Monday, December 17, 2007

Why Do I Hate This Ad?

I went to Oral Roberts University. I grew up in an evangelical household. I'm "Mister Christmas" in Boston, MA--leading the fight against thin-skinned whiners offended by Santa in Winchester, Leominster and elsewhere.

So why do I hate the new Mike Huckabee ad so much?

Here's a
link to the ad, and my pal Jim Geraghty's description of it:

It's simple - just Huckabee in a red Christmas sweater, saying he's sure the viewers are "worn out" from political commercials, and so he's just going to take a moment for "what really matters" - wishing them a Merry Christmas - and mentioning that the holiday is a celebration of the birth of Christ. "Silent Night" plays quietly on the piano in the background

What's not to like? Christmas. Silent Night. Jim loves it.

Me? I hated it.

Why? I don't think it's Huckabee's clueless "social conservative/fiscal liberal" politics. I think Mrs. Bill Clinton's a joke but she's done some quality ads.

I think I hate it because it shows just how completely the Huckster has dragooned Jesus into his campaign. I knew he was going to use the phrase "the birth of Christ"--a phrase that would be a sign of political courage from most candidates, but rings of opportunism coming from Rev. Huck.

"I'm the 'Jesus' guy in this race," the ad seems to imply. "Do those 'other people' even DO Christmas? And which wife gets the gifts?"

This might not be fair to the Huckster. This could be a completely innocent ad from a guy who's just comfortable with his faith. But because of the Rev. Huck's repeated playing of the Jesus card, he's demeaned his own "spirit of Christmas" message.

Yes, Christmas should be about the powerful symbol of sacrifice in the cause of love lying in a manger so long ago. But that message has been swallowed by the "and don't forget to vote Jesus in the upcoming GOP primary" push of the entire Huckabee campaign.

Huck's "Christmas message" inadvertently reveals the problem with making Jesus your campaign manager.