Good news: New leader of evangelical America emerges

posted at 5:20 pm on March 3, 2008 by Allahpundit

He’s more apt to blame America’s problems on a shadowy elite who are out to get blue-collar god-fearers but less apt to blame jihadist attacks on sinfulness.

I guess that constitutes progress.

Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign may be nearing its end, but those around him say he won’t disappear and is poised to claim political leadership of conservative evangelicals.

Mr. Huckabee’s inner circle says he’s the perfect bridge to re-establish the Christian right, which has suffered over the last decade, as a political force that speaks for millions of voters.

“He has become the leader of a new generation of Christian conservative voters,” said Rex Nelson, who was communications director when Mr. Huckabee was Arkansas’ governor. “The old leadership has either passed on in the case of [the Rev. Jerry] Falwell or become either irrelevant or out of touch — the Pat Robertson endorsement of Rudy Giuliani proves that.”…

Several of Mr. Huckabee’s close advisers, speaking on the condition of anonymity to freely discuss possibilities, said he does not have an interest in a Cabinet position or in running for the U.S. Senate from Arkansas, but said being on a ticket as vice president would be an attractive alternative. One adviser mentioned a role as Republican National Committee chairman, while another said he might be best suited for a role outside the party…

By one estimate the campaign’s earned media is the equivalent of $125 million in paid ads, and that was before his appearance on “Saturday Night Live” last month.

Speaking of earned media, this story is basically an unpaid ad to make him VP, no? Assuming Maverick declines, what’s Huck’s next move? I’ve asked that question at least three times now in previous posts and haven’t gotten a solid answer yet. A senate run should be a no-brainer but Huck, evidently, has no brain in this regard. A leadership position with some Christian group, like Dobson’s, would work but who knows when one will open up. Exit question: As much as our commenters dislike him for his identity politics demagoguery, isn’t he an asset overall? He’s so good with the media that we really can’t afford to spare him, especially with people like Hagee insisting they’re not anti-Catholic despite available evidence to the contrary. Let me rephrase the exit question, then: Isn’t Huck a net gain over the Robertson/Falwell/Dobson model that preceded him? If so, are you willing to alienate him and his millions of Christian conservative supporters by not putting him on the ticket? (Exit answer: Yes.)


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I am just hoping for a Jim DeMint presidential run in 2012.

ColtsFan on March 3, 2008 at 5:29 PM

New leader of evangelical America emerges

That will end just as soon as he gets in bed with John Sydney McCain.

CyberCipher on March 3, 2008 at 5:29 PM

HUCKASCHMUCK! HUCKASCHMUCK! HUCKASCHMUCK!

He’s not my leader.

should be a no-brainer but Huck, evidently, has no brain in this regard

Hee hee!

Frozen Tex on March 3, 2008 at 5:30 PM

Yes, we need Huck! We need a sincere and eloquent voice to speak for and represent our party. After 7 years of W unable to complete a sentence without stammering, or taking too long to gather his thoughts before answering questions at a press conference, we need a guy like Huckabee who can respond and disarm all those who are quick to ridicule a politician’s public speaking abilities for a cheap laugh.

HockeyTemper on March 3, 2008 at 5:30 PM

I don’t care what the price is, I will not vote for a McCain ticket with Huckster on it.

If Huck spends 4 or 8 years in the wilderness,he just might conclude he has to solidify his right before running for pres again. After all, he came to that conclusion during the campaign and signed every conservative pledge that was put in front of him.

If he is VP, he will be the nominee in 8 years and he’ll be as liberal as he wants to be. And he wants to be VERY liberal.

Nessuno on March 3, 2008 at 5:32 PM

I thought Mitt was the new leader of the evang.

right2bright on March 3, 2008 at 5:34 PM

HockeyTemper on March 3, 2008 at 5:30 PM

So like, are you from the “anybody that can pronounce nuclear” faction of the GOP?

CyberCipher on March 3, 2008 at 5:34 PM

He ISN’T this evangelical’s leader.

MarkoMancuso on March 3, 2008 at 5:34 PM

All I can say is Huck isn’t my leader and I’m evangelical. Jesus is my leader! As it should be. I was pulling for Romney from the beginning.

kirkill on March 3, 2008 at 5:34 PM

As much as our commenters dislike him for his identity politics demagoguery, isn’t he an asset overall?

