Huckabee Aims to Strike Balance

After SC, ex-preacher must reach beyond evangelical base
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 19, 2008 9:39 AM CST
Republican presidential hopeful, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, shakes hands at a campaign stop at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. Friday, Jan. 18, 2008.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – As he looks beyond South Carolina, Mike Huckabee strives to balance his evangelicalism with a more secular image, hoping to win support across the spectrum, the New York Times reports. Though a Christian vote even bigger than Iowa's could carry him in today's primary, the ex-preacher will soon face voters less interested in conservative Christian ideas.

To that end, his ability to paint Southern Baptist doctrine in a fairly liberal light could be a boon. In defending the ideas against criticism, “he is like Houdini,” said the president of one Christian group. But he’ll need to be careful: his comment that the Constitution should be “in God’s standards” raised questions about whether he thought the document ungodly.