America.”

“I believe he has good ideas regarding government and fiscal responsibility,” she said. “I plan to give a copy of this book to my parents, who really like his show.”

Owner Becky Anderson said Huckabee’s non-political book “was perfectly timed for the holidays.”

“Gov. Huckabee has already written a Christmas book that was very popular and now to have one that deals with family and grandchildren in an election year is a good thing,” she said. “We shouldn’t talk about politics at this time of year — this is the season of the family.”

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