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Huckabee's Home-Schoolers and Caucusing 101

Peter Slevin and Perry Bacon Jr. look at the importance of the home-schooler community in former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee's rise. "Huckabee's name is no longer a mystery to Iowa's Republican voters, in large part because of an extensive network of home-schoolers...who have helped lift his underfunded campaign from obscurity to the front of a crowded field," they write. "Opinion polls show that his haphazard approach is trumping the studied strategy of Mitt Romney, who invested millions only to be shunned by many religious conservatives...who see the former Baptist preacher from Hope, Ark., as their champion." Michael D. Shear reports on former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani's new focus on Florida as his campaign "has all but abandoned his public efforts" in Iowa and "petered out" in New Hampshire. "If Giuliani wins the nomination, he will probably have to do it in a way that no candidate ever has -- going without a victory for almost a month," he writes.

In Style, Libby Copeland unpacks the confusing process of caucusing -- and why it's different from voting -- and Howard Kurtz questions the profusion of anonymous political sources taking swipes at rivals in news stories and says, "Perhaps it's time to rethink the practice."

Over at The Fix, Chris Cillizza reports that Iowa congressman Steve King has endorsed Fred Thompson, "providing the former Tennessee senator with a much-needed boost in the rapidly approaching Iowa caucuses."

And in video, "Christian Rock and Politics in Iowa," Pierre Kattar sits down in Des Moines with students at a worship at Drake University organized by Walnut Creek Community Church, for a fascinating look at some of Huckabee's young supporters:

By Web Politics Editor  |  December 17, 2007; 11:05 AM ET
Categories:  A_Blog , Today at The Post  
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Comments

I'm trying to decide between two candidates: Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. It's really tough to decide. Both candidates have comparable educational backgrounds that qualify them to lead the United States (Huckabee's 2.5-year bachelor degree in religion from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia is roughly equivalent to Romney's cum laude law degree and Baker scholar MBA degree from Harvard, right?). Both candidates served as governors of states that face equally complex problems (Arkansas, with its population of 2.8 million and gross state product of $87 billion, is pretty much the same as Massachusetts, with its population of 6.4 million and gross state product of $318 billion, right?). Both candidates have pre-political experience that qualify them to be President (Huckabee was a pastor of several Southern Baptist churches in Arkadelphia, Texarkana, and Pine Bluff, Arkansas and served as president of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention; no doubt equal to Romney's founding and taking of Bain Capital from a $37M fund to a $50B fund in 20 years and rescuing the 2002 Olympics). And both have wives and children that would make a great First Family (compare Huckabee family photo at http://rubechat.kfan.com/forums/thread/2297213.aspx with Romney family photo at http://blog.electromneyin2008.com/about-mitt-romney/ ). So you can see why I am having such a difficult time making up my mind . . .

Posted by: Matt_Damon | December 19, 2007 1:06 PM | Report abuse

The only thing Huckabee wants you to think is that he is some how qualified to be president because he used to be a baptist minister and a so-called true "Christian Leader". Answer me this;

*Would a true christian leader grant 1,033 pardons and commutations, including 12 convicted murderers?

*Would a true christian steal over $70,000 worth of furniture from the Arkansas governers mansion?

NO! Huckabee is a fraud that advertises his religion because where it matters, his record, he''s got nothing! Huckabee is a wolf in sheep's clothing!

*Would a true conservative support higher education benefits for children of illegal immigrants?

*Would a true conservative oppose a federal roundup of illegals from his own state?

*Would a true conservative oppose a bill requiring proof of citizenship to vote in his own state?

*Would a true conservative and his administration push for legislation to grant driver's licenses to illegal immigrants?

Mike Huckabee is not a true christian leader and he is not a true republican conservative. Huckabee is a fake, phoney special interest fraud that uses his positions of authority to promote whatever benefits him!

Posted by: wealthtraining | December 17, 2007 6:38 PM | Report abuse

bobw:
Holding the priesthood is not considered a sign of membership in the LDS church. Being baptized and confirmed a member are the requirements for membership and have been since the origin of the church. Holding the priesthood is definitely considered a privilege because it enables the priesthood holder to give blessings, hold leadership positions, baptize others, and perform other church duties, so I don't deny it is an important privilege, and not allowing it to be given to blacks was a burden and a mystery to many members who felt it was unfair. (I was a small child at the time so I don't remember it). The reason Romney doesn't condemn the policy is because as members we don't fully understand why it was there in the first place because it wasn't revealed.

