Aside from presenting himself as the one true “Christian leader” best prepared to be the nation’s first “Pastor in Chief,” Mike Huckabee’s primary campaign strategy seems to be whining about how unfairly he is being treated.
So far, while his supporters have been demanding recounts of straw polls and proclaiming that he is the victim of anti-evangelical bias, he has been busy complaining about other Christian leaders refusing to back him, saying that his faith is receiving undue scrutiny, and suggesting that there is some sort of anti-Huckabee conspiracy at work. Lately, he has begun whining that Mitt Romney is engaging in “voter suppression” and saying that Romney ought to drop out of the race because he is stealing his votes.
And now he has taken to blasting “establishment Republicans” who want him to drop out, saying that social conservatives are sick of being told to sit at the “back of the bus,” complaining that they’ve paid their dues and deserve to sit at the head of the table for once:
One day before Super Tuesday, when he hopes to regain some much-needed momentum in the South, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee told Baptist Press that the GOP must not relegate social conservatives to the “back of the bus,” as he says some “establishment Republicans” have done.
“What we’re beginning to find out now,” he told BP, “is that some of the establishment Republicans were more than happy to have social conservatives, as long as we would make sure we helped provide the vote margin to get Republicans elected and we were willing to hammer in yard signs and attend rallies and scream. But when we actually wanted to not just have a seat at the table but sit at the head of the table, make decisions on issues that are very, very important to us and always have been, suddenly we’re not welcome anymore. We’ve been asked to go to the back of the bus.
“It’s been very revealing. Either this is a party that social conservatives have a home in or we don’t…. We’ve paid our dues.”
Who knows, maybe whining is a winning electoral strategy. But since Huckabee plans on staying in the race even if he gets trounced on Super Tuesday, maybe he’ll have time to try out a campaign strategy that doesn’t involve playing the victim and that expands beyond his right-wing Christian base.