December 17, 2007

Forget politics in this season of joy: Here's Huckabee's Christmas message.

It's not political, you big cynic:



I got this from Drudge, who says "HUCKABEE AD FEATURES FLOATING 'CROSS'... DEVELOPING..."

Well, I don't know what he's "developing" there, because the whole thing is a Christmas message. Huckabee tells us Christmas is "a celebration of the birth of Christ," and "Silent Night" is playing in the background. It's not like the cross is a sneaky, subliminal intrusion.

Let me confess that while I approached this video with an absolutely cold, clear view of how political it was for the Huckster to say he was setting politics aside, somewhere toward the end I got chills. In spite of myself.

102 comments:

rhhardin said...

I don't get chills. The eyebrows are strange. ``Flee!'' they say ; ``Buy a car somewhere else!''

I get chills from Bach's Christmas Oratorio, when I notice, following along, that the Chorus lines rhyme in German, though the lines are interleaved with others so you have to seek them out.

So I'm not unchillable by Christmas music.

audio of that segment.

Turns out to have been written, uninterleaved, by Martin Luther.

Paddy O. said...

somewhere toward the end I got chills. In spite of myself.

I don't like Huckabee as a candidate. But the fact is that he's really good at the approach he's taking. There's a reason people are comforted by going to church on a Sunday, and it's not always because of well-taught theology.

It's a style and approach that really captures the contemporary Evangelical pulpit ministry. So much of televised Christianity is Falwell, or TBN, or Robertson that most people don't realize how a pastor more often presents himself.

This is a pastoral message, and it's delivered with a tone and language honed over many years of pulpit teaching and family ministry.

Huckabee rose in church leadership for a reason, and this commercial shows why. It's not altogether insincere, not at all. But it is an intentional demeanor that is taught and perfected. Anyone who has served as a pastor, or with pastors, can recognize this as Pastor Mike at work.

Soothing, comforting, with an authority that isn't demanding but is instead displaying gentleness. We want to listen to him. We want to have a Merry Christmas without all the bother of politics and conflict.

It makes us feel warm.

Doesn't mean he would be a good president. But he's certainly likable. Though I'm still thinking he's feigning the pastoral side for his core ambitions of being a politician.

Alan said...

Yeah, let's put aside politics so I can tell you I'm a Christian celebrating Christmas with friends and family. Brought to you by my campaign for President.

I'm sure his son will be celebrating Christmas with him too. Unless his son's out hanging dogs.

Remember, moral values are only derived through religion.

AJ Lynch said...

Pols like Huckabee scare me. And I am a Republican since 2000.

I would like to support Obama (fresh face and name) but he does not offer a fresh approach or fresh outlook. Obama will expand and expand and bloat the govt just like Hillary and Edwards will.

B said...

Honestly - has there EVER been a political ad like this?

EVER?

You mean 2007 actually broke ground on political ads?

And a Republican . . .WOW!

AJ Lynch said...

So now I watched the Huckabee ad and he starts off with the line "aren't you tired of all the political ads" ?

Then he serves us with his political ad that panders to only those who celebrate Xmas.

rhhardin said...

I may be influenced by owning a copy of The Pastor's Model Letter Book.

On Saturday, October 27, we were deeply saddened by the sudden death of your
son, (name). Especially when a young child is taken away, we sense our human
helplessness to answer the age-long question of why this happened. We cry out
to God, frustrated in our lack of comprehension. But even though in this life
we may never have a full explanation, we do have the assurance that He is with
us. He understands our pain, and He brings comfort and hope in the midst of it.
In the assurance of Jesus Christ's death and resurrection, we are confident
that we will meet (name) again.

Dear friends, this may be the greatest tragedy of your lives. Please know that
we at First Church are standing with you. You are in our prayers, and we are
ready to listen to you when you feel like talking. Realizing the grief process
is a lengthy one, we fully understand that for a while you may not be able
to carry out the church responsibilities you have taken on. But remember that
there is always a place for you here.

In Christian love,

George said...

Ya know, he hosted a public-access TV talk show in Arkansas for a long time...5-10 years.

Very smooth, could be Andy Williams' kid brother.

jeweejewish said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
rhhardin said...

I think it's like Kabuki, or soap opera, and that you have to be into the idiom to be moved by it. Ortherwise it's just ridiculous.

ricpic said...

I'm not a Christian, but what is so hard about admitting that this message is Huckabee being completely sincere in his expression of Christian fellowship?

As to whether or not he would make a good president? Another matter entirely.

rhhardin said...

On what grounds does Huckabee offer us a Christmas message?

The ordinary Christmas message would come from a friend.

That's why.

rhhardin said...

Is this really just Survivor?

Without the cookies, I almost said, forgetting Hillary.

Zeb Quinn said...

So, is he better off for it, or would he have been better off not doing it?

Gustavus said...