Correct. I do dislike him. Asset? I do not see the majority of his supporters sitting it out, and putting Obama or Hillary in the WH. My take, as a secularist Christian, is that the #1 issue for the evangelicals is SCOTUS because of the abortion issue. He runs his ‘Life Amendment’ ad here in Texas. Anyone with any sense knows that it would take 75% of the States to approve it. It would be better to take McCain’s SCOTUS appointments then Obama’s and Hillary’s. As long as McCain picks a pro-life VP the evangelicals will not be likely to stay home.

Limerick on March 3, 2008 at 5:35 PM

If so, are you willing to alienate him and his millions of Christian conservative supporters by not putting him on the ticket? (Exit answer: Yes.)

Indeed, and thanks for the q/a chuckle.

If he is VP, he will be the nominee in 8 4 years and he’ll be as liberal as he wants to be. And he wants to be VERY liberal.

Nessuno on March 3, 2008 at 5:32 PM

Fify.

Entelechy on March 3, 2008 at 5:35 PM

Heh.

MarkoMancuso on March 3, 2008 at 5:36 PM

I can’t support him. His bass playing is just too gay.

Bugler on March 3, 2008 at 5:39 PM

Sorry forgot to add that putting Huckabee on the ticket would scare off the independents.

Limerick on March 3, 2008 at 5:39 PM

Limerick on March 3, 2008 at 5:35 PM

You’re right about the first issue. A lot of the evangelicals say they’ll vote for Huck in the PA primary (If he’s even still in) solely because of immigration. As for me, no way Jose. I ain’t voting for him.

MarkoMancuso on March 3, 2008 at 5:40 PM

Huck may lead Evangelicals, but can anyone seriously make the claim that besides abortion that he is /conservative/? Does being pro-life and nothing else merit the label of conservative?

Huck may have a lot of things going for him, but getting beyond his base is not one of them. To Dems who might like his economics and statist approach, his Christianity is not appreciated and true fiscal conservatives aren’t going to like his economics and statist approach.

I agree, his only fail-safe option is to go home and get a senate seat.

Vatican Watcher on March 3, 2008 at 5:40 PM

So, he is angling for VP after all. Hopefully he fails.

Some sort of Dobson-esque role would suit him well- enough exposure and influence to satisfy his ego, and decent pay on top of it.

RNC chairman? Hell no. That’s not a job for a charismatic buffoon like the Huckster.

I think that few evangelicals will feel terribly alienated if he’s not named VP so long as a different (but smarter and more reliably conservative) candidate with Christian credibility is named. Certain sects of the social con crowd need to be reminded that the most outspokenly Christian candidate doesn’t necessarily imply the best Republican candidate.

Hollowpoint on March 3, 2008 at 5:40 PM

Exit question: As much as our commenters dislike him for his identity politics demagoguery, isn’t he an asset overall?

Behind the scenes, maybe. As a talk show host, yes. As a national candidate, No.

Mr. Huckabee’s inner circle says he’s the perfect bridge to re-establish the Christian right, which has suffered over the last decade, as a political force that speaks for millions of voters.

How have they “suffered” exactly? I’ll stipulate that there has been an assault on Christianity from the “Secular Progressives”, but that has been recognized by people who are not members of the “Christian Right” like BOR.

Moreover, W did get 2 great Supremes in with Roberts and Alito, and he deserves credit for that.

Buy Danish on March 3, 2008 at 5:43 PM

Yes, we need Huck! We need a sincere and eloquent voice to speak for and represent our party.

HockeyTemper on March 3, 2008 at 5:30 PM

This moment brought to you by the style over substance contingent.

Hollowpoint on March 3, 2008 at 5:44 PM

With Dobson and Robertson weak and aging, and Falwell er…passed on, Huck has a good opening to become the go-to guy for the evangelical movement if he wants to actively pursue it. If he was smart, he’d drop out and start to do that, or join the Senate and be the same thing in the Senate.

doubleplusundead on March 3, 2008 at 5:47 PM

There’s an unmentioned difference between Huckabee and Dobson/Falwell etc. The other “Christian leaders” took the time to develop a network which gave them the credibility they had. Agree or disagree, Falwell’s church & school, Dobson’s family/media operation were not overnight sensations. They were years in the making.

