Video: Huckabee’s strong appeal to evangelicals

posted at 8:41 am on August 30, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

The unbelievably strong finish to last night’s convention, culminating in Paul Ryan’s powerful acceptance speech, understandably eclipsed some of the earlier speakers on the program, more than one deservedly so.  Mike Huckabee’s speech deserves another look, though, both for its content and the effort made to close one of the intraparty gaps many expected to widen with Mitt Romney’s nomination.  Huckabee followed my former governor Tim Pawlenty’s odd speech — the nation’s first “tattoo president” is a sales pitch that should have been strangled in the pitch meeting — and at first seemed to follow the same Borscht Belt one-liner strategy as Pawlenty. However, as Huckabee continued, he picked up strength by talking about real issues, and became especially powerful when speaking to evangelicals who might still have some reluctance to vote for a Mormon (quotes from the Weekly Standard):

“Let me clear the air about whether guys like me would only support an evangelical,” Mike Huckabee said Wednesday night during his speech at the Republican National Convention. “Of the four people on the two tickets, the only self-professed evangelical is Barack Obama, and he supports changing the definition of marriage, believes that human life is disposable and expendable at any time in the womb or even beyond the womb, and tells people of faith that they must bow their knees to the god of government and violate their faith and conscience in order to comply with what he calls health care.” …

“I care far less as to where Mitt Romney takes his family to church than I do about where he takes this country.”

At the start of his speech, the trend on Twitter was to poke fun at Huckabee, but that changed after the first couple of minutes.  By the end of the speech, even those in the media thought his speech had been the best of the night at that point.  It might be easy to overlook this speech after being followed by Condoleezza Rice, Susana Martinez, and Paul Ryan, but it shouldn’t go unremarked, especially because of the supposed tension between Huckabee and Romney from 2008 over the evangelical-Mormon difference.  Huckabee gets well-deserved criticism for his support of Todd Akin in Missouri, but last night he went out and made a solid, compelling pitch to a constituency the GOP needs in the game in November, as perhaps the figure within the Republican Party with the highest standing to make that argument.


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Okay. I politely think that you are a Troll, whose presence here is for nothing but the purpose of disrupting Conservative Discussion the echo chamber I wish to inhabit.

kingsjester on August 30, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Foxhound on August 30, 2012 at 2:02 PM

’m religious, socially conservative, and a huge Ayn Rand fan. Why do you think you can’t be devout and an Ayn Rand fan?

maybe possible, but its hard! I googled ayn rand and atheism and there were a bunch of quotes:
http://atheism.about.com/library/quotes/bl_q_ARand.htm

Rand idolized Aristotle, and lamented his religiousness. Not everyone disdains people who don’t completely agree with them … that isn’t what you mean, is it?

you admire Ayn rand ideas, but clearly some of them have very atheistic. I really not sure how you join up that with your religion.

The best (or boring, if you aren’t into it) conversations I’ve had have been discussions about where Rand was right or wrong. I talk about Rand and think about her ideas all the time.

I’ve literally run them by God.

we could talk about this later. I would like to know how its possible…

Anyway, if you think Rand is somehow an anathema to religious conservatives, you’ve never seen their bookshelves.

Axe on August 30, 2012 at 12:18 PM

hmm, its mind boggling.

nathor on August 30, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Wow, no perfect fit? Get in line. I bet you bemoan the fact that Republicans don’t do more to include minorities.

Cindy Munford on August 30, 2012 at 10:19 AM

ok, but dont ask me to be a partisan. I am not. what I don’t like to see in the party that I probably vote for, I will say it.

nathor on August 30, 2012 at 2:19 PM

ok, but dont ask me to be a partisan. I am not. what I don’t like to see in the party that I probably vote for, I will say it.

nathor on August 30, 2012 at 2:19 PM

Oh, so you arrogantly suppose you can think for yourself do you? No pigeon hole you can be stuffed into, huh?

Foxhound on August 30, 2012 at 2:36 PM

you admire Ayn rand ideas, but clearly some of them have very atheistic. I really not sure how you join up that with your religion.

I don’t.

hmm, its mind boggling.

nathor on August 30, 2012 at 2:07 PM

I believe you.

Axe on August 30, 2012 at 5:10 PM

I believe you.

Axe on August 30, 2012 at 5:10 PM

so, exactly how it works? what parts of ayn rand philosophy you agree with, and which ones to discard?

but of course, my affirmation stands, Paul ryan, as a huge fan of ayn rand:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Ryan#Political_philosophy
ryan words:

he said he grew up reading Rand, and that her books taught him about his value system and beliefs

and that value system included:
http://atheism.about.com/library/quotes/bl_q_ARand.htm

How Paul can be a devout christian? I dont buy it! there is something wrong and I believe Paul is playing believer for political reason.

but ofcourse, Paul went up a few points in my chart.

nathor on August 30, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Foxhound on August 30, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Actually, I live in NW MS. And, you?

kingsjester on August 30, 2012 at 6:35 PM

How Paul can be a devout christian? I dont buy it! there is something wrong and I believe Paul is playing believer for political reason.

but ofcourse, Paul went up a few points in my chart.

nathor on August 30, 2012 at 5:53 PM

I would argue with you if I could figure out what you were arguing.

You presented evidence that Ryan likes Rand, but that’s just a fact on the table, and I didn’t argue with it. Then you showed me that Rand was an atheist, which is something I assume anyone that knows anything about Rand already knows, and that fact also sits on the table.

Then you asked, again, how Ryan can be Christian. Somehow, you think Rand being an atheist precludes Ryan being a Christian if Ryan learned anything from Rand. But I can’t see any relationship at all. You might as well be saying, “Therefore Ryan hates spaghetti.”

So I am going to have to let it go.

To the question of what I learned from Rand, just imagining all the typing it might take to bridge the disconnect between us makes me tired. And it really doesn’t matter anyway; it was never the point.

Stuff.

I’m glad your belief that Ryan is being deceitful made you think better of him, and I hope you vote Romney/Ryan when you have the opportunity.

Axe on August 30, 2012 at 8:48 PM

As a non-believer, the only thing I have to say is “You go Gov.!” Great stuff, and he will be an asset to the campaign and to the administration should Romney want him for some position. Good job!

georgeofthedesert on August 31, 2012 at 12:52 PM

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