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Huck on Leno

Well, he was good. Like Clinton, he showed he has some musical talent and for a Republican politician is a cool guy. Jay (apparently not a member of the Republican establishment) didn’t go for his throat. Huck compared himself to Obama--and he sort of meant inspirational and liberal or at least compassionate about the real causes of human suffering. But there’s a difference; he’s pro-life. Studies show that young people today are more pro-life and more liberal (in this sense) than their parents, and if Huck weren’t a bit too Arkansan and and somewhat too evangelical he would be energizing the young in a Republican/Obama way. (Lots of evangelicals are already for Obama and others hold back only because of the "life issues," and some Huck supporters will surely turn to him next.) According to the editors of NATIONAL REVIEW,
Republicans are more free-market, more nationaist, and more traditionalist than the Democrats. Huck, as Jonathan Adler remarks on the CORNER, defies this left-right characterization. I admit that means he’s not right as the Republican nominee, but he does appeal to a swing constituency that is vital for winning the election and could easy be swept by Obama.

Discussions - 9 Comments

Huck weren’t s bit too Arkansan and and somewhat too evangelical he would be energizing the young in a Republican/Obama way.

He has Peter, you've just missed it.

"Lots of evangelicals are already for Obama and others hold back only because of the "life issues," and some Huck supporters will surely turn to him next."

No evangelicals that I know of (either public figures or people I know personally) are supporting Obama. Do you know any? I think this is a myth. I find Obama more personally appealing than Hillary, but I would never vote for the guy.

Clint, I do miss a lot, so you might be right. And, yes, I do know lots of evangelicals for O. Have you noticed that evangelicals are trending left and green. When we interviewed the finalists for the presidential scholarships at Berry last spring, I sometimes asked the students (almost all evangelical or something like that) who they supporter for president. The only answers I got were negative ones about Hillary and sometimes very positive ones for Obama [about him being inspirational etc.) We just had a candidate for librarian at Berry who inspired suspicion from our faculty becuase he was clearly evangelical and from a small Baptist college. Our too cool for church faculty assumed he'd be too conservative. But I went to this guy's website, and in the midst of praise for various kinds of Christian books was extravagant praise for the big O's audacity book and his wonderfulness as a beacon of hope and all that. Yes, I could go on...

I did an interview this morning on the local news discussing almost precisely this-I've noticed a lot of evangelical support/curiousity gravitating around Obama although I think his abortion position will prove hard to swallow if the GOP fields someone solidly pro-life. Also, a lot of today's results seem to hinge on the difference between enthusiastic and organized support--so much of one's chances for success in an Iowa caucus has to do with the having a well organized political machine at one's disposal--you simply have to move bodies to the caucus. Both Huckabee and Obama have more zealous support than Romney and Clinton but might suffer (particularly Obama's crowd) from a lack of reliability and a less experienced team working out the logistics (Is Huckabee providing babysitter's?) One great advantage Edwards has today is that his support is zealous, reliable, and his organization very disciplined.

Peter, I guess I need to get out. I have never met any of these people. I keep reading about them and hearing about them, but I have never met one.

Could it be that some of these folks were saying what they thought the school faculty wanted to hear? How can Hillary be bad but Obama good? They differ substantially on nothing other than the War. I do think they differ temperamentally, and I think Obama's "can't we all just get along" rhetoric is at least somewhat genuine.

But Hillary bad, Obama good is either cognitive dissonance or incredibly shallow.

Also, are these "evangelicals" theologically conservative? Most politically liberal Christians that I know are theologically moderate to liberal as well.

Not only that, one of our best graduates ever [UVA Law, Fordham MA) (Ryan Rakness)--an evangelical turned Catholic whose basically very conservative--told me just last night that he was more impressed with O. than any other candidate. His parents, still evangelical, like Huck.
I must add: O. doesn't do much for me personally. Despite his excellent education and classy background, I don't hear him actually saying much. Unlike George Will, I find him more boring because he's curiously unmoved or unaffected by the struggle of black Americans against prejudice and for recognition. (I'm a big fan of both John Lewis and Clarence Thomas.)

Obama has a conversion narrative that probably appeals to evangelicals who haven't looked too closely at the church in which he professed his faith (an Afrocentric congregation in the very unevangelical and extremely liberal United Church of Christ). He also offers some talk about personal responsibility, which I examined in an essay ("Barack Obama's Profession of Faith") posted at a site I can't currently access.

Peter, you make good comparisons of Huck and Obama. Huck is of course a lot more conservative (he is a natural rights, free market, America first guy) although both share an evangelical faith. One other difference is communication. Obama is a "great speaker" but he uses a lot of large words that don't always make it through. Huck meanwhile is a story-teller with the best of them. Huck can undress Obama rhetorically and will swamp him with the evangelical vote.

The key is that Huck has a lot of young GOP support.

Peter, first off Obama is boring because he's boring, because he's devoid of passion and fire. You can't affect a passion that isn't there.

As for Huck and his supporters, you're not taking Hicks seriously. Perhaps you still have in mind that Christmas card photo of the Huckster's family, that you linked to previously, but it's hard not to conclude that you're too busy looking down your nose at the gaucheries of provincials like old Huckabee houndog, instead of observing the traction he's finding within the party. And then moving on from that and asking WHY is Huckabee finding traction. Had the party leadership governed consistent with the party platform, Huckabee wouldn't even be a candidate.

Romney is a cynic's cynic. If he thought that he could get the nomination by proclaiming devotion to abortion, open borders and free Viagra, he'd do it in a heartbeat. There's NOTHING he wouldn't throw over if he thought it would get him the nomination. The ONLY thing he's committed to is himself.

Huckabee is NOT like that. I'm not a Huckabee supporter, but he represents a refreshing alternative to the cynicism that we've seen since the Reagan years, what with GHWB, Bob Dole and GW. Those three men aren't true conservatives. Sure, they'll throw a bone occasionally to the conservative base of the party, but even that is begrudged. The base has had it. They're furious, and if they knew but the half of it, they'd be up in arms.

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