BILL BERKOWITZ FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
If you are paying any attention to Mitt Romney’s choice for his running mate – and we’d all be better off spending our time doing something else – you certainly understand that there are contenders (shortlisters) and pretenders (long shots).
Amongst those on the short list are establishment-type Republicans Ohio Senator Rob Portman and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. The names of former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, a favorite amongst shut-down Medicare conservatives, have also been tossed around.
There’s another name, however, that’s being pushed by some conservative Christian leaders; Mike Huckabee, the Christian Right’s hero of the Battle of Chick-fil-A.
Whatever else the former Arkansas governor and Fox News and radio talk show host may have accomplished by initiating August 1st’s Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day – which set single day records in sales for the restaurant chain – he has suddenly been plunged into the Republican Party’s veepstakes.
Four years ago, Huckabee was thrust into the political spotlight during his run for the GOP’s presidential nomination. The former governor, who enjoyed talking about his then newly minted healthy lifestyle which resulted in losing a large amount of weight, and who also played guitar, ran a folksy, amiable, and under-funded campaign. He famously stated “I am a conservative, but I’m not mad at anyone about it.”
Steve Strang, publisher and founder of Charisma magazine, has written an open letter to Mitt Romney urging him to consider naming Huckabee as his running mate. Although Strang wrote that he has “no illusions that Romney reads” his column, he nevertheless hopes “someone will pass” his advice to the GOP’s presumptive candidate.
The essence of Strang’s argument is that Huckabee “can fire up the base” and help Romney “win what will undoubtedly be a close race.”
Strang cites Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day as an example of Huckabee’s ability to “motivate millions of Americans to do something when it strikes a chord with their deeply felt beliefs.”
While acknowledging that the only potential vice presidential candidates “are good” and that he’s “supporting” Romney “regardless of who” he picks, Strang pointed out that “Huckabee is a principled man who can mobilize the base who vote on their values.”
Strang concluded his open letter by writing: “Those are the voters you need to get elected. Sure, they are not inclined to vote for Barack Obama. But they may stay home. They know you are a good man with solid values, but they don't understand Mormonism. With Mike Huckabee on the ticket, not only do they get over that but they will get so fired up they'll turn out in droves—like they did to Chick-fil-A—and help you win.”
Then he urged Charisma readers to start a “Draft Huckabee for Vice President” campaign, and spread the word via Facebook, email and Twitter.