In Washington, Iowa, there was an interesting meeting last week between Mike Huckabee and Joseph Brown, pastor of Marion Baptist Church, who spearheaded an independent effort to recruit 99 Iowa pastors in support of Ted Cruz and was one of the first 99 pastors announced to support the Cruz campaign, chronicled by USA Today.
Brown began by affirming that Huckabee and Cruz were saying the same things on marriage. Huckabee pointed out that there was a difference: Cruz would leave the issue to the states while Huckabee supported a Federal Marriage Amendment.
Huckabee then challenged Brown to cite anywhere that Cruz had proven himself a leader:
Brown cited Mojave Memorial Cross, a case Cruz argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. “He fought and won that issue,” Brown said. “He’s stood up for the Second Amendment.”
Replied Huckabee: “Sounds like he’d be a great lawyer … I’m asking you, what has he done that gives you reason to believe he would be a great executive, which is a very different job than a lawyer.”
Of course, Brown fired back with a response that reflects the sureness every Ted Cruz supporter can have in the freshman Senator’s ability to serve as chief executive of the United States Government with every bit of confidence that Senator Cruz’s resume inspires:
Answered Brown, who caucused for Huckabee in 2008: “That’s what I like about you — you’ve been an executive for 10 years.”
This is embarrassing to the Cruz campaign. However, it points to a larger problem. Many people have forgotten the Presidency is not an emotion, or a movement, or a political football. It is a job.
Being a passionate first-term Senator, a brilliant neurosurgeon, or a reality TV personality does little to prepare you for the job of being President of the United States.
Does it matter if the Federal Government is well-administered? Ask the thousands of veterans who are ill waiting for treatment that they can’t get due to the backlog at the Veteran’s Administration. Consider the stat that one third of those on the VA Waiting lists, who gave their all for our country, have died waiting for care. That’s 239,000 veterans, four times the number who were killed in the entire Vietnam War were killed by the neglect of a mismanaged federal bureaucracy.
Don’t tell veterans killed by neglect that executive experience and competence doesn’t matter.
Bad management can sideline a political agenda. Our current president, who was a first term Senator prior to being elected, found his agenda early in his term weighed down by his incompetent response to the BP Gulf Oil spill. While conservatives didn’t mind this, we would mind if a conservative president’s agenda couldn’t be passed due to executive incompetence.
When he was Governor of Arkansas, Governor Huckabee got a lot of conservative, pro-life, pro-family, and conservative legislation passed through an overwhelming Democratic legislature from banning partial birth abortion and human cloning to a broad-based tax cut and charter school legislation.
He was able to achieve this success because he showed the people of Arkansas he cared about their needs, he cared about their businesses, and he reformed cumbersome state bureaucracies that had grown up under decades of Democratic rule. He served the people of Arkansas well and so the people had no problem with him pursuing issues that mattered to him.
Politicians get into trouble when they’re elected to office and they act like the only thing that matters is their agenda rather than the people they were elected to serve. Governor Huckabee won an unprecedented four straight statewide elections in Arkansas as a Republican, because he understood his first job was to serve the best interest of the people who elected him.
Iowa can buy a pig in a poke and hope that they get a President who will figure out how to govern or they can elect one who knows the age old secret to successful governing and vote for Mike Huckabee.
Disclosure: Adam Graham has endorsed Mike Huckabee for President and is author of the ebook, Road to Victory: A Conservative’s Case for Mike Huckabee and is host of the Truth and Hope Report Podcast which is currently airing a series, “Our Man Huck.”