Thursday, January 10, 2008

Wishin’ Mike was in Michigan (or Paris?); Will Huckabee's S.C. strategy lead to victory?

Whoever is begotten by God conquers the world. And the victory that conquers the world is
our faith.

(1 John 5:4)

After finishing third in New Hampshire, I was initially taken aback by the fact that Fighting Irish Thomas' favorite presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee, was heading not to Michigan, the site of the next Republican primary, but to South Carolina, a state whose vote was ... a full four days later! Of course, after catching my breath (something Mike has not been able to do since August), I realized Mike's strategy made sense; George Romney (Mitt's dad) had been an extremely popular governor in Michigan, while John McCain had won there in his 2000 presidential bid. On the other hand, in South Carolina (as in Iowa), Huckabee had a strong base of Evangelicals which, given time, he can personally meet—and win over, a crucial factor considering not only Mike's down-to-earth persona, but his campaign's lack of money for staff and commercials. In fact Mike will be in Michigan tomorrow (a whirlwind four-day weekend!) but short of being a Catholic saint—that is one of those rare saints who could bilocate—Huck, especially with this new truncated primary schedule, had to concentrate on one state over the other. Indeed, not even bilocation could save Huckabee on Super Tuesday, a date (February 5) when nearly half (23 states) of the country goes to the primary polls at the same time.

The good news is that Huckabee did win Iowa, an amazing David vs. Goliath victory. True, Huck says he was "pleased" with his third place finish in New Hampshire, and he did finish higher than Rudy Giuliani and Ron Paul, not to mention Fred Thompson, whose one percent of the vote barely beat out Granite State zanies (New Hampshire is the one state that allows practically anyone on the ballot, provided they come up with 1,000 bucks) Michael Skok (a middle-aged TV repairman who still lives with mom), Albert Howard (a Michigan "prophet" who said God foretold his victory over Hillary in the general election) and "Vermin Supreme" (his real, if legally changed, name). And although I realize the primaries more resemble college basketball (complete with March—and now February—Madness), I know that when the Irish lost a game 34-11 (McCain's winning N.H. percentage vs. Huckabee's), Notre Dame football coach Charlie Weis would not be happy in any way, shape, or form.

So in the end, the good news for Huckabee fans must be the Good News itself. The above quote from today's Epistle of St. John does guarantee victory, but unfortunately for Mr. Howard, not always in the present battle, or even in our present world. Still, in a campaign devoid of most earthly means (namely MONEY), the constant scriptural reminders from the Daily Mass readings (did you know that today's Communion Antiphon was John 3:16?) lends hope to his followers (both Christ's and Huck's) that He will not abandon them. Huckabee has said that his whole life, from poor child in Hope, Arkansas, to present Republican presidential hopeful, can be summed up by Romans 8:28, and since that is also one of my all-time favorite verses, I have to trust in God for the victory of the man who would guarantee that the words "In God We Trust" not be eliminated from our vocabulary.

Yes, the time grows short, and, remembering that Huck is only one man, we, the people committed to his candidacy must continue to give, whether it be time, money or both, whenever and wherever we can. And on the days we are too poor to contribute, too busy to volunteer, or (in my case) too busy to write, we must remember (to paraphrase Humphrey Bogart's immortal words in Casablanca); we always have prayers.

Here's looking at you, Huck ...

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