Then he serves us with his political ad that panders to only those who celebrate Xmas.

"[T]hose who celebrate [Christ]mas" equals, what, at least eighty percent of all Americans? More?

I'm not a big fan of Huckabee--and I think that there's merit in accusing him of engaging in evangelical identity politics, especially with regard to Romney's Mormonism--but the idea that singling out Christmas is divisive is silly.

jeweejewish said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
rhhardin said...

I don't think it's a failing to be moved; and probably a lot of people are. I'm more curious about the difference.

I think they're differences in interest.

rhhardin said...

Basically you can't meta- yourself into an absolutely defensible position ; the only solid bottom is the ordinary, which leaves things more fluid than males at least are happy with.

I think females enjoy the complexity of it, though ; and so are interested, and willing to be moved as part of it.

Ann Althouse said...

Look, I'm not proud that things like this give me chills. I'm just being honest at the expense of my own embarrassment. It's like a man admitting that a photograph of a naked woman makes him sexually excited. This are primal responses, not intellectual judgments.

And I was at my office at the law school and under the influence of nothing but caffeine.

Meade said...

"I'm sorry kids, if she's serious, she's too silly for words, and if she's not, she's disingenuous for reasons too terrible to contemplate."

Oh please, jeweejewish, get down off your silly high horse. She labeled the post "emotional Althouse." It's her blog, she gets to express whatever she feels like expressing. Watch how graciously she allows you to add your pompous comment to her thread. Disingenuousness is your own projection. Go contemplate something truly terrible.

Meade said...

And at the expense of my own embarrassment, I'll admit there are pictures of certain women (not even naked) that sexually excite me.

(Label: sexually emotional Meade)

Paddy O. said...

Ann, I like that you share your emotional reactions.

What it does, for me at least, is get at what is happening. Huckabee wasn't looking for an intellectual stimulation. He was going for the emotional connection. And he made it.

I think analysis so often is so intellectualized that it seems that logical arguments are the only form of conversation. Your posts that share your emotional response seem much more human and real, and thus make them that much more interesting... to those of us who are also human and real.

rhhardin said...

Men have low standards so that women (who in the abstract are not great deals, even the prettiest) all have a chance with them.

Women are moved by ordinary stuff so that they help neighbors, who, owing to men with low standards, will have children.

Modern society gives us fake ordinary stuff and a reason to use it, like homey Christmas messages from Huckabee who wants votes by hooking into that response in women. Call it women's porn, which many have called it.

TV makes everything your neighborhood, producing mostly dysfunctional operation.

Men's porn is easier. They have low standards and require very little in production standards. In the original that benefits women. In the commercial form it benefits high speed internet providers.

jeweejewish said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Meade said...

Rare that it is I disagree with you, rhhardin, let me just beg your pardon and say that my own standards in porn are extremely high... essentially unobtainable.

Methadras said...

His blink rate is off the charts. Pelosi probably beat him by a few though.

Trooper York said...

I got the chills when I saw this too. But I was drinking a very cold Stella Artois at the time. I don't think that counts.

Christopher Althouse Cohen said...

Smart lighting in that ad, with the shadows and backlight all focusing your attention on his good eye (the eye that looks at you).

I'm worried all the other candidates will come out with similar ads. It's going to get pretty tiring after we hear Merry Christmas from Hillary Clinton, from Barack Obama, from Mitt Romney, etc.

rhhardin said...

The eye that looks at you

All pictures have only one eye that sees.

See Derrida Memoirs of the Blind

Robert said...

jeweejewish, are you actually being so presumptuous as to criticize someone for their emotional reaction to something? They aren't feeling correctly?

That's incredibly forward of you. We would think it overbearing in a parent or one's intimate life partner; from the electronic equivalent of a stranger walking past, it's incredibly rude.

If Ann and you were guests in my home and you were to speak to her in this fashion, I would ask you to either apologize or leave. Apparently an element of manners was withheld from your education.

Meade said...

WHAT! Hucklebee has a wandering eye? Excuse me but that is NOT sexually exciting.

It's 2007, Huck.
Get. it. fixed.

Chip Ahoy said...

OK, what was it I was supposed to feel again?

The floating cross is impressive. You can tell it's a Protestant cross and not a Catholic cross because it lacks a crucified body. Clearly, Huckabee is emphasizing the proof to humanity of spiritual life after physical death, and not the fallacy of a sacrifice, that someone died to pay for something you might could ever do.

Or maybe it was just a brightly-lit shelf.

Whatever. I sense America doesn't much care for a pastor for president, although much of what he says appeals.

ricpic said...

stellaartois.com is a fantastic site. Try it, you won't be disappointed.

Trooper York said...

I once a segment of Wild Kingdom where Marlin Perkins was sexually embarrassed by a Rhesus Monkey. He didn’t blink once!

titustits said...

I like the fact that Althouse expresses emotion and shares it with us. It makes her real.

