When I first highlighted Daily Kos’s repeated claims that they feared Mike Huckabee more than any of the other candidates, some people (in private conversations) dismissed the claims that Kos was attempting to game the elections by supporting the only candidate that they knew they could defeat.

I thought then–and still do think–that explanation is too tricky by half.  To sustain it, one would have to think that there were a grand leftist cabal in place that Kos is the leading edge of and that Democratic strategists are only now catching up to.

That’s a good story, but as is often the case with conspiracy theories, the truth is probably much more obvious and mundane:  Democrats are telling the truth.  They really do think Mike Huckabee has a better chance to win than any of the other candidates:

“Mike Huckabee is the Republican that probably worries me the most,” said Wooten Johnson, a Democratic strategist based in Louisiana. “Unlike the other Republicans, he isn’t flawed in the eyes of the Republican base. But more importantly, he has a record of being a true compassionate conservative. He will be able to attract those suburban voters that don’t want to vote for [a] Democrat.”

Wooten is wrong about Huckabee being flawed in the eyes of the Republican base.  He has his problems, as do the rest of our candidates.  But if Democrats are any indication, Huckabee is the Republican’s best chance to win the White House.  And while Republicans wrestle with their long-term strategy and vision, shouldn’t that be rather important in our consideration for 2008?

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Posted by Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is the Founder and Lead Writer of Mere Orthodoxy. He is the author of Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to our Faith and The End of Our Exploring: A Book about Questioning and the Confidence of Faith. Follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.


  1. I agree, Matthew.

    Mike Huckabee is the candidate qualified to Lead.

    As you’ve already mentioned, people like Wooten, seem all to often to concentrate on the negative rather than the positive aspects of the candidates.

    The primary reasons I support Mike, are because he is a good Christian man, and that seems to be the area he is being attacked the most on, simply because he’s a ‘Christian’. As someone said, ‘If that’s wrong, I don’t want to be right.’ And that’s what it takes, a willingness to stand up for what is right, regardless of what popular opinon or polls say, because the world is thinking more of themselves rather than others.

    United we stand, divided we fall.

    Mike Huckabee is a Uniter, a man that will bring this Nation together, and bring Morality principles back to where they belong, in our schools…and society in general.

    God bless,
    ~ Jeremiah@Conservatives United!


  2. Speaking for myself, Huckabee is the only Republican candidate to whom I would not mind the Democratic candidate losing the general election because he is a pragmatist, not an ideologue. His tax increases on gasoline and cigarettes are prime examples of this because he recognized the social costs of these goods had to be internalized through taxes, the revenue from which went to schools and road maintenance. Sure, he signed a lot of tax cuts as well but these cases are instructive of his willingness to use the government mechanism of taxation to promote the general welfare.

    A second issue on which Huckabee is pragmatic is immigration and he supported both in-state tuition breaks for children of immigrants and provision of state services regardless of legal status. Obviously, I disagree with a lot of his stated issue positions but his stated positions would be tempered by a Democratic Congress, public opinion, and political climate.

    Of course, the things I find reassuring about Huckabee as a potential President are the things that many Republicans will find unsettling, which hurts Huckabee’s chances for getting the nomination, although I think that he is their most respectable candidate.

    He is the new Man from Hope.


  3. Matthew Lee Anderson December 8, 2007 at 12:11 pm


    I think you articulated the issues very well. I’m fine with his pragmatism on taxation, and open to his position on giving children of immigrants scholarships. However, I’m a little concerned about giving away government services to people regardless of legal status.

    I’m starting to think, though, that evangelicals are a lot more moderate on the role of government in society than people have generally thought. They are to the right on life issues, of course, but on other social issues, I’m not so sure we’re as opposed to governmental action as we’ve been characterized to be. I don’t know if that analysis is right, but if Huckabee wins this thing, the thesis may have some merit (after all, evangelicals supported Jimmy Carter…….).


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