Terry, I think you are right. I’ve thought for a while that the Huck was a natural complement to McCain. When Huckabee won Iowa, his partisans, and they are legion, went into overdrive. But a little Huck goes a long way with the electorate at large, and the man is going to have to get some professional help to avoid making more cringe-worthy speeches such as this (via Salon.com):
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.
I am also a Baptist (and a Republican) and given the Baptist history of having been on the receiving end of religious persecution, the last thing we Baptists should be doing is attempting to foist our view of the world on the rest of the country. That said, Mike Huckabee isn’t wrong in the larger sense that our laws should reflect our standards of right and wrong. And that the true source of those standards is the word of God.
Politically, if Mike Huckabee can dial it down a notch on the stump, and just be the honorable, God-fearing man that he appears to be, then he will be a great asset to John McCain. If, on the other hand, he goes on about how he wants to change our laws to reflect Scripture, then we Republicans will go down in flames this year.
Relatedly, John McCain surprised a lot of folks last year when he identified himself as a Baptist (e.g. Fox News story from 16 Sept 07). But he’s one of those “safe” Baptists who don’t talk about their faith in public overly much. No, John McCain doesn’t talk about his faith. He lives it.