Sometimes I think she comes across all strong and confident (which she is) but the emotions that she shares makes her human and endearing. It makes me want to give her a big hug in an unsexual way.

I also happen to like Mike Huckabee and can see why some our now supporting him. He is a likable character. I don't agree with him on much and would never vote for him.

What I find interesting is some in the conservative movement (Krauthammer, Lowrey) are now bitching about all the relgious talk coming from Huckabee.

Where have these individuals been the past 7 years? Completely mute.

titustits said...

By the way I just read the Vanity Fair piece on Angie Dickinson. She is fabulous and she still looks great at 76.

Ann Althouse said...

"Or maybe it was just a brightly-lit shelf."

And you're the kind of person who never sees the Virgin Mary in the grilled cheese sandwich or the Mother Theresa in the cinnamon bun.

But seriously... it's film. Haven't you ever learned to watch film! It's one thing when an image shows up in a water stain, but an image in a film, especially something this short and carefully made... how can you assume it's unintentional? It would be utterly incompetent to make this film and send it out without seeing the cross.

Simon said...

Robert said...
"jeweejewish, are you actually being so presumptuous as to criticize someone for their emotional reaction to something? They aren't feeling correctly?"

Basically. And the left wonders where it gets its reputation for orwellian behavior.

jeweejewish said...


Basically. And the left wonders where it gets its reputation for orwellian behavior.


Yup, the Left.

Who brought you such linguistic abominations as
The Patriot Act
No Child Left Behind
Clear Skies
A missile called the Peacekeeper


I could go on, but as Orwell famously observed We have always been at war with Islamofascism....

AJ Lynch said...

Gustavus:
I did not mean the ad was divisive- I meant he first says aren't you tired of political ads then he gives you another that is targeted at his core constituency. That is all I meant - not divisive just redundant bullcrap from a pol that just happens to meet you at the busy rail terminal a few days before the election and tries to shake the hand of every commuter. Ever see that ? If not, come to Philly sometime in the first week of November- I think the pols have to be given directions to even find the bus stops and rail stations cause they sure don't ride public transit.

rcocean said...

The Huckster is one great politican. Reminds me of Reagan. And the floating cross was cool.

If only his actual policies weren't so terrible...

Simon said...

jeweejewish:
NCLB was in my view bad policy in principle, has turned out to be awful policy in practice, and is in any event an unconstitutional abridgement of "the States' freedom to structure integral operations in areas of traditional governmental functions," National League of Cities v. Usery, 426 U.S. 833, 852 (1976) (overruled, Garcia v. San Antonio Metro. Transit Auth., 469 U.S. 528 (1985), but see id. at 579-80 (Rehnquist, J., dissenting) (predicting that Usery's "principle ... will, I am confident, in time again command the support of a majority of this Court")). I'm not going to defend it on any level.

The Patriot Act continues a long tradition of American laws being given tooth-gratingly awful backronyms, and while I don't think it's Orwellia, it's unbearably ugly. Clear Skies, I'm not going to address because I'm not familiar enough with the policy. The Peacekeeper missile's an interesting one - I can see how you can argue that it's Orwellian, but I'm not persuaded, because the posession of an effective deterrant force really can keep the peace, as the Cold War demonstrates.

In any event, the bottom line is that you're a dick and any time you level your ad hominem schlock at Ann, I'm going to go out of my way to mock and belittle you, so my advice is to drop dead, or at least, get lost and pollute some other blog. Oh, I nearly forgot. Merry Christmas. You insufferable ass.

rcocean said...

This commercial makes it obvious why the Huckster is doing so well. Down to earth, warm, modest.

Compare him to Plastic Rich guy Romney, Shouting NY Rudy, Angry ol' McCain, Grim weird Ron Paul, and Sleepy bored Thompson.

None of them can connect to the average Joe like Huckabee.

John Stodder said...

Huckabee on the ticket is the price the Republicans must pay for 30+ years of pandering to the evangelicals, of making them a decisive part of the coalition without really doing anything for them.

In 2008, the insiders thought Mitt Romney would be the latest offering to this crowd. Unfortunately, these folks don't really understand that evangelicals think Mormons are a bizarre cult. They are harder on Mormons than us secular types could imagine being, even though most of us agree it is a peculiar religion. What a mistake it was for Hugh Hewitt to try to soften them up with "A Mormon in the White House?" He called attention to Romney's disqualifier.

So in comes the talented, articulate, religiously primitive Huckabee, who is proving that evangelicals aren't all that orthodox on taxes, the war or even illegal immigrants so long as their candidate is a man of The Word and adheres to their beliefs about the literalness of the Bible.

I could be wrong, but I think after Iowa and NH, it will be clear that Romney is not a viable candidate. He might have been, had he remained a Massachusetts liberal Republican, which is what he really is. The establishment will have to pick between Giuliani and McCain for a candidate to take on Huckabee for the rest of the race. Obviously, this is not where the establishment expected or wanted to be -- running a race against the evangelicals who have served as vote farms for so many years.

