One of the big questions about Mike Huckabee’s campaign is whether his brand of religion-inspired leadership will be accepted outside the evangelical base of the Republican Party. There are lots of examples of his rhetorical style that are bound to alienate Democrats (which is not that big a deal for him) and independents (which is a bigger deal for him).
One good example came yesterday, at a rally in Michigan: “[Some of my opponents] do not want to change the Constitution, but I believe it’s a lot easier to change the constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God, and that’s what we need to do is to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than try to change God’s standards.”
He was speaking about the two constitutional amendments he supports: A human life amendment to federally outlaw abortion, and a marriage amendment to outlaw same-sex marriage. Now there are lots of Republican politicians who speak of these two proposals in moral, if not religious, terms. But most of America is not used to a mainstream politician talking about inscribing “God’s standards” on our political documents. There is a backlash coming, for sure.
But it won’t hit anytime soon. South Carolina is the next contest, a state where most Republican voters go to church weekly, at minimum. Tomorrow morning, Huckabee will be meeting behind closed doors in Columbia with hundreds of South Carolina pastors. He is going for broke with the believer crowd. Expect much more God talk to come.