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Unveiling a Mobile Home Fit for, Well, the Governor of Arkansas

July 19, 2000|From Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — This isn't your usual mobile home.

The 2,131-square-foot, $110,000 "triplewide" announced Tuesday as the new temporary home of Arkansas' first family could be called "the governor's mansion" of all mobile homes.

The donated home is to be shipped from its Indiana plant to the backyard of the Arkansas governor's mansion by the first week of August because of repairs to the 50-year-old permanent mansion, which could take years.

The jokes have arrived.

"Am I the queen of the doublewide? The answer is yes and no," said First Lady Janet Huckabee, referring to a country music song. "I've been the queen of my house for 26 years and I don't think [Gov.] Mike Huckabee would have it any other way, right dear? As for a doublewide, the answer's no, it's a triplewide."

She proudly described the new home--noting its kitchen, washer and dryer, and privacy--as an improvement over the cramped living quarters and public nature of the mansion.

"Let the people laugh," the governor said. "I think the difference between an Arkansan and some uptight, wound-up Northerner is that . . . we're laughing with you, because we like the way we live."

All joking aside, the Huckabees say the manufactured home is the best deal for Arkansas taxpayers. The Arkansas Manufactured Housing Assn. is donating the home, along with a second, smaller mobile home as a temporary office for Janet Huckabee and the mansion administrator.

About 12% of Arkansans live in manufactured housing, according to the 1990 census.

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