But there is a high likelihood, I think, that in November it might be Obama vs. Huckabee. Two very talented guys who inspire their followers and frighten everybody else. Obama, being much less frightening to the center, will probably win. But this might be a circumstance that leads McCain and Lieberman to team up on a third-party campaign built around national security, and maybe in that political environment, it's got a chance.

Henry said...

Texas Governor Pappy O'Daniel was authentic too:

At the behest of radio fans, he filed for governor May 1, 1938. During the Democratic primary campaign in one-party Texas he stressed the Ten Commandments, the virtues of his own Hillbilly Flour, and the need for old-age pensions, tax cuts, and industrialization. Continuing his pose as a hillbilly, he acted under the professional direction of public-relations men. Accompanied by his band, the Hillbilly Boys, and the Bible, he attracted huge audiences, especially in rural areas. In the primary he smashed the other candidates and eliminated the usual necessity of a runoff.

Titusts said...

fyi-New Hampshire is not Iowa and Huckabee will not win NH.

NH is libertarian where obviously, Iowa likes the evangelical aspect of Huckabee.

I wouldn't be surprised if Huckabee wins Iowa and Mccain wins New Hampshire. New Hampshire tends to be more socially liberal than other republican leaning states. NH is less government period. Live free or die-which I love-is their motto.

Although, recently NH has tited more democratics as Massholes have moved to southern NH because of lower home prices and taxes.

jeff said...

So what's up with this jeweejewish person. Someone banned trying out a new nickname? Would it kill the left to provide someone with the mental agility and wit to provide a different point of view that, while not agreed upon, could at least be defended by that person? Or is insults all they got?

Titusts said...

Also, Portsmouth, NH is absolutely adorable.

If you ever have a chance fellow republicans check it out. It is a very cute, typical New England city.

So is Portland Maine which is very cute.

rcocean said...

"The establishment will have to pick between Giuliani and McCain for a candidate to take on Huckabee for the rest of the race. Obviously, this is not where the establishment expected or wanted to be -- running a race against the evangelicals who have served as vote farms for so many years."

Actually, the establishment would love to have McCain or Rudy as their candidate. They *Heart* McCain. But they're smart enough to understand neither man can be nominated (see Hugh Hewitt). So, if Romney pulls up lame, they'll go with Thompson to stop the Huckster.

jeweejewish said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Henry said...

Look, I'm not proud that things like this give me chills.

There's a poet or critic, I can't recall who, who wrote about getting teary-eyed over a scrap of maudlin verse printed in the newspaper. Life isn't theory.

I was watching Cars with my six-year-old the other day (for about the tenth time), and got teary-eyed over a Randy Newman song.

Huckabee leaves me cold, though.

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Stodder said...

fyi-New Hampshire is not Iowa and Huckabee will not win NH.

I didn't say he would.

What I said was, after Iowa and NH, Romney will no longer be viable.

If McCain wins NH as you predict, that will destroy Romney's candidacy.

Ann Althouse said...

"I was watching Cars with my six-year-old the other day (for about the tenth time), and got teary-eyed over a Randy Newman song."

It's fascinating when something strikes a chord. Often it seems foolish, but I recommend noticing and honoring it. It shows you're alive. You have chords! I think some people get numb/stop noticing, because it seems embarrassing or stupid -- especially if it's something that was meant to be manipulative. Then we think, it's better not to feel. But I don't think that's right. I think you can have your intellectual judgment and still preserve your connection to primitive emotions. In fact, recognizing the emotional effect of things can help you preserve good judgment. I'm certainly not going to favor Huckabee because I felt a chill when he said "God bless." I think if anything, paying attention to that helps me resist manipulation.

Simon said...

Henry said...
"I was watching Cars with my six-year-old the other day (for about the tenth time), and got teary-eyed over a Randy Newman song."

As I said in March, "You have to, I think, hold yourself open to being reached emotionally by music." You have to allow yourself to remain vulnerable. I really ought to upload this clip to YouTube, because I've talked about it before, but there's a wonderful comment from Brian Eno that while everyone prizes cool, coolness is really a state of emotional detatchment and perhaps we laud it a little too much. Perhaps being open and honest about an emotion is more risky but ultimately more rewarding.

jeweejewish said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Simon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hdhouse said...

certain to win 100% of the jewish vote that's for sure. i just saw the "message" on larry king ( i was surfing...not watching ).

oh the joys of a potential theocracy.

hdhouse said...

B said...
Honestly - has there EVER been a political ad like this?EVER?
You mean 2007 actually broke ground on political ads?"

Yes B. the earth opened up and swallowed that message whole....is that what you meant by breaking new ground or did you mean sinking to new depths of religious pandering?

a distinction without a difference.

