Early on Harriet and I settled on five candidates as being most compatible with our Christian worldview. Over many months we weighed the candidates positions on the issues that most reflect our preferences and narrowed the field to these five. They are all respected men who profess Christian faith and have proven their conservative values in the heat of what is going to be a memorable campaign. Our decision to support Governor Mike Huckabee in the South Carolina Republican Primary on February 20 was reached by an honest appraisal of his qualities as well as several question marks about the others.
Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio:
These two individuals are remarkable men who have obviously earned the trust of
the people of Texas and Florida, respectively. Point by point they speak the
language of conservative, God-fearing, working Americans. Placing them second
and third behind Governor Huckabee on my personal list was tough. They are
outstanding men. But, they are part of a Republican majority in the United States
Senate that can't get anything done. This lowers my opinion of them for two
possible reasons---(1) they are not adept at political maneuvering and the
political finesse to move people to their positions, or (2) they are not strong
leaders. Either condition would place them behind Governor Huckabee, who
served as Governor of Arkansas from 1996-2007 in a traditionally Democratic
state with heavy Democratic majorities in their Senate and House of
Representatives and still moved the state forward. In my mind Senators Cruz and
Rubio are part of the problem in Washington. I cannot vote for them.
Once again, Mr. Santorum is an outstanding man. HIs service in the United
States House of Representatives and the United States Senate were remarkable
times of growing national exposure and influence. Losing his Senate seat in 2006
was an indication of the changing political winds in Pennsylvania and perhaps his
own personal inability to navigate them. His time out of the national spotlight is
a negative for me.
Dr. Carson is brilliant, articulate, and expresses his political positions in common
sense language that most Americans can understand. However, he appears to be
somewhat politically naive, and as a Washington outsider, may need to learn the
political savvy of elected office before stepping into the Presidency. While I
admire him greatly, he finished in fifth place among this group of five because of
his inexperience in the political arena.
Then, there's Governor Mike Huckabee. Our preference for him was more an affirmation of his person, political life, and record than a critique of the other candidates. Several significant traits were influential in shaping this review of his life and public service----
1. Mike Huckabee is a principled leader.
The circumstances of his assuming the office of Governor in 1996 are the stuff
of southern political fiction, drama all the way. His subsequent election in
1998 and 2002 are evidence of the confidence the people of Arkansas
demonstrated in his leadership. What is more, Governor Huckabee got things
done, and was named among the top five governors in the United States by
Time Magazine in 2005.
2. Mike Huckabee is a statesman.
When Mike Huckabee inherited the Governorship of Arkansas there was a
$200 million state budget deficit. In 2008 that deficit had been turned to an
$850 million surplus. With both houses of the state legislature controlled by
the Democratic Party, this required both leadership and statesmanship in the
3. Mike Huckabee understands.
Some people would say that he "gets it", and that's what I mean. Governor
Huckabee understands us common folk because he's been one. He
understands working people, because that's where he came from (excuse the
English). He identifies with disaffected evangelical Christians because he's one
too. He understands how government works because he got a lot done in his
years as governor of Arkansas. He knows middle class frustration because he's
been there most of his life.
You know, we've all been praying for men of Issachar to take over Washington, reform our monster government, and bring a sense of renewal to our nation. Well, in my little world, that's what Mike Huckabee brings to this election. He's like the men of Issachar---
Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought
to do, 200 chiefs, and all their kinsmen under their command.
1 Chronicles 12:32, ESV
And, that's what we need in the White House.