Gov. Mike Huckabee continues his presidential campaigning out of state. According to this blog, he was in Dallas yesterday to promote his candidacy with the Dallas Morning News editorial board.
Is Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee a closet crunchy-con? He came by the DMN today to talk to the editorial board about his run for the GOP presidential nomination. I wasn’t able to attend the meeting, but my colleagues came out of it quite impressed. I did catch the governor for about five minutes before he left the building, and aware that he’s a religious conservative who is trying to appeal beyond the usual theocon issues, I asked him how his agenda differs from GWB’s “compassionate conservatism.” He didn’t have a clear answer, but he did say that he didn’t understand how any of us conservatives who call ourselves Christians can limit our political concern to social issues like abortion. I think that’s pretty much what Bush said in 2000, is it not? Still, it will be interesting to hear what he has to say on the ’08 trail. He did talk with me briefly about the environment, and how excited he is that Evangelicals like “my former seminary classmate Rick Warren” are talking about good stewardship of the natural world as a Christian virtue.
In the short time I had with him, I asked Gov. Huckabee about Jim Pinkerton’s essay in the current issue of The American Conservative, particularly about Pinkerton’s discussion that a revival of William Jennings Bryan’s style of populism — economically progressive, socially conservative, religiously engaged — could bring the Democratic Party back to power. I asked the governor if that kind of populism would work on the GOP side. I’ll have to replay the tape to see what he said, but I recall that he found the idea at least intriguing. It sounds like he’s edging toward that sort of thing. He’s going to be one to watch, if only because win or lose the GOP nomination, it will be fascinating to see if he becomes the standard-bearer for a new generation of the Religious Right.