Ann Althouse said...

jeff said..."So what's up with this jeweejewish person. Someone banned trying out a new nickname? Would it kill the left to provide someone with the mental agility and wit to provide a different point of view that, while not agreed upon, could at least be defended by that person? Or is insults all they got?"

I think this is someone who's been here and banned, and if he's not, he's worn out his welcome really quickly. He's demonstrated his bad faith very clearly. This isn't someone here to disagree and debate but only to abuse and distract.

He's now banned. Please don't talk to him. I'm deleting all his posts unread.

jeff said...

"Now we're conflating our reactions to a song by a genius songwriter and master of irony to a piece of shlock political ad by a No Non-Xtians Need Apply fundie nutjob? Randy Newman = Mike Huckabee?"

Well....No. Perhaps you should go back and read it again.

"I'm sorry...you guys are beyond parody."

To someone with limited imagination, everything is beyond parody. In your particular case, one could make the excellent point that your entire persona and posting history is actually a parody of someone with limited intelligence who's mission is to oppose and insult the owner of this blog in every possible way, no matter how minor. If that is the case, then well done. A little over the top, but parody usually is.

jeff said...

OT, but Ann does post a lot of pictures. Stolen from Balko's blog.
http://www.cs.helsinki.fi/u/hprajani/phun/Camels.jpg
Pretty cool.

peter hoh said...

I'll admit that I didn't notice the cross the first time I viewed this ad (on another site, that did not mention the floating cross).

Great work, ad guys. And what about the three ornaments in the upper left portion of the cross? Are they there to represent the Trinity?

The Trinity, of course, is a key doctrinal difference between most Christians and Mormons. Very sly, this Huckabee fellow.

EnigmatiCore said...

Awww. Christophe got banned again?

jeff said...

eh. You know what they say. Sometimes a white shelf and 3 ornaments are just a white shelf and 3 ornaments.

Paddy O. said...

I think if anything, paying attention to that helps me resist manipulation.

Without at the same time denying emotional connection altogether. That's the trick, understanding emotional responses well enough to discern the real and the manipulated. Then letting the emotional reactions be a genuine response and a tool for discernment.

That's emotional maturity.

Denying emotional reactions or suppressing them is emotional immaturity, something a lot of intellectuals suffer from.

Steven said...

There is no way that is "not political."

The three ornaments were placed on there to give it depth, so that you don't go "Is that a cross?" Everything else in the frame is blurry and softly lit, except that.

There is no way that was not intentional.

We’re electing the next Commander-in-Chief, not Pastor-in-Chief.

Simon said...

Steven said...
"There is no way that was not intentional. We’re electing the next Commander-in-Chief, not Pastor-in-Chief."

I don't care that he's religious; I am concerned about the statement he signed onto in the late 1990s indicating that he viewed women as being subordinate to their husbands. I know there are counterargument about that, and
I take those under advisement, but I just find it very, very difficult to get on board with someone who makes those statements. We all have a moral bottom line.

Caroline said...

It's fascinating when something strikes a chord. Often it seems foolish, but I recommend noticing and honoring it. It shows you're alive. You have chords!

You're absolutely right. It's normal to feel something when another person shares an emotional moment with us. It means we're human, and we can empathize. And I agree that being in tune with that side of ourselves makes us better able to spot obvious attempts to play on our emotions.

Some of the trolls seem to believe the only reasonable emotion is hatred. For them to invest so much time in anger and bitterness is pitiable. Why do they feel compelled to do it. It's not normal.

Let me modify that ... if you're a juvenile, it's normal. When my nephew was 19 he used to like to make outrageous statements in comment sections and then laugh hysterically when he got an angry response. He was surprised when I pointed out that most people just considered him an idiot. He felt that the people who got angry at him were the idiots, and that he was clever for being able to manipulate them. But he was a kid, and I suspect he eventually get bored and moved on to other things ... like internet porn.

It's your right to ban them. They are a silly waste of time.

peter hoh said...

Looks like opinionatedcatholic, who linked to your post here, is taking your first words at face value. Hmm.

Thers said...

I think this is someone who's been here and banned, and if he's not, he's worn out his welcome really quickly.

When did Blogger let you start banning people?

Clang!Honk!Tweet! said...

Thank you for that, Caroline.  As my kids are moving more and more into the online world, a big challenge is to steer them away from your nephew's attitude.  For whatever reason, the feeling of power gotten by manipulating people—or thinking you're manipulating people—appeals to adolescents, usually males.  This attitude is totally foreign to me.  Why is the ideal the Three Stooges, when it could be the Algonquin Round Table?

Testosterone and stupidity come to mind as a couple of answers.  I can't do anything about the testosterone, but I sure can try to combat stupidity.

And I want to thank Althouse for promptly dealing with a very stupid twerp indeed.

Blogger doesn't allow you to "ban" someone, but the blog proprietor sure can delete stupid crap if he or she chooses.

rhhardin said...

