Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Huckabee and Clinton marketing their Christianity

Clinton sent out an AP story about her church attendance in Iowa:

The Clinton Campaign has just emailed its religious supporters a copy of this Associated Press story on the Senator's appearance yesterday in an Iowa Methodist church.
Huckabee is running an ad in Iowa advertising that he is a "Christian Leader:"

The Huckabee ad, entitled "Believe," begins with Huckabee's emphasis on the importance of his faith. "Faith doesn't just influence me," he says. "It really defines me." A few seconds later, the words "Christian Leader" are emblazoned on the screen. Even TV evangelist Pat Robertson, a leader in the emergence of Christian conservatives as a major bloc in Republican politics, didn't appeal to voters with such a strong emphasis on his personal religious faith when he ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 1988 - and finished second in Iowa.

What's striking is that it's not until the end of the Huckabee ad that the words "Authentic Conservative" pop up on the screen. As a result, I don't think it's a stretch to say that, at least in this ad, Huckabee has made his political views secondary to his religious beliefs. Perhaps this is what Christian conservatives in Iowa want to hear. But Huckabee may be risking a backlash.

Do we really need the name of Christ selling yet another product? I wonder if marketing their faith will work for Huckabee and Clinton or will their actions bring to the Iowan voters' mind this:
"Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.