I was one of those watching Mike Huckabee’s show on Saturday night, waiting to see what his major announcement about seeking the presidency would be. I honestly believed he would run—why else make such a big deal about calling this a major announcement? Yet when he made known his decision not to jump into the race, I came away with the sense that it was a major announcement after all, simply in the way that he proclaimed it.
Here’s what I mean. One of the key paragraphs for me in his statement was the following:
When people asked me what it would take for me to run, I would tell them the same thing—pray for me to have clarity in the decision. I don’t expect everyone to understand this, but I’m a believer and follower of Jesus Christ. That relationship is far more important to me than any political office. For me, the decision is ultimately not a political one, a financial one, or even a practical one—it’s a spiritual one.
I haven’t read much commentary on that part of his statement, but I can imagine that some view it with a cynical eye—yes, he’s manipulating those easily duped “fundamentalists.” Well then, count me as one of the easily duped because I read it as a genuine cry of the heart instead.
He went on to say that a lot of people had encouraged him to run, that he had support from his family, and that he even had expectations that the financial side would work out better for him this time. Up until a few days before making this decision, he actually was leaning toward running. Yet he couldn’t feel right about taking the plunge:
Only when I was alone, in quiet and reflective moments did I have not only clarity, but an inexplicable inner peace—a peace that exceeds human understanding. All the factors say GO, but my heart says NO. And that is the decision I have made and in it have finally found resolution. I don’t fully understand it myself—but I’m sure the pundits will. But I know that under the best of circumstances, being president is a job that takes one to the limit of his or her human capacity. For me, to do it apart from an inner confidence that I was undertaking it with God’s full blessing is unthinkable.
Again, there will be those pundits, as he noted, who will “know” why he made this decision and who will proclaim their so-called knowledge loudly. I predict most will say that the lure of money was too much for him. That’s their prerogative. I believe, though, that the explanation is exactly what he said—it was a spiritual decision—and most pundits won’t really know how to interpret that.
I admit to disappointment. Conservatives are divided over Huckabee, but I found him to be refreshing, a man with a decade of executive experience, and a desire to follow God’s leading. He was someone I would have supported for the nomination. Now that is not to be.
That’s okay. If Mike Huckabee doesn’t have a clear signal from God to run for the presidency, he shouldn’t. I respect that decision. In one sense, I respect him even more now than I would have if he had run. Many polls said he was at or near the top at this point. He walked away from a real possibility of being the Republican presidential nominee.
Some things are more important than being president, and God calls each person to his or her unique path.
May Mike Huckabee find his path one of peace with God and full of His blessings.