Huckabee pastored, served as a leader in the Baptist movement in his state, then parlayed this into a political career. He is not currently affiliated with any particular religious movement as a leader, that I’m aware of. Could he be hired as, say, the leader for Falwell’s group? Possible, but highly unlikely. He can build a group of his own, and has some influence and a following. I think it’ll take time, however.

I think he’ll try for VP, and failing that will write a book or take a position in govt. or business somewhere.

Let me add as an Evangelical Christian, he is certainly not my leader and never will be.

cs89 on March 3, 2008 at 5:49 PM

As much as our commenters dislike him for his identity politics demagoguery, isn’t he an asset overall?

Yes, he is. He should have a talk show or some other pulpit from which to bully Republican leaders into staying to the right on pro-life issues.
On the economy and national defense, he should remain silent.

joewm315 on March 3, 2008 at 5:54 PM

Good luck all you Evangelicals….

unaffiliated on March 3, 2008 at 6:00 PM

Is Huckabee still around?

Angry Dumbo on March 3, 2008 at 6:00 PM

Sorry, but I’m a Christian, and my only “leader” is Jesus Christ. It was never Falwell. It was never Roberston. It will never be Huckabee.

It takes a lot of gall to assume that I, as a Christian, need some kind of “mouthpiece” on this earth – to show me the way. Who are these people, who imply that they speak for me? Who thinks this stuff up? And why is it perpetuated? Who are the media, to imply that I need to be “lead”?

I’m still trying to figure out how the term “evangelical” Christian came about? Why am I always hearing it on the radio and on television? Where did it come from? It reminds me of the term, “person-of-interest.” Where did that come from?

Who is making this stuff up? And, why are these terms being propagated? It’s beginning to get a little like “newspeak.” And, it’s getting a bit tiresome.

OhEssYouCowboys on March 3, 2008 at 6:01 PM

He cant speak on any topic with any substance so he better stick to dumb saturday night live skits.

Roger Waters on March 3, 2008 at 6:02 PM

He’s got the national stage and isn’t going to give it up when the big dollars beckon. Perhaps a TV show,..a mixture of Ophrey, Dr. Phil, and Benny Hinn styles?

a capella on March 3, 2008 at 6:04 PM

Yeah, he should go back to healing people via the television set between appeals for contributions from pensioniers. HEAL!! HEAL!!! HEAL!!!

Also, he can refocus on battling those awful christian cults.

Roger Waters on March 3, 2008 at 6:12 PM

Why would you link to the Hagee video and say that it is ‘anti-Catholic’? Only the thinnest of skinned ‘Christians’ would have said he was talking about the Catholic Church.

Again this points to the arrogance when someone refers to the Christian Church, Catholics automatically assume that they are talking about Catholics and only Catholics.

This self-centered arrogance is what is driving people away from the Catholic Church (other than the illegal aliens).

I read somewhere else that the Catholic League was mad at McCain for accepting Hagee’s endorsement. Catholics and the Catholic League are the NAACP of Christianity. They spend their lives looking for ways to be offended, and they don’t care too much about spreading the Gospel to those who haven’t heard it.

This was Hagee interpreting Revelation. There are many interpretations but all of them are scary if you aren’t right. I recommend reading it for yourselves to see what it says. I’m certain that some priest told his parishioners somewhere that this reference was specifically Catholics. . . and his parishioners believed him without reading it for themselves.

Catholics are the only group that rivals Muslims in the ‘rage boy’ department. And they both taught the African Americans how to play the victim.

If Catholics are saved, then they should be happy about that. They shouldn’t spend their time trying to figure out who disagrees with the Catholic interpretation of the Biblical texts.

You feed into it AP.

As for Huckabee, I don’t really see where it is significant what he does after the election. It is only significant to media people and pundits. The Christian Church outside of Catholicism doesn’t need people to be the ‘leader’. People in the Christian Church merely interpret what is written for the people to understand. . . not explain how they should live (a la the Catholic religion).

But oh yeah, those staunchly republican Catholics spent so much time building the conservative base that we should definitely make sure they are the fundamental force inside the R party. . . in fact, we should ask the Pope who the Republicans should vote for. . .

