Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Big giant (and not particularly flattering, from where I'm sitting) Huckabee profile in the upcoming NYT Magazine. Several fascinating insights (Huckabee, still, has no national finance director), as well as this gem:

Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, has no such reservations. He considers the "Left Behind" books, in which the world comes to a violent end as Jesus triumphs over Satan, a "compelling story written for nontheologians."
Which I think is basically saying, "It's like theology for dumb people."

...Or, in other words, theology. (Rimshot!)

Update: Those who get up in arms about such things are up in arms about this bit:
I was about to jot down this piece of boilerplate when Huckabee surprised me with a question of his own: "Don’t Mormons," he asked in an innocent voice, "believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?"
Despite that fact that one of the main points of the profile is "Mike Huckabee is meaner than he looks," I do actually buy his explanation here (that it was an honest question asked to a reporter who "frankly is fairly well-schooled on comparative religions"). But I think this is a pretty good illustration of why you may want to ask someone other than a reporter when you have a question like that.

Here are a few of the conclusions from this article that I find particularly surprising:

  • "Not one of the Republican candidates is viewed favorably by even half the Republican electorate, the poll found."
  • "Even after what her aides acknowledge have been two of the roughest months of her candidacy, [Hillary Clinton] is viewed by Democrats as a far more electable presidential nominee than either Senator Barack Obama or John Edwards." ("63 percent of Democratic voters said that of all the Democrats in the race, she would have the best chance in the general election, compared with 14 percent who named Mr. Obama and 10 percent for Mr. Edwards.")
  • "Not only do substantially more Democratic voters judge her to be ready for the presidency than believe Mr. Obama is prepared for the job, the poll found, but more Democrats also see Mrs. Clinton rather than Mr. Obama as someone who can unite the country."
  • "At 21 percent, the approval rating for this Democratic-led Congress is at a new low, reflecting the defection of independent voters, a potentially worrisome development for Democrats going into next year’s Congressional elections."
  • "In fact, about as many of Mrs. Clinton’s backers say they are supporting her because of her husband as say they are supporting her because of her own experience."
  • "Mr. Edwards is viewed favorably by 36 percent." (I guess that one's not so much "surprising" as "unfortunate.")
  • "In a week when Mr. Romney delivered a speech intended to deal with concerns about his religion — he would be the nation’s first Mormon president — the poll found that little more than half of Republican respondents thought the United States was prepared to elect a Mormon to the Oval Office. That said, it also found that 45 percent were unable to say what Mr. Romney’s religion was."
People are so awesome.