by Max Brantley
Fred Barnes in the Weekly Standard thinks Mike Huckabee might risk backlash from the unabashed appeal to religiosity in his latest TV ad.
For one thing, the mainstream media that has covered his presidential bid lovingly may be turned off. Reporters tend to be intensely secular. And so may Republican voters who think a candidate's political views, not his religious faith, should be front and center. Then there's New Hampshire, an unusually secular state whose first-in-the-nation primary comes five days after the Iowa caucuses are held on January 3. It's not likely to be fertile ground for Huckabee
Author Dan Gilgoff, in an LA Times op-ed, also questions the Huckabee pitch for religious purity to evangelical voters:
Does a proudly pluralistic nation want candidates openly appealing to voters on sectarian grounds -- as Huckabee seemed to do at the Values Voter Summit -- so that evangelicals back only solidly evangelical candidates, Catholics support orthodox Catholics and Jews vote for faithful Jews?
... With pundits already speculating that Giuliani may ask Huckabee to be his running mate, the onetime preacher himself might be pressured to compromise his principles in the not-too-distant future. His willingness to pair up with a social liberal would doubtless be seen in some quarters as selling out. But in the fallen world of American politics, it would probably be the best evangelicals could hope for.
Closer to home, John Brummett writes about how a disc jockey could become president on the way to a lucrative TV gig.