Political Earthquakes: Jim Wallis on the Obama and Huckabee wins in Iowa
Jim Wallis, author of “God’s Politics” and editor of Sojourners magazine points out a handful of interesting comparisons between Obama and Huckabee:
Both Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee are staking their political future on the U.S.’s hunger for change. Obama has turned the spiritual power of hope into a political vision that is inspiring a new generation. Huckabee also loves the religious language of hope and thinks of himself as a modern day David who has taken on the Goliaths who rule the people instead of serving them.Each has a compelling personal story of humble beginnings leading to great success. Barack Obama’s personal and racial history – having a white mother and African father and growing up in both Indonesia and multi-cultural Hawaii – makes him a very compelling agent of change. By winning over the majority of white voters (even in a place like Iowa) Obama has made new U.S. history and many consider him to have a serious chance to become the first African American president of the U.S.Mike Huckabee also touts his poor beginnings and easily blends his social conservatism with a biblically sounding economic populism that takes on Wall Street Republican elites and appeals directly to the working class. After playing bass with Jay Leno’s band, he told the late night television audience, “People are looking for a presidential candidate who reminds them more of the guy they work with rather than the guy that laid them off.”Both say they care about the poor. And both attack the special interests of wealth and power which stack the political deck against poor people and working class families.
Both Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee talk about moving beyond the political categories of left and right, liberal and conservative.
On foreign policy issues Wallis points out:
Both have criticized what Huckabee recently called the “arrogant bunker mentality” of U.S. foreign policy. And both believe the best way to change that is not through merely demonstrating the U.S.’s power, but rather by really talking to other nations – even our enemies – and by leading with more with generosity and compassion than with just military might.
Thoughts about the win? About the comparisons? Are they viable candidates?