There are a handful of times in life where you get to experience something that has the feeling of brushing the presence of greatness. In my life at various times that has been something I didn't always realize up front. But having returned from a day and a half and a sum total of nine events over that period of time with one person in particular I have to tell you... I think I did this weekend.
In December of 2006 I wrote a column in which I was the first pundit in America to predict that Barack Obama would be president in 2009. I predicated that theory on a number of variables, but specifically foreseeing the possible match-up against a candidate John McCain, I felt that the overwhelming historicity of the race, the lack of specifics that the substance would come down to in the debate, and the inability for a candidate like McCain to take Obama on squarely would work against him, and in favor of Obama. Boy did I call that one...
Knowing that McCain as a candidate would have a squleching effect on the base, and more or less finish him off, was primarily due to one large reason. He did not wish to embrace evangelicals.
He was offered significant help by major marketing firms that could have put him directly in front of evangelicals, and should he wish to champion the issues, character, and enthusiasm they would have brought to the trail, it was well within his realm of influence to reach out to them.
Instead he chose badly. He made a strategic decision NOT to offer the hand to faith based people, and as a result Obama was given free reign on the matters that people of faith cared about. McCain never even challenged, nor disputed blatant statements made by Obama that violated the basic conscience of the Bible-believing Christian.
Riding the wave of that bit of history, running a campaign on nothing but empty words of "hope" and "change", and being left unchallenged intellectually, and spiritually on his messaging, Obama ran the table, and my prediction came true.
I saw it all in December of 2006...
I'm a wee bit weirded out by what I'm about to tell you, mostly because there is so much time to go until the campaign for 2012 begins, but I believe that Governor Huckabee will win the nomination, and in a very possible scenario President Huckabee will place his hand on the Bible in January of 2013.
But like my impressions about Obama, this is not a random feeling I have but rather an atuned set of circumstances that would pave the way for it to happen. (Some of which I've even begun referring to on this blog...)
Here they go:
1. Unlike the 2008 contest - the conservative message will be the ideas that the American people will be seeking. In only 75 days President Obama has distinguished himself as the most progressive, least values oriented, furthest left, most hostile to faith, risk, productivity, national welfare, border security idealogue the nation has ever seen. His attempt to devalue the American currency alone sets him in a class already of running the risk of being perhaps the most anti-American President to reside in the White House. His love for the limelight, his empty suit/no experience abilities in solving real problems are unable to hide his leftist principles/tendencies and he is being exposed. Buyers remorse is high, and the move towards sound economic policy will be the screams from every sector of the economy. In unison, the employee, the business owner, the manager, marketer, producer, and seller will all be screaming for financial policy overhaul. America presently has the second most punitive tax policy towards business in the world. This cannot continue to be the case and expect our economy to rebound any time soon. President Huckabee's financial policy message for the foreseeable future will be the fair tax. Taxing consumption is an equal opportunity tax, and people pay only on what they consume, the need for the IRS would be history, businesses would feel the freedom of venture, risk, and opportunity to return and the growth cycle economy would see historic achievement.
2. Unlike 2008 - the genuine believers in the social/moral causes of the day will be empowered. Barack Obama has turned out to be a lie of historic proportions. He has not championed the inclusion of Christians nor their perspective in his cabinet. (There is not a single born-again Christian advising him in any capacity.) His view of morality is absent, and his moral judgement is then flawed because of the absence of values in his own soul, much less his Godless policies that he's already pushed far harder than any Christian who voted for him ever believed he would. The persecution that is already being unleashed on the American Christian culture will continue to grow, but Christians will benefit from this in the purification of doctrine into action. In doing so, genuine believers will develop greater conviction on living faithfully, and their stewardship in their portion of "We The People" will be taken far more seriously. They will look for and expect from those they support to deal with the issues of the day with transparent honesty, individual decency, and lasting integrity. In short Megan McCain is NOT the future of America and the McCainish disdain for moral clarity will in turn be disdained. President Huckabee will be someone the nation will be proud of in terms of his personal character, his pragmatic insight into solving problems, and his ability to help those who even dislike him initially to be swayed with humor and humanity.
3. Unlike 2008 - a base will emerge and rally to the Governor's aide. Unlike the non-enthusiastic campaign of Senator McCain, Governor Huckabee will have vibrant, faithful, and enthusiastic volunteers who form armies in every state. It is an easily provable fact that had Senator Fred Thompson not remained in the race in South Carolina (thus doing a favor to Senator McCain) Huckabee would have steamrolled McCain and taken the momentum in Florida. To lose to McCain by a single point in South Carolina stole the momentum away, allowed McCain to claim the mantle, and head to Florida with a lead in last minute fundraising. This will not happen in 2012. Huckabee's brand will be the most established voice and brand of the GOP by the time the primary elections get underway. And hopefully this time National Review will not be bought off by alias PACs funded by the Romney camp to create abjectly false impressions and misrepresentations of Huckabee's platform while overlooking significantly noticeable gaps in Romney's. (As an aside, I spent more time with Romney and Huckabee in the 2008 primary than any two of the other GOP candidates... I like both men personally. And would've supported either of them in the general election. But make no mistake about it, Huckabee is the more electable of the two.) These impressions formed outlandish mischaracterizations by some conservative icons of Huckabee in 2008. But by having his own talk vehicle, platform, and extended reach through ABC network commentaries and the Fox News Channel's television network, Huckabee is avoiding any future dependency on a singular conservative outlet getting his message out. He's taken control of the message, and the distribution rights of the medium, and he won't be bullied in 2010,11, and 12. The home-school groups will return, so will the college kids, so will African American and Latino voters -- all of whom share a natural affinity with Huckabee that will be lacking in every other GOP candidate. They will volunteer for him, they will walk districts for him, they will pull all-nighters for him. Because they will see their efforts in doing so as them being able to take charge of their own future.
Long story short I've just completed two days and nine events with Governor Huckabee. In multiple settings from private meals to public speaking, from morning church to a University convocation service (pictured above) he was embraced and given standing ovations in every location. (Including the 10,000 college kids picture above!)
The reason is clear... no one believes Governor Huckabee walks on water, but they have learned that his word is his bond. They hear from his heart and they see that he is more like the everyday guy than any man to ever run for President.
They also value his judgment, and his ability to speak to what they are feeling.
The combination to do those two things, combined with his taking control of his medium and message is demonstrating that even only 75 days into THIS administration Pastors across America are already telling their congregations they wished Huck had been the candidate, and knows he will win in 2012.
And after spending this past weekend watching him, talking with him, and being with him up close... all I can say is, I see what they are feeling, thinking, and saying... and there is something happening *ALREADY* that will not be able to be countered!