REPUBLICAN presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee is a secret member of Beyonce's Bey Hive.
I have no proof, other than that every time he's on TV lately, the former governor of Arkansas invokes the superstar's name. To my ears, it sounds as if he's a little bit "Drunk in Love."
Not that we can blame him.
By riding Beyonce's sequined skirt-tail, Huckabee's getting much-needed traction and scoring invites to programs such as ABC's "The View," where he shared a stage last week with former Destiny's Child member Michelle Williams. He also went one-on-one with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show."
His Beyonce fixation surfaced earlier this month following the publication of his new book, God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy, in which he questions President Obama's parenting methods. "Jay-Z and Beyonce have been to the White House numerous times, but how can it be that the Obamas let Sasha and Malia listen to that trash?" Huckabee writes.
Beyonce is an Obama favorite, having performed for the first family on numerous occasions, including the first lady's 50th birthday. Michelle Obama's office has declined to comment.
Huckabee, who ran for president in 2008 and is considering jumping into the 2016 race, likes to reference Beyonce's steamy onstage performance at the 2013 Grammy Awards with hubby Jay Z. "She is a terrific dancer - with the explicit moves best left for the privacy of her bedroom," he writes.
He praises Hova's business prowess but adds, "Does it occur to him that he is arguably crossing the line from husband to pimp by exploiting his wife as a sex object?"
Huckabee, a former Baptist preacher, does the same thing by using Beyonce's fame to draw attention to himself in an already overcrowded pool of Republican presidential wannabes. Last month, he stepped down as host of a weekend show on Fox, ostensibly to weigh his political options.
Watching him and Fox TV host Bill O'Reilly pick apart Beyonce last week, my eyes bugged out at all the old-dude tongue-clucking.
"I think it's also this sense that, 'She is an empowered woman,' " Huckabee said last week on "The O'Reilly Factor." "But, Bill, most of us would say that it's not empowering when you become an object - a sex object."
"She doesn't have to go there to be successful," he added.
No, she doesn't.
Sometimes Beyonce goes overboard with the sex-goddess thing and ventures into crassness. Like with her song "Partition":
"He popped all my buttons and he ripped my blouse
He Monica Lewinski'd all on my gown . . . "
That Comcast commercial where she pumps her pelvis while singing "Upgrade, upgrade" also is tacky.
And during her infamous Grammy performance, she pranced around onstage in a thong with a cage thingy covering some of it while her husband was fully dressed in a tuxedo. During "Drunk in Love," Jay Z raps:
"Slip the panties right to the side
Ain't got the time to take draws off, on site
Catch a charge I might, beat the box up like Mike . . . "
Yo, that's his wife he's rapping about.
We're not used to seeing performers go from singing the national anthem at a presidential inauguration to pelvis-popping on a stage.
But Beyonce's not running up the federal deficit. Nor is she the cause for all unwed births in this country. Beyonce, whose full name is now Beyonce Knowles-Carter, is a married woman who's comfortable flaunting her sexuality.
You'd think that conservatives would embrace her as a role model, since she followed the traditional formula by marrying before getting pregnant.
Note to Huckabee: If you really think her music is "mental poison," keep your eyes off Beyonce's "fatty" as she sings in "Drunk in Love."
On Twitter: @JeniceArmstrong