I was watching Cars with my six-year-old the other day (for about the tenth time), and got teary-eyed over a Randy Newman song.


D.H.Lawrence covers the situation.

rhhardin said...

Testosterone and stupidity come to mind as a couple of answers. I can't do anything about the testosterone, but I sure can try to combat stupidity.

Vicki Hearne wrote that she would someday publish an essay on estrogen poisoning, albeit under a pseudonym.

Let's not get all weepy about emotions. Men are mostly uninterested. How many dreams have they had to listen to!

But cynicism is a political position in a democracy.

Cedarford said...

I view Huckabee's ad cynically. There has been way to much talk of religious distinctions and Huckabee is waging an ultimately divisive and losing game that America wants to follow the 20% of the population that are evangelicals and literalists and thus "real Christians".

That the Terri Schiavo Fiasco was just a fluke, and America hungers for theocratic guidance in troubled times.

I would have had far more respect if the Huckster had called around and asked other candidates to appear with him, chip in some money, and send an ecumenical Christmas message. With Rudy, Mitt, confirmed Separatist Ron Paul - even Hillary! and Obama. Lieberman if he was running. But that wasn't Huckster's purpose. It was to make a religious distinction between himself and others to get those religious right votes.

Good catch by Peter Hoh. Many Baptist Christmas messages (as well as Easter and Biblical greetings cards of joy or symapthy) contain symbology of the Trinity, shown in Christmas symbols as 3 lights or ornaments on a Christmas tree, three stars above the Star of Bethelem.

My guess is it was deliberate.
Just as showing the Protestant Cross - unadorned, sans the Catholic figure of the crucified Christ on Their true Cross.

Well thought out, devious, passive-aggressive ad, IMO.

++++++++++++
Maybe Pastor Huckleberry's next ad wont be so subtle.

The only trick they missed on this one was not shifting the cross light so it gave Huckster a halo when it went behind him.

And not concluding: "what really matters is the celebration of the birth of Christ...who wasn't the brother of Satan...and never appeared in the New World...to a tribe of Jews who had crossed the Atlantic...and all that other wacky stuff if Mitt's. Nor does Christmas celebration involve transubstantiation and other insane things of the Big Cult that suppressed true Christianity for so long... I hope that you and your family will have a MAG-nificent Christmas season..."


Next up, for Huckster's planned New Years message to the Religious Right?

The Huckster runs a commercial with news he will help New Years Resolutions with his banning stuff like tobacco, fast food if he becomes President so voters can be saved from hell.

Then he will show a brief clip of what hell looks like as a warning.

With a digitally altered Mitt Romney dressed as Satan, replete with horns. Rudy and the Pope shoveling coal to fan the flames, Lieberman and Obama dressed as a shifty Hassidic and a sheikh respectively, sticking sinners like Fred Thompson and McCain with pitchforks.

Sheepman said...

The first time I heard about Huckabee was was from a post on this blog about covenant marriage. In my mind, I lumped in him with all the other nut case evangelicals preacher/politicians.

Later when I saw him in the debates, I thought it was a pleasant change to see a good hearted Christian politician instead of the usual angry ones. But I didn't think he was ready for prime time.

After watching him on Larry King today and Late Edition on Sunday, I think he is probably the most talented natural politician in the field and is ready for prime time. I like Mike, and that says a lot coming from a cynical, secular Jew.

Cedarford said...

A recap of all the candidates religions as some on the religious right see them:

Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden: Roman Catholic, a Cultist.

New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton: Methodist, in fact a Narcissistic believer only in the baby-killing false gods of Hillary and Bill.

Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd: Catholic, a Cultist. Like his buddy Ted Kennedy, his cult is buried so deep in him even he can't find a shred of it.

Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards: Methodist. Saved!

Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich: Catholic, Cultist. Also believes in UFOs. Typical of Catholics.

Illinois Sen. Barack Obama: A White-hating Christian denomination. Former Muslim. Could still be in his blood.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson: Catholic, Cultist. What did you expect?
___

REPUBLICANS:

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani: Catholic, Cultist. Habitual sinner.

California Rep. Duncan Hunter: Baptist. Saved!

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee: Southern Baptist. Not just saved, but a Leader in the coming Rapture!

Arizona Sen. John McCain: Episcopalian. Needs work to be saved. Hangs with neocons, drips with pride.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul: Baptist, betrayer who holds Constitution higher than the Bible.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney: Mormon. Heretic and Satanist.

Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo: Presbyterian. Saved! Abandoned his Cult Catholic faith 20 years ago.

Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson: Southern Baptist. Saved! But sloth is a sin. Fred better watch it.

George said...

Thompson was baptized in the Church of Christ, but he don't go too often.

Arkansas Preacher Elrod has bet $100 that they is no evidence that he is a church member.....

