Governor Huckabee is a great campaigner. He is an evangelical Christian as well. Those two qualities are important, but they alone do not qualify someone to be president. The evangelical voting block should not make the mistake of voting for someone based solely on their faith. It is impossible to call Huckabee’s record as governor a conservative one. Yet the evangelical voters in Iowa did not seem to mind. The question is whether the Republican electorate has moved away from conservative principles. I don’t believe that. And should Huckabee become the nominee and his record then come under closer scrutiny, will voters still embrace him as enthusiastically? As Rush said today, GOP voters must not confuse populism with conservatism.
Huckabee is a fast learner, and a fast talker, so perhaps he will be able to convince voters that he is a true conservative. But voters need to beware of candidates who rely more on the “Christian” label than on conservative policy. Christian does not equal conservative. President Bill Clinton was a southern Baptist, and Jimmy Carter was an evangelical Christian. Neither was conservative. And given that Governor Huckabee is a charming politician/musician from Hope, Arkansas, the parallels to Bill Clinton are a little scary. He certainly enjoys campaigning as much as Bill Clinton does. Again, that is not the quality that I look for in a president. Hopefully voters in New Hampshire, Michigan, and South Carolina will do their homework. Because if Republicans want a true conservative, Huckabee is not the candidate.