Mike Huckabee has made his announcement. He's not going to seek the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. How does his decision affect Sarah Palin? Well, that depends on a number of things.
The factor Texas for Sarah Palin is most concerned about tonight is her army of supporters. We here at this blog want to see that army grow. As many pundits, paid professionals and armchair amateurs alike, believe that no small number of Huckabee's supporters -- evangelicals in particular -- would find that coming on board for Sarah Palin would be a natural fit. But Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann also stand to gain some troops from the Huckabee ranks. The former Arkansas governor's more committed supporters will be less inclined to move into the Palin camp if they notice Palin supporters trashing their guy. Any swipes of a personal nature taken at Mike Huckabee by Palin supporters will be taken personally by Huckabee's supporters.
As Palin supporters, don't we see that personal attacks upon her are also attacks on ourselves? And if some Palin supporters are making such attacks on Huckabee, what are his followers more likely to do? Will they let it pass and support her anyway? Not when they're burning from that sort of attack. They will swear an oath not to give her their support -- not because of anything Gov. Palin said or did -- but because of the people who are supposed to be advancing her cause and her political prospects. She has been most kind and gracious toward her potential rivals. Even some who have said unkind things about her have received only humorous retorts from her in response. Which is right out of the WWRRD book (What Would Ronald Reagan Do?).
Palin supporters would do well to follow the governor's example. Nothing is to be gained for Sarah Palin by attacking Mike Huckabee's character. His record, his policies and even the manner in which he made tonight's announcement are all fair game. But Palin people should keep their opinions on Huckabee's character to themselves. We are all children of God, and we all struggle with our own personal issues. Like Gov. Palin does, let's let our faith guide us during what could be a defining moment in her political career. As Jesus told his disciples in the Book of Matthew (7:12 AKJ):
"Therefore all things whatever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets."So let us treat Gov. Palin's political rivals, whether in the race or not, as we would have them treat her. Thomas Schmitz was especially gracious on Twitter this evening:
.@GovMikeHuckabee: Good luck, U weren't my choice for the #GOP nomination but I wish U well. P.S. I love the #history cartoons! #Republicans.
Now that's class, guys. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it shows the way to win friends for Governor Palin. If she gets into the race, she's going to need all of the supporters we can help to bring over to her side, considering the type of campaign that the Democrats and some Republicans will wage against her. Besides, if you burn bridges, it makes it extremely difficult for those on the other side to cross over to yours.