"Elrod is soliciting any information about Thompson having: Taught a Bible class, Presided at the Lord's table, Served as a greeter, Or led singing ("If it was 728b and you can prove it, I'll give you $100," he wagered, referring to the hymn, "Our God, He Is Alive," which is considered an anthem in the Churches of Christ).

"I attend church when I'm in Tennessee," Fred told reporters. "I'm in McLean right now. I don't attend regularly when I'm up there."

But does he serve as a greeter?

MadisonMan said...

Obama will expand and expand and bloat the govt just like Hillary and Edwards will.

Just like Bush has.

Paddy O. said...

Ron Paul: Baptist, betrayer who holds Constitution higher than the Bible.

Not among younger Evangelicals, who tend towards being anti-war. There's a generational gap that I've seen. Older folks tend towards Huckabee, younger folks towards Ron Paul, with many saying that Paul's faith is the most authentic in expression and values.

Huckabee is a cultural Evangelical, a classical Christian Right politician. All the politics of Falwell with a much more gentle attitude and personable style.

When I was at my recent college reunion the only political signs/bumper stickers I saw were for Ron Paul.

He's definitely not on the naughty list among a good portion of Evangelicals, who are increasingly not far right.

Roger said...

Ann: thanks for throwing out some of the more egregious commenters--it does a lot for the overall tone of the blog, IMO. And as others have said, and with which I agree--its your blog and I hope you continue to share your feelings as you deem appropriate.

Re the Huckabee phenomena: I know my wife, after seeing the republican debate and particularly his answer on the bible, has become a Huck partisan. On the other hand, I work with a gentlemen from Arkansas, who has all kinds of (admittedly anecdotal) stories on Huckabee's tenure as governor: patronage and revision of rules in terms of accepting personal gifts and other forms of nepotism and mild corruption.

I continue to think, conspiratorially of course, that that democratic partisans want to see him as the candidate because he would presumabably be an easy target in the general. My personal opinion is that neither NH nor IA are emblematic of the country as a whole. I will wait until the the large regional primaries where delegates and not MSM horserace stories are genuinely at stake to see what is going on. Lots of chaff out there now.

Paddy O. said...

One problem that I'm now seeing is that because candidates don't understand how to reach Evangelicals they also have no idea how to attack candidates who do reach them.

Roger's point about nepotism and Arkansas anecdotes seems big to me.

The opposing campaigns need to start hitting him right there, and in every possible way identifying Huckabee as being equivalent to Bill Clinton. They need to get people to think of Bill when they think of Mike.

Right now Evangelicals are voting for a man they see as like their pastor. Attacking Huckabee for being religious sharpens the defensive stance and makes them want to stand for him even more.

Hit him on the hypocrisy and suddenly an ad like this becomes a weight as Evangelicals will see how he is using the faith for his own ambitions.

Roger said...

PaddyO: not just my point on Huckabee's tenure: Surprising the UK Guardian did a recent piece on Huckabee's gifts and patronage (and I don't have the link).

Roger said...

Link for Huckabee gifts: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uselections08/mikehuckabee/story/0,,2227378,00.html

Question: why is the UK paper covering this and not the AP?

Invisible Man said...

I'd rather watch Huckabee and his effect on the Republican Race than a good Hitchcock movie right about know. The fact that he's used the religious base, that normally secular Republicans like Rove and the staff at NR have so cynically used over the years, and mobilized them against the Republican Establishment (Tax cutters, Free traders and general pro-business Republicans) is providing me with all kinds of joy this Christmas season. I still doubt he wins, but watching Republicans scared shitless at the thought that the Frankenstein monster that they built might have decided to attack its master is good enough for the moment.

Ann Althouse said...

Peter Hoh: "Looks like opinionatedcatholic, who linked to your post here, is taking your first words at face value. Hmm."

I know. I'm being sympathetic to Huckabee, but not THAT sympathetic.

jeff said...

"but watching Republicans scared shitless at the thought that the Frankenstein monster that they built might have decided to attack its master is good enough for the moment."

What in God's name (heh) are you talking about? Which mythical Republican's are you talking about? Has there even been a single primary yet?

jeff said...

"Arkansas Preacher Elrod has bet $100 that they is no evidence that he is a church member....."

Interesting. I think I am still a member of a church, yet have not attended in 30 years. I guess I pass the religious test.

jeff said...

"The three ornaments were placed on there to give it depth, so that you don't go "Is that a cross?" Everything else in the frame is blurry and softly lit, except that.

There is no way that was not intentional. "

What were the things on the other shelves for? What was the hidden meaning for them? What was the subtle meaning of the Christmas tree?

hdhouse said...

There isn't anything in that ad that isn't unintentional. That stuff is vetted and focus grouped to death before it goes out the door. Huckabee maybe andy of mayberry in disguise but he isn't a huckleberry that's for sure and that is rub and the fear.

