God-o-Meter remarked recently that for a former Baptist preacher whose web site’s top issue baskets are “Faith and Politics” and “Sanctity of Life,” Mike Huckabee’s having an awfully hard time lining up A-list Christian Right support. Today’s Politico reports that the cold shoulder is driving his campaign batty:

“They all say Mike Huckabee is a great guy — and then they say he can’t win,” laments campaign manager John “Chip” Saltsman, explaining what inevitably happens when Huckabee meets with top leaders of the religious right.
“‘If you get traction, come back to us,’” Saltsman recounts them as saying, to which Huckabee, in his typically lighthearted manner, replies, “Guys, you are my traction.”
…. “It almost becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy,” Saltsman admits.

While Christian Right leaders continue to chalk their tepid enthusiasm for Huckabee up to viability concerns–Huckabee was, after all, outraised five to one in the last quarter by Ron Paul–God-o-Meter believes it runs deeper than that. Huckabee’s compassionate conservatism 2.0, which includes advocating for the environment and for arts in education, must send shivers up the spines of the old line culture warriors. Consider these snippets from Huckabee’s web site:

Real faith makes us more humble and mindful, not of the faults of others, but of our own. It makes us less judgmental, as we see others with the same frailties we have.
I want to provide our children what I call the “Weapons of Mass Instruction” – art and music – the secret, effective weapons that will help us to be competitive and creative. It is crucial that children flex both the left and right sides of the brain…. Art and music are as important as math and science because the dreamers and visionaries among us take the rough straw of an idea and spin it into the gold of new businesses and jobs.

Not exactly a carbon copy of James Dobson’s Things To Do list.


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