But oh yeah, I’m ‘anti-Catholic’ too for not ‘feeling your pain’ in believing that Hagee ‘offended’ Catholics. boo freakin hoo.

ThackerAgency on March 3, 2008 at 6:13 PM

I agree with you….you are anti-catholic.

your loss

Roger Waters on March 3, 2008 at 6:14 PM

Let me say it again for emphasis.
-
I’m a Christian conservative, and Huck is not my leader.
-
Should we even have politics in religion? Religion in politics makes sense… hence the pro-life issue, marriage issue, values of our educators issues. But I’m not going to follow a leader because he says he is the only Christian candidate. I’m not even going to vote for a candidate because my religious leaders are stupid enough to tell me to. Instead, I’m going to use the values they instill in me to make my own political decisions.
-
And by the way, could someone tell me how to do line breaks?

craig on March 3, 2008 at 6:15 PM

Make him head of the faith based charity thing Bush set up. It’s a good job, important, and combines religion and the caring professions, which would likely be right up a liberal evangelical’s alley.

funky chicken on March 3, 2008 at 6:17 PM

Isn’t Huck a net gain over the Robertson/Falwell/Dobson model that preceded him?

I’m sorry, but how is he even different from the Roberston/Falwell/Dobson model that preceded him? Except that those three aren’t on record denouncing the “Club For Greed” or demagoguing class warfare.

Lehosh on March 3, 2008 at 6:18 PM

the Pat Robertson endorsement of Rudy Giuliani proves that

Work on getting over that, brother.

I predict that Huck will head home and run for senate, since he’s not going to get the VP nod and it will be the highest profile slot availablet to him at that point.

As far as leading a large ministry; they tend to be chaired by the person that created and built them up. While ministries like Campus Crusade can continue without Bill Bright, it seems to me that the politically-focused groups cannot go on without the charismatic personality who is their public face. I’d venture to say he’s not going to head up a ministry unless he manages to start something of his own.

TexasDan on March 3, 2008 at 6:20 PM

Go ahead and put him on the ticket. I don’t quite feel alienated enough yet.

I hope after his failed campaign, he crawls back into whatever hole he came from. If he’s so concerned about his evangelicals, he can go back to his pulpit.

the goddess anna on March 3, 2008 at 6:20 PM

And by the way, could someone tell me how to do line breaks?

craig on March 3, 2008 at 6:15 PM

Carriage return works nicely–they just don’t show up in the preview.

TexasDan on March 3, 2008 at 6:21 PM

Assuming Maverick declines, what’s Huck’s next move? I’ve asked that question at least three times now in previous posts and haven’t gotten a solid answer yet.

Getting himself appointed to a high position at a big time Christian school and/or continuing his speaking engagements at Mega Churches.

Or, run for the Senate.

Vizzini on March 3, 2008 at 6:22 PM

Can’t we just make him… uh… like ambassador to Mexico? That’s going to be the most-favored nation in a Maverick presidency anyway.

Sugar Land on March 3, 2008 at 6:22 PM

ThackerAgency

This self-centered arrogance is what is driving people away from the Catholic Church (other than the illegal aliens).
***
The Christian Church outside of Catholicism doesn’t need people to be the ‘leader’. People in the Christian Church merely interpret what is written for the people to understand. . . not explain how they should live (a la the Catholic religion).
***
. . . in fact, we should ask the Pope who the Republicans should vote for. . .
But oh yeah, I’m ‘anti-Catholic’ too for not ‘feeling your pain’….

You are anti-Catholic, Thacker. I hope you realize that and deal with it. You sound a lot like a bigot.

Btw, you’re wrong that it anything is “driving people away from the Catholic Church”. It is the fastest growing (non-tiny) Christian denomination.

Nessuno on March 3, 2008 at 6:28 PM

We’re doomed. Just doomed. *looks for razorblades* *grabs wrist*

Gartrip on March 3, 2008 at 7:01 PM

C’mon, he’s a baptist, which means that he doesn’t even understand baptism. Probably has rapture fever too.

Akzed on March 3, 2008 at 7:02 PM

With such deficiencies, he he may be qualified to run a baptist church, but not to be leader of the evangelical wing of Christendom.

Akzed on March 3, 2008 at 7:03 PM

isn’t he an asset overall?

