While the Dems seem to snatch the "A List" celebrity endorsements with Hillary snatching half the stars in Hollywood, Edwards snaring singers such as Jackson Browne and Bonnie Rait, and Obama and Oprah forming the "O" team, the Republicans instead scramble for strong conservative endorsements often outside the world of entertainment. And to many observers, all that's left for a low-profile guy like Huckabee is a plate of scrambled eggs—an eclectic assortment of endorsements, many of whom normally would have nothing to do with each other. And when sorting out the weird world of politics, that might be not such a bad thing after all.
Of Huck's latest four endorsements, motivational speaker Zig Ziglar might be the biggest fish of the bunch. Ziglar, not only an internationally acclaimed speaker, but author of twenty-six books that stress the philosophy of hard work, common sense, fairness and commitment, said, "I'm excited to be supporting Mike Huckabee for president ... I believe he is the best representative of the [American] conservative movement." Zig also happens to be the favorite speaker of former Notre Dame head coach (and Champion of Faith) Lou Holtz, not a bad motivator himself. In Holtz's book The Fighting Spirit, Lou quotes a memorable Ziglar speech when Zig discusses a bumblebee's ability to fly, "Most aeronautical engineers will tell you that there is no possible way the bumblebee can fly. His wingspan isn't broad enough, he is too heavy, and his body build makes it impossible for him to fly. Fortunately, the bumblebee doesn't understand aeronautics, so he just goes along and flies," kind of reminds you of a candidate for president whom most experts say just can't win, but keeps running anyway, doesn't it?
By comparison, New York Times' best-selling Christian author, Jerry Jenkins, has authored more than 170 books, making him the Thomas Aquinas of Evangelicals. Despite the fact he is also the owner of the Christian Writer's Guild and former v.p. of Chicago's Moody Bible Institute, I must confess that since my education has largely been formed by the lives of the saints, the encyclicals of the popes, and the Bible (with some great Catholic fiction in between), I know very little about his writing, although I do listen to the Moody Bible radio station when the Relevant Radio signal is out of range. "I resonate with [Huckabee's] personal character and values," said Jenkins. "This is the first time I have ever publicly endorsed a candidate, but that's how strongly I feel about Mike."
If I'm not particularly into Evangelical best-sellers due to my zeal for the Catholic classics, I have even less interest in the psuedo-sport of professional wrestling. Still the endorsement of Huck by Ric Flair, former WWE and WWF megastar, carries a "muscle" all its own. Flair was adopted by Richard Fliehr at an early age, his real birth name unknown due to a scandal at the Tennessee Children's Home Society. Flair (a.k.a. "The Nature Boy") won a state private school wrestling championship in high school, but later dropped out of college to become a professional wrestler after meeting AWA star, Verne Gagne. Flair was just about to break into the big time when a plane crash broke Ric's back in three places, and doctors told Flair he would never wrestle again. Undaunted, Flair threw himself into physical therapy, and less than two years later, won his first of many NWA Championships, and today he continues to inspire all who attempt to come back from physical hardships and handicaps.
Of the four, off-his-rocker rock-star Ted Nugent's endorsement seems the least likely to inspire Christian conservative confidence. First, the "Motor City Madman's" radical hunting mantra has made him a marked man among animal lovers, and rumors have it that PETA has his poster up as "America's Most Wanted." On the flip side, his rock lyrics ("When in doubt/I whip it out; I got me a rock n' roll band ... it's a FREE for ALL") despite Ted's claims of "all in good fun" aren't likely to replace Charles Wesley's in main-line Christian hymnals anytime soon. But closer to the radical message of the reformed family man may be his appearance on the Kevin Matthews radio program several years ago.
When Matthews asked him how we can recapture the traditional American values, the never-predictable Nugent told his host he could change America forever in less than a minute, if Matthews would give him that much unedited air time. Bracing for the worst, Matthews agreed—only to be shocked—in a positive way—by hearing Nugent devoutly pray the Lord's Prayer.
While it's true that the Our Father may never lead to perfect unity unless it's recited in communion with the Communion of Saints before Holy Communion during the liturgy, Nugent's recital may signify that Huckabee's endorsers, while lacking the perfection of star power that some voters often desire, may be the perfect divergent coalition of Christians to bring the Huckabee nomination home.
Our Lady Queen of Victory, pray for Huck—I know you're not in the business of endorsements, but if you could just give Mike the strength of his namesake archangel, I know that all will be well.