A short time ago, I wrote in jest about what I would do if I am elected president. Of course, that was written all in good fun.
Like most of you, during the summer and into the fall, I've been watching, listening, studying and praying about who could lead this country as our next president.
I won't leave you in suspense. Though Giuliani might be savvy enough to lead people, Fred Thompson wise enough to wade through the tides of politics, McCain tough enough to fight terrorism and Romney business-minded enough to grow our economy, I believe the only one who has all the characteristics to lead America forward into the future is former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
Newt Gingrich called Mike very effective. "If Huckabee can find money, he will be dramatically competitive almost overnight." Bill Clinton called Huckabee the "only dark horse that's got any kind of chance. He's the best speaker they've got." There is even a pro-Huckabee swell rising among the younger generation.
More than anything he has done or can do, however, it is first who Mike is that impresses me most. Mike is a committed husband and father. He always has prioritized his family before politics. His wife, two sons and daughter speak his highest praise.
Mike Huckabee already has proved his ability to lead our citizens as lieutenant governor for three years in 1993 and governor of Arkansas for the following 10 years. Time magazine called him one of the best governors in America.
As governor, Mike led the citizens of Arkansas through difficult conditions. He balanced the budget each year, enhanced technology in commerce, was tough on crime, used tobacco lawsuit monies to better health care, initiated a toll-free hot line to report tips on government corruption and 16 times had to endure the long nights of the soul before he gave permission for executions to proceed. He also initiated the ARKids First program, cutting the number of uninsured children in half.
Mike Huckabee will fight for the issues that lead us safely, and with prosperity, into the future: reviving health care; implementing a fair tax; creating more choices for education; stopping illegal immigration; winning the "war on terror"; saving marriage; protecting the right to life; and achieving energy independence.
Does the fact that Mike Huckabee served as an ordained minister create a disadvantage to his election or presidency? Not if one knows Huckabee and history.
First, many may not realize there was an active clergyman (Presbyterian minister John Witherspoon) among the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
And two others had been ministers previously. Others were sons of clergymen. Virtually all were Protestants.
Signers of the Constitution even included Abraham Baldwin, a minister. Others had studied religion but never were ordained. And again, most signers of the Constitution were also Protestants, except two, Carroll and Fitzsimons, who were Roman Catholics.
Mike is a compassionate Christian conservative. Though solid in his faith and standing for traditional family values, he's not an uncaring extremist. He lives what he believes and respects others' beliefs even when they disagree with him. He's committed to a republic that was founded upon the free exercise of religion.
It's time to quit choosing our leaders based solely upon charisma or one strong suit and move back to being a culture that esteems and elects its leaders because of character and qualifications. It's substance, not pizzazz, we should want in a leader. Mike Huckabee is the real deal.
So can a man who was raised in a poor background from Hope, Ark., become governor then president? As Mike says, "Our country has already proven that!" What I would ask of people is: Give Hope another chance! This time they want to send in the real cavalry.
Keep Hope alive! Join my wife Gena and me by electing Mike Huckabee in '08!