Absolutely….you said Asshat, right?

ihasurnominashun on March 3, 2008 at 7:04 PM

isn’t he an asset overall?

Absolutely! You said Asshat right?

ihasurnominashun on March 3, 2008 at 7:05 PM

Psalm 14
1″The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God….”

Allah, that means that whatever else Falwell, Robertson, and Huckabee are (or were), they still have/had a leg up on you when it comes to spiritual insight.

However, that does NOT necessarily mean that these evangelical leaders have/had a leg up on you when it comes to political insight.

sanantonian on March 3, 2008 at 7:12 PM

Huckabee pastored, served as a leader in the Baptist movement in his state, then parlayed this into a political career. He is not currently affiliated with any particular religious movement as a leader, that I’m aware of. Could he be hired as, say, the leader for Falwell’s group? Possible, but highly unlikely. He can build a group of his own, and has some influence and a following. I think it’ll take time, however.

As a member of Thomas Road (Falwell’s church which is being pastored by his son, Jonathan), although Huckabee got a huge welcome from everyone in the church, I can’t imagine a scenario where Huckabee would be offered a position here. Jerry Jr. is heading up Liberty Univ., and Jonathan is pastor of the church. The leaders around here are extremely talented and aren’t there as figure-heads, so I wouldn’t see the need here personally for anything like that.

I do think Huck on the ticket (as much as people dislike him around here) would be a net gain, though. He’s young and likeable, and would balance out John McCain’s hot-tempered nature. He’d bring at least some evangelicals to the table, although most people I talk to would certainly vote for McCain without a doubt even if Huck wasn’t on the ticket.

acleaver on March 3, 2008 at 7:12 PM

NEVER, EVER will I vote for a ticket with the Huckster on it.

And the LAST thing we need is another HYPOCRITE running the religious right. Especially one with numerous ethical issues, a history of bad judgement and and horrendous political slandering while claiming to run a “clean and decent campaign”.

Here’s news for all you Huckster fans… the Good Lord does not want you using him (while claiming you’re not) to line your pocket. Case in point..the floating cross ad.

He uses the cross, then claims it’s not there. That is not what Jesus would do.

bigred on March 3, 2008 at 7:27 PM

He’s so good with the media that we really can’t afford to spare him

He is “so good” because he hasn’t been challenged. He was never in a position to achieve front runner status, so as long as he is in the race the MSM will give him a pass to keep things interesting. Had he ever become a real contender, we would be looking at a different Huck. One that was demolished by the Media.

Troy Rasmussen on March 3, 2008 at 7:36 PM

I want Huckabee to be on the McCain ticket for the same reason that I would wish them to be on the Titanic, should it be sailing tomorrow: let them all go down with the ship at once and be done with them.

bobthepeeler on March 3, 2008 at 8:27 PM

ThackerAgency on March 3, 2008 at 6:13 PM

No you’re anti-Catholic because every and any thread to do with Catholicism or the Pope, or even threads that don’t, causes you to spew bile about Catholics and Catholicism.

You asked on a thread a few months ago why people should even pay attention to the Pope. Physician, heal thyself.

aengus on March 3, 2008 at 8:28 PM

exit question

With Robertson, Huck is about equal, but Huck is not in the same league as Falwell or Dobson.

jgapinoy on March 3, 2008 at 8:48 PM

So, as long as this thread has morphed into a denominational bash session (much to AP’s delight, since he loves it when he can point to the nasty way that Christians treat each other), it would seem to me that fingering ANY protestant as an anti-Catholic bigot is sorta’ akin to the “Department of Redundancy Department”. Isn’t a protestant an anti-Catholic by definition? Why else would a protestant BE a protestant, unless he/she “has issues” with the Catholic church?

I think it is possible for a protestant to love his or her Catholic brethren and still have issues with the Catholic church. I don’t believe that this makes a protestant an evil person. Nor will you ever convince me that someone is evil simply because he or she is Catholic. Personally, I have issues with some protestant evangelical mega-churchs. Does that make me an anti-protestant bigot, too?

Some of the participants here have already labeled me an anti-Catholic bigot. That’s unfair. I would really like to “expand my horizons.” Could someone here be so kind as to label me an anti-organized religion bigot? Please?

