Mitt Romney won. The race was called as soon as polls closed. He led John McCain 36-31 with about 15 percent of the vote in and Huckabee was well back at 16-18 percent. Hillary was getting plenty of votes (63 percent) in the essentially uncontested Democratic primary. The percentages held as the evening progressed and I’m presuming there’ll be little change. So, some instant analysis:
Question: Did Democratic pranksters cross over to help Romney?
Observation: It’s a setback for the Huck. He clearly tried for a surprise in Michigan, built on an evangelical/blue collar coalition, as lovingly described by the D-G religion writer who eagerly followed the Huck’s footsteps. Huck bought ads and worked preachers. No help.
I had talked to a major newspaper reporter before polls closed who was still feeling the love for The Huckster and apparently wildly excited by his revival meetings in Michigans. I think he sniffed a Huckabee surprise. I didn’t have a clue. Whatever happened was writ on High anyway, right? Don’t know if He called Huck with the details in advance or not.
FRIENDSTERS: Wired talks with teen evangelicals who are driving a Huckabee Internet network.
GOD’S CONSTITUTION: People for the American Way gets it on Huckabee’s poor choice of words today (or maybe his considered choice of words):
Mike Huckabee, who complains that it’s unfair when reporters ask him about religion, is on the campaign trail urging that the U.S. Constitution be amended to meet “God’s standards” about the family. (Watch the video here)
I hope Huckabee’s opponents and the reporters covering his campaign will ask him exactly how he intends to change our Constitution.
AND SPEAKING OF GOD: Over at National Review, the conservatives aren’t much impressed by God’s Constitution either. Take Lisa Schiffren:
What do you think God’s standard is on anchor babies and birthright citizenship? (Manger!) Does Huckabee’s God believe in borders? What is God’s monetary policy? Is Jesus a capitalist? How much economic disparity will he tolerate? Wouldn’t God want us all to have health care? Nice shoes?
What about rendering unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and unto God that which is God’s? Mike Huckabee is going to force those of us who have wanted more religion in the town square to reexamine the merits of strict separation of church and state. He is the best advertisement ever for the ACLU. Even if you share his ultimate views on the definition of marriage, or the desirability of abortion on demand.
‘AMERICAN TALIBAN’: Daily Kos wonders when Huckabee will call for an amendment to stone adulterers to death.
TV TALK: Everybody on cable was talking about Huck’s call to take over the Constitution for Jesus. This could be a moment that marginalizes his campaign, certainly it will be among people prone to be put off by a Baptist preacher in the first place.
It began with 17 minutes of irrelevance — Brian Williams and Tim Russert vainly trying to restir the racial pot to a boil. The candidates would have none of it. It was a total non-aggressiion pact, with apologies for missteps all around. Even John Edwards joined the let’s-look-forward-not-back spirit of the thing.
The candidates flat let the air out of moderator gasbags spoiling for a fight of their making.
Imagine. Talking about issues of importance to voters instead of personalities and who-shot-John belaboring of campaign minutia?
A very smart move for the Democrats.