Let me say that it is a brilliant ad. It comes across as well, nice, which is a bonus in a political season, and exploits one of Huckabee’s assets, which is his personality and delivery. Further, in terms of appealing to evangelical voters, what could be better than a basic recounting of the Christmas message followed by “I’m Mike Huckabee, and I approve this message”?
Further from Bob Wickers, Huckabee’s media consultant, who made the ad. Wickers tells Jill that Huckabee was sitting in front of a built-in cabinet and the media team was unaware of “this whole cross imagery.” He called it “absolutely accidental.”
The thing that strikes me is that sounds utterly unbelievable. I noticed it the first time I watched it. How could a media consultant not realize the significance of the image when the commercial was being made? I will grant that the intersection of two lines at right angles is not that unusual a form, but still.
Meanwhile, the same post noted Ron Paul’s response to the ad:
Ron Paul said this morning on FOX & Friends that:
“It reminds me of what Sinclair Lewis once said. He says, ‘when fascism comes to this country, it will be wrapped in the flag, carrying a cross.’ Now I don’t know whether that’s a fair assessment or not, but you wonder about using a cross, like he is the only Christian or implying that subtly. So, I don’t think I would ever use anything like that.”
Two things: there is no way to win in criticizing this ad (quite frankly, I see no political gain in it, anyway), and if Paul has any interest in breaking beyond his current tier in this race, this is not a smart way to do it. Second, according to the USAT post, the quote does not comes from Sinclair Lewis, although it is frequently attributed to him.
In terms of the politics of criticizing the ad, Micheal D. at Balloon Juice when he noted:
You don’t think there’s a War on Christmas? Watch what happens when I do this ad!
And, indeed, Huckabee has used criticisms of the ad in just such a fashion (again from the USAT piece):
Huckabee said today that the country must be in trouble if it’s politically incorrect to wish people “Merry Christmas,” the Associated Press reports.
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