CyberCipher on March 3, 2008 at 9:11 PM

The Know Nothings never learn – that’s why they always live down to their name.

corona on March 3, 2008 at 9:44 PM

CyberCipher on March 3, 2008 at 9:11 PM

This thread has not morphed into a denominational bash session. Its just turned into what every thread on HotAir that even marginally involves Catholicism turns into: an occasion for ThackerAgency to air his anti-Catholic drivel.

aengus on March 3, 2008 at 9:47 PM

Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus and Satan are Brothers?

Rusty Allen on March 3, 2008 at 9:54 PM

He’s got the national stage and isn’t going to give it up when the big dollars beckon. Perhaps a TV show,..a mixture of Ophrey, Dr. Phil, and Benny Hinn Hill styles?

a capella on March 3, 2008 at 6:04 PM

He reminds me more of Benny Hill.

They shouldn’t spend their time trying to figure out who disagrees with the Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian, Muslim, Mormon, etc. interpretation of the Biblical texts.
ThackerAgency on March 3, 2008 at 6:13 PM

I agree, but you can add all the religions to this statement.

Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus and Satan are Brothers?

Rusty Allen on March 3, 2008 at 9:54 PM

Study Mormon theology instead of listening to the Huckster and you might stumble onto your question answer.

Mormons believe everyone born is a spiritual brother/sister toe each other. You can hate Mormons, but you can’t get the Mormons to hate you.

PrettyD_Vicious on March 3, 2008 at 10:58 PM

Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus and Satan are Brothers?

Rusty Allen on March 3, 2008 at 9:54 PM

Yes, that is EXACTLY what they believe. They also believe that ALL mortals are brothers or sisters to Jesus and Satan. They believe in a pre-mortal heaven, as spirit beings, before being born on earth, Satan rebelled against God and was cast out to earth to tempt and torment man. Jesus on the other hand, was the faithful son who became the Only Begotten in the flesh.
There is absolutely NOTHING in the Biblical accounts to contradict these beliefs. It is a matter of interpretation of scripture where Catholics and Protestants differ from these tenets.

jimbo2008 on March 4, 2008 at 7:28 AM

I think the Christian Right or Coalition is pretty much defunct – in this election anyway. Their anointed candidate Mike Huckabee has been reduced to a laughingstock of SNL and a metaphor for hopeless causes.

jimbo2008 on March 4, 2008 at 7:32 AM

They believe that Lucifer is the devil too, as do most Christians, wheras the Bible never once applies that name to Satan. It’s a mere msitake when a regular ol’ Christian believes it, but a fatal flaw when the Mormon’s main prophet believes it.

Mormons also believe, according to Brigham Young, that Adam is “the god with whom we have to do.” young was also the “prophet” who declared that if and when one drop of African blood entered the ranks of Mormon clergy, it would be the sign that Mormonism was kaput.

Akzed on March 4, 2008 at 9:01 AM

Why do people who know nothing about evangelical Christians insist that we need a leader?
I’m an evangelical Christian minister, Southern Baptist to be exact. My leader, my shepherd, was crucified 2000 years ago, was resurrected, and is now at the right hand of God.
As the Psalmist David said in Psalm 20: Some [trust] in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.
Mike Huckabee is not and never will be this evangelical’s leader.

abcurtis on March 4, 2008 at 9:25 AM

My father voted for Jimmy Carter way back when just because he was a born again Christian. He still regrets his vote.
After looking at Huck’s record in Arkansas, I, like Ann Coulter, believe Huck would be the Republican equivalent.

Sigoth on March 4, 2008 at 11:07 AM

There are leaders who influence evangelicals. Dobson, Jerry Falwell (RIP), Billy Graham. These are men, who through long years of experience have demonstrated their convictions and recieved the trust of evangelicals over time. Any of them could say things that many evangelicals would disagree with and we would not count it against them, because of their long record. If they began saying a lot of stupid stuff, they would lose their credibility quickly. However, they haven’t made a habit of that.

Mike Huckabee does not have the trust that these other men do. DObson is a Christian who speaks on politics. Huckabee is a politican who speaks on Christianity. This does not have to do with thier relationship to Jesus Christ, but the perspective they wish to come from.

jya lai on March 4, 2008 at 11:33 AM