Beware, always, of a wolf in religious cloth. He may be engaging and a homespun type on surface but...well, I have a responsibility in casting my vote for what is good for the entire country and now what is just good for me. America isn't homogonized milk...all white and not tolerated by a few...and its the few who concern me as they should you.

We have had all we can take of a president who governs for the benefit of the slim majority.

Simon said...

Cedarford said...
"Texas Rep. Ron Paul: Baptist, betrayer who holds Constitution higher than the Bible."

Well, I hold the Constitution higher than the Bible, so I don't see that as a problem. The three main problems I have with Paul is that his reading of the Constitution is highly dubious in places, that he's a revolutionary not a conservative, and that he's a total loon.

hdhouse said...

ditto ditto ditto simon. ditto

jeff said...

Well, I certainly have no plans to vote for him, but I have to wonder if the backdrop was put in by someone saying "put a nice Christmas tree and a wall that looks like it could be home behind him" and that people are just reading way to much into it. What would be the point? He is already talking about Jesus and Christmas. Why try to sneak a cross in there? And the 3 ornaments represent the trinity and therefor a reminder that he isn't Mormon? Come on.

Simon said...

Bipartisan consensus emerges - although I suspect that we might have to agree to disagree on which bits of the Constitution of which his reading is dubious, although there might be some overlap. :)

Cedarford said...

Yeah, Jeff, the cross was just a strange accident, utterly unplanned by Huckster's people!

Honest.

And Althouse, pouring through old legal documents at Brooklyn Law, found the deed to the Brooklyn Bridge and she will sell 1/100th of it to you for a Paypal payment of 1,000. Or you can get a tenth of the future tolls for only 10K.

***************
Simon - I of course was being sarcastic, and labeling each candidate as the religious right sees them. And Ron Paul is an oddball to the religious right.

rcocean said...

In response to Huckabee saying "Merry Christmas"; Ron Paul said American Fascism will come with a cross and a flag.

He's not only a loon; he's a scrooge.
Bah! Humbug! Are there no work houses? Merry Christmas is Fascism!

jeff said...

"Yeah, Jeff, the cross was just a strange accident, utterly unplanned by Huckster's people!

Honest.

And Althouse, pouring through old legal documents at Brooklyn Law, found the deed to the Brooklyn Bridge and she will sell 1/100th of it to you for a Paypal payment of 1,000. Or you can get a tenth of the future tolls for only 10K."


uh-huh. I can see where the two examples are exactly the same. Following up, did you know that the American money predicted 9-11? If you fold it just right, you can see the burning towers. Weird huh.

Just answer me this. His video is clearly about religion. That's the entire subject of it, right out in the open. Why not just hang a cross behind him? Why in the world would you go to the trouble of putting some shelves behind him to reflect the shape of the cross? This wasn't some sort of subliminal thing, where he was giving a run of the mill speech, but REALLY sending messages to the devout. His speech was blah blah blah, Jesus, blah blah blah, Christmas etc etc etc. Only thing it was missing was the amen. Why get clever with a cross shape, when it would have been far easier just to put a cross back there?

jeff said...

"Ron Paul said American Fascism will come with a cross and a flag."

Ron Paul needs to drop by the Berkeley campus some time.

reader_iam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
reader_iam said...

Hey! Guess what! In my neck of the woods, you can see this ad at least once an hour just by virtue of one's normal, casual flipping from channel to channel!

(FWIW, my kid was in the kitchen during one of the airings, and he--without prompting, since I was cooking, not commenting, at the time--picked out the cross justlikethat. Babes, mouths, & etc.)

reader_iam said...

So, just a few minutes ago, I flip over the rebroadcast of Anderson Cooper's show from earlier, and what is in progress? A clip from former Gov. Huckabee comparing the discussion of the cross to the "if you play it backward, it says 'Paul is dead' " legend from way back when.

Heh! I think we should Huckabee the Man from Metaphor.

(Note that he, himself, has acknowledged how much he is, and has always been, into metaphor etc.)

T.R. Clancy said...

Ann:

Trust those chills. I explore why Huckabee creeps some of us out on my blog: namely, because everything flows from his unctuous and one-dimensional unrelfective personality:

http://dearbornunderground.blogspot.com/2007/12/dont-southern-baptists-think-that.html

"And I recognize how that Baptist personality helped the[Southern Baptist Convention] grow to be the biggest Protestant group in America, and stay that way all these years. And, most of the non-Baptist commentators who say they see something in Huckabee are reacting to that very same personality. If you’ve never run across it before it can be very winsome.

"The thing is, I have run across it before, and it scares hell out of me that this guy might someday become President.

"And another the thing is, you can't expect any future profiles or magazine covers to uncover The Real Mike Huckabee, or to peel back the "layers" of Mike Huckabee, even if they promise to do so. There is no other, realer, Huckabee. There are no other layers to Mike Huckabee to peel. This is it. And all there ever will be."