Our local paper, the Dallas Morning News, made two endorsements this morning, one for each party. The DMN endorsed Mike Huckabee for the Republican nomination and Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination. I think they are both good choices.
If you're a reader of this blog, you will know that I've been following the Huckabee campaign closely since last June. I personally like the fact that he is socially conservative but a bit more moderate when it comes to issues such as race, the environment, and education. This matches my own political philosophy well. I have to confess that I was disappointed with the incident of the cross in the background of the Christmas campaign ad. I don't want Christianity being used as a political tool by anyone under any circumstances. It's hard to believe that it was strictly an accident. I agree with Peggy Noonan on this one. But overall, I like Huckabee's gracious demeanor and sensible, practical approach to government. I do have a lot of respect for John McCain as well and I am actually grateful that he has been forthright about his reservations with the Christian right. At least the man talks straight. I respect his candor, experience and especially his strong stand against torture.
I'm also happy that the local paper went with Obama over Clinton for the Democratic nomination. I think Clinton is very smart and a hard worker and has done a good job as Senator from NY, though I disagree with many of her positions. But I don't trust her.
I think Obama is highly charismatic and a fantastic orator. I like his language about a purple America rather than a red or blue America. I don't buy the whole "he's a Muslim" thing. I researched it and it's just not true. I think he is a Christian in the liberal UCC tradition. I have no reason to think that he doesn't genuinely believe what he professes. I think he's very liberal on both social and economic issues, though he seems more moderate on national defense issues. He has had some people in his political past who have been connected with corruption and that concerns me. We don't know this guy all that well.
I find it ironic that people are giving Obama a pass when it comes to experience, but at the same time assert that Huckabee is inexperienced. I would just point out that when Barack Obama was in the state legislature in Springfield, Illinois, Mike Huckabee was already governor of Arkansas. (Though I do remember Ross Perot's line about Bill Clinton: going from Gov. of Arkansas to President of the USA is like going from manager of the local convenience store to CEO of Wal Mart.)
I do like the idea of an African-American President and I think that an Obama presidency would have a healing effect on race relations. But the curative effect might not be as much as some hope. I like the idea of having a woman President, but just not Hillary.
So at this point I'm still a Mike Huckabee supporter and John McCain is my second choice. I could see either guy getting the GOP nomination, which is pretty amazing given where we were 6 months ago. I am deeply committed to the pro-life cause and that is a top concern for me. I think it is the ultimate justice issue. Supreme Court nominees notwithstanding, I don't think the pro-life question is ultimately going to be decided by who we elect as our President. Our politics simply reflect our culture, and it's our culture that must ultimately be transformed. So I'll put my efforts in preaching the gospel. Our culture is ambivalent about abortion, and therefore our politicians are too.
Presidential elections are for me what Super Bowls are for other guys. So I'm having fun with this volatile race!