If people are curious about the Mormon perspective on this issue, I would direct you to look at http://blacklds.org/index.html

Posted by: wfindlay | December 17, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Anyone interested in what Huckabee is really like face to face should try this funny (but it actually happened) column:
http://goupstate.us/index.php/lanefiller/2007/11/02/title_14

Posted by: lanefiller | December 17, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

wfindlay -

1.) Despite what you may have been taught, if 12 year olds can join the priesthood, then it is not at all comparable to priesthood elsewhere. It would be comparable to church membership or confirmation.

2.) Gender, age, and education are not the same as race. Not allowing 10 year olds to drive is not age descrimination. Requiring a Doctorate to practice medicine is not education descrimination. You could argue the gender descrimination, but again, that's quite a bit different than race, and the vast majority of Christian churches have allowed women to be confirmed members for quite some time.

3.) You mentioned "Blacks" several times. Prior to 1978 were other races banned from "priesthood"?

Mormonism is vastly and fundamentally different than mainstream Christianity, no matter how hard they may try to hide those differences. It is not "just another denomination."

Posted by: bobw | December 17, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Good News for Republicans!!! The top five/six candidates for President who now represent the Republican Party have now demonstrated a higher degree of issue expertise and are the best representatives of the majority of American citizens political views. It will be another hard campaign for the few top "finanlists", but, whoever the winner is, the voter will have a better choice than Democratic party candidates.

Posted by: jhutt123 | December 17, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

BOBSTERII:
Your comments beg for correction. Mormons never banned Blacks from church membership. This is a common misconception that unfortunately is being spread around because of our national inattention to detail. The truth is that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints did not allow black members to hold the priesthood, which is kind of the equivalent of becoming a priest in other churches, except that in the Mormon church becoming a priest is (now) an opportunity given to every worthy male member that approximately 12 years and older.
If people of other Christian denominations are upset about this part of LDS history, then why aren't they also demanding that their churches make all of their sincerely striving members priests today? It is definitely a good thing that this policy changed in the church, but people are exagerating the change.
Also, you misquoted Tim Russert in your post. When he asked Romney about blacks, what he quoted was from a newspaper story in 1978 that said, "Citing new revelation from God, the president of the Mormon Church decreed for the first time black males could fully participate in church rites" and then Russert asked Romney if he had ever wondered why he was part of an organization viewed by many as racist. Russert never asked about the church banning blacks, because Tim Russert knew they had not; he is smart enough to have done some research and didn't just buy into the superficial inaccurate soundbites that are being spread around about the LDS Church.
The fact is that blacks could participate in church membership before 1978 -- it is true they weren't able to hold the priesthood, but neither can many people today in other Christian churches because of their gender, age, or lack of formal theological training. Like Mitt Romney I am grateful this policy was changed -- it gave me the chance to serve a mission in the Dominican Republic where many black members of the church now serve as leaders and priesthood holders, in a non-white society where the church is growing steadily.

Posted by: wfindlay | December 17, 2007 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Number of times fined for ethics violations:

Mitt Romney: Zero.

Mike Huckabee: Six.

That says it all.

Posted by: jfrench | December 17, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

ON LAST WEEK'S "Meet The Press" WITH Tim Russert, ROMNEY WAS AKSED "DI HE FEEL THAT HIS RELIGION WAS WRONG ABOUT BANNING BLACKS IN THEIR CHURCH"; GUESS WHAT, TIM RUSSERT NEVER GOT THE STRAIGHT ANSWER, SAME ON THE OTHER QUESTIONS. I THOUGHT ROMNEY WAS A REAL CABDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT, BUT WE NEED SOMETHING DIFFERENT THAN ROMNEY PRESONALITY AND NO CONNECTION WITH BUSH. HE NEEDS TO RUN AWAY FROM, BUT HE CAN'T CHANGE HIMSELF, SIMPLY WRONG AND THAT IS WHY HUCKABEE IS GOING TO WIN THE HEARTS AND SOULS OF ALL REOUBLICANS.

Posted by: BOBSTERII | December 17, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

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